KE Cellars

Following Europe’s dangerous path.

Click here to listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM 600, Friday, January 13, 2012.

As we discussed in this space, President Obama appeared before cameras at the Pentagon last week to lay out a proposal to dramatically reduce defense spending. Under the plan tens of thousands of uniformed personnel will be cut from the rolls and the military’s ability to prosecute two ground wars simultaneously will be eliminated.

In a sudden burst of fiscal responsibility, the president said that such reductions are necessary in light of soaring deficits (as the president for once characterized the federal budget).

In my earlier post on this subject, I put forth the question, “Why defense, why now and why no similar concern regarding other cabinet-level departments?”

Valid as those questions are, much else on this topic remains unexplored.

For example, one has to believe that our allies, our enemies and those that stand forever shifting in between are taking notice.

Our allies take notice out of fear that the U.S. can’t be counted on to come through if the fertilizer hits the fan at some inconvenient time at some inconvenient place in the world.

Our enemies take notice out of the axiom that wars start when bad actors come to believe that the cost of aggression is cheap.

Those irresolutely in the middle take notice and perhaps come to decide that aligning with the United States might not be a safe bet. Perhaps China or Russia might prove to be a more useful and reliable ally.

But aside from discussing these strategic issues attendant to the president’s proposal there is a philosophical discussion to be had as well.

Self-reliance lies at the heart of conservative belief. Conservatives believe that individual responsibility for the conduct of one’s life and for one’s personal welfare is the ultimate expression of freedom. Liberals, on the other hand, believe in a statist model, one in which economic output is collectivized, centralized and dispersed, ostensibly for the benefit of everyone.

That the statist model has ultimately collapsed every time it has been tried, as it is now doing in Europe, does not deter those that advance the statist argument.

Self-reliance also means possessing and maintaining the ability to defend one’s self, something of which Europe is now utterly incapable.

Europeans have essentially had a pass on self defense since World War II, relying on the United States to keep the neighborhood safe. But rather than employing the savings attendant to not maintaining a capable military toward keeping taxes low and avoiding ruinous debt, European countries have taxed everything that comes into view, dramatically expanded the entitlement state while financing the whole thing by hocking the silverware.

As a result, taken all together, Europe is not only defenseless, it’s now broke.

History has been unkind to nations and empires that failed the test of self-reliance embodied in the capacity to defend one’s self. History has also shown that self-reliance and prosperity are as inextricably linked as are dependence and poverty.

Europe’s experience strongly suggests that savings derived from cutting defense spending in the U.S. will not be used to reduce deficits and pay down debt. The money will be used to prop up an unsustainable entitlement state.

One might argue that such is exactly Obama’s motivation in making the proposal.

With Europe’s impotence and financial woes now on full display, only the blind and the delusional can fail to see the dangerous parallels for America.


  1. C M Solomon says:

    Paul,
    Your warning of the European history of impotence and the dangerous parallels for America is frightening. However, the Marxist/Socialist/Statist ideology trumps all logic as in Obama’s plans for the “transformation” of America (as you have stated):

    “The money will be used to prop up an unsustainable entitlement state……One might argue that such is exactly Obama’s motivation in making the proposal.” — P. Gleiser

    If a President of the USA, the most powerful force for liberty in the World, successfully abandons the Foundational Unalienable Rights (as defined by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution that he has sworn to uphold) then, we are left with a rudderless society that is ultimately beholden to a President for its future. In that role he would enjoy the dictatorial power of determining the fate of citizens who are willing to trust in his benevolence and in the execution of his Social Justice dogma.

    That is what is so hideous about the false promise of the Social Justice (Marxist) dogma that has infiltrated our country since 1913, starting with the Progressive Movement, 99 years ago. It has converted nearly half of our society to this belief system, to date.

    This pairing of President (benefactor) and citizen (beneficiary) becomes a self-promoting love affair until it collapses, of course. In the meantime, the President and the dependent society feed on each other’s needs to the ultimate benefit of the last man standing: an all powerful President and his Party. What better way to achieve his “transformation” of our society and overcome the “unfairness” that has plagued our “selfish” past.

    If this occurs, I believe we will enter a new era, “The Dark Ages II,” where corruption, bribery, thuggery and political favoritism will rule the day. Frankly, the Obama Administration is already acting this way, now, and getting away with it. The next election in November may be our last chance to stop this juggernaut.

  2. Linda E. Montrose says:

    C.M. Solomon, you are indeed a wise person who has correctly portrayed exactly what happens when history is ignored. We are, indeed, on the edge of a dark age II if we do not turn this Nation back around. The corruption, bribery, thuggery and deception is already here, in this administration which is steamrolling over the wants of the people. We have seen it from day one of the obama administration. As clinton before him, obama has chosen to demoralize the military…the one thing we need to strengthen, not weaken. One thing comes to mind, Nero fiddled while Rome burned. obama is fiddling while the US is on the verge of collapse. I have always learned more by watching how people do things…my mother insisted I had been having someone teach me the first time she let me behind the wheel of her car. It was simply a matter of watching her drive over the years…just a matter of observation. It mystifies me that people can see what is going on in Europe, yet they can not comprehend the magnitude of the situation or the cause! Is it because they are too stupid or is it because of the deception that has been going on by those we elect to do our biding? I wrote to the paper before obama was even nominated that the “change” obama speaks of might not be the change we expect or want it to be. Also, I said that obama was a wolf in sheeps clothing. In both cases, I have been correct. We have seen how obama has used thuggery and bribery to get his policies enacted. Everything obama has done since he was put into office has been destructive and it has been deliberate. One by one he has been driving more nails in the coffin of the USA…downsizing and demoralizing the military is just another one of those nails. Perhaps people should do less listening to the media and do more observing to what is actually going on! Nero fiddled while Rome burned…obama is up there fiddling while watching America go down the tubes!

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