McCain should identify $37 billion of cuts to pay for proposed boost in defense spending

Fiscal responsibility vital to national security.

Feb. 28, 2017, Fairfax, Va.–Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today in a statement responded to Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) complaint that President Trump’s proposed defense spending is not large enough, “With a world on fire, America cannot secure peace through strength with just 3 percent more than President Obama’s budget. We can and must do better”:

“President Donald Trump, in proposing a $54 billion increase in defense spending over the coming years, has done the fiscally responsible thing and found $50 billion of offsetting non-defense budget cuts to help pay for it. If McCain wants an additional hike of defense spending by another $37 billion this year, why doesn’t he identify $37 billion of cuts to make this year elsewhere in the budget? Perhaps look at the Pentagon itself. McCain has never seen a war that he didn’t want to put American soldiers into the midst of. The Department of Defense needs to conduct a complete audit and wring out the social engineering spending that Obama embedded in their budget including the inefficient and costly biofuel program. This refocusing will mean more planes, tanks and ships to protect American interests for the same dollar spent.

“While increasing defense spending is important for national security, it is equally important the Pentagon get more bang for its buck too. The fact is, the number one constraint on future defense spending will be the ballooning $20 trillion national debt. This year alone, it is projected by OMB that gross interest on the debt will be $511 billion, just $100 billion shy of the entire defense budget. It is this future expense budget that will consume all others, and make it impossible for the U.S. to meet its security commitments globally.

“We urge Sen. McCain to follow President Trump’s prudent example in proposing spending cuts to pay for his proposed increase in defense spending. As Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Sen. McCain is uniquely positioned to identify inefficient defense programs and unneeded armaments to meet the needs of a sound peace through strength doctrine.”

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