Whether they want to admit it or not, the majority of Americans got what they wanted this Friday.
We’re a nation that pays far too little in taxes; and despite the rhetoric, we receive far more from our government than we care to admit. In fact, the combination of tax breaks and social spending we receive in this country rivals that of Sweden.
We could have gotten out of this by rolling up our sleeves and sacrificing. Special interest groups could have compromised, and accepted modest cuts to government programs.
I’ll be the first to admit that the Defense Department could also accept modest cuts to some of its programs. It could cut bloated weapons programs, such as the Littoral Combat Ship, the F-35, and an inexplicable proposal to buy more M-1 Abrams tanks. Or we could close additional bases.
But of course, those cost Americans jobs.
Because there’s no lobby for training budgets, the services have gutted their flying hour programs, and large-scale training exercises. Statistically speaking, at least one in seven soldiers in Afghanistan–a war most Americans do not even care about–will lose his or her job within the next few years. These veterans will face higher than average unemployment, and unfounded stereotypes.
In short, a nation that openly says “thank you for your service” is actually telling our Armed Forces, “sorry, but your services are no longer necessary”.
But don’t worry America. We’ll jump on this country’s fiscal grenade, so that you can keep your spending programs. Because if anyone knows how to sacrifice, it’s your nation’s men and women in uniform.