issues2000

Topics in the News: Defense Spending


Vladimir Putin on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Sep 22, 2021)
Kremlin abandons plans to freeze defense spending

The Kremlin has decided to abandon plans to freeze defense spending, which were included in the three-year budget adopted last year. The total amount of military expenditures in the 2022-24 federal budget will increase by 15%, according to the explanatory note to the draft budget, TASS reports. According to the latest updated list published by the Finance Ministry, 3.381 trillion rubles ($46 billion) will be allocated for military purposes this year - 73 billion ($1 billion) more than in 2020.
Click for Vladimir Putin on other issues.   Source: UA Wire on Foreign Influencers

Mike Pence on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Sep 22, 2020)
Homosexuals in the ranks weakens unit cohesion

[Mike Pence Announcement Speech via Wayback Machine, 2000]: "In addition to defense spending, Congress should lead a national debate on reforming the military by:. (4) bringing an end to the 'don't ask/don't tell' policy of permitting homosexuals to serve in the armed forces. Homosexuality is incompatible with military service because the presence of homosexuals in the ranks weakens unit cohesion."
Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: FactCheck on 2020 Trump Research Book

Vladimir Putin on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Apr 27, 2020)
Russia returns to top 5 defense spending countries

Russia re-entered the world's top five defense spending nations in 2019 after briefly falling to sixth place the previous year, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)'s latest annual report. Russia now ranks fourth in the world for defense spending, with $65.1 billion in expenditures in 2019 compared to $61.4 billion the previous year.
Click for Vladimir Putin on other issues.   Source: The Moscow Times on Foreign Influencers

Tom Steyer on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Dec 24, 2019)
Refocus and reduce U.S. military spending

Steyer criticizes Trump for losing the trust of military leadership, unnecessarily increasing Pentagon spending, and appointing "incompetent" officials in the Department of Veterans Affairs He backs an overall reduction in U.S. military spending, but says he will ensure the U.S. military is the "best-trained and best-equipped fighting force in the world." He argues that more defense spending should go toward emerging threats, including information warfare and climate change.
Click for Tom Steyer on other issues.   Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2019 Democratic primary

Tim Ryan on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Jul 17, 2019)
Boost the defense budget

Tim Ryan on Defense Spending: Boost the defense budget.

EIGHT CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Michael Bennet; Joseph Biden, Jr.; Cory Booker; Peter Buttigieg; John Hickenlooper; Amy Klobuchar; Seth Moulton; Beto O`Rourke; Tim Ryan.

Other Democratic contenders align with the more moderate--or even hawkish--wing of the Democratic party and support larger defense budgets, especially in key areas they consider high priorities.

Click for Tim Ryan on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Amy Klobuchar on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Jul 17, 2019)
Boost the defense budget

Amy Klobuchar on Defense Spending: Boost the defense budget.

EIGHT CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Michael Bennet; Joseph Biden, Jr.; Cory Booker; Peter Buttigieg; John Hickenlooper; Seth Moulton; Beto O`Rourke; Tim Ryan.

Other Democratic contenders align with the more moderate--or even hawkish--wing of the Democratic party and support larger defense budgets, especially in key areas they consider high priorities.

Click for Amy Klobuchar on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Kirsten Gillibrand on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Jul 17, 2019)
Slash the defense budget

Kirsten Gillibrand on Defense Spending: Slash the defense budget.

SIX CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Tulsi Gabbard; Kamala Harris; Bernard Sanders; Eric Swalwell; Elizabeth Warren; Andrew Yang.

A sizable number of Democratic presidential candidates are doves with long track records of advocating deep cuts in the Pentagon budget in order to pay for what they consider more important domestic programs or diplomatic initiatives.

Click for Kirsten Gillibrand on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Pete Buttigieg on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Jul 17, 2019)
Boost the defense budget

Peter Buttigieg on Defense Spending: Boost the defense budget.

EIGHT CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Michael Bennet; Joseph Biden, Jr.; Cory Booker; John Hickenlooper; Amy Klobuchar; Seth Moulton; Beto O`Rourke; Tim Ryan.

