Thursday, July 28, 2011

"Untouchable" no longer?

Tornado-level winds have been corkscrewing out of the Washington D.C. area as both political parties clash over the issue of the debt ceiling.  With the chorus of competing voices, it’s difficult to discern who is right, who is wrong, and which plan is the best to adopt.  Primate politics as usual.  Expect a post on this topic in the coming days.

There is one significant difference between Republican and Democratic budget plans that has given me pause to think.  In his proposed plan, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would place a cap on funding for military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other “similar activities,” sometimes called Overseas Contingency Operations.  Apparently, U.S. operations in Yemen and Somalia fall into this latter category.  This could end up reducing budget outlays by $1 trillion, a 13% reduction in ten-year defense spending.  House Speaker John Boehner’s plan has no such attribute.

So I’ve been thinking.  We’ve long since past a point where defense spending isn’t even considered part of our budget.  It’s high levels have been rendered unassailable as to do so would seem crazy, unpatriotic, limp-wristed, or a combination of all of the above. 
Let me be clear: I am and have always been supportive of a strong defense.  Through the study of military history and the consumption of military fiction (yes, yes, I’ll admit that I’m talking about G.I. Joe), I came to a great appreciation for the sacrifices the women and men of our armed forces make on a daily basis.  Because of that, I believe that they are deserving of the absolute best in weapons, gear, and care that we can afford.  I also believe in funding advanced research projects to keep our military on the cutting edge.

I must ask, however, is the military really getting what it needs?  Are the right projects being funded or is there a great deal of taxpayer waste going on in the form of big money defense contracts and pork projects?  One needs only look at the scandal of the Air Force refueling tanker contract of not too long ago to see an example of this sort of thing.  Give them what they need, give them the best, but don’t make the budget “untouchable” as that just produces a breeding ground for corruption.
Also, what if the military truly was a “department of defense?”  Meaning, they defend us if we are directly attacked and are not implemented for any sort of imperialistic venture.  We could bring a lot of troops home.  A lot.  I don’t just mean from Afghanistan and Iraq, not that Afghanistan was not justified, but from many other locations around the globe.  I still think that we should keep a few overseas bases such as in Britain, Germany, and Korea, and forward operating locations such as Diego Garcia, but cutting our overseas presence could save a lot of money. 

While I’m still uncertain as what to think of Sen. Reid’s plan (I’m concerned it could place troops in the theaters of operation in danger once the cap is met) I don’t think it’s a bad idea to be critical about the defense budget.  I really think that we can be sensible, safe, and do right by our troops, but do it for less than what we’ve been spending.

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  1. Hi Jon,

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it doesn't matter what the US Government does at this point because it will not be enough. We are being setup for a great FALL...the total colapse of your ecnomy is being done INTENTIONALLY.

    You must realize that the USA has been Bankrupt since the 1930's. Our Federal Reserve is a Privately held Bank, it's not owned by the US Gov. This year, the US will pay about $600-800 Billon in interest alone on the printing of our money. Yes, we pay some one to print money when we could do it ourselves.

    To prove we are BANKRUPED...look at all your own ID's such as birth certificate, driver's license, credit cards...etc. You will see that all of them have your name (my name, everyones name) printed in all CAPS! Why? The USA is a Corporation, listed on the Stock exchanges. All of the Citizens (every man, woman & child) are BONDED for millions of dollars to print & generate money that doesn't exist. To show bankrupsy & the bond, a country places the names in all caps on our id's.

    The IRS collected approx $2.1 Trillon in tax rev in 2010(we were at $2.5 T in 2007). The Gov says we currently spend $3.6 T but that number is much much higher!!! The Iraq War alone, we spend about $1 Tril per year to the tune of $1.2 million per man. And the expense in the other wars it's much different. We also have a Military PRESENTS in approx 130 countries of the 190 in the World.

    Our Military is curently advertising our Navy on TV as a "Global Force for Good" so-call protect the World. The US will never, in my opinion, give up their place in these countries because it gives the US Military, Police control around the world. We are NOT there to do GOOD! This presents is intentional for the developement of the NWO.

    Now here is the shocking news about the DEBT! An article writtten last fall...

    Neil Reynolds
    The Globe and Mail
    October 29, 2010

    Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff says U.S. government debt is not $13.5-trillion (U.S.), which is 60 per cent of current gross domestic product, as global investors and American taxpayers think, but rather 14-fold higher: $200-trillion – 840 per cent of current GDP. “Let’s get real,” Prof. Kotlikoff says. “The U.S. is bankrupt.”

    Writing in the September issue of Finance and Development, a journal of the International Monetary Fund, Prof. Kotlikoff says the IMF itself has quietly confirmed that the U.S. is in terrible fiscal trouble – far worse than the Washington-based lender of last resort has previously acknowledged. “The U.S. fiscal gap is huge,” the IMF asserted in a June report. “Closing the fiscal gap requires a permanent annual fiscal adjustment equal to about 14 per cent of U.S. GDP.”

    See these older vids from 2001...

  2. Jon,

    Another note on the debt topic. Let's do simply math here. You and your readers can think about this and please let me know what you think.

    Our current GDP (total money generated by all us companies) is about $15 trillion. The IRS currently collects about 2.1 trillion in taxes and we spend (what they tells us about, we actually spend much more) about 1.5 trillion more than we take in.

    Current debt over $14.3 trillion

    Ok now the math...

    We need to cut spending by 1.5 trillion just to break even...right?

    If the US raises taxes so the IRS collects say $3 trillion in taxes. That gives us $900 billion more in money to pay down the debt. With over $14 trillion of debt, it's costing well over 600 Billion a year in interest on just printing our money. That leaves us with...

    900 B - 600 B = > 300 billion to pay down the debt. So my calculation tell me it would take about 45-50 years to pay down the debt and without interest on the debt itself. Thats basic math. Imagine how much they don't tell us about. In other words, we really can't get out of this debt. The USA will most likely default at some point in the future and that won't be good! Hope that helps.

    DS888 (Ian)

  3. Yeah, I remember hearing about the national debt crisis for the first time in grade school. Longer ago than I care to mention. :)
    But this has been coming on for decades. You can't continue to lower taxes and increase spending, then toss the difference on the credit card.