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Poll: The future of defense spending

What do you think should be done with the Pentagon's budget?

View Results

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Please share your thoughts below in our comments.


  • Dchatms1998

    These people keep us safe. Safe to go do say what we want. Freedom isn’t free and I am sick and tired of liberalism. Cut entitlements!!!!! Leave the military alone. We live in the safest country in the world and if the cards were switched And Iran or north Korea could attack us and win they would! Period! If we were being invaded y’all would feel very different! But as long as you get your government checks and food stamps everything is ok! Give me a break!

  • Johnmeldonian

    america protects the world

  • Ken_doiron

    Why does the IS have thousands of troops in Europe and Asia, to mention 2 wars?
    Support our troops, pull them out and scale back the obscenely expensive weapons programs.
    Instead, Invest in energy effiecency and alternative energy that will provide real security.

  • Fenris

    Thomas Jefferson said it best, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” China, Russia, and Iran will align against us, they all share a common interest, and that is a world without the U.S. Go ahead and let our defense wane and see what happens.

  • Amy and Terry

    Any future wars should be funded by a special tax called a war tax instead of having the cost of a war hidden and not included in the budget as the Iraq war was.   If our taxes had increased because we entered a war other services, social programs and infra structure would not be facing possible tax cuts now.  How about some “nation building” in our country!

  • Mahmoud Arnaout

    In order to stay on top and continue our diplomacy, we have to keep on pushing like we did through history, because history showed us the way, and the only way to keep balance and superiority as needed.  We spend money like crazy (as a government) and to think that the defense department budget, that kept us on top for years, will make a difference in $ cuts, is NUTS.  Get real politicians.  Thank you.  Moody

  • Anonymous

    America has eleven carrier battle groups in active service.  No other country has more than one.  Why don’t we try to make do with just, say, seven?

  • Peter F.

    We always forget to count the CIA, all the other Intelligence Agencies, the nuclear weapons budget in the Energy Dep’t, all the border guards and airport security and other snoops in Homeland Security, even all the ‘private contractors’ our State Dep’t and other ‘civilian’ agencies pay all around the world to do what our Marine Corps used to do — guard our diplomats and civil servants overseads – to say nothing of the separate budgets for our little wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to say nothing of the billions and billions of interest we pay every year on the borrowing we’ve had to do to finance our military industrial complex.   Altogether far, far more than $1 trillion/yr.

  • tired2040

    If we’d learn to keep out of others affairs around the world we wouldn’t need much of a military. And maybe the rest of the world would hate us as much as they do.

  • Tgbecker77

    I do not understand why our political leaders believe our military must be massive enough to serve as the worlds police force, The wars in Vietnam, Iraq,and Afganistan should never have been fought !

  • Mshadow

    It’s called the military industrial complex. Dwight Eisenhower General/President warned about it with good reason. Fear lines many pockets very well.

  • Joseph Gump

    We currently spend 60% of discretionary spending on the Pentagon, Veteran’s Affairs and Nuclear Weapons programs; 7% on Health and Human Services and 6% on Education.  The strength of the future of this country depends on the health and education on our people, not on our military power. Let’s begin investing in our furure by deeply reducing our military expenditures and using the savings to benefit the really important needs of our people and our country.

  • Ken

    A tax to pay for war! Then we would find out who is willing to support the troops. Great comment.

  • David Joseph Bond

    Get real!!!  Better to have & not need than to need & not have!!  N a world that can literally annihilate hundreds of thousands & even millions of people with something that weighs less than small horse is reason enough to as the boy scouts would say; B PREPARED!!!  IT’S NOT THE OLDER GENERATION THAT IS N JEOPARDY BUT THEIR CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!!  What is your child worth 2 U or your grandchildren?????? or this nation??????????  There R some mistakes that U can live with, however there R some mistakes that will literally kill U & everything U have come 2 cherish.  U have been successful N taking GOD out of our country! & if there is any question as 2 what happens to anyone who does that simply review the history of Israel.  Every time they took & followed the secular things of this world & strayed from seeking GOD’S Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, devastation followed.  2 know the future we must examine the past.  This country the, (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA), was founded on CHRISTIAN principles & has flourished & became the greatest Nation ever!  Look back @ the past when we took GOD out of our schools look what has happened, substandard education with the highest cost 4 that, rape, murder,   drug abuse, & an increase in teen suicide.    Look @ our society!  We like the Romans R hell bent 4 destruction!!!!!!!!

  • Rog Rydberg

    Another Repubican for  STUPID wastful spending!

  • Rr

    The boys need to lose the toys.

  • Rog Rydberg

    We should put a tax on all oil from the middle east to pay for the military over there!

