Fiscal Responsibility (OR Is ignoring your largest expenditure responsible?)

May 20, 2008

I’ve had the opportunity to have some conversations lately with a friend who would be best described as center-right… Amazingly, we’ve generally agreed on some of the largest topics of the day: universal health care is a good idea; deficit spending to fund war is dumb; etc…

In our conversations, I’ve fallen into the liberal trap of assuming that increased government services requires increased taxation. My friend firmly believes that we already pay enough taxes, at which point I’m reminded of how much we spend on our military. If you’ve followed me from my previous home, you you know I’ve talked about this before.

Why do I bring this up again? Because of stories like this, and Matt Yglesias’ regular mention of our need for mass transportation infrastructure, and Paul Krugman’s tale from Berlin.

I know there are also sorts of political reasons to avoid talking about cutting into military expenditures, but I can’t help but hope that a President Obama would couple a rational approach to foreign policy with more streamlined/targeted military spending. Which might also solve the problem that Defense Secretary Gates identifies.