But you would never know it if you listened to the cries coming from key members of Congress and hawkish D.C. think tanks. It is important to note that these substantial proposed increases in Pentagon spending are arbitrary numbers cherry-picked from past Pentagon five-year plans, not careful assessments of current defense needs.
We need an active, independent left willing to challenge the push for smaller government. A well-managed government can revitalize the economy even as it makes our world a better place to live. Many Americans seem to understand that instinctively. Where, then, is the movement that will make that argument?
The federal government is one of the world's biggest consumers. These hundreds of billions of dollars in purchases and investments are a driving force of the American economy -- procurement creates jobs, promotes innovation and even has socially beneficial effects. It also is often associated with outsourcing waste and fraud and crony capitalism.