Forum Post: ==[ Cut Military Spending ]==
Posted 11 years ago on Nov. 26, 2011, 5:12 p.m. EST by yourservant
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Suggested OCCUPY platform plank: substantial cuts to military spending.
ONE missile can cost as much as a million dollars.
North Carolina's bill for the Afghan and Iraq wars would pay for 4 years of college for every incoming freshman - for approximately the next ninety-five years (costofwar.com).
The US is six trillion dollars in the red, and we are told there's no money for "liberal" schemes to provide better education, or to update the social safety net, or to put people to work on infrastructure projects?
Where were all these self-styled "fiscal conservatives" when we sent troops to Iraq and Afghanistan?
Wm. D. Nordhaus (Sterling Prof. of Economics at Yale) warned of serious economic damage in his brilliantly perspicacious "The Economic Consequences of a War with Iraq," an essay published by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in early 2002 - but few were listening.
And what have we gained by activating our killing machines and our "nation building"? True friends in the region? Peace and stability? Economic strength? Domestic growth?
Now, I'm not convinced that a protest against greed (a common human frailty) is any more tenable than a war on terror (a feeling). But a major part of the dangerously destabilizing imbalance of wealth that we face stems from the military-industrial complex (see Eisenhower's comments, and many others here) and its undue influence in Congress. Note that most investments have been a bumpy ride over this past decade, but I see that Halliburton is doing fine. I'll leave it to others to address how regulation might come into play, perhaps as another plank, but surely a leaner military is a sane suggestion.
Today, defense spending accounts for approximately 20% of the total budget. Entitlement spending accounts for more than 40% of the total budget. Throughout history, it was standard to have the defense spending be more than 50% of the total budget.
Why was defense spending more than 50% of the total budget? For starters, we didn't have the massive entitlement programs that we currently have. The second reason is that the one requirement of the United States' Congress is to provide a national defense. However, Congress is not required to provide entitlement programs. In fact, most of the entitlements implemented by Congress are unconstitutional.
We have recently reduced military/defense spending drastically, and further cuts would be a horrible move. I am certain that most people supporting the 'Occupy' movements do not pay attention to foreign relations, but we are at the brink of another World War. Conflict in the Middle East continues to escalate, Russia has recently challenged the Untied States, and Russia and China have both been purchasing European and US debt while using interest to build up their military.
The true solution to solve our deficit problem is to eliminate the majority of entitlement programs, end useless programs, push some necessary programs into the private sector, and remove waste from defense spending while maintaining the total limit for defense spending. We are at a time where we need our military stronger, not weaker. However, we can no longer allow the federal government to continue its growing, wasteful trend.
"yourservant" writes : "surely a leaner military is a sane suggestion."
ABSOLUTELY! It should be part of OWS" platform and I'm sure a majority of Americans would agree.
Defense spending creates a ton of good paying jobs both in the civilian and military sectors.
Right on, "Mooks", and don't forget the HEALTH sector and the FUNERAL industry - for those tens of thousands of people that we get to MAIM or KILL.
You're a real worshipper of Mammon, "Mooks". "In Greed We Trust". MONEY MONEY MONEY !!!!
Being a health professional in the military is a great deal. They will often pay off all of your student debt.
It is unfortunate that people are dying, but defense spending and dying don't necessarily have to go hand in hand. Research and development is a good example of how a lot of jobs can be created that will ultimately save Americans via the advancement of things like drones.
"Defense spending and dying don't necessarily have to go hand in hand."
LOL Thank you for that pearl of wisdom, "Mooks". It deserves a place in the great "Compendium of Trollosophy".
Agreed. Mooks is one of the newest in a long line that deserves such distinction. Having read many of his other comments, as I'm sure you have, I find it truly disturbing our country is so full of such wrong-thinking individuals. What's really scary is, unlike many actual trolls, Mooks is one that I believe actually believes his b.s.
All I am saying is that if defense spending is cut, the unemployment rate will just go even higher. To say that the middle class does not benefit at all from defense spending is naive.
Well here's a plan worthy of the deep thinker you are, my dear "Mooks": let's just declare war on the whole world - what the hell! - and wipe out unemployment once and for all...
Obviously there needs to be a balance. I don't see anything wrong with killing some terrorists on their home turf though.
I find it fascinating how clueless these people can be. They fail to see the benefits of a well funded military. To them, it is as if you must either have no military or you must support the full implementation of fascism.
Aside from military (national defense) being required by the United States' Constitution, it deters other nations from doing us harm. As stated in my previous comment, I believe that we are at a time when a strong military is crucial to our nation's survival.
However, even if it weren't crucial to our survival, it is still merely 20% of our total budget. If we removed all spending directed toward national defense, we would still have a deficit of more than $600 billion. The worst problem is that we would be completely defenseless and many businesses would go bankrupt. That may seem like a victory for the OWS movement, but it would render thousands of people unemployed and would do nothing but hurt our economy.
I agree completely. The 1980s are a fine example of spending a ton on the military without very many people actually dying. It created a ton of jobs and essentially buried the Soviet Union.