Good Luck With That

This made me laugh:

The Pentagon must hold down its spending and make choices that will anger “powerful people” in an era of economic strain, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in a weekend speech in Kansas.

Increasing health care costs, a top-heavy uniformed and civilian management force, and big-ticket weapons systems are swelling the military’s budget at an “unsustainable” rate, Gates said. In response, Gates said, he has ordered the Defense Department’s military and civilian leaders to find savings of 2 to 3 percent — more than $10 billion of the Pentagon’s roughly $550 billion base budget — and shift spending toward war-fighting costs.

Whatever. Our fiscal conservatives on the right never found a military expenditure they didn’t like, and the cowards on the left are too afraid of being called weak on security to do anything. Add in the lobbying and all the money that projects bring to each district, as well as our seeming need to have troops in every country in the world as well as having equipment that massively outscales the capabilities of any other military, and this just isn’t going to happen. Ever. Just try to explain why we have as many subs and carriers as we do.

It will just keep growing and growing and growing, and we’ll find more threats to justify the expense, and should the budget continue to get worse, I’m sure the fiscal discipline commission can come up with some cuts to social security and medicare to keep the war machine churning. And then very serious people on both sides of the aisle will tell us that we need to suffer, and suffer we inevitably will. But not as much as the people we bomb, so there is that.

I’m in a dark and pessimistic mood again today. Think I’ll go cut Tunch’s nails now that my day is already ruined. A little blood won’t make things worse.






61 replies
  1. 1
    BR says:

    Well I guess we can look at the bright side: when global oil depletion kicks in in about 3-4 years, as even the US military says it will (and many others have been saying it will for some time), we’ll at least have enough military might to kick the asses of anyone left on the planet who has oil we might want.

  2. 2
    licensed to kill time says:

    “It was a dark and stormy mood; the mood fell in torrents–except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of Tunch which swept up the streets (for it is in WVa that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the blog that struggled against the darkness.”

    Be gentle with Tunch’s tootsies, John!

  3. 3
    cleek says:

    Gates is just doing his part to assist Obama’s dream of destroying America from the inside.

    /asshole

  4. 4
    Mark S. says:

    The only way to make an argument that we should reduce military spending is to point out that we spend almost half the world’s total and six times the next country (China). And it still won’t work, because it’s too easy of an issue to demagogue on.

  5. 5
    kdaug says:

    And yet a dozen yahoos with boxcutters managed to bring down the WTC and hit the Pentagon.

    Feels like we have the biggest swords fighting people with guns.

  6. 6
    fourlegsgood says:

    Feh on the pentagon.

  7. 7
    Mark S. says:

    Just try to explain why we have as many subs and carriers as we do.

    If we don’t have aircraft carriers, only terrorists will have aircraft carriers.

  8. 8
    gurglebleg says:

    Yeah! Where the fuck are our war spoils? Even Julius Caesar understood that he had to buy off the Roman population in order to continue with his profligate war spending. If we’re going to become a tyrannical war machine bent on taking over the world, at the very least the elites could spread war spoils around the country like a good dictator should.

  9. 9
    BR says:

    @gurglebleg:

    Yeah! Where the fuck are our war spoils?

    Cheap oil.

  10. 10
    The Moar You Know says:

    So far, the plan seems to be to stop awarding contracts to the little firms and hand all the contract dollars to the big guys; SAIC, CSC, Lockheed Martin and those folks. This keeps the vital flow of high-paying civilian jobs available to recently mustered-out procurement officers and guvvies flowing, while simultaneously bankrupting the small businesses that actually do most of the maintenance and work.

    They know the gravy train is drying up; pick up any defense industry publication and half the articles are about nothing but the coming downsizing of the defense budget. The system never worked well, but now, as we’ve seen with the F-22 and F-35, Soldier 2025, the littoral ships, all that – it’s no longer working at all, and everyone in the industry realizes it. None of the chumps – i.e. taxpayers – do.

    So they’re just trying to climb the ladder as fast as they can, and then pull it up behind them.

    The American dream in action. I got mine, go fuck yourself.

    EDIT: I give Gates a LOT of credit. He’s the first guy since Ike to say “we can’t afford to go on like this”. Needless to say, the industry, and Congress, is not happy with him at all.

  11. 11
    Dilbatt says:

    I hope that is your blood and not Tunch. :-)

  12. 12
    PeakVT says:

    the cowards on the left are too afraid of being called weak on security to do anything.