  • Kevin Evans

    The military budget is big–huge–it’s bloated, the Dept. of Defense and Pentagon can’t even account for all the money—or materiel–they’re entrusted with, we outspend–grossly–all other countries in the world.  It’s obscene.  We need to cut their budget by half.  And please, please don’t say it will weaken us.  It patently won’t.  We’re supposed to be getting out of Afghanistan in the next couple years anyway.  Let’s shut down this perpetual war machine and unplug that “military-industrial complex” President Eisenhower so wisely warned us of, once and for all.  It’s WAY overdue.

    Mo Rage, the blog

  • Rog Rydberg

    The MDS (Missile Defense system) is the most costly defense system and doesn’t work!
    Check it out!
    The F 35 has no mission!  $300 million each!

  • Phil DesMarteau

    Why should weapon manufacturers gain huge profits? Their personal interests should be of less concern compared to the welfare of the country. Less profits not no profits should be consded.

    A new reality has come to the fore. The United States is not the sole guardian of the world. This is one reason for a United Nations. Looking only at what the financial interests of the United States are when involved with international situations is avoiding other more important factors.

    Phil Des Marteau  Las Cruces, New Mexico


    Joseph Gump is right. We are behind the developed world in health care, education and infrastructure. Time for old-time warfares is over. Let us use our intelligence and diplomacy. It is time to ask, is it wise to depend on China for our microchips?

  • Cyberimperialist

    The country last was invaded in 1812, quite a long time ago, dontcha know. And I don’t consider a country where 10,000+ are slaughtered every year by GunFools to be as safe as, say, oh, the 100+ other countries in the world with decent incomes and NO cowboys with assault guns paying a visit to the local middle school for a little target practice. Freedom actually is free, it is free of GunFools and people like you who want ever more guns, killing, killing, killing and so on ad nauseum.  Iran and North Korea, by the way, aren’t interested in attacking the USA, they aren’t the bellicose demanders telling everybody what to do, and how, and when, or else! Guess who that might be, GunFool?

  • Dmanlhy

    We were pretty weak when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. The speed and effectiveness with which we shifted gears from a peace economy to a wartime economy surprised out allies, not to mention our enemies. We did it before, we can do it again. The world will remember or suffer the consequences. For now, we need to tighten the belt. With no wolf at the door, it’s inappropriate to exempt the Pentagon.

  • dave frasier

    To be able to reduce DOD spending the USA should stop
    paying jews to murder muslims.

    The USA crusading in Iraq has been an unnecessary
    disaster. (but lying to the voters is not treason)

    Stop making enemies then not so many wars.


    We have managed to turn back the clock 2000 years so we
    can continue the insanity of weak-minded religious idiots killing weak-minded
    religious idiots. (crusades 1095; biblical Israel, blood sacrifices in the
    temple 2000 years ago).


    The insanity of this religious stupidity must stop for
    the humanity to progress beyond our current state.

    You can discuss all the problems but until you address
    the root cause nothing will really ever change.


    The other area of concern, china; we can thank Nixon and Kissinger.
    If the US would stop buying crap and everything else from China their economy
    might collapse and we would not have to fire a shot to weaken or maybe defeat


    Dead lock in DC; religious right, religion is written
    down so it can’t compromise or change it must be true to its stupid history.


    I like to stretch the insanity of the fantasy world of
    religious stupidity to fit most problems.


    Please stop pouring my tax dollars down the rat hole of Israel.


    I have not heard anyone mention “industrial military
    complex” for many moons.

    They might be in bed with the religious right; protect
    the holy city at all cost.

    Yes someone is listening but is this the listener you
    really wanted?

  • Jadwa59

    On tonite’s show, lots of talk about no audits? What’s inspector general’ office? What about GAO? What about Congressional oversight. Talk’s cheap!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks so much for the opportunity to comment on a national poll that netted a total of 103 opinions. That is soooo significant…NOT! Here’s a great idea: run the poll *after* you put on the program with those “Enterprise Institute” totally impartial experts! Nothing like a poll the day before the program runs to get a lot of participation. Another verification of PBS’s total incompetence.

    OF COURSE DEFENSE  SHOULD BE CUT DEEPLY! Are you kidding? How about a cut of 2/3 to start?

  • Dave in Tacoma

    In times when the threats are not necessary to counter with massive forces (more focused on intelligence, people, not hardware), then running all this military support as a welfare program is hugely inefficient.  What’s the $$ per troop figure, I would guess it’s 300-500K+ a year.  You can send a lot of kids to Harvard for that and we’d be better off.  Cut about 50% of the budget, back to Y2000 levels please.

