Focus Point - Clinton's CutsCommentary by Pete du Pont
February 11, 2000
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis.
The lead in the Wall Street Journal story gave me pause: according to the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, Bill Clinton is the only post-war president to reduce real per capita spending. No kidding, its true.
Spending per capita's down $52 since 1993. But it's why spending's down that counts. Clinton reduced defense spending -- and basically increased spending on everything else. While, it should be noted, turning the military into an international nanny. Clinton's not totally at fault in cutting defense; it's been going on for years. But clinton didn't make defense cuts part of an overall spending rollback. He made them pay for all his spending increases.
Defense spending, in real dollars, is half that of 1953. Is the cold war over? Sure. Is the world now a paradise? What do you think? Our history is one of gutting defense when we supposedly didn't need it, then playing frantic catch-up when we did. Can we really afford to do it again?
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you next time.