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Earlier today, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld held a lunch with a group of bloggers to discuss his new memoir, Known and Unknown.
During the discussion, Rumsfeld talked about how the amount of GDP we dedicate toward defense had shrunk over time. Given that this will become more of an issue in the coming decades with the explosion in entitlement spending, I asked him whether he thought defense spending could be cut without hindering national security, which even some conservatives have begun to suggest.
Rumsfed acknowledged that there were specific areas that could be cut, but warned against broad cuts.
“In any large organizations, there are things that can be reduced, that’s clear,” he said. “I think it was something like $18 billion in earmarks were shoved down the Pentagon’s throat every year. Congress wanted it, we didn’t want it. It didn’t have anything to do with defense capabilities. So are their things? Sure. When I worked at the Pentagon, there were pastry chefs. There were people standing outside the door, and wherever I went, they went with me. If everyone else could work there, why did I need somebody else helping me around?”
He exlained, “I’m looking at specifics. You start looking at the aggregate, and that’s something different…The defense budget is not what’s causing the deficit in the United States government. If you look at the percentage.”
He added, “Clearly there are things that can be done at the defense department. But if anyone thinks they can balance the budget on the back of the defense department, the answer is a) mathematically, it can’t be done, and b) you’ll be sorry.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?