CW's favorite pundit David Brooks has a good column speculating on why El Presidente chose the Republican Chuck Hagel for Defense. According to the Gieves & Hawkes wearing Mr. Brooks, Obama plans to gradually gut defense so as to pay for his social spending, and having a Republican as Secretary provides cover.
This is completely plausible and expected. That is the very nature of welfare states. When you get a society that depends on government handouts, people become like zoo animals unable to fend for themselves. Many of us now are no more than caged beasts being looked after until it's in the zoo-keeper's interest to put us down. As Ronald Reagan said, we are only one generation away from losing our freedom and it's clear to me that our 18-30 year olds are that generation.
Welfare states inevitably implode because people want more and more while doing less and less. And as we all know it's all about productivity. If wealth isn't being produced then existing wealth must be confiscated to continue the never ending process of feeding the monkey. First borrowing, then cutbacks in legitimate government functions (but never the bureaucracy), then tax increases and new tax schemes, slowly at first then gradually expanding and evolving until Bill Gates will be chopping wood to heat that 30,000 sq. ft. mansion of his (see British aristocracy in the 60's and 70's). Eventually and inevitably the system will have a heart attack and nobody will get a check. When the seed corn is eaten there is no corn left and no way to get any. When that happens we won't be like animals, we will be animals.