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This article was originally published by Zbigniew Mazurak on May 24, 2012 and subsequently posted on ReaganGirl.com on July 17, 2012.
The NPR, the “Center for Public Integrity”, the CNN, and US News – all of which advocate deep defense cuts and routinely lie about defense issues – are now trumpeting two rigged polls which supposedly show that the public has “turned sour” on defense spending. The CPI and the University of Maryland have conducted these two polls which purport to show that a large majority of Americans supports deep defense cuts – up to $103 bn according to the CPI. US News claims that:
“A new poll conducted by the University of Maryland and the Stimson Center suggests American voters’ have an appetite for shrinking the annual Pentagon budget.
Respondents were given information about the size of the yearly defense budget in several ways. After digesting that data, in “three of the five cases a majority of respondents said that the size of the defense budget was more than they expected,” according to a study accompanying the poll results. “When asked for their conclusion, a large majority favored cutting defense.””
There are several problems with these two polls, however, which show that they’re completely unreliable and prove nothing.
Firstly, both the CPI and the UoM gave respondents patently false information (i.e. lies) about the size of the annual defense budget, exaggerating it significantly in raw dollar, real term, %age of GDP, %age of the total federal budget, and other ways. If you feed people with lies, you can expect the result you desire, which is exactly what the pollsters expected and obtained. They fed respondents with lie about the defense budget’s size, and consequently, respondents deemed it too large.
Secondly, the CPI and the UoM both vastly exaggerated the scale of waste in the defense budget.
Thirdly, they did not inform respondents of the grave consequences that will transpire if the US cuts its defense budget deeply.
Fourthly, they didn’t inform respondents that cutting defense deeply is guaranteed to bring about blackmail against the US and its allies, or even war, which will force America to once again rebuild its military and fight an avoidable war – at a huge price in treasure and blood. It’s much cheaper to maintain military readiness permanently than to cut defense deeply and then rebuild it.
Fifth, they didn’t inform respondents that defense has already contributed $920 bn in savings since 2009 alone, while no other federal agency or program has contributed anything significant to deficit reduction, and that all budget cuts since 2009 have fallen disproportionately on defense, including First Tier BCA-mandated budget cuts and the sequester.
And so, when Matthew Leatherman, a political hack from the Stimson Center who helped rig the poll:
“The message to Washington is clear: The Pentagon is on the right path, but policymakers can best represent the American people by leading the way to greater savings. Many Pentagon and congressional leaders oppose cuts beyond $350 billion, but this survey suggests that Americans believe policymakers still are moving too tentatively. Three-quarters of those surveyed [would] cut spending further. … That includes scaling back in Afghanistan and reducing the ground force, while sparing special operations forces from the toughest cuts.”
No, the Pentagon is on the WRONG path. It should not be cutting its budget as deeply as $487 bn/decade, nor be forced to conform to any arbitrary budgetary restrictions. Policymakers are not “moving too tentatively”, they are cutting defense too deeply. And Letterman, like US News, is lying that the DOD only has to cut $350 bn out of its budget. The First Tier of the BCA actually requires it to cut $487 bn out of its budget over 10 years, and the sequester, if allowed to stand, would cut a further $600 bn out of the defense budget on top of that and on top of withdrawal from Afghanistan (which is scheduled to be completed in 2014).
Furthermore, all of these pollsters and news media are lying, because the polls are rigged and because other polls, produced by neutral pollsters, prove that most Americans actually OPPOSE any defense spending cuts, even as a deficit reduction measure. The most recent poll on the subject, from mid-April, shows that 51% of Americans oppose, and only 47% support, cutting defense as a deficit reduction policy, and that a significant majority of Americans (including a vast majority of Republicans and a 48% plurality of indies) believes that America’s defense spending “about right” or not sufficient. A November 2011 poll found that 72% of Americans oppose defense cuts as a method of reducing the deficit. A Gallup poll from last year (when the Super Committee was still operating) found that 57% of Americans oppose any defense cuts.
So, while analysts such as Thomas Donnelly of the AEI say
“I worry defense will again become a less-important priority. It looks like a steep uphill climb to convince the American people to spend more on defense.”
most of the public does not support defense cuts.
However, a significant minority does, and if we conservatives do not undertake a sustained, coordinated, wide-reaching effort to educate the public on this subject, a majority will support them. 50 years of being bombarded daily with anti-defense propaganda, designed to smear the DOD and the military and to dupe the public into supporting deep defense cuts (just watch 60 Minutes’ latest hatchet job about the F-22 fightertype) will do that to a people. The American people have been bombarded daily since childhood with leftist lies about defense issues. It’s our (conservatives’) duty to educate the public. We must start soon. Before it is too late.
The opinions expressed in Ziggy’s Defense Blog do not necessarily reflect those of ReaganGirl.com.