Earlier this week, Republicans in the House of Representatives voted 8.5 billion dollars in spending cuts to military programs not related to the fair treatment of American soldiers. This vote came in stark contradiction to the claim by Republican politicians that they are serious about cutting government spending.
Yesterday, House Republicans once again voted in opposition to spending cuts. This time, they defeated an amendment by Jared Polis which would have required the number of American soldiers in Europe to remain below 30,000. There are currently over 80,000 U.S. soldiers in Europe.
Arguing for his proposed spending cut, Representative Polis noted, “Our European allies are some of the richest countries in the world, so why are we subsidizing their defense spending? Our European allies have enjoyed a free ride on the American dime for too long. Today, our European allies spend an average of about 2 percent of GDP on defense, while America spends 4 to 5 percent. That means the average American spends $2,500 on defense; the average European, $500 on defense. Now, if Europe feels they are under a military threat, first of all, I would like to hear whom it’s from. It’s not clear who’s about to attack France or Germany. But if Europe does feel they’re under a threat, they can afford to spend more on defense, and we can be confident that we can spend less on their defense. We cannot afford to subsidize the defense of France and Germany from an unknown and unidentified threat.”
The Nazis are long gone. The Soviet Union has been dismantled for an entire generation. Yet, when offered the chance to reduce spending with no threat to America’s national security, Republicans in the House of Representatives almost all voted no. In House roll call vote #529, 93.3 percent of House Republicans voted against the spending cut proposed by Congressman Polis.