  • Scott

    Oh, how wrong they are!   Freedom ONLY comes FREE…… and WITHOUT government CREATED bogeymen that are MADE and financed to keep the Military-Industrial-Government complex destroying worldwide FREE and COOPERATIVE commerce….NOT to mention destroying the people, economies, and ecology of the countries we are so-called ‘protecting’ and bringing the ‘glorious’ western brand of DEMOCRACY to.  Trillions upon trillions spent to DESTROY……REBUILD………then DESTROY again just to keep the oligarchy or ‘crony capitalists’ and corrupt politicians RICH and FAT off the blood and money from millions of others.  The DemonRats and RepubliCan’ts know only one thing……TO DESTROY…..and eventually even themselves, including us.  Ron Paul is the ONLY one with the courage to tell us anything close to the REAL TRUTH and is exactly RIGHT on the need to cut the military budget, end foreign aid, shut down the over 900 BASES (unbelievable number) in over 150 countries, end the IMPERIALISM and INTERVENTIONISM, end the Afghan and Iraq wars, bring the troops home, and start MENDING our image of absolute treachery and empire-building around the world.

  • Scott

    GROW A BRAIN and stop absorbing propaganda and statist nationalism in lieu of intellect and reason.  Your world-view of ’007′ villains and rogue ‘world dominators’ is really only a testament to the high level of lazy intellect and total lack of any sound logic and reason you have.  Also, study some Austrian economics to obtain a sound understanding and view of how and what a really FREE, PEACEFUL, and COOPERATIVE world may actually look like and be REALIZED!  Truly, the unfortunate beliefs you and, more sadly, too many others hold will ONLY guarantee ENDLESS WAR and total ECONOMIC DESTRUCTION.

  • Shawn Ortiz

    We (The USA) have had two chances to break with its
    European Imperialist DNA: After evicting the Spanish from Cuba in 1896 and the
    end of WWII in 1945. We failed both times to extend our democratic creed to the
    world. Instead of promoting an anti-colonial and anti-imperialist foreign
    policy we adopted what was left of Great Britain’s “world order” formed by 300
    years of world’s conquest. Our military for the last 66 years has been the
    enforcers of a “world order” that is now obsolete given the emergence of China and
    India as economic powers. We now have a chance to form a new world order that
    does not require us to be #1. However, we will not do it and in failing to
    change we will hear the voice of the fat lady singing that the end has finally

  • Scott

    Even though your statements on Iran and NK are correct most of your early rants are as baseless and without logic, let alone reason, as 1998′s.  Freedom also means the ability to protect oneself and by what means the INDIVIDUAL decides.  Much trouble, but not all in an imperfect world, would be MINIMIZED, if not circumvented altogether, if there was NOT a MONOPOLY of force and power to begin with…….whether it be the GOVERNMENT or the CRIMINALS!

  • Anonymous

    The panel was actually very good and largely agreeable to your point of view. Did you watch the show?

  • Daniel

    Pentagon is a war-mongering organisation that has outlived its usefulness and must be closed down.
    There is no treat in any part of the world towards America. Everything they project is to make money for the military industrial complex own by them. Pentagon is a SCAM !.America Wake Up!.

  • Dankiffs

    I will nominate you for president to kick out those empty heads at Pentagon and Capitol hill.
    thanks. Be bold and keep it up.

  • David dedmon

    PBS is becoming more irrelevant everyday.

  • Betty

    The USA can cut its military budget by a significant amount.  The experts should look at what we actually need, rather than what is desired.  The decision makers always seem to want the “latest” development, the most recent technology (witness this in the general population) but does it always pay off?  Procurement is one area the decision makers need to review.  How many new “toys” do we need as a nation?  We do need to be responsible to our recruits and to provide proper benefits for them, and for their families. 

  • Csand1949

    Obscene, is the only word to currently describe the US Defense budget. If we add in all the privately contracted defense expenditures of approx 200+ billion to the 700+ Billion current defense budget we have almost a 1 trillion dollar annual expenditure on defense! Absolutely INDEFENSIBLE and thats what the US defense budget is, INDEFENSIBLE and obscene! We have lost all sense of proportion here. The simple fact that the defense budget has never ever been audited too reveals how lost and corrupt we have become as a nation. The warning that Eisenhower gave us in his final speech about the Military Industrial Complex has gone completely unheaded… The lobbiests in collusion with the Republicrats are at the heart of this Corruption. These are end days for the American Empire unless we make some drastic changes. So obviously the Defense budget needs a very very substatial reduction, say 50% minmum. It is time take this nation back from the Bankster Gangsters, the lobbiests, and the Republicrats. It is time to elect Ron Paul for President! 