Other Democratic contenders align with the more moderate--or even hawkish--wing of the Democratic party and support larger defense budgets, especially in key areas they consider high priorities.

Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

John Hickenlooper on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Jul 17, 2019)
Boost the defense budget

John Hickenlooper on Defense Spending: Boost the defense budget.

EIGHT CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Michael Bennet; Joseph Biden, Jr.; Cory Booker; Peter Buttigieg; Amy Klobuchar; Seth Moulton; Beto O`Rourke; Tim Ryan.

Other Democratic contenders align with the more moderate--or even hawkish--wing of the Democratic party and support larger defense budgets, especially in key areas they consider high priorities.

Click for John Hickenlooper on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Beto O`Rourke on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Jul 17, 2019)
Boost the defense budget

Beto O`Rourke on Defense Spending: Boost the defense budget.

EIGHT CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Michael Bennet; Joseph Biden, Jr.; Cory Booker; Peter Buttigieg; John Hickenlooper; Amy Klobuchar; Seth Moulton; Beto O`Rourke; Tim Ryan.

Other Democratic contenders align with the more moderate--or even hawkish--wing of the Democratic party and support larger defense budgets, especially in key areas they consider high priorities.

Click for Beto O`Rourke on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Kamala Harris on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Jul 17, 2019)
Slash the defense budget

Kamala Harris on Defense Spending: Slash the defense budget.

SIX CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Tulsi Gabbard; Kirsten Gillibrand; Bernard Sanders; Eric Swalwell; Elizabeth Warren; Andrew Yang.

A sizable number of Democratic presidential candidates are doves with long track records of advocating deep cuts in the Pentagon budget in order to pay for what they consider more important domestic programs or diplomatic initiatives.

Click for Kamala Harris on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Seth Moulton on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Jul 17, 2019)
Boost the defense budget

Seth Moulton on Defense Spending: Boost the defense budget.

EIGHT CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Michael Bennet; Joseph Biden, Jr.; Cory Booker; Peter Buttigieg; John Hickenlooper; Amy Klobuchar; Seth Moulton; Beto O`Rourke; Tim Ryan.

Other Democratic contenders align with the more moderate--or even hawkish--wing of the Democratic party and support larger defense budgets, especially in key areas they consider high priorities.

Click for Seth Moulton on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Joe Biden on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Jul 17, 2019)
Boost the defense budget

Joseph Biden on Defense Spending: Boost the defense budget.

EIGHT CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Michael Bennet; Cory Booker; Peter Buttigieg; John Hickenlooper; Amy Klobuchar; Seth Moulton; Beto O`Rourke; Tim Ryan.

Other Democratic contenders align with the more moderate--or even hawkish--wing of the Democratic party and support larger defense budgets, especially in key areas they consider high priorities.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Eric Swalwell on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Jul 17, 2019)
Slash the defense budget

Eric Swalwell on Defense Spending: Slash the defense budget.

SIX CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Tulsi Gabbard; Kirsten Gillibrand; Kamala Harris; Bernard Sanders; Elizabeth Warren; Andrew Yang.

A sizable number of Democratic presidential candidates are doves with long track records of advocating deep cuts in the Pentagon budget in order to pay for what they consider more important domestic programs or diplomatic initiatives.

Click for Eric Swalwell on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Michael Bennet on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Jul 17, 2019)
Boost the defense budget

Michael Bennet on Defense Spending: Boost the defense budget.

EIGHT CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Michael Bennet; Joseph Biden, Jr.; Cory Booker; Peter Buttigieg; John Hickenlooper; Amy Klobuchar; Seth Moulton; Beto O`Rourke; Tim Ryan.

Other Democratic contenders align with the more moderate--or even hawkish--wing of the Democratic party and support larger defense budgets, especially in key areas they consider high priorities.

