One of the most frustrating thing about the current debate on gun control is the obfuscation and lies that are constantly passed around by the Left. The very idea that the Second Amendment might just be about self-defense, home-defense, hunting, and sport shooting is absolutely ludicrous, yet arguments based on this premise are treated as valid. We are constantly told, from a variety of sources, that law-abiding American citizens don’t “need” AR-15 rifles. We are told that we don’t “need” 30-round magazines. We are told that all we really “need” in magazine capacity is seven rounds, or six rounds, or two rounds. Some have even made the ridiculous argument that the Second Amendment only applies to the muzzle-loading single-shot smooth-bore muskets that existed at the time of the Second Amendment’s writing. Anyone making such an argument should be dismissed out-of-hand; there is no logical justification for that line of thinking…yet for some reason, those anti-logical perspectives are treated as serious contributions in the gun control debate.
I took the opportunity yesterday to explain just why the “need” argument is ridiculous – if you examine the reasons behind the Second Amendment, it becomes exceedingly clear why law-abiding American civilians really do need AR-15 rifles, and why 30-round magazines can be an important element in ensuring that America continues to be a free country, and why elected officials and government bureaucrats do not have the right to define what kind of firearms or firearm accessories the people do or don’t “need.”
But then I got to thinking: here we are in the midst of two great political debates: the debate over gun control, and the debate over budget sequestration. And then it hit me: what if, instead of talking about what firearms the American people may or may not “need,” we were to apply the “need” argument to the federal budget?
As always, Senator Tom Coburn’s website is a good place to start.
- Does the federal government really need to spend $364.5 billion every year on 1,362 duplicative programs?
- Does the Department of Defense really need to spend $6 billion every year on non-defense related R&D?
- Does the Pentagon really need to produce its own reality cooking show or run its own microbrewery?
- Does the DOD really need to be funding research into the determination of the colors of the feathers of prehistoric birds?
- Does the DOD really need to fund grants for scientific research that has already been funded through other agencies?
- Do the Air Force and Navy really need to be funding research into the dialectical differences in tweets posted to Twitter by users in different parts of the nation?
- Does the Pentagon really need to be funding a smartphone app geared toward helping people to manage their caffeine consumption?
- Does the Pentagon really need to use weapons program funding to develop its own beef jerkey?
- Does the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) really need to spend $212 annually to fund a behavior detection program for TSA that “‘lacks outcome-oriented goals’ as well as scientific validation of its methods?”
- Does DHS really need to spend $15 million annually to provide training to state and local bomb squads that other agencies already provide?
- Does the White House really need to conduct a 100 city cross-country tour to promote government spending?
- Did the Defense Department and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs really need to waste $1 billion on a digital records-keeping boondoggle that has not met its goals and has now been abandoned?
Read Senator Coburn’s full report on how our government can cut waste to reduce our deficit and balance the budget here.
These are just a very few of the thousands upon thousands (perhaps even millions) of examples of things the federal government doesn’t need to spend taxpayer money on, but does anyway, because the politicians and the bureaucrats are not held accountable for the money they waste. This is why the deficit “supercommittee” failed in the first place, which is what brought about the sequester. This is also why politicians like Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi can get away with the bald-faced lie that America’s problem is not that our government spends too much, but that we don’t tax enough: they don’t care about the waste. They don’t care that we have hundreds of programs set up to perform dozens of functions. They don’t care that, with just a little hard work, each and every government agency could be made leaner and more efficient.In order for the sequester to do what President Obama has repeatedly claimed it will do, the President of the United States and his cabinet would have to purposefully avoid cutting massive amounts of government waste, and focus all of their efforts into intentionally using sequestration to cause as much damage to our nation as they possibly could.
Maybe they should stop focusing on unconstitutionally telling law-abiding Americans what we don’t “need,” and actually do their jobs by focusing on all of the spending that our government doesn’t need.