Joint Chiefs chair says debt is the greatest threat to national security

posted at 11:36 am on June 25, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

When Barbara Boxer claimed that CO2 emissions were the greatest threat to America’s national security, I scoffed at Boxer’s case of the vapors. What about North Korea, Iran’s nuclear-weapons pursuit, al-Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban? We could ask the same of Admiral Mike Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs, who also shrugged off those pressing threats and claimed another as greater, except in this case, Mullen has it right:

Pentagon leaders, the military services and defense contractors must work together to cut bureaucratic bloat and unnecessary programs, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Thursday.

Adm. Mike Mullen also renewed his warning that the nation’s debt is the biggest threat to U.S. national security.

“I was shown the figures the other day by the comptroller of the Pentagon that said that the interest on our debt is $571 billion in 2012,” Mullen said at a breakfast hosted by The Hill. “That is, noticeably, about the size of the defense budget. It is not sustainable.”

We are rapidly approaching the point at which we can no longer fund a robust defense system for the US and the Western world.  Our ability to maintain forward strategies to engage and destroy terrorist networks will disappear, but not before we have to scale back our military presence around the world.  We have overspent for decades across the board, and the interest payments on the national debt alone will cost us more than our defense systems — on top of which the heavy burden of unfunded entitlement liabilities will start cresting as the Baby Boomers enter retirement.  Steve Eggleston updates us on the quickening slide of Social Security into the red, just to remind us of that fact.

American security depends on economic strength, a lesson that seems to have been forgotten.  We cannot afford to create a European-style nanny state while maintianing traditional American security.  In a pinch, everyone knows what will get sacrificed first, and it won’t be the cushy entitlement programs that liberals have ballooned into debt sinkholes. We need a healthy, robust economy and a government that fits within its means, and the only way to get both at the same time is to reform these entitlement programs and drastically cut spending and the reach of the federal government.

One of those sinkholes will be cap-and-trade, which will shackle American growth while vastly expanding the jurisdiction of the American government.  That makes Barbara Boxer as Senator detrimental to the long-term security of the United States.  Hopefully, the voters of California will reach that same conclusion in November.


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“You’re fired” – the president

forest on June 25, 2010 at 11:38 AM

all part of the plan, make the collective burden so great as to create a crisis, the solution to this crisis will be more government control.

rob verdi on June 25, 2010 at 11:38 AM

rob verdi on June 25, 2010 at 11:38 AM

Yep. Hard to imagine the goal is different than this.

lorien1973 on June 25, 2010 at 11:39 AM

me going Golfing!

SDarchitect on June 25, 2010 at 11:39 AM

I’m convinced: Cloward Piven is Obummers strategy.

bloviator on June 25, 2010 at 11:40 AM

The debt problems of other nations are also seriously jeapordizing the internal peace of those countries. At some point, some nations are going to decide that they can either invade other nations to capture wealth, or invade other nations to distract the population and employ angry young men. Either way, instability would be increased.

hawksruleva on June 25, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Obama: “Debt? There’s no debt in a communist nation. That’s why I’m trying to save the country by turning us socialist! Then we won’t have this problem.”

No “/s”…

Skywise on June 25, 2010 at 11:42 AM

We are rapidly approaching the point at which we can no longer fund a robust defense system for the US and the Western world.

That’s ok. I’m sure the Citizen of the World will see that the UN looks after us. It’s doing such a great job in southern Lebanon, and of course, there was Rwanda. And Srbernica.

Wethal on June 25, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Hmmm. What’s this? Even more disgruntlement with our political ruling class among the military brass? First McChrystal, now this. What on earth could be going on here?

Fishoutofwater on June 25, 2010 at 11:43 AM

all part of the plan, make the collective burden so great as to create a crisis, the solution to this crisis will be more complete government control.

rob verdi on June 25, 2010 at 11:38 AM

FIFY

jdawg on June 25, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Unfortunately, the Dems will use this statement to argue for a VAT. Get out of debt by raising taxes.

Wethal on June 25, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Mullen has it right

No he does not. Someone better check the ventilation at the Pentagon.

The man who Mullen serves is the greatest threat to national security.

Tav on June 25, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Even the generals are racist now.

