Congressman Buck McKeon Claims Cutting Defense Spending Could Mean Reviving Conscription


House Armed Services Committee chairman and scaremongering spendaholic Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-Ca.) went all out last night in defense of preserving every blood-soaked cent in the DOD's budget. Take it away, AP

Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon warned about cuts beyond the $350 billion that President Barack Obama and Congress agreed to in the debt accord this past summer. A special bipartisan committee is looking at another $1.5 trillion cut in all government spending, with defense as part of the mix.

McKeon said in an interview with Fox News on Monday that the cuts could result in 200,000 fewer service members and asked "do we want to reinstitute the draft?"

More Reason on conscription: Matt Welch on the Left's push for a draft in 2005, Julian Sanchez on the Left's push for a draft in 2004, and Rick Henderson on the bipartisan push for a draft in 1999

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  1. The left likes the “egalitarian” nature of conscription.

    1. yet the exemptions make conscription non-egalitarian

      1. So do you support it or oppose it?

        1. with deferments not exemptions plus draft both men & women.

          1. Via

            Word Origin & History

            1610s, from defer (1) + -ment. As a word for “conditional exemption from a military draft” it dates to 1918, Amer.Eng., though the thing itself dates back to the Civil War.
            Online Etymology Dictionary, ? 2010 Douglas Harper

            How is this not an exemption?

            1. evidently douglas harper didnt serve. in the draft, a deferment is a postponement & not a relief from the obligation.

              1. Are you saying that a Conscientious Objector should be forced to “serve”?

  2. Why would we need a draft if we cut funding? I’m not able to make that out.

    1. Presumably our “defensive” forces are made up of mercenaries.

    2. I guess he expects that conscripts won’t have to be paid. I wonder if he plans to feed them.

      1. Well, I’m sure slavery is okay to most politicians, provided that the enslavement is dispensed without prejudice based on race, sex, religion, or creed. Personally, I think there’s a secret plan to enslave gay people.

        1. LOL, Equal Opportunity Slavery. It has that nice Progressive ring to it.

            1. Also, Eos (???) is the Greek goddess of the dawn. EOS ushers in the dawning of a new age of egalitarianism and brotherhood.

        2. There’s pretty much no way to enslave gay people without involving Tom of Finland-style homoeroticism. But then again, DC…

          1. I was just thinking that DADT was part of the master plan to identify easily enslavable gays. Same thing with gay marriage. I could be wrong about that, but I don’t think I am about the enslaving plan in general.

            1. I think TV and movies have proven that gay men are just far too sassy to make effective mil-slaves.

              1. I’m talking old school slavery, SF. No sass allowed.

                1. Sass is as inevitable as the wind and the rain. To deny the will to sass is to deny reality.

                  1. Sassing without a tongue is a challenge.

                    1. Lisping without a tongue is a challenge. Sass is in the hips.

                    2. In the hips and the head bobs.

                      Thasrite girlfren.

                    3. Shackles, chains, branding irons–slavers have an answer to every question.

    3. Instead of an aircraft carrier, 50000 sailors link arms like synchronized swimmers and pull and f-15 to the persian gulf.

      Saves 4.5 billion for building a carrier.

    4. are libtoids really that defense ignorant? volunteers cost moar to recruit & retain

      1. Only if you ignore actual economic costs. Draftees cost the economy the money it would take to pay them as volunteers.

        Not a surprise that o2 is pro-slavery.

        1. didnt know that slaves got pay, health care, & retirement.

          1. Via

            World English Dictionary
            slave (sle?v)

            ? n
            1. a person legally owned by another and having no freedom of action or right to property
            2. a person who is forced to work for another against his will
            3. a person under the domination of another person or some habit or influence: a slave to television
            4. a person who works in harsh conditions for low pay
            5. a. a device that is controlled by or that duplicates the action of another similar device (the master device)
            b. ( as modifier ): slave cylinder

            ? vb (often foll by away )
            6. to work like a slave
            7. ( tr ) an archaic word for enslave

            [C13: via Old French from Medieval Latin Scl?vus a Slav, one held in bondage (from the fact that the Slavonic races were frequently conquered in the Middle Ages), from Late Greek Sklabos a Slav]

            Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
            2009 ? William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 ? HarperCollins
            Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009

            1. i dont read anything about slaves receiving pay, health care, retirement, or UCMJ protections.

              1. LOL, if it isn’t mentioned in a definition that means that they can. I also don’t see anything about slaves having five fingers on each hand.