Click for Michael Bennet on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Donald Trump on Defense Spending: (Budget & Economy Jun 25, 2019)
I alone can fix it, with massive tax cut

The Republican Party nominated a candidate who promised to deliver "a giant, beautiful, massive" tax cut; pass "one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history"; and "not touch Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid." How would Donald Trump pull off this math-defying act? "I alone can fix it," he had claimed in his nomination speech. He would erase our debt in eight years by "vigorously eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal government, ending redundant government programs, and growing the economy," as well by "renegotiating all of our [debt] deals." What he actually did was cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans and explode our deficit.
Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Land of Flickering Lights, by Michael Bennet, p.149

Mike Pence on Defense Spending: (War & Peace Mar 1, 2019)
Increase defense spending, launch Space Force

We're modernizing our nuclear arsenal, updating missile defense, and President Trump will launch the sixth branch of our armed forces, the United States Space Force. We'll make sure that America is as dominant in space as we are on land and air and sea. So, we're rebuilding our military, we're restoring the arsenal of democracy, and we're once again giving our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard the resources they need to accomplish their mission and come home safe.
Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: White House press release, "Remarks at CPAC 2019"

Donald Trump on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Feb 5, 2019)
Withdraw from INF and develop Missile Defense System

We have begun to fully rebuild the military--with $700 billion last year and $716 billion this year. We are also getting other nations to pay their fair share. For years, the US was being treated very unfairly by NATO--but now we have secured a $100 billion increase in defense spending from NATO allies.

As part of our military build-up, the US is developing a state-of-the-art Missile Defense System.

Decades ago the United States entered into a treaty with Russia in which we agreed to limit and reduce our missile capabilities. While we followed the agreement to the letter, Russia repeatedly violated its terms. That is why I announced that the United States is officially withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF Treaty.

Perhaps we can negotiate a different agreement, adding China and others, or perhaps we can't--in which case, we will outspend and out-innovate all others by far.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2019 State of the Union address to United States Congress

Amy Klobuchar on Defense Spending: (Environment Jun 13, 2018)
Open PolyMet copper-nickel mine in the Iron Range

Sen. Tina Smith and Sen. Amy Klobuchar introduced an amendment to the annual federal defense spending bill to expedite an exchange of Minnesota land between the federal government and the mining company PolyMet.

The land exchange is a prerequisite for PolyMet to build a copper-nickel mine--the first mine of its kind in Minnesota--near Hoyt Lakes, on northeastern Minnesota's Iron Range. Smith and other supporters say the land swap has benefits to the region regardless of mining.

Environmental advocates and other critics, however, have argued the amendment would remove an obstacle to the operation of a mine they believe will have disastrous effects on the environment in the name of temporary and limited economic gain.

Click for Amy Klobuchar on other issues.   Source: Minneapolis Post on 2018 Minnesota Senate race

Bernie Sanders on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Apr 16, 2018)
Undertake comprehensive audit of Department of Defense

On domestic policy, there are major differences between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. On foreign policy, not so much.

Several months ago, Democrats, with virtually no opposition, gave President Trump every nickel that he wanted in increased defense spending. At a time [of great domestic needs], there were very few Democrats opposed to Republican efforts to increase military spending by $165 billion over two years.

Democrats, for good reason, vehemently oppose almost everything Trump proposes, but when he asks for a huge increase in military spending, there are almost no voices in dissent. Why is that? Do we really have to spend more on the military than the next ten nations combined--most of which are our allies? Why do we dramatically increase funding when the Department of Defense remains the only government agency not to have undertaken a comprehensive audit? Why is there so little discussion about the billions in waste, fraud, and cost overruns at the Pentagon?

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Where We Go From Here, by Bernie Sanders, p.182-3

John Kasich on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Apr 25, 2017)
Cutting Pentagon budget doesn't weaken defense

[In the 1980s when I sought to cut wasteful spending in the military], my thinking was this: Just because you're out to curb some of the ridiculous costs doesn't mean you're out to weaken the nation's defense. The Pentagon budget was bloated; yet only a few people were speaking out against it. The talk all over Washington was about the need for cuts in our social welfare and entitlement programs, while there was an unspoken agreement that we were not supposed to be critical of our defense spending.
Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Two Paths, by John Kasich, p. 99

Elizabeth Warren on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Apr 18, 2017)
Reagan military spending meant more bombs & fewer textbooks

Under Reagan, defense spending rose by 34 percent. And spending that was already guaranteed by law, like Social Security and Medicare, remained out of the Republicans' reach. But all other spending that Congress had to approve year after year was now on the chopping block. All the spending on education, on infrastructure, and on research.

