PAUL RYAN FITS with Mitt Romney’s Pentagon giveaway mindset.
David Stockman, Reagan’s former budget man, who isn’t exactly a foreign policy guy, does the math. He begins by naming Paul Ryan’s foreign policy stance what it is, neoconservative imperialism.
Mr. Ryan professes to be a defense hawk, though the true conservatives of modern times — Calvin Coolidge, Herbert C. Hoover, Robert A. Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower, even Gerald R. Ford — would have had no use for the neoconconservative imperialism that the G.O.P. cobbled from policy salons run by Irving Kristol’s ex-Trotskyites three decades ago. These doctrines now saddle our bankrupt nation with a roughly $775 billion “defense” budget in a world where we have no advanced industrial state enemies and have been fired (appropriately) as the global policeman.
Indeed, adjusted for inflation, today’s national security budget is nearly double Eisenhower’s when he left office in 1961 (about $400 billion in today’s dollars) — a level Ike deemed sufficient to contain the very real Soviet nuclear threat in the era just after Sputnik. By contrast, the Romney-Ryan version of shrinking Big Government is to increase our already outlandish warfare-state budget and risk even more spending by saber-rattling at a benighted but irrelevant Iran.
The other thing Paul Ryan does is continue the tradition of giving the Pentagon more strength over the State Department, which has just begun to recover under Secy. Clinton’s tutelage and strong hand, though she still plays second fiddle to DoD.
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