    The “cowards on the left” are still working to cut defense spending and end our stupid wars. It’s the mushy moderates who are the cowards.

  13. 13
    stuckinred says:

    Not cranky enough?

    Moscow, Russia (CNN) — Troops from the United States, Britain and France marched in the annual Victory Day parade through Red Square for the first time Sunday, a step Russia’s president called a nod toward their “common victory” in World War II.

  14. 14
    c u n d gulag says:

    “Just try to explain why we have as many subs and carriers as we do.”
    John, the answer’s easy. We have to do everything possible, at any cost necessary, to keep the march of Godless Communism from spreading from its home in The USSR.
    What?
    Over 20 years?
    Really?
    Then WTF?
    Oh, yeah, they spread the Military Industrial jobs to almost every Congressional district. Now, that’s the reason why. If you’re a politician, and you want to cut the defense budget, you’re cutting off your nose to spite your face, because what youre talking about is cuttin J-O-B-S!
    These guys were pretty slick.

  15. 15
    srv says:

    I have to say, other than the F-22 killing, many military fanboy sites seem to agree that all the big projects (Army FCS, F-35, KC-X tanker, LCS, DDX, new carrier) are pretty much fiascos. The Navy hasn’t had a successful project in a decade or two, and the USAF/Navy/Marines have completely lost control over the F-35.

    If Gates pivoted and cancelled the F-35 and built more F-22’s, the mil-blogosphere would erupt in joy. As long as you can couch a decision in being China-bogeyman centric, they would lap it up.

  16. 16
    Seanly says:

    ooooh, savings of 2 to 3 percent! Wow!

  17. 17
    cat48 says:

    What do you guys use on kitteh’s nails? The typical pet store implement? Curious because I have a cat who panics when I try to put him in a carrier so I need to do this. By panic, I mean flails and scratches as he does not want to be picked up.

    As far as defense spending, Gates lectured the Navy last wk about shipbuilding costs which has already resulted in an article at FP, “SecDef Reform Thyself”.

  18. 18
    The Moar You Know says:

    Just try to explain why we have as many subs and carriers as we do.

    We need the subs, and an assorted collection of destroyers, minesweepers and other such ships to defend the carriers, which are gigantic, slow moving targets ripe for the picking by either a cruise missile or one of the new Chinese ballistic carrier-killer missiles.

    What we need the carriers for is beyond me. The day we invented a workable system of aerial refueling the aircraft carrier should have been consigned to the ash heap of history. You will note that the only Russian carrier has been in drydock for years and the Chinese never bothered to build one.

  19. 19
    Corner Stone says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    Oh, yeah, they spread the Military Industrial jobs to almost every Congressional district. Now, that’s the reason why. If you’re a politician, and you want to cut the defense budget, you’re cutting off your nose to spite your face, because what youre talking about is cuttin J-O-B-S!

    When any one specific procurement is sourced through some 43 different Congressional Districts, you know two things:
    1. The lobbyists are earning their cash
    2. We’re fucked

  20. 20
    Sharl says:

    I totally agree with what The Moar You Know @10 said.

    Of course, with their demands for a new, citizen-friendly way for the government to do business, the Tea Partiers will sign on with you in decrying this situa…
    bwahahaha, I crack myself up!

    Some excellent Tea Party-related journalism on this very topic was recently done by – of all people – Medea Benjamin of Code Pink. Here’s the link to her piece at HuffPo.

  21. 21
    Mike G says:

    Yeah! Where the fuck are our war spoils?

    Cheap oil.

    We buy oil at the world market price the same as everyone from Japan to Rwanda, neither of whom shoulder the military and financial cost of policing production and transport — a gift from the US taxpayer to the oil companies that profit from it (including the state-owned oil companies of our Arab ‘friends’). The landed cost of tankered oil in Houston is pretty much the same as in Rotterdam or Singapore. Just because the US government taxes it less at the pump than some other places doesn’t mean US consumers are getting a deal.

    They pay 12c a gallon in Venezuela, and I don’t see many of their military deployed in Iraq or coming home in body bags.

  22. 22
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mike G: This is a “more than that” kind of discussion.
    Sure, other nations get “cheap” oil as we do, but they also accept a few things like reserve currency hegemony, etc.
    Not going to get into it but it’s not just the MIC subsidy at play here. We’re benevolent dictators re: oil, but it’s at a global price/cost.