  • Scott

    Let the PEOPLE (the Capitalists, the Entrepreneurs, and the TechnoCrats) KEEP their money and CREATE the products and SOLVE the problems that the CONSUMERS want done…..including the ecological problems.  THEY have been the ONLY ones who have been the creators of the wonderful products and devices we have been blessed to experience….not to mention the creators of the billions of JOBS that the vast majority are able to have a good quality of life.  We should all THANK GOD for the Capitalist, not demonize him/her.  However, government subsidizing Green and Alternative energy is WASTERFUL, INEFFICIENT and will only lead to MORE corporate-government cronyism and corruption.  Unfettered (deregulated) capitalism and a REAL free market in COMMERCE, COMPETITION, and IDEAS will, and always has been, the  incubator and creator of real-world workable solutions to our technological challenges and is the ONLY creator of rising standards of living of the masses…and not just for the ‘privileged’ few of the CRONY-CAPITALISM….. the PRIVATE SECTOR-GOVERNMENT FUSION and totally corrupted system we actually have now.  Despite the extremely dismal status of our current economic and political environment, the REMNANTS of our so-called ‘free enterprise system’ still has allowed the creation of the wonderful technological and life-enhancing  devices and ideas that we continue to experience.  JUST IMAGINE WHAT WOULD BE POSSIBLE IF THE GOVERNMENT WOULD GET OUT OF THE WAY AND STOP HAMPERING OUR CREATIVE AND TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS AND DESTROYING CAPITAL FORMATION IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR.  NONE of our problems will ever be solved through continued political intervention since they have been the perpetrators to begin with of all the economic and monetary problems we face today.

  • Scott

    Thank you, and I am flattered, but do as much as you can to promote and get as many to support Ron Paul who is the only candidate who has any ‘balls’ to actually change this Repube and DemonRat collaborative ‘home-boy’ clique that is completely destroying our economic and financial system.

  • Adambom

    By all means, let’s fritter away the only advantage that’s kept you all blissfully unaware of the dangerous world out there. Once you lose advantage, you might never obtain it again. Consequences may spell the end of your existence. What then, dead moral warrior?

  • Scott

    How wrong, and with even less integrity, to wrap the quote of Jefferson around our current brand of so-called ‘national security’.  He NEVER has or would sanction our imperialism, interventionism, foreign government bribes, and ‘standing armies’.  Get back to the books and be a more cogent constitutional ‘scholar’ rather than a Mark Levin apparatchik of delusion and confusion.  You really serve an insidious and treacherous ideology.

  • Scott

    The future of our health and education ALSO lies OUTSIDE government and in a legitimate and real free market PRIVATE SECTOR.  Government intervention will ALWAYS continue to raise costs and to decreased quality of product and services.  Economic laws are ‘laws’ and Austrian ecomomics should be requisite study by all INTELLIGENT freedom lovers.  If your a ‘statist’, even if your beliefs go only so far as in believing that government can be the ONLY provider of SOME services, then you will continue to be a victim of economic and political fallacies that will only continue to lead to the problems we are already facing.

  • Economicjustice

    The US is destroying the world due to our hunger and greed.  Once the EARTH is destroyed…then what dead power monger?

  • Cassandra Velasco

    Freedom isn’t free! But there must be a concerted effort to bring expenditures under control. Runaway spending for all sorts of experimental technologies has got to take a back seat to caring for our veterans. Bush got us into the war in Iraq, expecting that it would pay for itself (and profit the oil companies) with oil from Iraqi oil fields. Didn’t quite work out as old “Dubyah” had expected, did it?  Well wars, even when ended with victories,  NEVER work out to fulfill the expectations of the leaders who started them. But, unfortunately, the arguments to ban-the-bomb, to end all warfare, are specious; human nature cannot accept peace. America has been using its military in an attempt to build  foundations for peace, which is clearly a mountainous oxymoron  digging us into deeper and deeper debt even as I write these lines. Democracy cannot be instilled in  backward, illiterate nations by means of foreign military occupation. If that is the purpose for American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, it will utimately fail; however, we have succeeded in quelling international terrorist activity, which may resurge after we leave. I think that reducing America’s military spending will force us to adopt a criteria of international triage, in which we no longer invest our men and materiel in nations so hopelessly backward that corruption, terrorism, religious fanaticism, poverty, illiteracy, overpopulation and oppression of women and minorities  are incurable by any sort of intent.. We have to deal with out own domestic problems, such as urban blight, FIRST, and let the Iraqis, Afghanis, Somalis et al, worry about their own…. 

  • John Roberts


  • C Olson

    Your premise that we have not ‘beat those bad boys’ I think is flawed.   The terror of 9/11 has not reoccured so to date the policies, in large part, have been successful.

  • C Olson

    Hunger and greed are being exponentially perpetuated in Africa and Asia…should the US continue to support the rampant explosion of humans, dependent upon international aid, as they thoughtlessly exploit their native resources?

