America: sold out by the Pentagon?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by S.A.M., May 4, 2008.

  1. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Military spending and US economy:

    This. is. insane.

    Why does no one care about this?
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Because it's not the kind of thing you can fit into a witty sound-bite.
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  5. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    What in the world is that?
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  7. Exhumed Self ******. Registered Senior Member

    Some people do care, the media chooses not to. :shrug:

    I could. :shrug: I don't think that's why.


    I think there is actually bipartisan support for swift action on military spending. I've never run into any disagreement on it.

    Particularly when it comes to the inefficient spending of the military. As someone else said, they buy 400$ hammers and 100$ nails. Their spending also shows signs of corruption.

    It's kind of like the aid to Israel, though in this case I think there is more of a consensus (I don't want to debate whether or not Israel spending is actually justified or not, just to point out that there are other cases where media and politicians co contrary to what the public feels). Despite the feelings of the people, the media never says much, and the candidates swear allegiance by saying the military needs more. Worrisome...
    Last edited: May 4, 2008
  8. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    I would think going broke at breakneck speed would be enough of a soundbite in itself. Are the people so cushioned from the effects? How much is the allowance before the wire snaps?

    Seems odd that economists and government officials would sleep on it.

    Who likes to see their country going down the drain?
  9. Exhumed Self ******. Registered Senior Member

    It is boggling. I can only guess that no one wants to face the retaliation of perhaps the most powerful interest group(s) in the country.
  10. clusteringflux Version 1. OH! Valued Senior Member

    I'd say that's accurate.

    But as large of those numbers sound, it's still only around 5% of the GDP.

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  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    This and that

    Well, that's the thing. And then the other side brings on an expert to offer a soundbite that it's just liberal hysteria that says we're going broke at breakneck speed.

    Now, mostly the pundits just go 'round and 'round on superficial points, but if you try to delve into the deeper argument, one of a couple things happens. Either people turn out, or the opposition will sit quietly mocking you until you finish and then say, "Gee, you seem to be spending an awful lot of time inventing your propaganda. That's not healthy."

    The one thing American politics cannot seem to generate right now is an honest discussion.

    Well, maybe. But many of them will blame the messengers. Imagine a strange scenario. Imagine that McCain wins in November, and again in '12. So around 2014 we're facing financial collapse. Democrats in Congress finally start to get some spine and in 2015, they introduce a plan to dig the country out of its hole.

    The GOP could turn around and, despite the war and slashing taxes, say, "The Democrats have run this country into the ground and now they want to steal from your wallet!" Toss a coin. They might actually get away with it. Americans, as a collective—and perhaps this is true of any "mob" psychology—prefer to get angry instead of find solutions. After all, how do you think we got into this Iraq mess in the first place?

    Snaps? When the bottom falls out, a significant portion of the populace will be surprised. I mean, yeah, I wouldn't have guessed on September 10 that the next morning was Zero Hour, but I still don't understand why people were so goddamn surprised that someone finally hauled off and kicked us in the teeth.

    Part most of the people are conditioned to accept myths and rely on them in times of trouble.

    • • •​

    You're welcome to try. More importantly, though ....

    This is because it's really easy to exploit fear. And Americans are, as I mentioned to S.A.M., predisposed to myth.

    Remember that, as part of their Contract on America, the Gingrich Republicans tried to spend money on bombers that the Pentagon didn't even want. Yet if you oppose military spending, the voters will freak out. Like Zell Miller's spitwad speech at the 2004 GOP convention. People freaked out because Kerry voted against what was later determined to be a bad military spending bill. Nobody seemed to care that Cheney, as Secretary of Defense, advised Congress to actually terminate the very programs Miller indicted Kerry over.

    Politicians have every reason to pander to defense spending. Our myth-laden electorate demands it.
  12. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    If the primary - by an order of magnitude, probably - source of government waste and debt is only 5% of GDP, and that's nothing to worry about, why is anyone worried about government waste and debt at all ? Sounds like a 5% tax hike - or a 10% hike on the upper half, which could be accomplished merely by repealing the recent tax cuts for the wealthy - would take care of it no problem, whenever we pleased.
  14. krokah Registered Senior Member

    It would be interesting to see how the Pentagon spending trickles down into the general population from universities to private industry. As my dad used to say "When the country hits bad times, go to war". It stimulates the economy. That aside, we should all worry about our spending, what is for defense, what is for research, and what is for offense. To much of it is in hidden costs! In the business end of things, we would call constructive bookkeeping. Its like the old 3 cups and pea thing, round and round it goes.
  15. Echo3Romeo One man wolfpack Registered Senior Member

    It boggles my mind just how expensive prosecuting a modern war actually is. The war in Iraq is about as primitive a conflict as the US military will ever find itself fighting, and the cost is simply staggering. Of this $1T, a huge percentage is going toward our efforts there.

    It really makes me wonder if the world's economy is at all capable of sustaining a war between two industrialized nations anymore. The cost would be mindblowing.

    Think of today's military spending, as in the DOD budget itself (especially R&D and recruiting/retention) as an investment to prevent that kind of financial outlay. It is much cheaper to maintain a military hegemony than it would be to relenquish that position and wind up fighting a war because of it.

    This nation's energy's problems will be solved once we tap into the friction of Eisenhower spinning in his grave.
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    That didn't work so well for the Russians. No one else has been fool enough to try.

    And the DOD budget isn't the half of it.

    We're outspending the rest of the world combined, and the result is us getting into expensive and stalemated wars all over the planet. As investments go, that's called negative return.

    Let's save the money, put it into infrastructure and manufacturing capability, and if some other country ten or fifteen years down the road starts to begin to maybe look like the shadow of a possible threat we'll be able to respond from a sound economic base.

    As it is, all someone has to do is blow up a couple of buildings in New York, and then sit back and watch us ruin ourselves.
  17. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    I find it facinating that basically all the tax collected in the US seems to be needed to pay for the interest payments on a debt that just keeps rising. How much would it take to pay off the US debt and actually bring the budget back into something sustainable?

    If you haved the defence budget that would be a start
  18. Killjoy Propelling The Farce!! Valued Senior Member

    About nine trillion dollars.
  19. Echo3Romeo One man wolfpack Registered Senior Member

    The first couple years of WWII taught us that you can't wait for a threat to materialize before responding to it. By that time it is already too late. Every penny we save in peacetime will cost us a dollar when crunch time comes.

    Also, the amount we spend on our military doesn't necessarily determine how it is employed. Quite the opposite, in fact.
  20. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

    I wonder if we get a bulk discount for fighting more than one war at a time?
  21. Exhumed Self ******. Registered Senior Member

    I find that hard to believe. We seem to spend an exorbitant amount on nukes that we can't possibly deploy. We have a lot of redundancy.

    It's hard to believe our pre-Iraq occupation spending has saved us money.
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    It also taught us that when a modern industrial country creates a huge standing army and puts itself on a war footing, it will find a reason to go to war.

    The threats that might show signs of beginning to materialize sometime in the future is all but infinite, and would not be met by devoting the entire GDP of the United States and drafting every single citizen into the army.
  23. Echo3Romeo One man wolfpack Registered Senior Member

    A portion of our nuclear arsenal is deployed right now.

    Again, your problem is with policymakers and not their favored instrument. Stop electing politicians who favor interventionist foreign policies and we won't need the tools to implement them.

    It is true that nobody can say with certainty what the national threat set will consist of in 2025. However, we can stay abreast (or ideally ahead) of the technology curve and plan for the more likely contingencies. That way if war does break out - something that can occur on a resolution of months - we have a force that is trained and equipped to deal with it - something that is developed on a resolution of decades.

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