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Five military cuts that would fix sequestration

By tovarichpeter   2013 Mar 4, 9:29am   ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   1 link   1,236 views   15 comments   watch (0)   share   quote  

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-02-25/five-military-cuts-that-would-fix-sequestration#r=read

The Navy has delayed the deployment of an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf, leaving just one of the gigantic vessels in that volatile region, even as tensions continue simmering with Iran. The Air Force is talking about slashing flying hours, leaving two-thirds of its pilots below an acceptable level of readiness. And so on. Flapdoodle. The military is manufacturing a crisis to protect its wasteful, bloated, poorly designed budget.Sequestration, which mandates no-thought, across-the-board spending cuts, is a dumb way to force fiscal discipline. But theres an alternative, at least at the Pentagon. Panetta and the generals could say to...

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1   Dan8267 (146/148 = 98% civil)   2013 Mar 4, 12:49pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

This whole sequestration thing demonstrates beyond a doubt that we cannot continue wasting the majority of our public funds on the war industry. It produces near nothing, destroys vast wealth and economic infrastructure, causes hatred of America, and drains our treasury.

Any rational human being would look at these graphs and shake his head. We should reduce war spending form $700 billion / yr to $70 billion / yr. That would put us in line with the rest of the 17 next biggest spenders, 14 of which are allies, and 1 of which has most-favored-nation trade status.

Doing that one thing would cut the deficit by 70%. Granted, there's still more we need to do after that, but clearly it's critical to turn off the government tit to the war industry. Damn welfare queens.

Remember, the Soviet Union fell solely because they spent too much on the military. We're following them a mere 14 years later.

2   Vaticanus   2013 Mar 4, 2:21pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Most of this "defense" spending was actually quite offensive.

3   elliemae   2013 Mar 4, 11:09pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

4,244 staff members for the joint chiefs of staff? Holy shit, batman!

4   zzyzzx (49/49 = 100% civil)   2013 Mar 4, 11:16pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Or we could slightly reduce welfare spending.

5   Robert Sproul (2/2 = 100% civil)   2013 Mar 4, 11:30pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

I wonder if it would help to change back to the name that the government arm of the military/industrial complex was known as from 1789 to 1947.

The War Department.

Blunt and descriptive.

6   Robert Sproul (2/2 = 100% civil)   2013 Mar 4, 11:33pm  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

zzyzzx says

Or we could slightly reduce welfare spending.

Corporate Welfare, right?

7   zzyzzx (49/49 = 100% civil)   2013 Mar 4, 11:39pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Robert Sproul says

Corporate Welfare, right?

That AND food stamps, extended unemployment benefits, foreign aid, Obamaphones, Section8 housing, student loans, etc.

8   Dan8267 (146/148 = 98% civil)   2013 Mar 5, 12:36am  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

zzyzzx says

Robert Sproul says

Corporate Welfare, right?

That AND food stamps, extended unemployment benefits, foreign aid, Obamaphones, Section8 housing, student loans, etc.

Federal Spending in Billions
Food Stamps 78
Extended Unemployment Benefits 30
Foreign Aid 56
Obamaphones 2
Section 8 Housing 16
Student Loans 9.6
Warfare 770

9   Dan8267 (146/148 = 98% civil)   2013 Mar 5, 12:36am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Continuing due to 10 URL post limit...

http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/SNAPsummary.htm
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/31/unemployment-insurance-extended_n_2389634.html
http://ivn.us/2012/08/05/united-states-foreign-aid-and-budget/
Note: $5 billion goes to Afghanastan to rebuild the shit we blew up.
http://professional.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323511804578296001368122888.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection&mg=reno64-wsj
http://archives.hud.gov/budget/fy10/fy10budget.pdf Page 10
http://www.downsizinggovernment.org/education/higher-education-subsidies

Yeah, it's Obamaphones and Food Stamps that are forcing America into bankruptcy.

Hell, I'm against federal subsidies of student loans (they increase the cost of college and hurt students) and Obamaphones, but they are a drop of piss in the ocean compared to Warfare spending. The "conservative" view of the budget is so ridiculously out-of-touch with the reality of the budget, it's mind boggling.

When balancing a budget, you first cut the unnecessary, big ticket items.

10   zzyzzx (49/49 = 100% civil)   2013 Mar 5, 12:58am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

You forgot a bunch of welfare programs, and other obvious stuff in your pie chart:

Where is Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and interest in the previous pie chart? I guess to a liberal, welfare spending doesn't exist???