  23. 23
    Corner Stone says:

    Oh, and just as a BTW – a little Paulaner Salvator and a Monte Cristo cigar as the Astros win an extra inning contest – that’s just pure gold baby.
    It’s overcast here South of downtown Houston, but damn comfortable.

  24. 24
    burnspbesq says:

    I’m in a dark and pessimistic mood again today.

    No shit. Take two long walks with Lily and call us in the morning.

  25. 25
    Turgid Jacobian says:

    @Corner Stone: 43? That would be weaksauce. Try 300+

  26. 26
    Mike G says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I’m responding to the argument (not necessarily made by anyone here) excusing the Iraq clusterfuck because “we get cheap gas”.
    American consumers pay the same for oil as anyone else, and whether it is ‘cheap’ or not has nothing to do with Bush’s ego excursion in the Middle East. Whatever effect it has on the world price affects every oil consumer on earth, and the US consumers who cheered on the Iraq invasion thinking he is a special flower getting unique benefits to justify the horrifying fuckup, is a parochial foolish idiot.
    Which makes our massive military cost, in lives and money, even more pointless.

  27. 27
    kdaug says:

    @Corner Stone: 73 and overcast in Austin. Got the windows opened.

  28. 28
    robertdsc says:

    At least Gates put the idea on the table. That’s a start.

  29. 29
    Miriam says:

    What we really need to do is stop paying the contractors for the extra 150,000 mercenaries we have hired in Afganastan. It is a lot cheaper and a lot more ethical to keep those people in the military. If Americans want to go to other people’s countries and kill them they should at least be under military discipline.

  30. 30
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mike G: And I agree with a lot of this.
    Just don’t have time to detail out why our gas costs $2.70 a gallon, much less why countries with no military presence in the ME get it at semi-reasonable costs.

  31. 31
    Corner Stone says:

    @kdaug: It’s a little windy in the backyard but damn it’s been comfortable today.
    IOW, it ain’t bothering my cigar.

    Plus, I’m grilling homemade beef fajitas and homemade tortillas tonite.
    And there’s nothing any of you can do to stop me.

  32. 32
    tesslibrarian says:

    @cat48: We always used a feline nail clipper we bought at a chain pet store years ago that had a guard on it so you couldn’t cut too far down the nail. The blades were curved and you’d squeeze the two handles together with one hand while pushing out the nail with the other hand.

    They worked fairly well, and I really liked the nail guard, but I bought them at least a decade ago, so there might be/likely is something better available now..

    And by “always used,” I mean “on occasion, when they’d let us,” which wasn’t often until the last several months of their lives. Reserving energy for survival seemed to include the daring leap from the sofa to escape the clippers if my husband wasn’t holding her in place.

    A treat of atonement and profuse apologies is a necessary step as well.

  33. 33
    Socraticsilence says:

    I don’t know, I mean this is one of the few Obama appointee’s (andbasically the only Bush appointee) who’s stayed true to what he/she said during their confirmation hearing- he slashed the F-22 and the expanded Navy, I think he’ll at least try to take out more waste.

  34. 34
    mclaren says:

    America has gotten itself into some severe Catch-22s here.

    Our economy is now so dependent on military contracts for jobs that if we actually did reduce the unsustainable military spending, the U.S. economy would suffer a depression that would make December 2008 look like a mild downturn.

    At the same time, some of the only decent-paying middle class jobs left are in the bloated unsustainable health care industry. That part of the U.S. economy continues to grow in cost even faster than military spending, and once again, if we start cutting the medical-industrial complex, America will suffer a massive depression due to all the lost middle class jobs. $10 aspirin are outrageous when they show up on the hospital bill for a life-saving surgery, but those $10 aspirin pay the salaries of millions of middle class nurses and X ray technicians and orderlies and medical lab technicians and medical device salespeople who otherwise would find themselves submerged in grinding poverty working for minimum wage as xerox clerks or dog groomers or hairstylists.

    Last but not least, America’s most productive and economically vibrant states owe their productivity and economic vigor to America’s oil addiction. Shut down cheap oil and states like California, with their giant freeways, would collapse and disintegrate.

    We have gotten ourselves into a real pickle in this country. All the social-economic trends that made us prosperous from the 1940s to the 1990s are now killing us. We can’t go forward the way we are, and we can’t go back.

  35. 35
    kdaug says:

    @Corner Stone: Heh, we grilled last weekend (chicken drumsticks with D.L. Jardine’s “Killer” BBQ sauce – check Central Market. Well worth it if you like the hot/spicy BBQ and you can find it).

