“We don’t have a revenue problem in Washington, we have a spending problem in Washington.”
Republican Senator John Thune
I am now back in the Midwest, where folks tend to be conservative Republicans. So, most people I know would support South Dakota Senator John Thune’s assertion that “we have a spending problem in Washington.” Although my political perspective is form the far left, I actually tend to agree with Thune. I just wonder, however, why Republicans didn’t say this during the Bush years. From my understanding of history, up until the Reagan years, the United States economy would use deficit spending to dig itself out of economic recessions. During times of prosperity, we would operate under a balanced budget. This is what prompted former Vice President Dick Cheney to say, “Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter.” The Bush administration used deficit spending to finance the wars.
I agree that we have a spending problem in Washington, but I think we have had a spending problem for a while, and the spending problem is the six or seven hundred billion dollars of annual military spending. We invest hundreds of billions of dollars creating worldwide violence in the name of security, and when this spending finally catches up with us, cutting military spending is still essentially off limits. I have been as tuned in to the budget negotiations as I would have liked, so I’m open to correction, but it seems as though significant cuts to military spending are off the table.
As a religiously oriented person, it is difficult to understand why we invest such massive amounts of money into violence. As Jesus said, “those who live by the sword will die by the sword.” If there is even a small amount of truth to what Jesus says here, then it means that our efforts to gain national security with violence is doomed to rebound upon ourselves. What is interesting to me is that in a Christian nation, this kind of discussion is largely ignored. Even when our financial backs are against the wall, and we are on the verge of defaulting on our debts, we hold on to our military budget with a disturbing sense of desperation. To me, this is the real spending problem in Washington, and it’s the one that is largely being ignored.