  • CMSgt Cook, USAF, (ret)

    Since only 1% of the population of our country has served in the military, it’s not surprising to me that the other 99% thinks defense spending should be cut.  Having served for 30 years in the USAF, I am still amazed at the ignorance of the civilians in our great country that don’t have a clue as to the threat to the freedoms we enjoy nor the need for a strong military to ensure we all retain our freedoms!    

  • Anonymous

    The Five-sided Funny Farm is AID to DEPENDENT CORPORATIONS the war profiteers!

    Dump the faulty F-35 with its loud invasive noise that no one wants in their back yard.  Close foreign bases, stop expansion in the US how much land does the military need?   Honor the will of the people on Jeju Island Island in S. Korea and Okinawa who have been protesting for years to dump the planned bases.  

  • Anonymous

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.Upton Sinclair

  • Anonymous

    9/11 was a crime that should have been pursued through the courts without squandering our treasury, millions of innocent Iraqi lives and our military.  Many still suspect it was an inside job or revenge of Bin Laden for a failed Bu$h Inc. oil scam.  There is also evidence BuSh Inc, ignored clear warnings.  What was the Baltimore Tunnel fire in late July; Bush fled to Texas only to return in early September.  

  • Anonymous

    Daniel, ditto this is proof of the means they will use to maintain their status:

  • Anonymous

    PBS may be a little flawed but it is our best source of news with no annoying commercials.  I do worry about the influence of the Koch Brothers!  We all need to support PBS before it is lost to korporate interests.  Ditto on a 2/3 budget cut.  

    We can only have PEACE as long as our neighbor pleases.  
    (Dutch wisdom)

  • Anonymous

    Dchatms1998, The military is the largest entitlement!

  • Johnwilburn2003

    We should cut defense in the hardware such as ships and planes. Then we can use the saveings to reseach new head wear to protect people.

  • WestWinds

    It would only take a very few nuclear warheads to permanently destroy the whole planet (remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki). The US maintains over five thousand nuclear warheads. We have military planes we never fly, tanks we never use, etc. War is the lie we are fed, along with a good dose of irrational fear, to keep military arms and military suppliers (Haliburton) and military contractors (Diane Feinstein’s husband; six million dollars last round) rolling in taxpayer dollars. The Pentagon and the Defence Budget are a scam, just as the churches today are a scam (Pat Robertson went into the ministry with lint in his pockets and today he is a billionaire with an African diamond mine in the Congo). The president, far from ending THE war, has expanded our military presence globally to include beefing up Guam, efforts to move into Jeju province on Cheju Island (off the coast of Korea), expanding from just the Iraqi war to Afghanistan, Pakistan, our presence off the coast of Egypt during their Occupy and replacing Mubarak with a military police government (so as not to disrupt our sales of military arms to Egypt), to the drone strafing of Libya, etc. We are mired in war and are the biggest purveyor of military arms in the world. And I personally believe the plan is: to push this so-called “austerity” plan, which is to get all of the governments of the world to loot their countries and transfer all of their wealth to the top and to occupy the globe with military force. This is a very James Bond The World Is Not Enough scheme. We are in the hands of madmen who prefer hurting and harming than to living in peace. Even Kublai Kahn said (paraphrase): “In times of war men know what to do. They know how to rape and pillage. But in times of peace, men know not what to do. They know not how to sow corn and raise their families and to just live in peace.” We need to close the Pentagon altogether. Obama has declared himself a “war president”. Until We the People stop paying for this insanity, until we stop letting the war mongers sell us their bill of goods, then we will never seek alternative methods to problem solving. America used to be respected in the world. Now we are seen for what we are: an imperialistic, predatory for profit murderer. I don’t think this is what the founding fathers had in mind.

  • WestWinds


    The problem is your nomeclature. They tell us they are using these arms to “police” the world. This is a falsehood. They are using the military to steal the resources of other countries to make themselves fat cat rich and they are using the American citizenry as their cash machine to do it. We pay for it and they reap all the profits.

    I’m amazed that people don’t see our military expansionism for what it is: a for-profit killing machine that is gradually going to dominate every part of the world. This is where our “government” is going with all of this. These men are insane, sick, mentally ill. Why can’t people see this? 

  • Michael

    Strength in numbers. At 6 times the cost of the current fighter jet, the F35 is way overpriced. $385M per jet is insane. There is no justification for this outrageous price tag. Any general or admiral proposing this sheer waste should be demoted 5 levels and discharged. Same thing with overpriced destroyers, which the chinese can easily sink with 100′s of cheap diesel subs and smart torpedoes.

