By Teresa Welsh |
Politicians on both sides can agree that the United States debt, which has surpassed $15 trillion, is far too large. What they disagree on is how best to cut the federal budget and address the deficit crisis. One point of contention is the defense budget. Some argue that it has become too large and bloated in recent years, especially as the United States is no longer being challenged by any superpower as it was by Soviet Russia during the Cold War. Others contend the United States still faces a major threat with terrorism and the rise of radical Islam. They say that for the sake of national security, cuts should come from elsewhere in the national budget. There may not be a choice in the matter—if the deficit reduction “super committee” fails to come up with a plan that cuts $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years, $1.2 trillion will be cut across the board, split between defense and non-defense budgets. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned that such cuts would be “disastrous” and “devastating.” Here is the Debate Club’s take whether the defense budget should be cut.
Ron Paul U.S. Representative and Republican Candidate for President
Patrick Takahashi Director Emeritus at the University of Hawaii
Travis Sharp Bacevich Fellow at the Center for a New American Security