“Today crisis drives policy. It has become too politically convenient to simply allow a crisis to develop and get worse and then react to the crisis…But make no mistake about it, there is a price to be paid. And the price to be paid is that you lose the trust of the American people...My greatest concern today is that we are putting our national security at risk by lurching from budget crisis to budget crisis to budget crisis.”— Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Wednesday, in a talk at Georgetown University that he described as “one of my last speeches as secretary of defense.”
The U.S. spends more money on its military than the next 18 highest spending nations c o m b i n e d, and that doesn't take into account secret "black" funding. If a small cut in our defense spending would truly be sufficient to cause a significant drop in combat readiness, by that same logic, the military of every other nation in the world must be totally ineffective and useless. In reality, much of the money spent on our military is used to purchase weapons systems and armaments the military neither requested, wants nor needs but which certain key congressmen decided the military would get anyway because those systems were built by corporations located in their respective states/districts. That is just one of many, many problems that contributes to the excessive annual cost of our military.
Panetta's record of never getting it right is still intact.
Bad policies drove the crisis to begin with. Insanely using military force to destabilize most of the Middle East at high financial and human cost, along with other mistakes such as financial deregulation and a government policy to outsource jobs, all of which Panetta was a part of, led to the crisis. At that time, as now, it was "too politically convenient to simply allow a crisis to develop and get worse."
"And the price to be paid is that you lose the trust of the American people." Actually, according to the polls, citizens' approval of the Congress has been less than ten percent for a long time.