The trickle-down policies of the Reagan years shifted American' priorities. 1 At the same time that military spending expanded significantly, school funding was slashed by 15 percent. More bombs and fewer text books. And when the politicians figured out there was no price to pay politically, the cuts just kept on coming. Even during the Obama years, federal funding for education took a hard hit. In 2011, Republicans bargained for another 15% cut in return for increasing the debt ceiling and thus preventing the complete disruption of financial markets around the world.

Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: This Fight is Our Fight, by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, p.118

Cory Booker on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Apr 1, 2017)
No irresponsible spending on weapons military doesn't want

BROKEN PROMISE: : Booker said on his Senate campaign website, "America has, and must continue to maintain, the strongest military force in the world." But he cites on the same website that Congress engages in "irresponsible spending on weapons our military doesn't want." Booker made these two inherently conflicting promises, attempting to portray himself as a moderate on defense spending. He contradicts himself in that pair of promises, and his promise on the "strongest military" was belied by his NAY vote on Congress' biggest military package

ANALYSIS: Booker opposed the "National Defense Authorization Act" which President Obama vetoed (agreeing with Booker) because it "underfunds our military in the base budget, and instead relies on an irresponsible budget gimmick of Overseas Contingency Operations funding." Booker's ambiguous campaign promise has the usual purpose of attempting to please both sides at once by being intentionally vague.

Click for Cory Booker on other issues.   Source: Cory Booker 'Promises Broken,' by Jesse Gordon, p.119

Donald Trump on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Feb 28, 2017)
More tools so our military can fight and win

To keep America safe, we must provide the men and women of the United States military with the tools they need to prevent war and--if they must--to fight and to win.

I am sending the Congress a budget that rebuilds the military, eliminates the Defense sequester, and calls for one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.

My budget will also increase funding for our veterans. Our veterans have delivered for this Nation--and now we must deliver for them.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2017 State of the Union address to Congress

John Kasich on Defense Spending: (Jobs Nov 10, 2015)
I created jobs in Congress & in Ohio; let's make it thrice

Our most important moral purpose as leaders in the political system is to make sure we create an environment for job creation so people can live their dreams and realize their God-given potential.

I've been an innovator my entire career. And I really don't care what special interests or lobbyists have to say. I have a job to do when I take over a public office. Now, we freeze non-defense discretionary for eight years. We also put an increase in defense spending. Our tax cuts balance out. And at the end of the day, we will get to a balanced budget.

And I want everybody here to know, when I was Budget Committee chairman in Washington, I stepped on every toe in that town, and we got to a balanced budget, and we had enormous job growth. And as governor of Ohio, we went from 350,000 lost jobs to a gain of 347,000 jobs. I'll do it in Washington. I've done it twice; I'll do it thrice for the United States of America.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Fox Business/WSJ First Tier debate

John Kasich on Defense Spending: (War & Peace Sep 13, 2015)
I'm a "cheap hawk": Cut Pentagon waste, but not spending

Q: On defense spending, You say there are 900,000 people helping run the Pentagon who have no direct line authority, but on the other hand, you say you'd like to see an end to spending caps on Pentagon spending. Those two seem in contradiction.

KASICH: I think we absolutely have to spend more on defense. It's one of the essential purposes of the federal government. But I have served on defense for 18 years and being able to witness the waste, the duplication, the red tape, the slowdown, we don't want to spend money there that goes in the bureaucracy and delay that could go into building a stronger defense. There's no inconsistency there: reform the Pentagon, strengthen the military. That's why I call myself the cheap hawk.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Bernie Sanders on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Sep 5, 2015)
Costs of endless war detract from citizens' well-being

Q: What does Bernie believe about current levels of defense spending?