11   Robert Sproul (2/2 = 100% civil)   2013 Mar 5, 2:02am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Medicare and Social Security are welfare in your book, huh?

12   Philistine   2013 Mar 5, 2:11am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Dan8267 says

reduce war spending form $700 billion / yr to $70 billion / yr

But then what sort of jobs will there be for all the mediocrity that is leeching off the defense budget?
zzyzzx says

You forgot a bunch of welfare programs, and other obvious stuff in your pie chart

[. . .]

Where is Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and interest in the previous pie chart?

And where is military spending in the welfare pie chart?

13   Dan8267 (146/148 = 98% civil)   2013 Mar 5, 3:43am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

zzyzzx says

That AND food stamps, extended unemployment benefits, foreign aid, Obamaphones, Section8 housing, student loans, etc.

zzyzzx says

Where is Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and interest in the previous pie chart? I guess to a liberal, welfare spending doesn't exist???

Please take note that you didn't bitch about Social Security, Medicaid, or Medicare in your last post. I responded to what you said, not what you now think you should have said.

However, let's go over those issues.

[Breaking due to 10 link limit. Seriously, get rid of this.]

14   Dan8267 (146/148 = 98% civil)   2013 Mar 5, 3:44am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

First, your pie chart is wrong. "Defense Department" spending, or more accurate, Warfare spending, is discretionary spending. In fact Warfare spending is 58% of discretionary spending. More if you count veteran's benefits, something that we wouldn't need if we didn't maim so many people in war.

Second, Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare are not funded by the federal income tax and do not contribute one little bit to the deficit or the national debt because they are funded by their own, specific taxes, namely FICA

Notice that SS and Medicare are shown as separate taxes on the following sample paystub.

Now, I would eliminate SS for Baby Boomers and beyond, letting people use Roth IRAs with $100k/yr contribution limits instead. And I'd also eliminate 90% of the costs of Medicaid, Medicare, and health insurance by utterly destroying the health insurance industry, instituting a single-payer system, and streamlining medical administration. Short of doing those things, there isn't jack shit you can do to lower health care costs except killing people.

However, we were talking about the budget crisis and sequestration. So we have to look at the federal spending that isn't self-paid by SS taxes and FICA taxes. After all, those programs have absolutely nothing to do with the deficit or the national debt as I have just explained.

So, what should your pie graph look like? Let's just normalize yourgraph after eliminating the things that have nothing to do with the deficit and debt.

Net Interest 197
"Defense" Warfare 689
All other 416

Now, since Net Interest isn't something you can cut since it's a function of the debt. Here's the pie chart showing the funding we can cut.

62% of it is warfare spending, and that's using the disingenuously deflated figures that you gave. If we did proper accounting, direct warfare spending would be about 70%. And if we include the indirect costs of war such as having to rebuild Afghanistan after we destroyed it ($5 billion alone), warfare would be about 80% of the cuttable spending.

And we haven't even included things like oil tax subsidies as expenses.

No matter how you cut it, warfare spending is what needs to be cut first and most. That's where most of the money is going.

Yes, I am a liberal, but that's not why I disagree with you. I disagree with you because I know how to do math and how to get accurate information. Liberalism is a social philosophy that states that people should be allowed to do whatever they want as long as they aren't violating the rights of others such as by hurting others. Quite frankly, if you're not a liberal, you're a scumbag. Liberalism isn't an economic philosophy.

My economic philosophy in a nutshell is this… Economics should be an engineering discipline based on verifiable facts, not religious dogma. Math and empirical evidence are the important factors in considering policy. Long-term prosperity trumps short-term prosperity. Cost shifting, including pollution, is a form of theft. Accounting must be honest and transparent. Inflation, as implemented by the Federal Reserve, is also a form of theft. Private and public debts are both bad. Aggregated demand is not a magic bullet. Per capital productivity is the best metric and means for economic prosperity. Those that produce the wealth, not those that control capital or distribution channels, should retain at least 80% of the wealth they produce with the remaining going to government (10%), normal profit (5%), economic profit (5%).

By the way, I have eliminated the deficit and produced a surplus in every budget simulation I've ever encountered. Not too shabby for a liberal.

15   Dan8267 (146/148 = 98% civil)   2013 Mar 5, 3:52am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Philistine says

Dan8267 says

reduce war spending form $700 billion / yr to $70 billion / yr

But then what sort of jobs will there be for all the mediocrity that is leeching off the defense budget?

Legalize prostitution and let them give blow jobs to those of us who actually work for a living.

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