At a Pentagon news conference I’m watching on TV Don Rumsfeld is explaining to me that with only 3.8% of US Gross Domestic Product going towards military spending nobody should complain since this is lower than back in the good old days of Mutually Assured Destruction nuclear buildups.
Neoconservative hypocrisy regarding Government spending has become far more outrageous than the naivete that continues to characterize liberal notions that Governments are a good environment for the allocation of other people’s money. They are not, and they have never been.
Political spending, whether in the social or military sectors, is rarely rational spending, and tends to evolve quickly into territorial “feathering of nests”, inefficient allocations, and choices based on conflicting sets of Government priorities. This was well understood by the founders who wanted Government small and taxes low.
Although “fighting terrorism” is a legitimate Government objective, the current approaches are so recklessly expensive it is unlikely they can continue much longer. Also, military spending does not build infrastructure (often it destroys it), so unless you are truly saving the nation from disaster – a weak argument given the current state of the world – wasteful military spending has far less favorable impact than, for example, wasteful spending on infrastructure. However I’m not advocating wasteful liberal spending either.
Alternatives? Recognize that risk is a part of life, allocate resources rationally, and trust that people will spend their money far more effectively than the neoconservatives have been spending it, or the liberals will spend it when they take control of the bloating corpse of Government spending.