Setting an arbitrary percentage for increased defense spending doesn't tell much. We do not guarantee greater national security simply by increasing the defense budget by 10 percent any more than we jeopardize our security by increasing military spending by a more reasonable 4 or 5 percent.
Ronald Reagan's compulsive overspending on arms would make us weaker, not stronger. It would increase the deficit and undermine our economy without adding to our real security. We don't need the MX--a missile without a mission; two new nuclear aircraft carriers--sitting ducks for newly developed anti-ship missiles; binary chemical weapons; a new aluminum fighting vehicle that burns like a fireball when hit, and we don't need to reactivate obsolete World War II battleships.
Eliminating those items alone would save us nearly $10 billion in 1984 and billions of dollars more in future years. None of them are really necessary for our defense.
Each questionable item in the Reagan defense budget should be evaluated carefully and prudently.
One of the most dangerous is a deceptively minor $1 billion item for an anti-ballistic missile system. That's four times more than we spent in most previous years, but only a preliminary drop in the bucket for the tens of billions of dollars that Reagan would have us spend in future years to carry nuclear warfare into outer space.
President Reagan should devote less time to figuring out ways to spend more money on arms and more time to controlling the arms race. Only through a mutual, verifiable U.S.-Soviet agreement to halt and then reduce military production can we make our nation truly secure--and our economy prosperous. Only then can we make truly significant reductions in our military expenditures which, under Ronald Reagan, will add up to $2 trillion over the next five years.