A: While Bernie appreciates a strong defense system, he has also views the cost of endless wars and tremendous peacetime defense spending as detracting from facing "some of the most pressing economic issues affecting the well-being of ordinary Americans." Bernie firmly rejects any increase to defense spending at the cost of cuts to domestic social spending.

Q: Why is Bernie so concerned with the defense budget?

A: Bernie sees a lack of accountability on defense spending. Explaining his "no" vote on the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, which set the military's budget at $560 billion, Bernie expressed concern that "the military is unable to even account for how it spends all of its money." Bernie also voted against the 2012 and 2013 defense authorization bills, voicing alarm at the size of the defense budget despite the US having withdrawn all military members from Iraq.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 grassroots campaign website FeelTheBern.org, "Issues"

Rand Paul on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Apr 12, 2015)
2010: decrease DOD budget by $164B; 2015: increase by $190B

Q: When you first came to the Senate, you proposed decreasing defense spending by about $164 billion, but in the past couple of weeks, you have proposed increasing by $190 billion. Why the change?

PAUL: I have proposed several 5-year budgets. And for me, the most important thing of the 5-year budgets has been to balance. The last one I produced did actually increase defense spending above the military sequester. But I did it by taking money from domestic spending. My belief has always been that national defense is the most important thing we do, but we shouldn't borrow to pay for it.

Q: But by proposing an increase in military spending before you announce for president, it could look like pandering.

PAUL: Well, 3 or 4 years ago, we did the same thing. So we have been for quite some time proposing increases in military spending, but always the point is that I believe any increase in spending should be offset by decreases in spending somewhere else.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Rand Paul on Defense Spending: (Budget & Economy Apr 7, 2015)
Balance the budget: slash spending, raise defense

Paul has outlined one of the most aggressive spending cut proposals in Congress--it would balance the federal budget within five years. At the same time, in 2015 Paul ended years of calling for cutbacks in defense spending and proposed increasing the Pentagon's budget by $190 billion.
Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series

Rand Paul on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Mar 27, 2015)
$76B in defense spending via cuts to EPA, HUD & foreign aid

Rand Paul is completing an about-face on a longstanding pledge to curb the growth in defense spending. Paul introduced a budget amendment calling for a nearly $190 billion infusion to the defense budget over the next two years--a roughly 16% increase. Paul's amendment brings him in line with his likely presidential primary rivals.

The move completes a stunning reversal for Paul, who in May 2011, released his own budget that would have slashed the Pentagon, a sacred cow for many Republicans. Under Paul's original proposal, defense spending would have dropped from $553 billion in 2011 to $542 billion in 2016. But under Paul's new plan, the Pentagon will see its budget authority swell by $76 billion to $696 billion in fiscal year 2016. The boost would be offset by a $106 billion cut to funding for aid to foreign governments, climate change research and reductions to the budgets of the EPA, HUD, and the departments of Commerce and Education.

Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Time magazine 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Mike Pence on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Feb 28, 2015)
The time has come to dramatically increase defense spending

Pence said that the 2016 election could turn on foreign policy thanks to the missteps of the Obama administration, and called on conservatives to embrace "America's role as leader of the free world."

"I believe the time has come to dramatically increase defense spending to confront the unknowable and knowable threats," Pence said. "Without rebuilding our military, no strategy or innovation, no matter how brilliant, will be sufficient to protect the American people and the sovereignty of the US.

Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: Washington Times on 2015 Conservative Political Action Conf.

Joe Biden on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Oct 11, 2012)
Special Forces instead of M1 tanks

Q: How you do the budget math and have this increase in defense spending?

RYAN: You don't cut defense by a trillion dollars.

BIDEN: Who's cutting it by a trillion?

RYAN: We're going to cut 80,000 soldiers, 20,000 Marines, 120 cargo planes. We're going to push the Joint Strike Fighter out. We're cutting missile defense. If these cuts go through, our Navy will be the smallest it has been since before World War I. This invites weakness.