Bishop on June 25, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Too much debt?? That’s insubordination!! You’re fired!!

Leonidas Hoplite on June 25, 2010 at 11:45 AM

We are rapidly approaching the point at which we can no longer fund a robust defense system for the US and the Western world.

Ed, we are fast approaching a point where we can’t even service the interest on our debt, let alone fund anyhting for the military.

Johnnyreb on June 25, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Meanwhile, BO is urging the Europeans to keep spending and not be too aggressive with their efforts to reduce their deficits. It will be interesting to see what statements come out of the G-20 this weekend.

It makes sense that the only person (along with his Socialist freak friends like Pelosi) who wants to keep spending is someone who has never had a real job until recently and someone who has never produced anything useful.

Cody1991 on June 25, 2010 at 11:46 AM

We are rapidly approaching the point at which we can no longer fund a robust defense system for the US and the Western world.

And that, sir, is exactly as Obama has planned. He doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism. His massive spending spree is, by careful design, a way to gut the US military from within without causing a massive backlash from US citizens.

ButterflyDragon on June 25, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Common sense like that will get him fired by Obama (the man-child).

aigle on June 25, 2010 at 11:47 AM

all part of the plan, make the collective burden so great as to create a crisis, the solution to this crisis will be more government control.

rob verdi on June 25, 2010 at 11:38 AM

I’ve never understood this theory though. I get the whole “total government control” as the endgame. That makes sense. But what happens after that? How do these politicians expect to maintain control over the American people? When you’ve got over 300 million folks out there and most of them are PO’d and own guns, the last thing you should expect to get away with in DC is intentionally wrecking the economy and walking away unscathed.

Doughboy on June 25, 2010 at 11:48 AM

I understand the sentiment, but I disagree. The biggest threat to national security is people with guns and bombs. Calling the debt a threat to national security is sort of PC. It’s like the the war on terror or a man-caused disaster. Might as well say lack of proper nutrition is a threat to national security, because once the people turn into zombies they are going to come after us.

GTR640 on June 25, 2010 at 11:48 AM

But Krugman told me that the debt wasn’t a big deal. Although he also said it was the biggest deal ever during the Bush administration.

lorien1973 on June 25, 2010 at 11:49 AM

An expert is an expert . You know , like if you can really act, or get photographed and always look good and stuff, you should be able to go to congress and have them listen about seals and how bad repugnicans are and stuff.
If you are an Admiral , especially one nobody listens too ,except when you tell Obama Sestak had to be relieved from command due to character failings, you know all about money and stuff . How is are those Harriers, Osprey, joint strike , and Carrier USS Barack Hussein Obama CVN 666 coming along .

borntoraisehogs on June 25, 2010 at 11:50 AM

But what happens after that?

Most socialists agree that once the population is firmly under control they can be forced into more rational patterns of behavior. Those who cannot will perish or be eliminated. Those who conform will form an enlightened group, whose basic needs will be served by a permanent underclass.

GTR640 on June 25, 2010 at 11:51 AM

I don’t know, I sort of like the idea of transforming our military into the equivalent of Somali warlord-gangs.

Think of it, our soldiers riding around barefoot in tricked out technicals, belts of ammo draped around their necks, standing in the middle of the street firing from the hip on full auto. Very cool.

Bishop on June 25, 2010 at 11:52 AM

borntoraisehogs on June 25, 2010 at 11:50 AM

Yeah, like what’s Mullen gonna do about the debt? Shoot a missile at it?

Heh.

GTR640 on June 25, 2010 at 11:52 AM

We’re the Lotus Eaters from the Odyssey. Just go back to sleep & stop worrying.

OhioCoastie on June 25, 2010 at 11:52 AM

This is going exactly as planned.
Love,
Barack.

Key West Reader on June 25, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Hopefully, the voters of California will reach that same conclusion in November.

Given the voting history of Californians that is highly unlikely. California has the same economy that Greece has. The difference being is Greece isn’t trying to support itself and Mexico at the same time.

repvoter on June 25, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Most socialists agree that once the population is firmly under control they can be forced into more rational patterns of behavior. Those who cannot will perish or be eliminated. Those who conform will form an enlightened group, whose basic needs will be served by a permanent underclass.

