We have heard it again and again from the Chris Perkins campaign – the claim that Ken Vaughn wants to cut defense by 35 percent.
The attacks come often, and seem to be the lynchpin of Perkins’ crusade against Ken. Much like his insistence on using his military service as THE reason the residents of Virginia’s 11th district should vote for him, the continued assertion about Ken’s plans to allegedly decimate our defenses appear to be THE issue he’s using to attack Ken.
Problem is the claim is false.
In Ken’s words:
These numbers are a part of a “sample budget” on my website. It is not a “proposed budget”, it is merely my best guess as to how Congress might prioritize items, if it were to decide to live within its means. These cuts may seem drastic, but remember, we currently borrow 40 cents of every dollar we spend.
I do not have a vendetta against any program. My mission is to reintroduce ethics into our budget process. We have a moral obligation to live within our means. This means that I am willing to negotiate about where we spend our limited resources. My opponents refuse to respect this basic moral tenet and instead choose to make false claims about my positions.
…I do not have a vendetta against any program; but we must live within our means. We can achieve this if we keep our focus on shared objectives. That is why we need to look at our budget from a zero baseline – zero out the budget for every program and then add money back in to reflect our priorities, with the understanding that as soon as we hit the deficit target, the spending will stop.
I believe we will find a great deal of agreement on our spending priorities if we follow this approach. Specifically, I believe we would find shared priorities as follows, in order of importance:
1. Pay interest on the national debt
2. Honor all self-funded trust funds. In other words, Social Security taxes should be dedicated to Social Security; Medicare taxes should be dedicated to Medicare, gas taxes should be dedicated to transportation; etc.
3. Fund defense at least at its lowest level since WWII
4. Fund essential government services
5. Honor our commitments to our veterans
6. Honor our commitments to our civilian retirees
7. Fund other programs
As we move down the list, I suspect that there will be more pressure to negotiate among competing priorities. It is impossible for me to know what the final result of Congress will be, but I do believe every program will have to take some cut as compared to current spending levels. These are difficult decisions, but we have a moral obligation to live within our means. My opponent has refused to admit to this basic fact and he has refused to provide any proposal that significantly decreases our spending.
We need to stop nation building and we should not be the world’s police force. If we focus on defense spending on national defense, we can significantly reduce defense spending. However, we cannot balance the budget with defense cuts alone.
So could we please stop with the lies already, Perkins campaign? We have two days before the primaries. If you feel you have to lie and mislead in order to gain an advantage, there’s something very wrong with your strategy.