Sean-Patrick Lane defends
the increasing deficit that the federal government is running as
a "wartime deficit”. This explanation is disingenuous to say the
least. While it’s certainly understandable for defense-related spending
to rise and increase the deficit during wartime, the same cannot
be said for non-defense discretionary spending. The funding for
discretionary spending has to be re-allocated on a yearly basis,
and is the kind of spending a president has the most control over.
the Reagan administration. At the height of the cold war - and with
a Democrat-dominated Congress – defense-related spending increases
were about on par with the increases we’re seeing now, but non-defense
discretionary spending was reduced by 14%. Conversely, non-defense
spending has skyrocketed by 18%-20% in the first three years of
the current administration. The difference? Reagan had the guts
to veto 22 spending bills in his first three years – Bush hasn’t
vetoed a single spending bill since he was sworn in.