2016 Democratic Party Platform – Defense Spending

As we did with the 2016 Republican Party Platform, National Taxpayers Union (NTU) has examined the 2016 Democratic Party Platform and will provide analysis of how it will affect taxpayers’ bottom lines.

Over the years, NTU has been critical of bloated Pentagon budgets and wasteful military spending. At the same time, we support efforts to ensure the United States continues to be the world’s most powerful military.

Auditing the Pentagon

Like the Republican Platform, the Democratic Platform correctly calls for a first-ever audit of the Pentagon. This is desperately needed, given that the United States faces a $19 trillion national debt. The national debt threatens our economy and jeopardizes our national security. We are glad the two major political parties agree on the need to ensure the Pentagon is careful with hardworking Americans’ tax dollars.

Military Budget Caps

While the Democratic Platform pays lip service to ensuring the Defense Department “invests its budget wisely,” NTU is concerned about its negative comments toward the so-called “arbitrary cuts” enacted as part of the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011. The BCA has proven to be a modest, yet effective way of slowing government spending and attempts to overturn the automatic cuts should be viewed skeptically.

As former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen has said, the national debt is the greatest national security threat we face. If the BCA’s spending caps are lifted for the military, the deficit and the debt will increase – further weakening America’s standing in the world and its ability to defend itself over the long run. At the same time, higher non-military spending would almost surely follow, thereby worsening the situation.