Cut back on Pell Grants (kids don’t need college), reduce Head Start (kids don’t need kindergarden), stop Hot Lunch programs (kids don’t need food), reduce enforcement of workplace safety laws (workers are fungible goods – one gets hurt, fire him and hire another), stop EPA enforcement of clean air regulations (cough, choke; we’re use to it), and end federally subsidized health care for the young, the poor, and the elderly (everyone can BUY insurance in a free market), but do not, under any circumstances, reduce the military budget.
This pretty much sums up the belief system of tea baggers and other nut jobs, who believe in the American Empire.
Historians and Political Scientists have debated the existence of an American Empire since the 19th century. I remember books that made valid arguments for the concept when I was in college, in the late 1960s. The facts, as they exist today, are hard to dispute: The United States has today over 800 military installations in almost 150 foreign countries, populated by a quarter million active duty troops.
Why, if not to protect our Empire, should the US retain a military force of 52,000 in Germany, and in excess of 35,000 in Japan, 65+ years after the end of World War II? Why also do we still have almost 30,000 troops in the Republic of Korea, 58 years after the Armistice of 1953? Why are almost 10,000 US troops stationed in both Italy and the United Kingdom? Need I ask why we have thousands of active duty troops and hundreds of thousands of civilian “contractors” stationed in the Middle East?
17% of Americans live in poverty. Vital government programs, such as they are, are being drastically cut back. Corporations and the super-rich pay no taxes. But we cannot cut the military budget. How else can we support the American Empire? And keep the world safe for ExxonMobil.