Paul: The Prize is about Internationalism, not Peace

Ron Paul gets it right:

I support not pissing off our European allies when it's in the long term interests of Americans. At the same time, I'm wary of multi-nation coalitions becoming too powerful in the future.

For the first time ever (and probably the last time), I saw an interesting comment on Youtube. It's the one which states that if the US pulled its troops from around the world, it would be difficult for European countries to have large welfare states since they would have to spend their own money on defense.

Is this true? Seems unlikely to me because the US spends a relatively small percentage of government revenues on the military, only a fraction of which would go toward maintaining presence in other countries. In other words, my conjecture is that, for European countries, defense is probably much cheaper than welfare.

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"relatively small"?

Your reasoning may be sound but your premise is false, the US spends an ENORMOUS proportion of its total budget on the military.

I mean check this out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fy2007spendingbycategory.png

Nearly 20% of all federal spending!

The question is really more along the lines of, would European countries bother providing themselves with the same level of defense that we provide for them? If they just said "screw it, who needs an army anyway?" the impact would be small. If on the other hand they felt the need to approximate the amount and type of defense services they're currently mooching from us, it would be catastrophic to their already-precarious budget situations.

Under-reported Defense Figures

Winslow Wheeler and Bob Higgs both estimate actual defense military spending at $1 Trillion. This is between 35% and 40% of the budget, depending on whether we use the 2006 total expenditures of $2.6T (Bob's comparison) or the 2007 figure of $2.73T (Winslow's).

I could easily be confused by off-budget spending, so feel free to correct this common farmer accordingly.

Indeed, internationalism;

Indeed, internationalism; thats the term I was looking for that sums it all up.