GTR640 on June 25, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Yeah, good luck with that one, DC. Watch the US split in two if they try that.

Doughboy on June 25, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Bishop on June 25, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Depending on cover mechanics, that video game looks like a 9/10. At least.

lorien1973 on June 25, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Not sustainable? Obama is not sustainable.

Mojave Mark on June 25, 2010 at 11:55 AM

We’re double screwed, General.

We’re not assuming debt to buy guns or to expand infrastructure.

We’re assuming debt to fund domestic enemies who maintain explicit links to foreign enemies.

jeff_from_mpls on June 25, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Even more disgruntlement with our political ruling class among the military brass? First McChrystal, now this. What on earth could be going on here?

Fishoutofwater on June 25, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Hmmmmm, let’s see… the people with a strong sense of patriotism, brains, and considerable leadership experience are getting tired of placating the kindergartners in the “ruling class”.
I guess when you’ve been as committed to the safety and sovereignty of our nation for as long as these men have been, it’s a little hard to watch it being flushed away.

ExcessivelyDiverted on June 25, 2010 at 11:57 AM

Respectfully Sir,
Then do your duty and honor your oath to defend the Consittution by putting in place the framework to remove the enemy domestic!

dhunter on June 25, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Stealth planes, F22′s? Pffft, bring back the canvas biplane, in the right hands those things can be very maneuverable AND they are cheap to build.

Bishop on June 25, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Mullen and Boxer are both wrong. They are looking at the effect, not the cause. The real threat is progressivism, which is the cause. Until America rids itself of that cancer, none of us is safe.

madmonkphotog on June 25, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Yeah, like what’s Mullen gonna do about the debt? Shoot a missile at it?

Heh.

GTR640 on June 25, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Yes. Aim it at Washington, DC. That’ll fix it.

Daggett on June 25, 2010 at 12:00 PM

I’ve never understood this theory though. I get the whole “total government control” as the endgame. That makes sense. But what happens after that? How do these politicians expect to maintain control over the American people? When you’ve got over 300 million folks out there and most of them are PO’d and own guns, the last thing you should expect to get away with in DC is intentionally wrecking the economy and walking away unscathed.

Doughboy on June 25, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Read up on Stalin and Hitler. O is really no different.

jdawg on June 25, 2010 at 12:00 PM

“I was shown the figures the other day by the comptroller of the Pentagon that said that the interest on our debt is $571 billion in 2012,” Mullen said at a breakfast hosted by The Hill. “That is, noticeably, about the size of the defense budget. It is not sustainable.”

Well, I hate to break this to you, Admiral, but that is a feature, not a bug. Liberals have figured out the only way they are going to shut down the U.S. military is by bankrupting the country and making the people choose between “guns and butter.” Barney Frank pretty much gave away the strategy a year or so ago in a moment of candor.

Liberals do not care about our national security and they believe every dime we spend on it is a dime taken away from “the poor,” “the children,” or “the environment.”

rockmom on June 25, 2010 at 12:01 PM

“There’s a long time between now and then”, he says referring to the projected troop withdrawals in July 2011. I’m betting the Taliban don’t consider that to be a long time. I really don’t understand why even elements of the military don’t understand how they are undermining the mission with such talk.

ProfessorMiao on June 25, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Liberals do not care about our national security and they believe every dime we spend on it is a dime taken away from “the poor,” “the children,” or “the environment.”

rockmom on June 25, 2010 at 12:01 PM

No, that’s what they SAY. What they believe is that every dime spent on national security is nine cents they can’t put in their own pockets, with one cent going to the poor, etc.

Daggett on June 25, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Adm. Mike Mullen also renewed his warning that the nation’s debt is the biggest threat to U.S. national security.

Um. I wonder if Adm. Mullen looks good in Red. Chinese Red.

Wake the hell up, America!! ALL Hands on deck in November!!!

TN Mom on June 25, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Doughboy on June 25, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Anger doesn’t last long. New Americans are then born into a new reality. They know nothing else, just as voters today do not know a US where social welfare programs and national debts didn’t exist. For them, they always existed.

