I never thought I would agree, for the most part, with someone part of the Reagan administration. My large agreement with him is that we do need to cut our spending on the military. We put too much of our tax dollars into military spending and we could save so much money if we cut military spending, especially since we spent 661 billion dollars in 2009-according to the Stockholm International Peace Institute. We spend 43% of the world’s military spending and China ranks #2, at $100 billion, although their figures have not been updated in two years. All of this is to say that our government puts a lot into military spending. Necessary, perhaps. But we’re in a recession.
David Stockman is also correct in the fact that we need to assess who is getting social security and medicare. If the wealthy are able to live comfortably without Social Security, then there is no reason to give them as much as we do. I am sure some conservative republicans would argue this is problematic, or say that it’s class warfare. I am not sure if I really care if they call it that, other than the fact that the wealthy have been harming the less well off for generations. In other words, class warfare has been enacted towards the poor for generations. Let’s cry hypocrisy on those claims. Furthermore, let us also remind conservative republicans that they don’t like social security in the first place.
Do I think or want Stockman’s word to be the final word? Probably not. Nevertheless, I am hoping what he says creates a dialogue and it says some of the things that we don’t want to hear: cuts in military spending and cuts in social security for those who can live comfortably without it (i.e. the wealthy). I am also more likely to receive what he has to say because what Stockman is arguing is not popular. Perhaps it doesn’t represent true parrhesia but it at least does a better job of pointing in that direction than what I have been hearing from the Republican party so far.