Dick Cheney: Obama Would Rather Spend Money on Food Stamps Than Military
In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, former Vice President Dick Cheney alleged that President Obama would rather spend money on food stamps than the military, following the Administration’s proposal to slash U.S. Army funding to pre-World War II levels.
“I have not been a strong supporter of Barack Obama. But this really is over the top. It does enormous long-term damage to our military,” Cheney said after calling in to the show. ”They act as though it is like highway spending and you can turn it on and off. The fact of the matter is he is having a huge impact on the ability of future presidents to deal with future crises that are bound to arise.”
“The other thing I know for a fact too, Sean, from keeping in touch with some of my old friends that I used to deal with in the Middle East — they no longer have any confidence at all in American security guarantees,” he continued. “They’re absolutely convinced that they can no longer trust the United States to keep its commitments — that includes the Israelis, Saudis, a lot of others in that part of the world.”
“They peddle this line that now we’re going to pivot to Asia, but they’ve never justified it,” Cheney added. “And I think the whole thing is not driven by any change in world circumstances, it is driven by budget considerations. He would much rather spend the money on food stamps than he would on a strong military or support for our troops.”
Under the proposal laid out by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the Pentagon plans to cut thousands of troops from the Marines, Navy, and Air Force while drastically cutting Army personnel. The proposal would cut the number of active US Army soldiers from 522,000 to less than 450,000. On the other hand, the number of special operations troops would increase to 70,000 in order to help the military deal with more modern threats. The budget also increases money for cyber warfare as the Pentagon realizes that the future threat isn’t Russian tanks.
To compare military spending to food stamps, however, is outrageous. The United States accounts for 40 percent of the entire world’s defense spending despite making up just 4 percent of the world’s population. In 2012, the US Defense budget was greater than the next 10 countries combined, a list that includes powerhouses like China and Russia.
By comparison, the US spent $80 billion on food stamps in 2012. That’s roughly 2 percent of the nation’s $3.729 trillion budget that year.
(Image courtesy of the US Army)