Yesterday, speaking at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Reno, Nevada, Barack Obama accused Republicans of sacrificing the needs of the military in order to protect tax cuts for the rich:
“Now they’re trying to wriggle out of what they agreed to do. Instead of making tough choices to reduce the deficit, they’d rather protect tax cuts for some of the wealthiest Americans, even if it risks big cuts in our military. If the choice is between tax cuts that the wealthiest Americans don’t need and funding our troops that they definitely need to keep our country strong, I will stand with our troops every single time.”
Now what in hell protecting tax cuts for everyone has to do with military spending cuts is unclear, to say the least. But for Barack Obama, who has planned deep cuts in the military through sequestration, to accuse the Republicans of sabotaging the military is not just playing politics, it’s a bald-face lie. Obama is the one planning a cut of $500 billion over a 10-year period starting in January.
Republicans, led by Mitt Romney, have been relentless in calling Obama to task. Romney wrote an open letter to Obama, stating:
“Your insistence on slashing our military to pay the tab for your irresponsible spending could see over 200,000 troops forced from service. It will shut the doors on factories and shipyards that support our warfighters, take a heavy toll on the guard and reserves, and potentially shutter Virginia military bases.”
House Speaker John Boehner said Obama has undermined a supercommittee that was formed to find a better way to cut the budget.
And House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon nailed Obama with precision in a counterattack after Obama’s speech: “The president and [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid are the only parties who still refuse to come to the table. The president has a choice in how he deals with this crisis. He can begin to treat our troops as heroes, or he can continue to use them as leverage.”
McKeon is exactly right. Obama is using the troops as leverage. But that is what Obama always does with every constituency. The one salient point he and all of his pals on the left always miss is this: military servicemen are not stupid. They are more than likely to see Obama’s obfuscation and lies as exactly what they are.