    This weekend it’s beef burritos with Hatch green chiles we froze last August. Spending 6-8 hours with the two of us skinning, peeling, and cleaning a crate of chiles on a Saturday in August is an investment that pays dividends year-round.

  36. 36
    Bill Murray says:

    @Mike G: our gas is cheaper because we have relatively low gas taxes, that’s our benefit, or not

    Also, supercavitating torpedos (like Russian Shkval and the Iranian Hoot) make the carriers obsolete

  37. 37
    Ella in NM says:

    Tell him to start by firing every single one of the “Burrowed in” Bush political appointees who are working hard every day to dismantle the Defense Department from the inside, piece by contracted-out-piece.

    An enormous source of waste in our Defense Department is the huge overhead you and I shell out to corporations that only gets squeezed up to their overpaid CEO’s and shareholders. Meanwhile they treat their employees like dirt and over-charge the taxpayer for ridiculous expenditures.

    F the Contractors!!!

  38. 38
    kdaug says:

    @mclaren: Ah, and there’s the rub.

    You know what allowed us to get out of our WWII debt, build our military, field our nuclear weapons, send a man to the moon, closed the income gap, and had one parent able to afford to have a house, a car, and raise a family?

    90% top marginal tax rate.

    There is a class war underway, and you’re (we’re) losing.

  39. 39
    Corner Stone says:

    @Ella in NM:

    Tell him to start by firing every single one of the “Burrowed in” Bush political appointees who are working hard every day to dismantle the Defense Department from the inside, piece by contracted-out-piece.

    That wouldn’t be bipartisan. And I’m pretty sure the respected Republican Senators would have something adverse to say about that.

  40. 40
    frankdawg says:

    @PeakVT:

    You win sir! The two best Republican Presidents in my lifetime (which spans back to Truman) have been Clinton and Obama. We NEED to have real Democrats run the government for a decade or two just to get back to normal. A Hubert Humphrey would not be welcome in todays D party. Paul Welstone was marginalized and even today would be considered persona non grata because he would speak out eloquently and intelligently for actual liberal proposals.

  41. 41
    frankdawg says:

    Not sure if you will find this story funny or not but it has to do with defending air craft carriers.

    I had a friend in the Marine Corp that served a few months on an ECM ship. It was a converted WWII destroy whos job it was to see through enemy countermeasures and to throw up electronic counter measures of its own. One trick it knew was to make itself look like a carrier on enemy radar. The goal was to draw their fire!

    He was off the coast of Viet Nam when Nixon mined the harbor. He told me the rumor on ship was that China was coming. Oddly enough the particular gear that would make them look like a carrier quit working & nobody could fix it!

  42. 42
    DBrown says:

    A single carrier battle group runs upwards of 100 billion plus over ten years (estimate based on late eighty’s costs!) and we have fifteen designed to fight two and a half full blown wars – give me a fucking break; these asswipe military types are still fighting Germany and Japan … wait, they are our trusted allies now along with England, France, all NATO and … wait, who the fuck is really our enemy – that’s right, a few loosers hiding in caves. What stupid asswipes.

    We couyld cut our attack sub fleet in half as well as these battle groups and save a few trillion over tens years and still have a navy more than an order of magitude greater than ALL other countries (including our allies!) together. What a waste of our thin resources!
    AS for the Air Force, like we need nuke bombers – please. This is a waste on top of a waste.

    Asswipes!

  43. 43
    Mike in NC says:

    I give Gates a LOT of credit. He’s the first guy since Ike to say “we can’t afford to go on like this”. Needless to say, the industry, and Congress, is not happy with him at all.

    Gates needs to kill, not reform, the idiotic ‘Senior Mentor’ program whereby retired 3- and 4-star generals get paid hundreds of dollars per hour to “train” other generals to do their jobs. What a joke that is.

    Never heard of this boondoggle until USA Today reported on it last year. I saw it in action during an exercise at Fort Hood when some old guy with a cigar in his mouth and wearing a Hawaiian shirt stepped in front of a video camera in Germany. No doubt Rumsfeld approved of this program to reward the brass for keeping quiet as he stepped on their toes.

  44. 44
    bkny says:

    anybody else remember rumsfeld’s comments on september 10, 2001 about the trillions of dollars unaccounted for in pentagon spending.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oj1rT4bszWg

  45. 45
    D-Chance. says:

    We can’t gut our military… war is the only major manufacturing sector we have left.

