U.S. Rep. W. Todd Akin, R-Mo., right, confers with Rep. J. Randy Forbes, R-Va., during a House Armed Services Committee
meeting Jan. 26 on Capitol Hill.
The Marine Corps, by its basic nature, puts people
from the ocean to the shore. If you cannot do that, then
you’ve given up the basic requirement that defines the
Now, I know you could do it with Ospreys and
LCACs [landing craft air cushions], but those aren’t
kick-the-door-down kinds of technology. You could
selectively land some people with helicopters behind
enemy lines, but you’ve got to have some sort of shore-supply plan, some piece of turf that you can start moving from the ocean to the land. And by canceling the
EFV, it throws you then back to your other alternative,
which is AAVs, which are [Vietnam-era] vehicles, and
they’re talking about spending I don’t know how many
millions of dollars a copy and putting different engines
in them so you can get them from four to six knots.
That seemed to be an awful dumb idea and maybe
it’s the best idea given the fact that you agree that you
can’t afford the EFV. That’s what the Marine Corps said.
It’s not that they don’t want it, they just say it’s a
Cadillac we can’t afford. Well, we’ve got $3 billion of
R&D in the thing and they’re about a month away
from the thing finishing, proving that it can do what it
was supposed to do, meet all of its requirements. It
seems to be doing well in that regard.
So how do you balance requirements and
capability with affordability in this economy?
AKIN: You take Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security
and you add those up. Those numbers go up and then
our revenues run at about 18 percent of GDP [gross
We can raise taxes really high and the revenues go
down because you kill the economy, or you could
lower the taxes and the revenues tend to come up, but
they’re averaging 18 percent. Eighteen percent flies
into the mountain at 2052, so I’m good, I’ll be dead by
then. I don’t have to worry about that. The trouble is
that that’s an optimistic picture.
The trouble is that as you add Medicare, Medicaid
and Social Security, then add other entitlements — food
stamps or food credit vouchers, public housing — you
put those in there and then add another thing, which is
like an entitlement … the interest on the debt. … So
now we’ve got Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, all
the other entitlements and interest on the debt together
and we add that all up, and then we take a look and say,
“Let’s add up how much money we take in each year in
revenues.” The two are almost the same. You could cut
defense to zero and discretionary spending to zero and
we’re about balanced.