As we noted last issue, scores of Libertarian Party candidates for federal office have pledged to downsize the bloated federal government — in four big and specific ways:
- Eliminate the federal income tax
- End the War on Drugs
- Abolish the NSA
- Cut military spending by 60%
We’re exploring each of these pledges in detail, one per issue, because the Libertarian Party has done a great job of showing that these bold proposals are not only possible, they are practical and enormously beneficial. (Of course, you can jump ahead of us and read about all four positions right now.)
Let’s look at the pledge to cut military spending by 60% or more. The candidates pledge: “If elected, I will sponsor legislation to cut military spending by 60% or more and cut total federal spending accordingly; close all foreign U.S. military bases; withdraw completely from the Middle East; and bring our troops home.”
Here are the benefits, according to the Libertarians:
* A non-interventionist foreign policy will result in less hostility towards the United States and reduce the risk of a terrorist attack.
* There is no justification for forcing U.S. taxpayers to fund the military defense of other nations, including wealthy countries such as France, Germany and Japan.
* Cutting the U.S. military by 60 percent does not remove one cent of U.S. military defense spending — only military offense, defense of other countries, and waste.
* An oversized military budget is a war waiting to happen. Needless war results in untold death and destruction — the greatest assault on human liberty. A lean, reasonably-sized military budget will save lives, avoid casualties, preserve personal property and community infrastructures, and foster peace.
* Voters want to downsize the U.S. military. According to a survey by the Stimson Center, Democratic, Republican and independent voters all want to cut military spending “far more severely than the sequester would” and “far, far more severely than either party has proposed.”
* Closing foreign bases and withdrawing from the Middle East means that U.S. troops stationed abroad can come home to their families. Kids will grow up with mom and dad at home.
* Fewer casualties will reduce demand on the Veterans Administration, which will improve the care of America’s wounded soldiers.
* Downsizing the military will force the reduction and consolidation of 18 separate spy agencies — the surest way to end the government’s spying on innocent citizens in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
* A right-sized military will be auditable, will squeeze out its legendary waste and will put an end to overpriced and unneeded multi-billion-dollar procurements that politicians lobby for to “bring home the bacon” to their districts.* A non-interventionist policy will reduce trade barriers, resulting in greater prosperity for both Americans and our trading partners.
* Cutting the military by 60 percent will enable substantial cuts in federal taxes and stop the growth of the national debt. If applied to the income tax, each American family will get back, on average, $4,100 — every year. If used to balance the budget, it will eliminate approximately 70 percent of the deficit and stop today’s rapid inflation of the dollar. This will stabilize prices on everyday goods and services and dramatically reduce the risk of an economic collapse.
* Transferring wealth out of the government sector and into the private sector will create sustainable, productive jobs — approximately twice as many jobs as will be lost in the government sector. A net increase of millions of new jobs.