To the editor:

In the July 14 edition of the KDH on page C4, Jeff Stein, a Washington Post columnist, offers: “What America could do with European levels of military spending.”

Mr. Stein, of late, is a liberal writer and thinker. His article speaks of the wonderful social, immigration, and environmental programs America could pursue if we lowered our defense spending to European levels.

He is correct. We could. However, we would be headed down the same road of fiscal and moral bankruptcy as most of Europe. The Europeans, like our California brethren, just don’t realize it yet.

We were headed down that road for the entire presidency of Barrack Obama. He was the first president in U.S. history to spend more on social programs than defense.

He gutted our military in favor of The Affordable Care Act, The Clean Power Plan (remember Solyndra?), The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), expanded existing social assistance programs, especially Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Medicaid, to name a few.

The European members of NATO have defunded their military so badly that their readiness to defend themselves is questionable.

Why would we want to be like Europe? Two hundred thirty-five years ago the Revolutionary War ended. Our young nation was finally free of English rule, and many other European conquests were discouraged.

American innovation, manufacturing and transportation surged along with our new freedom. Europe today is almost irrelevant in terms of world leadership. European countries are so concerned with their own internal social, environmental, immigration, and governance problems their only clout remaining is foreign trade. If they continue to squander their national wealth on “free everything for everyone” even trade will be lost to them.

America is the leader of the world, because of our strong defense and strong economy. You cannot have one without the other.

I would encourage Mr. Stein to move to the European country of his choice if he thinks Europe is on the right track to prosperity, and we are not. My bet is that he stays in Washington, D.C.

George Van Riper

Harker Heights

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