Monday, September 07, 2009

Waste This Crisis, Please

The Left likes to minimize the importance of military action or preparedness and emphasize civilian spending, whether at home or abroad at war.

Whether it is the question of whether counter-insurgency needs to emphasize development over military actions or the question of making sure our economy is strong enough to support our military power, the Left has a point. But they take it too far by then arguing that the military side is either unimportant or even counter-productive to winning our wars or defending our position in the world.

And I'd feel better about their efforts to reduce the burden of military spending (and yes, however necessary it is, military spending is a burden), if the people in charge weren't doing enough damage to our economy that is the bedrock of our soft and hard power (tip to Instapundit):

There are "troubling similarities" between the US President's actions since taking office and those which in the 1930s sent the US and much of the world spiralling into the worst economic collapse in recorded history, says the new pamphlet, published by the Institute of Economic Affairs.

In particular, the authors, economists Charles Rowley of George Mason University and Nathanael Smith of the Locke Institute, claim that the White House's plans to pour hundreds of billions of dollars of cash into the economy will undermine it in the long run. They say that by employing deficit spending and increased state intervention President Obama will ultimately hamper the long-term growth potential of the US economy and may risk delaying full economic recovery by several years.

We surely needed to intervene last fall in our economy and financial sector to avoid collapse. But the question is, was that intervention temporary or an evolution to new government control using the financial crisis as an excuse to do what they would have wanted to do absent a crisis?

American power depends on our economy remaining strong. Let's not blow in a generation what took over two centuries to build.

UPDATE: A contrary assessment that sees a roaring recovery (though with worries about spending that isn't causing that recovery).