To grow this economy we need to cut spending. The deficit is an enormous burden on job creation, as are taxes. So, say the Republicans, let's cut taxes. And cut spending even more. On education, health services, research, welfare, etc.
What about defense? Can't do that!! That would cost us jobs. Krugman has a good article on the recent flip flop from Republicans here. It's the weaponized Keynzians. Stimulus to create stuff we blow up? Good. Stimulus to help average Americans? Bad. Yglesias likewise comments.
And I agree with Yglesias. For once the Republicans are right. Cutting defense spending would be a real blow to the economy. It's probably true that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have prevented our economic situation from being even worse. That's an absurdity, but it's a consequence of our consumption based economy.
Notice the pattern though of the right wing apologist. When it comes to government spending that helps the average guy they talk about waste, misallocation of resources, Milton Friedman is awesome, etc. When it comes to spending on war? A lot of chirping crickets. Austerity is for poor people. For the rich? Socialism.