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Some Businessman

Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:

A headline today in your pages reads “Pentagon moves to shut foreign firms out of its supply chain” (July 10).  A more-revealing headline would read “Pentagon moves to get less national defense for each dollar spent.”

Conservatives allegedly put especially high value on national defense and on the efficient use of taxpayers’ dollars.  Yet here a GOP administration is choosing to conduct America’s national-defense operation inefficiently – that is, choosing to get for taxpayers’ national-defense dollars less-than-maximum possible national-defense capability.  How, exactly, does such a policy “make America great again”?

Not only is this policy intentionally wasteful, it’s an affront to all Americans who voted for Trump believing that he’d run the government like a business: no business intentionally buys higher-cost supplies when equally good (or better) lower-cost supplies are available.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030

Of course, from my libertarian perspective, there’s much to be said for shrinking the Pentagon’s capacity, even if such shrinkage is not the intended result of the cronyist policy that achieves the shrinkage.