COLIN POWELL: Forget NPR, We Need To Cut defence And Entitlements To Fix Deficit


Every now and again the conservatives love to threaten to withdraw federal funding from NPR and other public broadcasting entities as a way to cut costs. 

This despite the fact the funding in neither that direct nor would removing it reduce the nation’s deficit by any amount even worth calculating.

Over the weekend Colin Powell joined the chorus of voices arguing that to make any real cut the government will have to seriously look at cutting entitlements and…defence spending, which Powell argues is not “sacrosanct.”

As we draw down from Iraq and as over the next several years as we draw down from Afghanistan, I see no reason why the military shouldn’t be looked at…When the Cold War ended 20 years ago, when I was chairman and Mr. Cheney was secretary of defence, we cut the defence budget by 25 per cent. And we reduced the force by 500,000 active duty soldiers, so it can be done. Now, how fast you can do it and what you have to cut out remains to be seen, but I don’t think the defence budget can be made, you know, sacrosanct and it can’t be touched.

The real money in the entitlements, it’s Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid. And unless we do something about those, you can’t balance the budget. You can’t fix the deficit or the national debt by killing NPR or National Endowment for the Humanities or the Arts. Nice political chatter, but that doesn’t do it. And I’m very put off when people just say let’s go back and freeze to the level two years ago.”

Video below.  NPR conversation starts at the 5 minute mark.

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