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If you think this is an exaggeration, think again. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that just 10 years from now, the president’s budget would nearly double our national debt, to more than 82 percent of what the economy produces every year. Interest payments on this debt alone will amount to $100 billion more than the entire budget for the Defense Department. Just imagine what those numbers will be by 2035.

Now imagine the pressure that will put on the defense budget. In 1965, mandatory spending consumed over a third of the federal budget. Today, it eats up approximately two-thirds. At this rate, if nothing changes, in just 19 years there will be nothing left over in the discretionary budget - and that’s where we get funding for our armed forces.

In a very real sense, the safety of every American, and their freedom to vote and live their lives unmolested from foreign threats, depend on our country’s sustained ability to project power against our enemies no matter where they are. It’s truly the only thing that completely sets us apart from other nations.

Kim R. Holmes, a former assistant secretary of state for international organizations, is a vice president at the Heritage Foundation ( and author of “Liberty’s Best Hope: American Leadership for the 21st Century.”