    Jobs, man, think of the jobs!

    edit: aw, screw it… just “ditto” #34 above…

  46. 46
    kdaug says:

    @frankdawg: In that same vein:

    During WWII, in both America and Britain, it became popular to kick Dachshund dogs when seen on the street.

    The same rule did not apply to German Shepherds.

    Is it true? Dunno, way before my time. Plausible? I’d say certainly.

  47. 47
    Um Yeah says:

    @srv:

    The railgun test videos are pretty damn cool.

  48. 48
    Kirk Spencer says:

    On the other hand…

    We are a hegemony. We have made promises to other nations regarding their security. Part of our large expense relative to other nations is due to this. If we withdraw from the scene there will be a variety of consequences. Some are certainties, others are merely possibilities of varying likelihood.

    How much of our ability to persuade India and Pakistan to not use nukes against each other has been due to our military?

    How much of the paucity of military spending in Europe has been due to the US promising and providing that role?

    If we reduce and withdraw, will Arabic nations attack Israel in such strength as to encourage Israel to loose its (alleged) nukes in a Samson reaction?

    I think we spend too much on our military. I think we’re too actively involved in too many places. But I don’t think cutting it is as easy or inconsequential as many here seem to believe.

  49. 49
    ChockFullO'Nuts says:

    This topic not only rears its head again on these pages after a lengthy absence, but spawns two front page posts in a row.

    America is a bellicose country. Has been for 70 or so years.

    It’s a bellicose country because the people keep electing bellicose governments. For no other reason. When the people decide that the national fascination with “defense” and armaments and a pugilistic posture toward every crackpot or tinhorn dictator in the world and a series of useless wars and their huge cost in money and blood is not really what they want any more, then the people will elect some new kind of government that doesn’t sell out to the war machine.

    Until then, the people should stop bitching, because the government is doing exactly what it was elected to do and has been for a couple of generations now.

    The people voted for expensive wars and reduced taxes, and now they have an aging infrastructure, a strong defense at the expense of a weak government that can’t step up to the progressive challenges of the time, a disgruntled and dissatisfied and distrustful fringe electorate, and a diminished capacity to solve real internal problems while having become totally reactionary and fearful about external problems.

    Okay, mission accomplished. Time for change? The Tea Party apparently thinks so, and its tinhorn activism is all the rage on tv. Why isn’t a challenge to the War Party (the GOP-Dem “defense” coalition) part of the Tea Party message? The Iraq War will cost more than healthcare reform,won’t it?

  50. 50
    Corner Stone says:

    @ChockFullO’Nuts:

    It’s a bellicose country because the people keep electing bellicose governments.

    This is stupid and simplistic.
    How exactly do you think the people who are elected (overall) keep getting elected?
    You’re too old to be this naive.

    ETA – it ignores so many factors as to be not worth reading.

  51. 51
    ChockFullO'Nuts says:

    @Corner Stone:

    This is stupid and simplistic.

    That’s your opinion. Mine is that democracy (the underlying mechanism in the republic) has a simple accountability model: The people have the utlimate power, and therefore bear the ultimate responsibility.

    When the people grasp the true nature of their power, and accept the true nature of the their responsibility, they can can change the government into something that reflects their will.

    This blog is a haven for anti-democratic bullshit. Small d. This is a blog where John Cole once said, in the time of Cindy Sheehan, that he didn’t like public demonstrations. The blog mostly belittled Sheehan’s efforts because she was sort of a goofy and disorganized person … she was one of the first citizens to stand in front of the War Machine and say “stop” in the post-Shock And Awe period. This is a blog where gloom and doom followed by “we’re fucked” is a mantra. This is a blog where “Americans are too stupid to govern themselves” is an undercurrent theme on topic after topic, a good deal of the time. And this blog is certainly not alone in these things. This is typical of public comment today.

    Now you come along and say that a direct connection between the people, the voters, and 70 or 80 years of bellicose and reactionary government, is not to be called out as the basis for the core problem. No sale to me, Stone..

    I was brought up to believe that the people had the ultimate power in this country, and that this meant that the people had the ultimate responsibility. If that is not the case, then the American Experiment won’t work in my view. I think it is the case, and I think the Experiment is still working, for better or worse. On this we will have to disagree.