  • JanisL55

    What you should say is “I reaped the substantial benefits of service in the military for 30 years, and now I am collecting the substantial retirement pay and benefits associated with it that have been set up by my cronies in Congress, and which are being financed by hardworking taxpayers, without their permission, ad infinitum”!  This exclusive, cushy welfare state known as the “military” has nearly doubled in cost to the taxpayers (yes, WE are paying your way!) in the last ten years.  The phony disability pay that the military arranges for those retiring from the service, who are in fact, 100% able to work and who go on to cushy,well-paid full-time jobs, many in the federal payroll.  That is fraud, and it must stop now.  Why should our middle class work their fingers to the bone all their lives, to finance your double-dipping if not triple-dipping?  Health care free for life, no thanks,  at a cost of billions of dollars, again PICKED UP by us taxpayers!  I never asked you to “serve” and you have not preserved my freedoms or kept me safe, the heinous acts of our military have instead made every one of us more endangered and yes, thanks to the unconstitutional Bush “UNpatriot Act” and executive orders done in secret–my “freedoms” are in tatters.  Save your BS for the naive schmucks who will buy it–I surely don’t!  Westwinds and Arms R4Hugs, thank you for the breath of fresh air and truth–we, the people need more of that!

  • JanisL55

    Wake up–we HAVE lost our so-called advantage, along with the good will of the nations of the world!  The U.S.’s illegal war adventures embarked upon by illegitimate, unelected Republican “presidents” are OVER!  Bush has nearly bankrupted the wealthiest nation on earth with his immoral, knuckleheaded revenge invasions, NOT sanctioned by Congress and based upon a consipracy to make war via treasonous lies!  He and his cohorts should be prosecuted and imprisoned for their war crimes and our nation must henceforward solve its issues with other sovereign nations in a civilized manner via diplomacy, not moronic military “kill or be killed” schemes!  Defund the Pentagon and weapons programs by 50%, now, before we go over the abyss!  It is the will of the people, they have spoken. 

  • Leslie

    Fascinating discussion on this show.  The operative word in The American Enterprise Institute is “Enterprise”.  They are a mouthpiece for the military industrial complex like Halliburton and all the rest getting fat and happy on bloated contracts.  That’s where the waste, fraud and abuse is.  I agree with the other 3 panelists that you win wars with people and that’s where you need to put the money.  We have the best in the world and we need to keep investing in our human capital at least as much. if not more, in machines.  

    To the military folks out there, I’m all for preserving the pensions, it’s all many of you may get and you darn well earned it.  BUT, I think it’s fair to start means testing health insurance premiums.  $460 a year is a pretty sweet deal for those who’ve been able to go on to other employment, but we need to continue to protect those who cannot by virtue of their combat service.

  • Maggie Richards

    I too served in the Air Force starting at age 19.  Even at that age I could see waste every which way I turned.  Quit kidding yourself Sarge. We are not ignorant. We open our eyes and do research.  The biggest threat to our freedom is the miltary industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about.   Consider this:  No one in the government knows exactly how much has been spent or
    continues to be spent on nuclear weapons because there is not and has
    never been a unified, comprehensive budget to monitor all their costs across
    departments and agencies.    OR THIS: Oasis of Prosperity
    – - Big Gov’t Embraced to Keep U.S. Generals Happy  And those two are just the tip of the iceberg.   If I could see it as a 19 yr old surely you can see it at your age.   We were lied into two illegal & illicit wars and millions of that 99% that you sneer knew it was a lie as did millions of others who also protested.  Under would be King george and his puppet master, Cheney the militarty/Pentagon budget was tripled………….all based on lies.   9-11 was a criminal act.  It was not an attack on the USA.   So you see Sarge, the civilian population, of which I have been a part for most of my life is not as dumb as you would believe.  I suspect, based on your post, that we just might be light years ahead of you. 

  • Maggie Richards

    You sir, are a prime example of the dumbing down of America! That Fox Spews crap has warped your little brain.

  • Maggie Richards

    Adamborn……. you are the one who is blissfully unaware.   When I read comments like this I wonder if there should be a law against such stupidity.

  • Maggie Richards

    You’d have to cut 75% to be back to what it was in 2000.  Bush & his Thugs, inc. tripled the military budget during his ‘reign’ of terror.  Yes these corrupt  politicians, the 1% they represent & their out of control military will probably doom this country if they are not stopped soon. 

  • markez

    Thank you for your open fankness in the program nothing was said about black projects that are a secret program that eat up 1 trillon dollars a guess in my part .plus the 1.62 B for the new nuc assembley plant in Los alamos n.m that is not needed

  • Maggie Richards

    You sir are an absolute idiot.  You must be doing some of that selective reading of the words of that god of yours..  If we listen to him/her/it and you we would be killing our first born sons, turning women into blocks of salt and other nonsense.  Just about every war that has been fought was done in the name of religion.  Why don’t you keep your inane and insane ravings to yourself.  You make all religion look bad.