      2. plus conscripts really suck at the job, so you need a lot more of them.

  3. “Manned” armies are so yesteryear.

  4. Someone needs to stick Chuck Spinney’s “Defense Facts of Life” on McKeon’s desk and force him to read it. Nothing Spinney talks about in that book has changed all that much, fundamentally speaking, in the last 30 years.

  5. The left just wants its draft-card-burning moral outrage base back.

    The right wants the 50s back, the left wants the late-60s back, the greens want the 1750s, and the hipsters went what the greens what as long as they can still upload to flickr off of steam-driven smartphones.

    Libertarians just want to be left the fuck alone. And somehow we’re the insane ones in the equation.

    1. upload to flickr off of steam-driven smartphones.

      Damn. I should’ve known I was a hipster at heart.

      Oh, also a libertarian, but damn. I want a steampunk smart phone.

      1. They are hell on the ol’ giblets if you slip them into a pants pocket.

        1. Ha ha, true. But think about it: Skinny jeans already cut off circulation to the testes. How much more harm could some braising do?

          1. They don’t use them anyhow… I think you might be right on.

            Assuming you only ran your steamphone on tap water. Bottled water would make them, like, elitist and stuff.

    2. I agree with everything you said, except that I think the greens would prefer to go to the 750s rather than the 1750s.

      1. What’s a millennium, give or take?

    3. Maybe it’s a bit ghoulish to say this out loud, but could the boomers hurry up and die already? I have a really hard time imagining the Kids These Days giving a single fuck about the good old days either the left or the right imagines.

      The greens will always be dour primitivists but thankfully they are smaller in number.

      1. They will cling to life, kicking and screaming against death, annihilating the wealth of our society in the naked singularity of their infinitely dense egos, until the very end. They will feast on their young until there is no flesh left. They will suck the first breath out of an infant, to wheeze one last fetid self-congratulation.

        They ruined the future, and they damn well intend on being around to shit on the rubble as long as they can.

        1. “They will suck the first breath out of an infant, to wheeze one last fetid self-congratulation.”

          Hyperbole? I don’t think so. And I’m a boomer…yeah we suck.

          1. Meh. I was just on a rant. But I thought the mandatory retirement age was a bunch of bullshit until I worked in an organization ruined utterly by the lack of it. For every “I still have worth because of my age and experience” person that I would hate to lose, there’s 13 or so dessicated vampires sucking the bloodsweat from my brow. Go home and knit yourself to fucking death already.

        2. You only mildly exaggerate. There was an article in the WSJ a few weeks ago about how estate lawyers are finding that more and more boomers are making no plans to leave anything to their children. They plan to spend all of their wealth and leave nothing. Their choice. But my God what a selfish generation.

      2. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

        I was born in 1972, and I’m sick and tired of the Boomers. (If you’ve read enough of my comments, you’ll know I’m the poster who invariably bitches and moans any time somebody uses the [expletive deleted] -gate suffix.)

  6. I’d like to thank McKeon for further discrediting the proponents of the security complex. It’s this kind of extreme rhetoric that will one day convince the vast middle of America to go along with desperately needed defense cuts. Half the defense spending is fraud and graft to begin with. You could cut funding 50% and see a stronger America because of it.

    1. The armed forces would be stronger without the parasites.

  7. Draft boards and draft notices do not cost any money at all. And once the soldiers are in the military you don’t have to pay them anything and they don’t need any food or medical care. They also don’t need any training or weaponry.

    1. And you don’t need body bags for conscripts, just mass graves and some lime.

  8. I want a steampunk smart phone.

    Glue a bike sprocket and swim goggles and a wooden spatula and the horseys from a chess set to it, and spraypaint the resulting historical item gold and black.

    Then glue that to a banjo, and play a Fugazi song (one of the easy ones) on your steamsmartbanjophonedepunk, on the internet.

    (Have a girl sing it, or at least hold a tambourine next to it, if you’re not a girl.)

    This is how to become the king of white people.

    1. If they haven’t already, they need to add steampunk to Stuff White People Like and this should be the entry, word for word.

    2. Ha ha, this is excellent.

    3. I lol’d, then emailed that comment to a couple of people. I’m calling this one Winner for today.

  9. “do we want to reinstitute the draft?”

    No. We want to end all the wars, close all the overseas bases and bring home all the troops.

