Prospective candidates Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and Gov. Bobby Jindal (R., La.) spoke at a Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) forum on Wednesday, while Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) discussed national security issues at a Wall Street Journal CEO Council’s meeting on Tuesday. All three backed increases in defense spending amid steep budget cuts, effectively endorsing the GOP’s role as the party of national defense. Some members had flirted with targeting the Pentagon to trim budget deficits after election victories in 2010.
Cruz said the defense cuts known as sequestration are “having a serious, deleterious effect on our ability to defend our nation,” though he noted that the Pentagon’s budget is “not immune from congressional pork.” Even Paul, who had previously expressed a desire to reduce defense spending and has generally advocated for a more noninterventionist foreign policy, said he would support a larger defense budget if cuts could be found elsewhere.
We have the money — Washington is enjoying another record take this year, despite another half-trillion dollar deficit.
The question is one of priorities, and the Wiggleroom Administration prefers welfare dependency at home to strength abroad. We’ve made this mistake before, and recovering from it was painful. But Carter never “stuffed the beast” to the degree Obama has, which means the next Reagan, should there ever be one, will have a much harder time starving it.