How typical for a liberal rag like Salon to publish an article over Memorial Day weekend that laments all the money wasted on military spending that could be “reinvested” in such noble liberal endeavors, such as free community college and wealth redistribution.
To lend the piece an air of objectivity, even scholarship, author Sean McElwee peppers it liberally with charts and graphs. But his opening salvo — after noting that the American military budget dwarfs the combined military spending of China, Russia, and a bunch of other countries — sounds a lot like Barack Obama’s lead-from-behind “strategy”:
As the era of American hegemony winds down, it’s more important than ever for America to be able to demonstrate soft power. That means first, an American model that works, for other countries to emulate. But further, it means a highly educated population, long-term investment in infrastructure, adequate healthcare, an society based, above all else, on opportunity. However, it’s likely that the military budget precludes these important services.
Soft power? Yeah, that should work like a charm against the Islamic State.
Later in the article, he picks up on this theme again, writing:
Our bloated defense budget is taking away money that could go to more important things. As I’ve noted, just two years funding for the massive, $1.5 trillion F-35 fighter jet could fund free community college for all students for a decade. Americans need to realize that today, the larger threat they face is their own fear leading them to underinvest in vital services. As Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously warned, “the only thing we have to fear is… fear itself.”
One might argue there is plenty to fear in these uncertain times beyond a reluctance to expand government and spend more on social programs.
(h/t Weasel Zippers)
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