  • Maggie Richards

    I agree that the military is a for profit killing machine.  But I think, and hope,  that the world is waking up to the horror of being dominated by such a corrupt system.  I have no problem with Iraq tell the US to get their military out of their country.  I just wish they would tell them to get everyone out especially that mercenary army that will be left behind.    We should turn that outrageous (world’s largest) embassy over to the Iraqi people who could make a whole town if not city out of it to make a home for some of the millions left homeless by our illegal invasion and occupation……….likewise for all the military bases.   And speaking of military bases, for what possible reason, other than world domination, do we have between 700-800 bases scattered around the globe??

  • Maggie Richards

    Ah…yes.  Those war profiteers!  The Corproations, the Banks, etc.,  who think they should pay a smaller % of their income than the poorest of the poor. 

  • Jeffrey Joseph

    Actually the F-15,16,18 can do 95 % of what the F-35 can.
    And we don’t need 12 Nuke Carriers.
    I was a Missile system engineer At McDonnell Aircraft for 15 years.

  • 95dollarbill

    Our politicians constantly tell us that we need to cut entitlements but they almost NEVER talk about cutting defense spending.  Defense and Homeland spending is a bigger part of the budget than Medicare and Medicaid combined.  Why do we still Police the World????

  • Kent

    No one discusses the inefficiency of Procurement due to Congress. A program is built in 40-50 states to garner votes for legislators instead of producing them efficiently in just a handful of states the way any other product would be produced. Defense manufacturers know this and spread projects out to get votes. Why not put a limit on # of states that can put together a tank or weapons system so that manufacturers can be more efficient?

  • Andreams

    The money that has been spent in the defense budget could have fed the world’s hungry a hundred times over. It could have educated millions of children and paid those educators what they deserve. It could have taken care of our veteran’s and those who lost loved ones in a senseless war that went on for way too long and has driven this country into the worst debt crisis it has ever seen. Cut the defense budget now and redistribute that money to make the world a better place. We don’t need anymore murdering machines.

  • Dena

    I’d like to hear an invertiewer pin someone down on this… What exactly is “America’s Interest.”?  Everybody keeps saying it’s in America’s interest to do this or that but no one ever says exactly what that interest is or who’s benefitting and the interviewers keep letting them get away with that doublespeak!   PLEASE! Make someone define “America”s Interest.”

  • Andreams

    Unfortunately, I just caught the end of it.

  • Rich

    May I suggest “cheap oil”.

  • Anonymous

    It’s definitely worth taking a look. Donnelly spouted a bunch of bs at the end!

  • Timothy Everton

    WE need to eliminate, ENTIRELY, the private/corporate “mercenary” involvement in any of our conflicts/wars.  Everything should be done by our great military personnel.  That would amount to a tremendous budget cut in itself.

  • Anonymous

    Just curious:  Why did you not include “The pentagon should be audited” in the selection?  “It’s a massive undertaking” is not an excuse.  There are MANY capable accountants who would love to have a job!

  • Hal

    My neighbor gets 4% of all my payroll checks. I am told that this is what happens
    all over the country. Why? It’s my citizen obligation and a long standing tradition.
    I asked my neighbor for a accounting, after all, it is my money. I earned it on a
    9- 5. My neighbor just ignores me. The Constitution says I’m owed an accounting.
    Obviously, tradition trumps law and working citizens who must submit to it, audits,
    taxes et al.
    My neighbor is the U.S. Defense Department. The thing is, I’ve relocated several times and
    no matter where I relocate, they’re the ubiquitous next door neighbor. I remain cordial always,
    but which comes 1st, “The State or The Citizen” and “The Defense of a Citizen or The Defense Department”? Who owes who accountability? Please forgive this humble citizen for asking!
    Btw- Let the previous “Please” serve as a disclaimer hoping to exempt me from investigations under
    The Patriot Acts! Whew…

  • Anonymous

    Hal, outstanding, please send a poster!

  • Jon Doe (tax victim)

    Because we have such a large GDP is no rationale for sustaining government waste!  It’s sad that so many go hungry and many of our elderly must live so frugally in bland “public” high-rise housing…  The money IS there….  yet D.C. continues to panhandle.  Disgraceful! 

    If we have enough weapons to destroy the planet 20-25 times… does that me we could also destroy every planet in our solar system (theoretically?)  We still couldn’t get the Sun…  perhaps we should increase “defense” spending to keep that nemesis at bay….

  • Profscully

    Its time to end corporate welfare for the rich with our excessive military spending and channel it towards domestic needs.

  • Njfabbi

    Excessive? Did you watch the video? Defense spending is just a fraction of the American dollar.  You are probably one of those people that dont even vote, but still think your opinoin matters.

  • Kent Hill

    I found the panel discussion very interesting, but giving the American Enterprise Institute spokesman that much time on a very serious public policy was inappropriate,  AEI is just an extension of what is wrong in America today when talking about what President Dwight Eisenhower coined “the Military-Industrial Complex.”  Those in the military and civilian upper chain-of-command in the Department of Defense and Pentagon have spent money on resources that Never reach production and why All the duplication of services . . . land, sea and air needs protecting, but we have 5 services and civilian contractors performing these functions with different uniforms, vehicles, weapons etc.  This duplication costs over 50% in the Defense budget alone.
    Start by auditing your budgets and expeditures since 2000, cut the waste, take care of your past and present military personnel, stop civilian contracting and stop the duplication of goods and services, then come to the American tax-payers and say your budget can NOT be cut anymore and I for one will agree.
    Semper Fi U.S. Marines and FMF Corpsmen.

  • Sibling10

    How do I as a tax paying citizen know how to answer the question above if I don’t have information from an audit that shows me how the money is being spent? My answer has no meaning or substance without that inforamtion.

  • Zoejmac

    Thomas Donnelly stated that it has been decades since any American aircraft has been shot down by foreigners – absolutely untrue.  How quickly we forget Aug.9, 2011 – Chinook helicopter shot down by Afghan insurgents  That Chinook carried 22 Navy Seals, as well as others.  Some of those Navy Seals were the ones who got Bin Laden.   Lets get the facts straight  Our husbands, wives, sons and daughters are in harms way.   We have plenty to do in America to put Americans to work.  That money could be used in more constructive ways.

  • Georgewk

    It’s the Neo-Cons dream of Empire and Oil is the lubricant. I want to know how the” Defense ”
    dept. allowed Dick Cheney to allow an incoming airliner to hit the pentagon. He “stood down” air defenses even 90 minutes after the twin towers , WTC was hit.
    Can someone explain that?  Almost like he wanted it to happen.

  • LD

    In addition to cuts to the budget, the Pentagon needs to reassess priorities and be accountable to the American people for some bad and misdirected decisions. I am not a believer in isolationism, however there is a huge difference between that and our current imperialistic policies. We need to protect our global security while also supporting the rights of other countries to protect their own security.

  • Tarkus

    Regarding these comments I can only respond with a quote.  “There is a wicked pretense that one has been informed.  But no such thing has truly occurred!  A mere slogan, an empty litany.  No arguments are heard, no evidence is weighed.  It isn’t news at all, only a source of amusement for idlers.”    (Gibson-Sterling, The Difference Engine)

  • Esther F.

    If three retired “military” persons think we should cut the “Defense” (Translate “Military-Industrial Complex) Budget, think how many of us “ordinary” citizens can find even more reasons  for turning robots into dollars for housing the homeless and feeding the hungry! 

  • Johnwilburn2003

    I like what you say but all of the GOP canidates all say we have to stop China from having a navy and Iran from having an atomic bomb.I ask if you are  the leader of a country and other leader said you couldn’t have it what would you do? 

  • Kent Hill

    One of the reasons for the formation of villages, towns and even countries was to defend it’s population.Today, how can one country or a coalition of countires prevent the very essence of another countries’ being . . . defense against a foreign invader?History is full of invasions for another’s resources and even today this continues to happen.History does indeed repeat itself . . . over and over and over again.

  • Daniel Clark

    I believe you have a
    gross misunderstanding of what Social Security is. Social Security is insurance,
    albeit it is mandatory and government run, and your neighbor just happens to be
    receiving insurance payments from them. You have no more right to an audit of
    his personal finances than if you both had the same insurance company and he received
    a payment from them.


    With that being said,
    based on Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 of the U.S. Constitution, we as
    Americans do have a right to a basic audit (or as the constitution calls it “a
    regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public
    Money”) of the Department of Defense’s budget.


    (Note: This post is assuming
    that your comment “My neighbor gets 4% of all my payroll checks” is in
    reference to your payments into Social Security (FICA), and that your neighbor receives
    payments from social security.)


  • Lvelasquez

    Even President Eisenhower warned against he “military industrial complex”. There is a reason useless weapons continue to be made at the expense of the welfare of the troops. There is a constitutency that benefits from making them. Why are they worthless? Because the serious wars we have engaged soldiers with flip-flops and hand held weapons. What use are battle ships or rockets?
    We don’t need to go to war for some business man’s interest”. Only for the freedom of our country. We need leaders in the military who are realists. Not those who take action on the level of their hysteria or testosterone level

  • Raymond Wallace

    It’s semantics…but we can sterilized the planet’s biosphere 20-25 times; not destroy it.  The other planets, already lifeless, can only mock our impotence.

  • West Winds

    It’s called “imperialism” today.

  • West Winds

    Why are we Americans in such denial? “Almost like he wanted it to happen”? How about he was engineering it?