"We're on the fringe right now. We can barely defend ourselves." --Illinois Republican congressman Bobby Schilling, expressing his fright that the Pentagon might experience budget cuts
This is the kind of propaganda fearmongering that used to work. Tell Americans that Saddam is hiding in the basement and Osama is under the bed and we sign over our paychecks to the Terrorist Extermination Service, otherwise known as the US military. That sort of GIGO logic (garbage in:garbage out) simply won't wash with sensible Americans any longer. It's why the Pentagon will also have to endure some budget cuts, though they (and their shills like Schilling) will be shrill. We seem to vacillate between Chicken Little with "The Security is Falling!" to chickenhawks ("Let's you and them fight").
We see the results. Fewer jobs created, since the Pentagon features both capital intensive projects and long term costs for personnel, so many of whom need highly expensive medical care for decades after serving in combat. More enemies created. Kill one Osama bin Laden and more terrorists are created to avenge his death. Kill a few children and far more insurgents and even terrorists are created out of pure justifiable rage. No wonder Schilling and his ilk believe we are on the fringe. The more we spend on the military the more we need to spend on it, since it is a self-reinforcing dynamic that ruins our security in the name of protecting it. The more we spend on the military, the fewer jobs we create. The more we spend on the military, the more jobs and homes and futures are lost. The American military is great for war profiteers. Sorry, but the welfare of those elites is no longer our concern. Their blood money is not owed to them.
Stop the Pentagon jobs program that creates few jobs per $billion of our tax monies and start a real jobs program that creates far more jobs and gives us a better life. How is this tricky?
Pull in the horns, stop sending Chinook helicopters into harms way in other people's lands, and we will see the ranks of terrorism dwindle to the point where it becomes a law enforcement function, not a military mess. This is the single biggest issue to address as we contemplate our fiscal stewpot of trouble.