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View Full Version : Why is Military Spending Such a Sacred Cow?



GordonGecko
November 21st, 2011, 05:30 PM
Here we are in a deep recession and public spending is out of control. Politicians can't agree on how to balance the budget, yet for some reason nobody ever even discusses slashing military spending. I would think at least the democrats would get behind this in a big way but this seems to be a universally accepted sacred cow in Washington.

Why is that? Slash defense spending in half, the average joe will not notice the difference in their lives one iota. Obviously we should support our troops, but lets have less of them to support. We don't need stealth planes at a billion dollars per unit and all the foreign military bases and camapaigns we're in. The US needs to start pulling out abroad, I don't understand why we're so concerned with policing the world when we have this huge mess at home.

lofter1
November 21st, 2011, 06:54 PM
I agree, but legislative types would probably argue that by slashing the military budget you'd be cutting tons of jobs -- and keeping the Empire powerful and growing is one way to keep the economy from tanking in any given congressional district.

ASchwarz
November 21st, 2011, 09:12 PM
I agree and don't get it. We spend more on the military than the rest of the world combined, and are going broke.

We have no money for transit, urban redevelopment, research, infrastructure, healthcare, environment, education, etc. but want to further build military capacity for nonexistent enemies.

Merry
November 22nd, 2011, 05:55 AM
...slashing the military budget you'd be cutting tons of jobs

Surely they could find something constructive and useful for them to do somewhere in the U.S. where folks need help...assisting with rebuilding after floods/hurricanes, just for one example?? I know, I know, I'm a hopeless idealist.

Ninjahedge
November 22nd, 2011, 08:49 AM
I was thinking something similar, but Merry, I think the "job cuts" would be more in the manufacturing of the weapons and every day items NEEDED for the military more so than the soldiers themselves.

If we actually got these guys here in Times Square directing traffic or giving directions, or even help clean the streets, I think it would be a lot more use than standing around in camo with an M-16.

The ultimate irony coming in the "fact" that they are there to make us feel safe... when most people (I think) actually feel nervous around them. Like we are in a war zone....

Maybe the military needs to shift focus and try to become more of a part of the battle against obsolescence and degradation of our own infrastructure. Focus less on guns and bombers and more on the Corp of Engineers......

eddhead
November 22nd, 2011, 11:25 AM
The reason the military budget is such a sacred crow is simple. Defence contractors are important special interest groups who contribute tons of money to our our legislators. No one is willing to compromise their campaign treasure chests by bucking the interests of this strong lobby group.

It is all about special interests and campaign financing. Serving the people's interest is just not a priority for our legislators; getting re-elected is and it takes money to do that. The system is broken and may be beyond repair.

Congress sucks.

Fabrizio
November 22nd, 2011, 11:32 AM
Defence contractors are important special interest groups who contribute tons of money to our our legislators. No one is willing to compromise their campaign treasure chests by bucking the interests of this strong lobby group.

^ Anywhere else in the world this would be labeled "bribery". (i.e. corruption)

Ninjahedge
November 22nd, 2011, 11:56 AM
And we all know how pure and pristine world politics is....

GordonGecko
November 22nd, 2011, 12:42 PM
The reason the military budget is such a sacred crow is simple. Defence contractors are important special interest groups who contribute tons of money to our our legislators. No one is willing to compromise their campaign treasure chests by bucking the interests of this strong lobby group.

It is all about special interests and campaign financing. Serving the people's interest is just not a priority for our legislators; getting re-elected is and it takes money to do that. The system is broken and may be beyond repair.

Congress sucks.
I will grant you that 100%, but where is the popular dissent? How is it that the electorate has been brainwashed to equate .6 trillion dollars per year with the amount necessary to "keep us safe". It's got to be vietnam guilt carryover for crappy treatment of the troops

eddhead
November 22nd, 2011, 02:10 PM
You're right, the apathy is appalling. 50 years after, Eisenhower's warning, the Military Industrial Complex is stronger than ever.

lofter1
November 22nd, 2011, 10:57 PM
Did you listen to any of the GOP "National Security" debate tonight? Nearly half the candidates are still fighting the Cold War. Most of the rest are planning for Total World Domination. All without tax increases, of course. Only Ron Paul is sane on this issue (but, unfortunately, not on some other issues).

