Gimme Shelter

Max Boot, writing in the Wall Street Journal:

…To consider the implications [of the health insurance bill] for defense, look at Europe. Last year government spending in the 27 European Union nations hit 52% of GDP. But most of them struggle to devote even 2% of GDP to defense, compared to more than 4% in the U.S.

When Europeans after World War II chose to skimp on defense and spend lavishly on social welfare, they abdicated their claims to great power status. That worked out well for them because their security was subsidized by the U.S.

But what happens if the U.S. switches spending from defense to social welfare? Who will protect what used to be known as the “Free World”? Who will police the sea lanes, stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, combat terrorism, respond to genocide and other unconscionable human rights violations, and deter rogue states from aggression? Those are all responsibilities currently performed by America. But it will be increasingly hard to be globocop and nanny state at the same time. Something will have to give.

Now I know a lot of liberals think America should retire from the job of globocop, but I don’t see any other nation or organization stepping up to the plate to assume the burden. Of course there are lots of demented folks who think the world doesn’t need a policeman.

But even the citizens of the People’s Republic of the Upper West Side of New York would flee for their lives if the NYPD were eliminated.

History shows that defense can be cut, but middle class entitlements are forever. You can run for your lives, but where will you run now that Barry and the Democrats have set us on the path to European-style cradle-to-grave welfare statism?

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