Cheap Hawks; Not Cheap Talk
On Wednesday night, the Republican-led House of Representatives passed a $1.3 trillion dollar "omnibus bill" to avert a government shutdown. In case you're wondering what $1.3 trillion gets you in 2018, the answer is "five more months of continued operation of the Federal Government." Of that budget, $700 billion goes toward the military. If you assume that government can only be either large and effective or small and ineffective, you might wrongly conclude that we need big spending for public goods like national defense. After all, without a strong military, what is to prevent predators from plundering our productive economy? However, Jonathan Bydlak of the Institute for Spending Reform thinks it's wrong to equate big spending with strength and safety. As a self-proclaimed "cheap hawk," he says we can have a strong military without bankrupting the country. He quotes Michael Mullen – Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – who said, “The most significant threat to our national security is our debt.” Mullen believes out-of-control spending actually weakens the military and the resources it uses. Bydlak has started an initiative called "Guide for a Strong America" under the banner of the Institute for Spending Reform, which lays out concrete cuts to the Pentagon's budget that would make us safer. Tune in to hear how D.C.'s culture of spending – which includes GOP leaders – is setting the U.S. up for something worse than a government shutdown.