Isn't it time to privatize the Pentagon?
It's easy to forget that the Pentagon is, in fact, a big government program. But how effective is this massive example of big government spending? In its platform, the Republican Party said that America is "currently without defense" against ballistic missile attack--and that's after spending a billion dollars a day.
If the Pentagon were a public school, we'd know what to do: hold it accountable for its performance. And if it didn't meet standards, we'd give parents vouchers to take their tax dollars to private schools. So why not hold the Pentagon to the same standard? Why not create national security vouchers?
Here's how they would work. If the Pentagon didn't meet standards of fiscal accountability; if its missile defense system did not pass tests; if its personnel couldn't keep its hands off the children, we'd get a voucher that let us spend our tax dollars with alternative national security providers.
Schools, for example, are a national security provider. Unless Americans are educated, they won't be able to make sense of our complex world, interact with their neighbors, and compete in the changing economy. What if taxpayers could use their National Security vouchers to commit a billion dollars a day to education? Imagine it--a billion dollars a day for new schools, new textbooks, new computers, and increased teacher salaries. Our schools would be safer, and America would be safer, too.
Health care is another national security provider. Unless the physical well-being of Americans is guaranteed, and medical care is available to everyone, we're one epidemic away from being wiped off the map. If taxpayers used their National Security Vouchers to spend a billion dollars a day on national heath care, wouldn't America be safer?
Then there's infrastructure, another national security provider. Without keeping roads, bridges and water mains in good repair, our cities are a national crisis waiting to happen. If taxpayers used their National Security Vouchers to spend one billion dollars a day on rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, wouldn't America be truly safe?
I'm not suggesting that we abandon big government programs like the military. That's why I'd like to propose another program called "A thousand bullets of light": A voluntary system of contributions from faith-based organizations on behalf of national defense. Working together, these thousand bullets of light could do more than any big government program could ever hope to do. In addition, I'd post the Ten Commandments in every Pentagon office cubicle. Because after all, it's values, not some big government program, that really make us safe.
Vouchers. They're not just for schools anymore.