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Monday, August 27, 2012

Veterans weigh in: $16 trillion debt endangers security | The Daily Caller

Veterans weigh in: $16 trillion debt endangers security | The Daily Caller

What do American military veterans believe is the greatest threat to our nation’s security? If you think the answer is China, the Iranian nuclear threat, or foreign terrorist groups, guess again: Nearly three-quarters of veterans we surveyed last month cite economic weakness (42 percent) and the national debt (30 percent) as the top threats to national security.
As policymakers in Washington wrestle with historic budget deficits — and candidates hit the stump with plans to jumpstart the economy — they should keep these results in mind.
Veterans are often assumed to be a monolith, focused narrowly on VA health and retirement benefits. They’re not. Our military and veterans — having sworn an oath to defend the Constitution — have a keen eye towards all threats to our nation’s future, foreign and domestic. They know that our nation’s military might and inherent freedoms are inextricably tied to our economic health.
Next week, the national debt will surpass $16 trillion — a historic high and new low. Each day it grows by roughly $3.5 billion, and in a matter of years, interest payments on our debt will exceed defense outlays. Worse yet, at 104 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, the debt is now larger than the American economy; and this year marks the fourth consecutive year with a $1 trillion budget shortfall. We’re underwater, yet there seems to be no relief in sight, with deficits forecast as far as the eye can see.

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