Monday, October 11, 2010

Tea Party Giving Neocons Heartburn

Several neoconservative writers have recently expressed nervousness about Tea Party supporters threatening to make substantial cuts in military expenditures in order to rein in government spending. Articles in the Washington Post and at, by Danielle Pletka, Thomas Donnelly, Arthur Brooks, Edwin Fuelner, and William Kristol have made it clear that “the conservative movement — and the party that seeks to represent it — is at a crossroads.” One road will continue funding the military-industrial complex in “defense of freedom,” while the other road “beckons in an almost Calvinistic call to fiscal discipline” resulting in potentially severe defense department cuts. Justin Raimondo, on the other hand, says that such efforts reflect panic on the part of those who, in the name of peace, support a strong military and an interventionist international policy. “They’re living in fear of the so-called tea party, the spontaneous grassroots rebellion against runaway federal spending that has successfully challenged the GOP establishment and wants to cut big government down to size — with a meat axe." [emphasis added] They especially fear supporters of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) who are seeking to stuff the government genie back into its constitutional bottle. Raimondo refers to a study available at, “What You Paid For,” illustrating how much of the average taxpayer’s taxes are spent for each department of government. Entitlements make up nearly 40 percent of his taxes, while 10 percent go to support the military establishment including the current wars, military personnel and veterans’ benefits. And those numbers for defense keep climbing, he says, from $437 billion in 2001 to $720 billion currently...more

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