Freedom Forum

Official portrait of United States Senator Mik...

Official portrait of United States Senator Mike Lee. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Senator Mike Lee appeared yesterday at a GOP sponsored Freedom Forum at the local college. With less than 12 hours notice, I decided not to attend. My comments that follow are based on an account published today in The Spectrum, our local Saint George newspaper.

Attendees cheered as Lee spoke about the national debt. Lee said, “If we start now, we can make some relatively modest cuts to a lot of programs to make them sustainable. It will hurt a lot of people who depend on (these programs), and the poor suffer the most when we do that. We can get to a point where we get the balance and we don’t have a $1 trillion annual interest payment, but these things have to be done more gradually.”

Apparently, Lee did not explain that under the Ryan plan, annual deficits will be cut gradually while at the same time the composition of the budget is shifted dramatically to favor military expenditures over safety net programs. Under GOP leadership the elderly and the poor suffer most during recessions and the Great Recession is no different. Instead of increasing our military budget, we should be making dramatic cuts there so that we can maintain or increase our safety net programs. Depending on the source, the US has between 700 and 1,000 foreign military installations, and we are moving into the African continent, an unstable area that will lead to more wars. We can no longer afford to be the world’s policeman nor should we.

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