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Why is cutting military spending never on the table?

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  • Why is cutting military spending never on the table?

    Am I missing something? Isn't this how Newt and Slick Willy came to terms back when I was an undergrad?

    Are active duty a big enough voting block that neither party can afford to cross them?

    Are we really that scared of war?

    Is it simply because we have to fund these Military Industrial Complex companies to keep them on U.S. soil?

    Someone enlighten me. No party affiliation necessary.


    edited to add: interesting link - and I don't think the author is a commie bastard like myself...

    http://www.businessinsider.com/we-sh...adually-2013-2
    Last edited by Matt J; 12 November 2013, 04:35 PM.

  • #2
    Well technically you aren't correct. As the article you linked says military spending is being cut and by more then a minimal amount due to the sequester. Personally I would gut it but that is just me. To answer your question I think there are two reasons. One defense lobbying and two the minds of most conservative republicans. I am not sure I will ever understand why they think we should spend so much on defense but it appears to be some type of fear or desire to be able go to war with everyone at a moments notice.

    As far as the article I have two thoughts. One his comment that cutting it quickly will "hammer the economy" sounds a lot like the lefts and especially Obamas hysterics over the sequester. Second the grow our way out of the debt or any other problems sounds great and a is good idea in principle. The problem is it is usually a pain free cop out to solve most problems. Just figure out what numbers you need and back in the appropriate growth number that works. Forget economics, demographics or plain old common sense. Recent GDP growth rates, future rising interest rates and future demographic trends don't make for workable debt and GDP growth numbers so very few politicians will talk about them.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Matt J View Post

      Are active duty a big enough voting block that neither party can afford to cross them?[/url]
      No, but people who are employed by defense contractors -- or provide services to defense contractors -- are. There are many communities that would whither like Detroit if this or that military program were axed.

      Military spending is a jobs program for the middle class.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Baaahb View Post
        Military spending is a jobs program for the middle class.
        This is part of it and what a great investment. We have roads, bridges and dams decaying all over the country but who cares so long as we have a trillion dollars in planes and boats circling the planet.

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        • #5
          I'm new to the military industrial complex but have seen much of what I suspected early on;
          1. Budgets are being cut.
          2. Congress, both sides of the aisle, fund stupid ****. The F35 for no good reason. $9.1 Billion request for 2014 budget. The F22 request is $800 Million. Why do we need another manned fighter? We don't. Congress spent crazy money on the MRAP - AGAINST Pentagon wishes. They wanted to show that they were doing something to protect fighters from IED's so they built big, silly vehicles that flipped easy and got stuck in sand even easier. It was all about appearance, not war fighting.
          3. Pentagon brass is slow to adopt land drones as force multipliers. We have UAV's but we're afraid to deploy them heavily on land. 6 fighters and a land drone can accomplish the same task as 12 fighters (all of whom need training, salary, benefits and retirement).
          4. Industrial capacity. It's interesting and I'm torn on the concept. We have two tank factories in the US and they are constantly worried about running out of orders and being shut down so Congress doles out just enough to keep this capacity alive, should we ever need a lot more tanks. (seems unlikely to me).
          Here are some more examples; $1.7 Billion for a new aircraft carrier (our ten operating carriers aren't enough??). But it keeps Newport News operational. $2 Billion for a new destroyer to keep Bath and Pascagoula active. $5.4 Billion for new subs, but this keeps Groton and Newport News active.

          5. Politics again. Which congressional district are you from? drives many supplier decisions. Again, we're buying stuff we don't need from places we don't need because it supports some congressman.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by James View Post
            This is part of it and what a great investment. We have roads, bridges and dams decaying all over the country but who cares so long as we have a trillion dollars in planes and boats circling the planet.
            If we could cut it to a trillion, we'd have a surplus.

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            • #7
              It would be nice to shore up current infrastructure. I'd like to see new transportation money put into sustainable mass transit, but that ain't gonna happen as long as there's an oil lobby.

              My family is from an congressional district with a huge MIC facility. It was nice because when you had a little brother that was a f*ck up you knew when he came around there was an underworking overpaying job. The area always voted overwhelmingly Repub. and their politicians in Washington were very good at funneling the pork back home.

