You Can’t Have Limited Government and Perpetual War

As we’ve said before, give government an inch and it will always take a mile. Especially when it comes to war powers.

The U.S. dropped over 44,000 bombs during Trump’s first term – all without any declaration of war. If bombing people doesn’t bother you, perhaps the cost of these undeclared wars will.

According to a recent study, America’s wars since 2001 have cost $5.6 trillion. That equates to $23,000 per taxpayer. This is more than three times the Pentagon estimate – which still comes in at a staggeringly high $1.5 trillion.

Why the difference?

According to the study author, the Pentagon’s doesn’t account for many of the costs of war such as the price of treating wounded soldiers.

And the actual cost is even higher than the study indicates. It didn’t even factor in the cost of U.S. military assistance to countries like Tunisia, the Philippines or Egypt.

So, war has cost you even more than $23,000 over the last two decades.

I wonder how many people would support these military interventions if they’d actually had to write a $1352.94 check every year for the last 17 years?

War is not only costly in financial terms. As James Madison put it, “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.”

This is why the Constitution took the decision to make war out of the hands of the president and gave it to Congress.

But we’ve abandoned the Constitution. One president after another has dragged us into undeclared war after undeclared war. Sometimes Congress rubber-stamps these presidential acts with unconstitutional, open-ended authorizations to use force. But over the last several years, they’ve even dropped this pretense.

You can’t have limited government and perpetual war. The founders understood this and created a system to make it difficult to drag the United States into military entanglements. Having unfettered itself from all constitutional restraints, war is now the norm. And we have all paid the price – in lives, money and lost liberties.

About Tenth Amendment Center
The Tenth Amendment Center is a national think tank that works to preserve and protect the principles of strictly limited government through information, education, and activism. The center serves as a forum for the study and exploration of state and individual sovereignty issues, focusing primarily on the decentralization of federal government power as required by the Constitution. For more information visit the Tenth Amendment Center Blog.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.