  52. 52
    Americanadian says:

    Money quote from the HuffPo article on war spending:

    “Don’t you know that Muslims are trying to take over the world? If it weren’t for our military fighting in Afghanistan you wouldn’t be standing here asking those stupid questions.”

    Some people are probably willing to die from lack of healthcare before consenting to support any sort of military cuts whatsoever.

  53. 53
    monkeyboy says:

    I hope that there are some politician who realize that we can’t keep shoveling so much money into defense (after all that caused the death of the Soviet Union). Maybe even Obama.

    But with today’s economic problems, major cuts in defense would be political suicide because much of the US economy depends on DOD money – for example most of Colorado Spring’s economy depends on DOD money and trickle down from that money. Economically DOD money is regarded as ‘new outside’ money which gets the complete fiscal multiplier effect where $1 from DOD moves around a community buying shoes, house cleaning services, hamburgers, etc. to the point that it actually contributes $4 to the local economy.

  54. 54
    ridovem says:

    If Gates isn’t careful, he may end up being the Republicans’ “reconciliation” candidate for President in 2012… after the T-Party and old guard have slugged it out in a few more primaries, and November elections don’t provide the “big kill” that’s being predicted, at present.
    ^..^

  55. 55
    Montysano says:

    “I’m in a dark and pessimistic mood again today.”

    Let me help. At Mother’s Day dinner, my wingnut brother-in-law was ranting about being screwed by Wall Street. He was one of those “Fannie! Freddie! Brown people killed the economy!” types. Now, he acknowledges that he was mad at the wrong people. Anecdotal, but…..

  56. 56
    Glen Tomkins says:

    There are even worse choices

    Don’t despair over the fact that we will almost certainly choose, by default, to continue on a ruinously expensive war footing, no matter the budgetary ruin involved.

    There is a third, even worse, alternative to ending the war footing vs cutting back social spending. We could keep both, and balance the budget by extorting tribute from other nations.

    Hannity has actually proposed that we charge Iraq for the costs associated with “liberating” it. How long before somebody proposes that we charge other nations for “protecting” them against global terror.?

    “Nice foreign trade you got going there. Be ashamed if terrorists started blowing up your ships. Pay us and the US Navy will keep those terrorists away.”

    Think of it as the Coalition of the Billing, only this time we reverse the charges so that it’s a Coalition of the Billed.

  57. 57
    Corner Stone says:

    @ChockFullO’Nuts: Stop being silly. I know you know better.
    Money has infected our democracy to a killing degree.
    The people do not decide the larger aspects. And you know this is true. Why else would polling be so far ahead of respective elected representatives? Time and time again.
    Just stop what you’re doing here. It’s not realistic, nor reflective of our reality.

  58. 58
    soonergrunt says:

    @cleek:
    Take a look at the commenters at most of the military tech blogs like Ares, Danger Room, Defense Tech, and DoD Buzz. That sounds exactly like them.
    Of course, the majority of them NEVER served in the military or if they did, never served in actual combat.

  59. 59
    ljdramone says:

    @soonergrunt: Take a look at the commenters at most of the military tech blogs like Ares, Danger Room, Defense Tech, and DoD Buzz. That sounds exactly like them.
    Of course, the majority of them NEVER served in the military or if they did, never served in actual combat.

    Yeah, cuz the only people who can talk about military affairs at all evar are the ones who served in combatin the actual military.

    Pardon me, but y’all grunts don’t know everything

  60. 60
    Corner Stone says:

    @ljdramone: Ohhh…snap.

  61. 61

    @mclaren

    America has gotten itself into some severe Catch-22s here.
    Our economy is now so dependent on military contracts for jobs that if we actually did reduce the unsustainable military spending, the U.S. economy would suffer a depression that would make December 2008 look like a mild downturn.

    Bullshit. Military Keynesianism has been completely debunked. Defense spending fell as a percentage of GDP in the 1990s, yet despite that we didn’t go into a great depression. In fact the economy did pretty well, this despite cutting programs such as the SeaWolf submarine, closing military bases and raising taxes. Cutting defense spending doesn’t mean that the money goes away, it means that the money goes into other uses, most of which are going to be more economically productive than building useless shit like the Marine Expeditionary Vehicle, the F-22 or the Osprey. Or it means that the budget and the deficit are cut, which means that we’re not going into debt as quickly and which improves the economy.

    If Military Keynesianism had any validity whatsoever then the Soviet Union, which spent a huge amount of its GDP on the military, would still be a going concern.

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