  10. They will cling to life, kicking and screaming against death, annihilating the wealth of our society in the naked singularity of their infinitely dense egos, until the very end. They will feast on their young until there is no flesh left.

    Ah, I see.

    I’m definitely doing it wrong.

    I worry about America’s impending economic collapse instead of grasping voraciously for anything and everything I can get, and I don’t even have kids.

    I’m apparently a sap, but at least not in the David Brooks way.

    1. My god that Brooks column was painful to read. What a douche.

  11. “do we want to reinstitute the draft?”

    No, but I would not object to rounding up everyone who gets a paycheck from the federal government and forcing them to work in a coal mine (picks and shovels only).

  12. Into the abyss…
    This being a democracy, I believe in a fair draft. A draft forces people to think, to come to terms with war, and decide just how much they believe in a given war.
    A government with a volunteer or mercenary army can go about blithely fighting wars as it sees fit, and in general the population will ignore the situation, since they have no skin in the game short of, say, taxes. And paying taxes is nothing compared to getting sucked into the military for X years with the possibility of dying tossed in for fun.

    1. That might process might be more realistic if the people who would be drafted voted more than the people who want to send them.

      And drafting people is a drastic way to encourage voter participation.

    2. That might process might be more realistic if the people who would be drafted voted more than the people who want to send them.

      And drafting people is a drastic way to encourage voter participation.

      1. Goddamn double click.

      2. I believe the voting age was lowered for that very reason. And if you can’t be bothered to vote knowing full well the result might affect you very personally and possibly lethally, eh, I feel no sympathy.

        1. Slavery is slavery, democratically decided upon or not.

    3. A draft forces people to think, to come to terms with war, and decide just how much they believe in a given war.

      This. Definitely.

  13. Ah, the wonders of the Congressional committee system.

    I think you can actually take his silly and extreme rhetoric as a sign that he thinks he’s losing the argument.

  14. The problem is when they cut defense they will fuck retirees and service members. They won’t stop building needless weapons contracts. Nope, that would require their buddies in the defense industry to take a hit. And we can’t have that. So they will cut pay and benefits and screw retirees. And they won’t be able to get anyone to join. And when that happens they will revert to slavery, ie the draft.

    1. Why not go to all drone army. Once skynet is complete, we can merge it with other government functions to save costs and make the most efficient army yet.

      Also, John is right. We can’t stop building widgets therefore the only alternative is to fuck over the people who served.

  15. I thought the mandatory retirement age was a bunch of bullshit until I worked in an organization ruined utterly by the lack of it.

    I was utterly horrified when I went back to my alma mater twenty five years later to find nearly all the same professors doddering imbeciles, extolling without interruption the glories of Woodrow Wilson and the League of Nations; and that FDR- what a hep cat!

    1. It is killing DOD right now. After 9-11 they declared an emergency and lifted the double dipping rules. It used to be that retirees were limited in the amount of money they could make as government employees. Not now. They can retire and go right into a GS job and get their retirement and the GS pay. DOD is full of nothing but gray beard retired colonels and sergeants major double dipping.

  16. So, draftees no longer receive the cool and expensive benefits like GI Bill, VA hospital care, and mortgage downpayment assistance? I guess they’d better draft officers, too. Otherwise the class-warfare is going to be pretty fucking intense.

    Alternately, we could just figure out how to meet all of our security commitments with 90% of the current force (3.5M DoD employees, hopefully 2.5M servicemembers of that number, 0.25M if the worst case cuts go through). Cry me a fucking river.

    Incidently, it’s career fair day at the engineering school. I’ve seen all 4 services, naval logistics, the CIA, NSA, 4 major defense contractors, and a scattering of federal agencies not in the DOD remit. I’d say they’re about 2/3rds of the booths. The only people I’ve bothered talking to are a startup company that probably wants me more for my database/web-design skills than for the fact that I’m working on a grad degree.

  17. I don’t have it handy, but somewhere I read that several lawsuits over the draft were settled by DOD in the waning days of the Viet Nam War. Apparently, there were some 13th Amendment arguments that DOD did not want to see adjudicated for fear of setting a precedent. Can any of you legal types confirm?

  18. Well trained soldiers don’t want to have to deal with conscripts. They’ve told me that themselves.

    1. No they don’t. And we would have to make the military brutal again. Now, we can threaten them with kicking them out. They volunteered so that is a threat. But how do you discipline conscripts who don’t want to be there?

  19. Most draft-age people are too fat for military service anyway.

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