As Reagan said, freedom is always only one generation away from extinction. This is what he meant.

keep the change on June 25, 2010 at 12:04 PM

“I was shown the figures the other day by the comptroller of the Pentagon that said that the interest on our debt is $571 billion in 2012,” Mullen said at a breakfast hosted by The Hill. “That is, noticeably, about the size of the defense budget. It is not sustainable.”

As a percentage of GDP, Defense spending today is much less than its average level since the end of the Vietnam War, and slightly less than its average since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Meanwhile, federal social spending (including state mandates and allocations) has gone up by by more than fifty percent IN THE PAST THREE YEARS.

Of course no will publically admit to being in favor of government waste. But if we simply get rid of the 70% of the US government devoted to Socialist control of industry and Communist redistribution of wealth, we will get rid of more than 90% of the waste and corruption in one fell swoop.

AFTER we do the simple and obvious stuff, of course, we can get back to the eternal task of trying to make the military 100% efficient.

But to imply that the US defense budget is the main culprit in our current economic collapse is beyond idiotic.

logis on June 25, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Doughboy,
They are stealing as much as possible while they can, and when the hurt comes it will make the perks the Democrats and their allies accrued for themselves that much sweeter. Read about nightmare states like Zimbabwe or gangster states like Venezuela and Cuba, the people of any nation always find a way to keep things afloat, despite the governments constant degradations and corruption.

rob verdi on June 25, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Mullen was saying between the lines, “Get ready, shiites comin’.”

Bishop on June 25, 2010 at 12:08 PM

100 Hot Air points Adm. Mike Mullen is preparing a 2012 run.

Seriously: Palin/Mullen 2012
Or even crazier, I don’t know his party aff.: Obama/Mullen 2012???

Scranton on June 25, 2010 at 12:09 PM

I guess when you’ve been as committed to the safety and sovereignty of our nation for as long as these men have been, it’s a little hard to watch it being flushed away.

ExcessivelyDiverted on June 25, 2010 at 11:57 AM

Unfortunately, when men of this stature use hackneyed phrases like “it is not sustainable” he sounds like a tree hugger saying man’s oppression of his ecosystem is “unsustainable.”

I’d like to see a little more passion, please. People don’t come out of a deep sleep by whispering at them. They need to hear an urgent directive.

With all due respect.

jeff_from_mpls on June 25, 2010 at 12:09 PM

jeff_from_mpls on June 25, 2010 at 11:56 AM

To be more precise, we’re financing ‘cash flow’ to meet payroll [federal, state and local] and cover short-term debt.

Not to mention shiny’s for all the favored cronies.

The former is no position for any company to be in, let alone a nation.

CPT. Charles on June 25, 2010 at 12:09 PM

jeff_from_mpls on June 25, 2010 at 12:09 PM

Maybe he’s keeping his powder dry? Bad things happen to top military people when PBHO gets mad, perhaps Mullen wants to survive to fight another day; those guys aren’t stupid, they can see what’s happening.

Bishop on June 25, 2010 at 12:12 PM

STOP the spending or get the hell out of the people’s checkbook. If you won’t/can’t pass a budget, get the hell out of congress!

Democrats: GO HOME

TN Mom on June 25, 2010 at 12:13 PM

jeff_from_mpls,
In his defense, “sustainable” is one of the ultimate code words that the left uses. Its up there with “social justice” “green jobs” blah blah blah….

rob verdi on June 25, 2010 at 12:13 PM

If you won’t/can’t pass a budget, get the hell out of congress!

Democrats: GO HOME

TN Mom on June 25, 2010 at 12:13 PM

They won’t pass a budget because they can’t do it. Passing a budget would kill the Dems in November. It would give the Repubs way too much precision ammo to shoot them down with.

Johnnyreb on June 25, 2010 at 12:15 PM

By the way, the states are just as bad:

(California)Unemployment was 12.4 percent in May, 2.7 percentage points higher than the national rate. Lawmakers gridlocked over how to close a $19 billion budget gap are weighing the termination of the main welfare program for 1.3 million poor families or borrowing more than $9 billion in the bond market. California, tied with Illinois for the lowest credit rating of any state, is diverting a rising portion of tax revenue to service debt, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its August issue.

