In their zeal to rein in government spending, some elements of the GOP caucus in the House of Representatives seem willing to slash defense spending. Regardless of whether that is a good or bad idea, the idea of Republican lawmakers blocking defense increases seems counter-intuitive. Republicans have been supporters of “peace through strength” for many years, and their electoral base has benefited handsomely from support for the joint force. If defense outlays were cut, the axe would fall first and foremost on weapons programs–potentially harming local economies in key red states and swing states such as Arizona and Michigan. Republicans are right to worry about the danger of running trillion-dollar budget deficits, but that concern will be ill-served if they alienate constituencies critical to winning future elections. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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