Instead, we’re seeing proposed lay-offs of uniformed military personnel, while the career bureaucracy in the Defense Department grows without end. We’re seeing reductions in training, while favored contractors continue receiving billions for questionable projects. The end result can be predicted: a weakened military unprepared to meet the challenges of a dangerous world, and indiscriminate cuts that don’t make a systemic dent in our national debt.
The truth is, we cannot balance our budget on the backs of our warfighters. Eliminating every penny of our $700 billion annual defense budget would only halve the annual federal budget deficit. And on the revenue side, taxing 100% of the entire net-worth of the top 100 billionaires in America would only pay the other half of one year’s deficit.
We’re all entitled to our own opinions, but we cannot ignore the facts. We literally can’t cut enough defense spending, or raise enough taxes, to solve our budget woes — let alone address our long-term national debt. There’s only one path back to fiscal sanity and long-term security: reform our bloated entitlement programs, streamline Pentagon spending, and promote pro-growth tax policies that incentivize entrepreneurship and business expansion. Veterans know this is how we ultimately make America stronger and safer.
Partisans on both sides of the aisle seek to cast blame on the other party, but it’s time to set aside the blame game and admit the truth: Democrats and Republicans have both contributed to our fiscal woes, and we can’t afford more delay and dysfunction.
Our veterans are saying it loud and clear — enough with rampant government spending that’s weakening our nation. Washington needs to focus on delivering a budget plan that cuts deficits, reduces debt, and allows our nation a chance to get back on the road to prosperity and security.
Pete Hegseth is the CEO of Concerned Veterans for America, and the former executive director of Vets for Freedom. Pete is an infantry officer in the Army National Guard, and has served tours in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay.