Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

Republican hypocrisy on military spending

(Read article summary)
View video

Pvt. Andrew Slovensky/U.S Army/AP

(Read caption) In this handout photo, U.S. Army soldiers with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 8th Cavalry Regiment, load their equipment onto pallets on Contingency Operating Base Adder, south of Baghdad, Iraq, as they begin their journey home. The same Republicans that oppose reductions in military spending are often the same ones who have been arguing for reductions in non-military spending on the grounds that they would boost confidence and thus create jobs, Karlsson argues.

View photo

For once, I agree with leftists like Paul Krugman and Matthew Yglesias: Republicans that argue that reductions in military spending because it could make people depending on it unemployed are hypocritical and self-contradictory.

These same Republicans have been arguing for reductions in non-military spending on the ground that it would boost confidence and thus create jobs. But if that argument is true, then reductions in military spending would have the same effect There is no reason to believe that the economy would be affected differently from military and non-military spending. Conversely, if reductions in military spending really is job-killing, then so is reductions in non-military spending. Either way, Republicans stand for a position in one of those areas which according to their arguments in the other area is job-killing.

About these ads

This doesn't necessarily mean that the Republican position is contradictory. One could perhaps argue that military spending shouldn't be cut because the Russians or the Chinese (or space aliens!) would invade otherwise, or because having a global empire and intervening in various third world civil wars is such a good thing. I don't agree with these other arguments, but at least they're not self-contradictory.