BIDEN: Look, we don't cut it. The military says, we need a smaller, leaner Army. We need more special forces. We don't need more M1 tanks. What we need is more UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called "drones"]. That was the decision of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recommended to us and agreed to by the president.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2012 Vice Presidential debate

Barack Obama on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Jan 11, 2012)
Reduce defense spending 1% in 2013; add 2% per year after

According to the first details of the Obama administration's fiscal 2013 defense budget, defense spending in 2013 would be reduced 1% from this year's initial $525 billion request before growing annually 1.8% in 2014, 2.3% in 2015, 1.9% in 2016, and 2.2% in 2017.

The administration plans $82 billion in funding for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars for 2013, according to OMB. The basic defense-only "topline" numbers are currently projected at: $524 billion in 2013; and $533 billion in 2014; $546 billion in 2015; $556 billion in 2016; and $568 billion in 2017. The percentage increases are expressed in "nominal growth," not adjusted for inflation.

The 2012-2021 defense plan calls for $5.652 trillion in spending. OMB calculated that the total Budget Control Act- mandated defense cut over those years is $488 billion--or about an 8.5% total decrease.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Tony Capaccio in Bloomberg News, "First Budget Numbers"

Rand Paul on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Jan 10, 2012)
Cut defense spending as part of cutting all federal spending

My proposal [for spending cuts] would have simply rolled back federal spending to 2008 levels by initiating reductions at various levels almost across the board. My proposal included cutting wasteful spending in the Department of Defense, especially considering that since 2001 our annual defense budget increased nearly 120%. Even subtracting the costs of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Pentagon spending was up 67%. These levels of spending were unjustified and unsustainable-- and yet too many Republicans also thought these Defense Department cuts made my proposal too "extreme."
Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: Now Or Never, by Sen. Jim DeMint, p. xiii

Rand Paul on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Feb 22, 2011)
How much of what is spent on defense is actual "defense"?

Of course we all recognize the need to fully fund military, to defend against any threats and defeat any enemies on the horizon. But we also need to recognize that America already spends nearly as much on defense as every other county on earth combined. Is this necessary? Are all of our foreign commitments necessary? What America spends on defense---it should be asked, how much of this qualifies as actual "defense"?--accounts for almost « of total global defense spending. Is this right? We spend billions of dollars keeping and maintaining foreign bases--shouldn't our allies be shouldering some of the cost, particularly when it comes to their own defense? Much like entitlements, what we spend on our military has long been drastically out of sync with what we can actually afford, producing the same expensive results that always characterize big government.
Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: The Tea Party Goes to Washington, by Rand Paul, p. 31

Rand Paul on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Feb 22, 2011)
Put defense spending on the table for reducing budget

National security is a primary function of our federal government and I even think defense should be the largest part of our budget-a budget many would agree should be reduced overall. Everything must be on the table, and we cannot even begin to control spending without a serious re-assessment of America's military role in the world and how much we're willing to pay for it.
Click for Rand Paul on other issues.   Source: The Tea Party Goes to Washington, by Rand Paul, p.135

Barack Obama on Defense Spending: (Health Care Jan 26, 2011)
Repealing healthcare reform would cost $250B

The bipartisan fiscal commission concluded that the only way to tackle our deficit is to cut excessive spending wherever we find it--in domestic spending, defense spending, health care spending, and spending through tax breaks and loopholes.

This means further reducing health care costs, including programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which are the single biggest contributor to our long-term deficit. The health insurance law we passed last year will slow these rising costs, which is part of the reason that nonpartisan economists have said that repealing the health care law would add a quarter of a trillion dollars to our deficit. Still, I'm willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year--medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2011 State of the Union speech

Mike Gravel on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security May 2, 2008)
President’s job since WWII is pitchman for war industry

The president’s chief job since the end of WWII is, above all, pitchman for the war industries. WWI meant convincing the American people to enter an overseas conflict that didn’t directly threaten them. So a manageable threat had to be exaggerated. After winning, the US military was demobilized; defense spending shrunk and the private armaments industry contracted.