Far from rebounding, the Golden State, with a $1.8 trillion economy that’s larger than Russia’s, is sinking deeper into its financial funk. And it’s not alone.

Even as the U.S. appears to be on the mend — gross domestic product has climbed three straight quarters — finances in Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and other states show few signs of improvement. Forty-six states face budget shortfalls that add up to $112 billion for the fiscal year ending next June, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington research institution. State spending is 12 percent of U.S. GDP.

rob verdi on June 25, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Threat solution?: Cut spending Raise taxes!

Buy Danish on June 25, 2010 at 12:16 PM

I really wish these idiots in the WH would finally decide on what the greatest threat to national security is. The right hand does not know what the left hand is doing there.

I do know however, what the greatest threat to those idiots are. IT’S YOU!!! WHEN YOU VOTE!

ConservativePartyNow on June 25, 2010 at 12:16 PM

I’m convinced: Cloward Piven is Obummers strategy.
bloviator

Unfortunately, I think you are right. We are witness to the willful attempt to destroy our Republic. And it will happen unless something of large magnitude happens, soon.

I have never been in greater fear for my country.

Crusader Rabbit on June 25, 2010 at 12:20 PM

And by large magnitude, I mean an election beyond our wildest hopes.

Crusader Rabbit on June 25, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Has he been called to the Whiter House yet? Debt is Obama’s policy!

neuquenguy on June 25, 2010 at 12:21 PM

This is exactly why I voted for Rand Paul here in KY, even though I have many doubts about his foreign policy stances coming from the Paul family tree.

We can’t afford to send more Republicans to Washington that will only enable the Left’s continued spending (or the Rights continued spending). If we don’t get our economic foundation under control. Our differences in foreign policy will only be an academic debate.

ChipDaddy on June 25, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Money represents work and effort, it’s not Monopoly money. We’re cannabalizing our future and country.

Paul-Cincy on June 25, 2010 at 12:23 PM

What??? You say that having no money, no energy, a crippled military which is not allowed to defend itself, and a president who actively works to destroy the gulf coast and all existing power sources constitutes a security threat?

I’m shocked!!

/SARC>

landlines on June 25, 2010 at 12:24 PM

They won’t pass a budget because they can’t do it. Passing a budget would kill the Dems in November. It would give the Repubs way too much precision ammo to shoot them down with.

Johnnyreb on June 25, 2010 at 12:15 PM

But the Dems will keep on spending. They’ll just “deem” every item an emergency. GO HOME DEMOCRATS!

TN Mom on June 25, 2010 at 12:26 PM

It sounds like everyone is getting wise to the incompetence of the Obama White House. When was the last time the military lectured a president on economic policy?

SC.Charlie on June 25, 2010 at 12:28 PM

I’m convinced: Cloward Piven is Obummers strategy.

bloviator on June 25, 2010 at 11:40 AM

Been saying almost the same thing with the exception that the conspiracy is a strong possibility (all indicators seem to point in that direction) and that it’s not necessarily Obama’s goal to weaken our national security. That’s just a side effect of striving toward the real goal of destroying capitalism so socialism can fill in the void.

shick on June 25, 2010 at 12:31 PM

“I was shown the figures the other day by the comptroller of the Pentagon that said that the interest on our debt is $571 billion in 2012,” Mullen said at a breakfast hosted by The Hill. “That is, noticeably, about the size of the defense budget.

China to Obama: Ret’s make a deal! You no pay us interest on debt, and ve buy your Ahmy.

Steve Z on June 25, 2010 at 12:33 PM

He’s not someone I’m impressed with, anyway; most Sailors are liberals, from my experience, and I avoid them like the Black Plague. Not all, but most. In any event, its not really the job of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to talk about the national debt. I imagine the Dalai Obama trotted him out, just because as a military man (something he’s afraid of), he has more perceived gravitas, than Obama (a man-child that has done nothing with his worthless, ungrateful life). If they were so worried about the national debt, they’d immediately END all social programs and pass them onto the private sector. They’d SLASH spending. They’d dissolve, or near-dissolve, several cabinet positions, such as the Department of Education, Environmental Protection Agency, etc. However, their anaphylactic reaction to the mere mention of the words “cut spending” shows just how serious they really are about getting America out of debt. This is why I think ALL Congressmen should go up for primaries and elections, or just face immediate recall. If they’re any good, they’ll survive. If not, they’re gone.

