Balance Between Military and Domestic Spending

Posted on April 11, 2017

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President Dwight Eisenhower delivered an address in 1953 before the American Society of News Editors that urged our nation to seek balance in domestic and military spending. His words are worth following today.

Ike said, “We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people…This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children…under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.” The cost of military hardware is much higher today.

Ike was not saying that our military was too large. His concern had to do with how pervasive the military economy had become.

He worried over what he called “A recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties.”

Eisenhower proposed remedy was balance in notional programs between domestic welfare and military spending. He said that a lack of balance finds imbalance an frustration.

During Ike’s time in office he pushed and saw constructed our interstate highway system.

Meanwhile today President Donald Trump proposed $54 billion in military spending and the building of a wall between United States and Mexico.

However, we need to heed Ike’s words.

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