Ninjahedge
November 23rd, 2011, 09:08 AM
Rp does not have enough cranial space to be sane about everything.

But sometimes you need to have a fool to point out a naked King.

GordonGecko
January 5th, 2012, 03:33 PM
it's a start, about time!
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/06/us/obama-at-pentagon-to-outline-cuts-and-strategic-shifts.html
(http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/06/us/obama-at-pentagon-to-outline-cuts-and-strategic-shifts.html?_r=1&hp)
Obama Describes Refocused Strategy for Leaner Military
...

Mr. Obama’s strategy embraces hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts to the military, making it an awkward codicil to the uneasy relationship he has shared with the military since his first days in office.
...
The new military strategy is driven by at least $450 billion in Pentagon budget cuts over the next decade. An additional $500 billion in cuts could be ordered if Congress follows through on plans for deeper reductions.
...

BBMW
January 5th, 2012, 04:26 PM
^Just in time for him to be replaced.

scumonkey
January 5th, 2012, 04:46 PM
with what...certainly not with any of the candidates from the gop :(

Ninjahedge
January 5th, 2012, 05:14 PM
I always love it when people site "jobs" as a reason to not cut military spending.
So instead of spending $500B on schools, infrastructure and other domestic improvements, we pay it to equip and ship 200,000 (or more) of our citizens to the four corners of the world to either sit there and do nothing or get shot at by people who don't like them very much.

The reduction in military spending WILL have an impact on our economy, but you do not use that as the reason for spending money making a (largely) non-productive product.

Merry
January 5th, 2012, 11:37 PM
They could put the soldiers to work building all that wonderful, productive infrastructure ;). If they did it right, there'd likely still be jobs for the taking to help with the unemployment statistics, too. Slap me, I'm so damned idealistic :rolleyes:.

eddhead
January 6th, 2012, 09:34 AM
^Just in time for him to be replaced.

Really? By who?

EDIT: Just read Scumonkey's comment. What he said.

Ninjahedge
January 6th, 2012, 10:04 AM
They could put the soldiers to work building all that wonderful, productive infrastructure ;). If they did it right, there'd likely still be jobs for the taking to help with the unemployment statistics, too. Slap me, I'm so damned idealistic :rolleyes:.

I know. I always values the ACoE over gun-toters in most situations.

What is the use of sending soldiers to disaster zones? Why do we need so many people standing around NYC with guns? We have the DUMBEST system of utilization and expenditure of resources.

lofter1
January 6th, 2012, 03:57 PM
Maybe for the same reason NYPD needs to send 20 guys to stand around on the street where a film crew is shooting. Saw this yesterday on MacDougal Street. Lots of guys doing NOTHING.

GordonGecko
January 6th, 2012, 04:15 PM
There are some legitimate needs for a foreign US presence in the world. The oil supply in the Middle East must be protected, the North Koreans must be deterred, and the Chinese must be kept in check. Aside from those, I don't see why the US should have more than maybe 1 strategic base here and there anywhere else. Close the hundreds of bases/camps/air strips in Europe except leave one in Italy & Germany, close half the bases in Kuwait/Japan, and just plain get out of the world's business in general. The taxpayers shouldn't have to waste their resources on all this muscle flexing.

The US spends almost $700B annually on defense, and #2 is China at $115B. The next closest is half that $60B. If we slash everything by half to $350B we will be all right. Nobody is going to invade or be stupid enough to launch ICBMs at us, and the oil supply won't go anywhere. It's called priorities

Ninjahedge
January 6th, 2012, 04:17 PM
What about having to hire a cop to direct traffic? I can understand some things, but this is where our OT money gets spent. Send a cop out to sit in his car watching a bunch of guys trim tree branches away from electrical wires.

YAY!

lofter1
January 6th, 2012, 06:02 PM
Turns out the mass of NYPD on MacDougal yesterday was there to guard Van Halen (http://www.dnainfo.com/20120106/greenwich-village-soho/van-halen-rocks-greenwich-village-club-cafe-wha) ...

Van Halen Rocks Greenwich Village's Cafe Wha?