It’s it, and that’s that.

Virus-X on June 25, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Quick: someone name a general in Washington who isn’t a coward, a liberal, or a complete imbecile?

Anyone.

Jaibones on June 25, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Anger doesn’t last long. New Americans are then born into a new reality. They know nothing else, just as voters today do not know a US where social welfare programs and national debts didn’t exist. For them, they always existed.

As Reagan said, freedom is always only one generation away from extinction. This is what he meant.

keep the change on June 25, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Reagan left office in 1989, and we’re about a generation later.

My own son was born in 1991, so he never knew the horrors of the Soviet Union, which enslaved Russia and Eastern Europe for 44 years. How do we explain to young people today how socialism, which is spun as government helping the poor, leads to more poverty and slavery, when they’ve never studied history?

Steve Z on June 25, 2010 at 12:45 PM

He’s wrong! Biggest threats to national security:

- CO2
- Lord Voldemort. He drinks unicorn blood. Save the unicorns! How can we have national security without unicorns?
- Automobiles in Arizona. Rare Arizona red squirrels. We must spend $1.25 million on bridges so that they do not get hit! National security!
- Potholes across the USA! We must create more shovel ready jobs!

shick on June 25, 2010 at 12:46 PM

shick on June 25, 2010 at 12:46 PM

I find that list surprising, I would have thought the following would make the list:
- “Tea baggers”
- Rush Limbaugh
- Christians
- Oil Spill
- Unborn babies
- Conservatives
- Fox News
- Freedom of speech
- Corporations
- Trans-fatty acid

neuquenguy on June 25, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Perhaps not THE greatest threat…but I’d say it is fast on its way to becoming one of the top 3.

While first place still goes to violent people with a thrill to kill, the debt could well destroy us just as easily. Collapsing our economy and/or leading to a loss of national soveriengty in exchange for debt forgiveness is just as bad of an endgame as mushroom clouds and sharia law.

In fact…given enough time…it might actually be worse. How? You can shoot an enemy insurgent – but you can’t shoot at a debt. There we could have the perfect enemy: one we can’t defeat and can’t destroy.

Dark-Star on June 25, 2010 at 12:57 PM

Right on. I’m glad the military is aware of this, even if Congress and the Administration continue to live in la-la land.

Inkblots on June 25, 2010 at 1:00 PM

Time to send the troops in to start confiscating parts of the budget!

May I suggest the giant hole that is HHS as a start? Once that has been detained then you can go after its supporters in the Treasury, Dept of Education, and the rogue spenders in the Dept. of Agriculture.

Oh, and as the military has a training center at Ft. Knox, ensuring a stable final value to any currency will require beefing up that and not letting anything out for awhile.

ajacksonian on June 25, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Who needs enemies when we can destroy ourselves from within with destructive and out of control spending. Politicians are Constitutionally obligated to defend this nation and when they ssend troops to fight to supply them as needed but entitlement spending and the unsustainable debt for thatwhich is mounting WILL destroy this nation from within sooner or later (probably sooner though).

Yakko77 on June 25, 2010 at 1:13 PM

Admiral Mullen? The president would like to speak with you…

right2bright on June 25, 2010 at 1:14 PM

The left want precisely this – a diminished U.S.A.

They’re doing a fine job reaching the status. Just look at how happy the G20 and other protesters are.

It’s all about the unions. Fear them all – they never had it this good.

Ayn Rand has seizures in her grave.

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2010 at 1:14 PM

In one way, Ed Morrissey is pretty overoptimistic here. It’s not obvious that the US will resolve the debt crisis by balancing its budget. By this stage there’s a serious possibility that the US will take the other ways out: default or high inflation (which will burn foreign creditors as badly as a default without breaking the letter of the US’ obligations). Either of those would batter the world’s financial system and provoke a crisis with countries like the US’ #1 creditor, China. You can see why the military would be scared about the possibility.