              It's like that article says or others have mentioned in this thread. Why not stuff that's more useful? If you're going to throw money away just float some R&D and don't place orders for crazy weapons we don't need. On some level I get that being able to occupy people is a negotiating tactic but that has to be counteracted by failing currency. The second biggest army expenditure in the world at 2.6% GDP also has a gov't surplus of $215 billion instead of being over $17 trillion in the hole.

              http://www.popsci.com/technology/art...es-infographic

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              • #8
                Yeah, only the GOP supports those "MIC" facilities.

                Mass Transit is overwhelmingly used by the poor. It's stinky and unreliable. Pouring money into it is just another wealth redistribution program. You'd benefit but productive people wouldn't. You should move to France and ride light rail to the unemployment office, pick up your check and grab a bus to the welfare department. You could be back to your government subsidized, low income housing apartment by noon and take the rest of the day off.
                Last edited by freeheelwilly; 15 November 2013, 12:42 PM.

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                • #9
                  That would leave plenty of time to ski.

                  Unfortunately the French only except immigrants that are Muslim, and I'm not willing to convert.

                  The military spending isn't wealth redistribution because the wealthy own stock in the companies? I don't follow.
                  Last edited by Matt J; 15 November 2013, 01:52 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Matt J View Post

                    The military spending isn't wealth redistribution because the wealthy own stock in the companies? I don't follow.
                    Clearly.


                    Most people have pensions, IRAs, and or 401(k)s and the like which are heavily invested in those companies. Most people aren't "wealthy". And while I'm sure there's waste in our military spending (it's the government after all) I'm not about to be lectured on the subject by some grubby little Democrat who wants to see more money sunk into "sustainable mass transit" - whatever the hell that is. I sleep well knowing that if Iran acts up we can bomb them back into the stone age on a moments notice. Knowing that some crack addict can catch a bus any time of the day or the night doesn't do that much for me.

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                    • #11
                      Most people have pensions, IRAs, and or 401(k)s and the like which are heavily invested in those companies.
                      C'mon Willy....you should know these folks aren't "most" people.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by freeheelwilly View Post
                        Clearly.


                        Most people have pensions, IRAs, and or 401(k)s and the like which are heavily invested in those companies. Most people aren't "wealthy". And while I'm sure there's waste in our military spending (it's the government after all) I'm not about to be lectured on the subject by some grubby little Democrat who wants to see more money sunk into "sustainable mass transit" - whatever the hell that is. I sleep well knowing that if Iran acts up we can bomb them back into the stone age on a moments notice. Knowing that some crack addict can catch a bus any time of the day or the night doesn't do that much for me.
                        Paranoid much? We have been able to bomb Iran back to the stone age since about 1944. We don't have to spend trillions to make sure that's the case.

                        Not to mention Tehran's coming around. Now, back to your dislike for public transportation. Let's start a list of disadvantages. Smelly. Helps the poor. Haha.

                        Sustainable is a little more difficult, but I'll take the risks of nuclear power to fuel them for $500 please Alex.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sugarloafer View Post
                          C'mon Willy....you should know these folks aren't "most" people.
                          I wonder if those hookers down on Church and Carlton have a pension? 401k? No probably not, they just invest in the MIC through their investment accounts.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Matt J View Post
                            Let's start a list of disadvantages. Smelly. Helps the poor. .
                            Costs a lot. Gets liberal democrats' panties all juicy.


                            I want a military that's at least 5x stronger than any other nation's. I don't care if some poor schmuck has to make do with a less than perfect public transportation system.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by freeheelwilly View Post
                              I don't care if some poor schmuck has to make do with a less than perfect public transportation system.
                              In a lot of places public transportation contributes to lack of productivity in the most base of working class. I once interviewed dozens of menial workers who said they had a difficult time establishing long term employment due to how unreliable the public transportation is in the major urban city where they live. You gotta admit - that's a positive for every one. Not to mention less vehicles on the road. I think the benefits of public transportation are bigger than either party, but FHW I don't think you can have a conversation that isn't framed by the donkey and elephant show can you?

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