How about a quick game of “Guess who said that.” Here’s the quote:
We have ended up in the situation which Eisenhower warned us against, that we are so beholden to the military-industrial complex that neither party is willing to make the tough decisions.
Kudos to those of you that have watched the defense spending debate evolve and guessed that this quote could just as easily come from a small-government tea partier as a liberal peacenik. The particular tea-partier in question this time is Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC).
On this count, Mulvaney is a man willing to buck the status quo. Last July, Mulvaney introduced an amendment on the House floor that would freeze defense spending at 2011 levels. In doing so, he said:
…if we are going to send the message that we are really serious about cutting spending, then everything needs to be on the table. And holding defense spending simply at 2011 levels and passing this amendment would help show everybody that we are really serious about fixing this difficulty.
There’s good reason for Mulvaney to take this position. As James Traub, the writer that profiled Mulvaney and got this quote, shared:
One of the inferences I drew from these conversations [with Mulvaney’s constituents] was that the very real threats of recession and unemployment had made the threats beyond U.S. borders seem remote and hypothetical.
It’s easy for those of us immersed in national security to forget this point – and vital that we don’t. Fortunately, the Mick Mulvaneys of the world will be quick to remind us when we do.