Finally, there’s a way in which Adm. Mullen is being overoptimistic too. As bad as the public debt is, the US’ biggest problem may be its total private debt. Now that the debt bubble has burst, the burden will be dragging the US economy down for many years to come. (The same is true of other countries including the UK and the Republic of Ireland.)

anonymous irishman on June 25, 2010 at 1:15 PM

We are rapidly approaching the point at which we can no longer fund a robust defense system for the US and the Western world.

All by design, of course.

Del Dolemonte on June 25, 2010 at 1:23 PM

We are rapidly approaching the point at which we can no longer fund a robust defense system for the US and the Western world.

Approaching?

abobo on June 25, 2010 at 1:34 PM

All by design, of course.

Del Dolemonte on June 25, 2010 at 1:23 PM

Mostly unintentional, but still correct. Until very recently rampant overconsumption and nobody-can-touch-us arrogance were the main culprits.

Dark-Star on June 25, 2010 at 2:11 PM

Sorry, but the greatest threat to national security is the mope presently occupying the White House.

You know, the one who may be heading to the golf course even as we speak?

pilamaye on June 25, 2010 at 2:28 PM

The left want precisely this – a diminished U.S.A.

Schadenfreude on June 25, 2010 at 1:14 PM

You beat me to that comment.

To the left,

military spending = bad
unsustainable levels of debt = good

Weaken and overwhelm the system a la Cloward-Piven.

UltimateBob on June 25, 2010 at 2:47 PM

I seem to remember some other large country that could no longer afford it’s spending. The government collapsed. Can’t remember the name but I think I can see it from Alaska.

riverrat10k on June 25, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Unfortunately, I think you are right. We are witness to the willful attempt to destroy our Republic. And it will happen unless something of large magnitude happens, soon.

I have never been in greater fear for my country.

Crusader Rabbit on June 25, 2010 at 12:20 PM

And by large magnitude, I mean an election beyond our wildest hopes.

Crusader Rabbit on June 25, 2010 at 12:21 PM

I hope you are right. I would love to see Pissy Matthews commit hari kari on live TV on election night, almost as much I would like to see Ed’s (The Ed Show) head explode.

riverrat10k on June 25, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Wait a cotton-picking minute! I thought AGW was by far the gravest threat to our security. “Babs” Boxer and AlGore have stated it, so it must be so!

ya2daup on June 25, 2010 at 3:21 PM

I thought “the greatest threat to national security” was global warming climate change.

Akzed on June 25, 2010 at 3:36 PM

No dress whites after Memorial Day, skipper?

Not really a fan of the khakis.

The Ugly American on June 25, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Hey, guys, he’s not insubordinate if he blames George Bush.

On an unrelated note, if we’ve got any swab jockeys here, I thought they phased out the summer tan uniforms in favor of the dress whites.

Discuss.

manwithblackhat on June 25, 2010 at 3:41 PM

On an unrelated note, if we’ve got any swab jockeys here, I thought they phased out the summer tan uniforms in favor of the dress whites.

manwithblackhat on June 25, 2010 at 3:41 PM

I thought they phased them out after WWII ; )

The Ugly American on June 25, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Read up on Stalin and Hitler. O is really no different. jdawg on June 25, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Road to Serfdom, by F. Hayek.

Liberal Fascism, by Jonah Goldberg.

If you only read two books this year.

Akzed on June 25, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Obooba might have ordered Mullen to say this, plowing the field to raise taxes.

Akzed on June 25, 2010 at 3:57 PM

I think it’s pretty clear what we must do now. Paul Krugman and Robert Reich have it right. We need another even bigger stimulus program! The only way we’re going to reduce this debt is to spend our way out of it.

MJBrutus on June 25, 2010 at 4:14 PM

look! Ed agrees with Hillary who said this in her testimony to Congress more than 2 months ago :0)

ginaswo on June 25, 2010 at 4:27 PM

Close, but I’d rank Chairman High Chin Mao as the greatest threat to our national security.

viking01 on June 25, 2010 at 5:15 PM

Admiral Mike Mullen is correct. I would go further to say that entitlement programs are the specific domestic threat that faces our country today.

Conservative Samizdat on June 25, 2010 at 6:39 PM

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