I just got done playing this federal budget game. It's preety cool, check it out.
You can sum up my budget priorities this way:
Priority #1 - A balanced budget and a good economy (Go Republicans)
Priotiry #2 - Taking care of those in need... wisely. (Go Democrats)
Here is my theological grid. Sustainability, and justice for all, including future generations. This is Biblical. The profits this creates can be used to help those truly in need. (including the unborn) Socialism goes wrong by making care of people the first priority of the federal government. A sinking ship can't save people, now or in the future. Nor is it the federal governments job entirely. (it has and should have a very big role to play)
In contrast, capitalism goes wrong when it makes "security", money and ease the final priority. Greed is always a challenge, however we saw it pushed to the breaking point in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. (think child labor and rich barrons) These sins ushered in the "New Deal". Unfortunately we have seen it again in the past few years. (with a "born again" Christian in charge) Some have gotten wealthy while many have languished.
What is not high on my list of priorities is military spending. Why? I have a number of reasons, but mainly because no one is really threatening to take away our freedom... militarily. Judicially and economically, now that's a different story. Much of defense spending is wasted in a vast "military industrial complex", which doesn't actually keep us safe from that vast hoard of nations on the very brink of invading us. (wait a second...)
It's been said before, "when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." I think the age of set piece battles and one nation invading another is coming to an end. That doesn't mean there aren't very real threats. What I'm saying is that how we prepare to fight these threats, under what circumstances, and with what preferred end in mind, has or needs to radically shift.
We are largely engaging Iraq in the same way we engaged Germany and Japan. Our army beat there's and then we set up house keeping for a while.
In a world dominated by free people competing economically, economics and information will be the weapons of choice. Any nation that steps out of line (N. Korea, Iran, or to a lesser extent, Russia, China vs Tawain, or India vs Pakistan) can be punished with special forces operations, economic penalties, naval blockades, stealth bombers, cruise missiles, or some combination of these. All you have to do is economically punish the aggressor. While the rest of us get rich, living at peace and trading with one another.
Who says you have to invade and overthrow? I understand that ground troops win wars... if taking ground is your defination of win. But who decided that?