WWII changed that. The military-industrial relationship was formalized and the economy became dependent on it. By 1949 there was a peacetime draft, a new Defense Department, a CIA and a National Security Council coordinating the national security state. Except, there was no war. So tension with Russia was exalted into a global struggle against a highly embellishe Communist “threat.” We were bathed in irrational fear during the entire Cold War to keep the military factories--and our irrational insecurities--humming. And now the phantom peril has seamlessly merged into the War on Terror.

Click for Mike Gravel on other issues.   Source: A Political Odyssey, by Mike Gravel, p. 22

Mike Gravel on Defense Spending: (War & Peace May 2, 2008)
Neocons plotted since 1991 to overthrow Saddam

Clinton’s containment policy with Iraq angered the neo-conservatives. Bush I’s defense secretary, Dick Cheney, produced a 46-page policy report saying that the US’s post-Cold War mission was to ensure no rival anywhere could challenge America’s undispute supremacy.

Four years later, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and 23 other neo-cons founded a group called the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). They advocated increased defense spending (what else?) to carry out the plan. In 1998, several PNAC members wrot an open letter to Clinton calling on him to launch a preemptive military attack against Iraq to stop it using “weapons of mass destruction.” They concluded, “only a determined program to change the regime in Baghdad will bring the Iraqi crisis to a satisfactory conclusion.”

In 2000 the PNAC produced a similar report, acknowledging that “the process of transformation” toward US world domination “is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event like a new Pearl Harbor.”

Click for Mike Gravel on other issues.   Source: A Political Odyssey, by Mike Gravel, p.217-218

Hillary Clinton on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Mar 25, 2008)
Long-held pro-defense spending stance; not a move to center

As long as she has been in public life, Clinton has held many positions that are ordinarily associated with Republicans, supporting the death penalty, numerous free-trade agreements, and high defense spending, to name a few. She was also a strong and early supporter of the Iraq war (though she became a critic as the war dragged on). Yet these positions are not only not taken as evidence that she is in fact a centrist, they are used as evidence of insincere political calculation. She has often been characterized as MOVING to the center in preparation for a presidential run, even when her position on the issue in question has remained unchanged.

For Clinton, long-held positions, like a hawkish approach to military affairs, are taken as evidence of a shift. And the prevailing assumption is that when she breaks with some in her party (or even when she sticks with her party) it is for crass political purposes and not an outgrowth of genuine conviction.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Free Ride, by David Brock and Paul Waldman, p.134-135

Barack Obama on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Oct 17, 2006)
Need to be both strong and smart on national defense

Obama takes an unexceptional position on defense spending, i.e., we need to be strong but we need to be smart about it. However, some papers reported the story as “Obama chides other Democrats on defense.” Of course, it is not true. The rumor got started that way, in the lead of an AP article on Obama’s Sept. 18 speech to Iowa Democrats. Six other articles reporting on the same event failed to mention the mythical attack on other Democrats.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Should Barack Obama be President, by F. Zimmerman, p. 50

Howie Hawkins on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Aug 1, 2006)
Halve defense spending & use funds domestically

Q: What does Hawkins think of armed forces spending?

A: Budget on all-Defense related spending is about 8 times more than we spend on education in the US. Halve the Defense spending and use it to build the US domestically.

Click for Howie Hawkins on other issues.   Source: Email interview on 2006 Senate race with OnTheIssues.org

Donald Trump on Defense Spending: (Homeland Security Jul 2, 2000)
3% of GNP for military is too low

To tell the enemy we’re not going to invade defies common sense. That lack of confidence may reflect another troubling reality: our diminished military forces. To wage our aerial assault on Yugoslavia we had to call upon US forces from all points of the globe. Why? Because we’re spread too thin. The US last year spent 3% of gross domestic product maintaining our military forces. Compare that with past figures: Defense spending in the last year of the Carter administration came to 4.9% of GDP. During the Reagan buildup it was 6.5%. We are still living off the Reagan military buildup of nearly 20 years ago. The question is: What will we live off ten or fifteen years from now if we do not invest again?

You can’t pursue forward military and foreign-policy objectives on a backward military budget. I’m not advocating that America go forth and police the world. I’m just saying that if we’re going to use our military power abroad, we had better make sure that power is ready to be used.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.149

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