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Rebuttal of the CATO Institute’s blatant lies

The George-Soros-funded CATO Institute has recently put out a 3-minute video titled “The Truth About Sequestration” which, however, is a litany of blatant lies about sequestration and defense issues. They claim, inter alia, that sequestration would be only a “one-year cut” in defense spending; that by the end of the sequestration decade, defense spending would be $100 bn higher than this FY; that America can afford to “spend considerably less on defense at no cost in national security”; that defense spending has increased by over 90% since FY1998; that military spending constitutes only one quarter of the total federal budget; and that America’s military spending actually makes America less secure.

Traitor Rand Paul has picked up that liberal propaganda video and shamelessly propagates it on his Facebook page, claiming that sequestration will not cut defense spending at all and will only be “a reduction in the rate of growth” of defense spending.

The only problem is that the claims made in this video and by Sen. Paul on his page are blatant lies, at least as far as defense spending is concerned. No, sequestration would NOT be a mere reduction in the rate of increase, nor would it be a one-year cut – it would be a real, deep, immediate, and permanent reduction in the defense budget. It would cut the base defense budget from $525 bn today to $469 bn on March 1st, and even a decade from now, in FY2022, it would be at a mere $493 bn – $32 bn below today’s level.

All the while OCO (war) spending is shrinking steadily and is set to disappear in FY2016. DOE, DHS, and State Department spending is ALSO subject to sequestration.No, sequestration is not a mere “reduction in the rate of increase” nor a mere “one-year cut” – it’s a real, deep, immediate, and permanent cut in defense spending. Here’s the proof in graphic version.

defensebudgetaccordingtothecbo2

The claim that sequestration would set defense spending back “only” to “2006 or 2007 levels” (as if that weren’t a deep cut) is also a blatant lie – sequestration, by cutting it to $469 bn on March 1st, would cut it down to FY2003 levels (in FY2004, the base defense budget was $472 bn – MORE than what would be allowed under sequestration in March). The defense budget would actually not return to FY2007 levels until FY2022! And the claim that defense spending levels in FY2006 or FY2007 were “excessive” is also a lie – they were not excessive then, and they would be woefully inadequate now, considering how much the Chinese and Russian military buildups, and the nuclear and ballistic missile programs of North Korea and Iran, have progressed since then.

Listen to the Joint Chiefs testifying just a week ago, folks. Listen to them talking about how severely deep defense cuts would weaken America’s defense: http://armedservices.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=156

If the defense budget were to be “considerably” reduced, jettisoning missions like commitments to allies would NOT be enough, because a large military of a size no smaller than that of today would STILL be needed to protect the US itself. So “considerably less defense spending” would have to mean considerably fewer troops, weapons, munitions, and weapon programs to defend America itself, as well as far fewer training hours/days and far fewer installations at which to disperse the force (thus making it much less survivable because of a lack of dispersal).

Defense cannot be provided for on the cheap.

The claim that military spending has grown by over 90% since FY1998 is also a blatant lie – the correct figure is around 70% – and it’s irrelevant in any case, because FY1998 was the post-WW2 nadir of defense spending – the nadir of the Clinton-era massive defense cuts which gutted the military that the Bush Administration later tried to rebuild.

The claim that the US will be spending $100 bn more on defense in FY2022/FY2023 than now is a blatant lie, as demonstrated above (it will actually be $32 bn LOWER than it is today).

The claim that America’s military spending somehow undermines US national security is a blatant lie; it does not undermine US national security in any way whatsoever. It actually SAFEGUARDS America’s nat-sec by funding the troops, training, equipment, installations, and missions needed to protect America and its national interests abroad.

The claim that the US could deeply cut its defense budget and still be the world’s top military power and still be secure is also a blatant lie. The Chinese and Russian militaries have already closed most of the gaps between them and the US military and are working hard to close the remaining few gaps. They are far more capable than most people give them credit for. I have done tons of detailed analysis of them, available on my website (http://zbigniewmazurak.wordpress.com).

The claim that “security threats have declined since the end of the Cold War” is only partially true – they did decline after 1991, but the calm, relatively peaceful decade of the 1990s is long over. Today, the world is more dangerous, and the US faces more security threats of greater magnitude and complexity, than at any point during the Cold War, except maybe the Cuban Missile Crisis, as confirmed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The idea that the US can afford to dramatically cut its defense budget, capabilities, and size of its military is so false and so ridiculous that only ideological libertarians like Rand Paul and the CATO Institute crowd could believe them.

As for NATO, the US has withdrawn the vast majority of its troops in Europe after 1991.

I would like to add one more thing, regarding past defense cuts: every past round of deep defense cuts – the one that followed the end of WW1, WW2, the Korean War, Vietnam, and the end of the Cold War – resulted in the gutting of the military, in terms of size, training, equipment, material readiness, etc. EVERYTIME that America conducted such a round of deep defense cuts, these cuts later had to be reversed at a much higher cost than what it would’ve cost to simply keep the military strong at all times. And each time, these defense cuts cuts have caused America to be unprepared for the threats of the future and the next war, into which the US was usually drawn unwillingly, Vietnam being the sole exception. As former SECDEF Robert Gates, in the past, five times American policymakers and citizens concluded that the world had changed for the better and decided to dramatically cut the military. The result was always the same – a new, unexpected war that America was drawn into and unprepared for, emboldened enemies attacking others with impunity, and the necessity to rebuild the military at a high fiscal cost. It is IMPERATIVE not to repeat that mistake again.

Shame on the Soros-funded CATO Institute and on you, Senator, for lying so blatantly.

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