Friday, November 25, 2011

When Military Spending Cuts Aren't Really Cuts...

Now that the super committee (aka "Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction") has failed - which most of us expected, we are supposed to see about $1.2 trillion in spending cuts automatically triggered by 2013, $600b for military-defense spending and $600b for domestic spending. Even as the triggers were announced one heard the military -defense groupies squealing like stuck pigs. Little Pentagon puppet Leon Panetta (why I ever believed he had principles I'll never know!) has insisted it would "hollow out our military".

Meanwhile, another lackey, House Armed Services Chairman Howard "Buck" McKeon, has caterwauled and denounced any future possible reductions in defense spending. This he's done even as the Repuke candidates - especially Mitt Romney - label Obama some kind of evil doer for pulling out of Iraq (actually he didn't, and if this imbecile had any sense he'd have see it was part of an agreement between the BushCo gov't in 2008 and the Iraqis to withdraw when they demanded it). At the same time, asshole Mitch promises to "double" defense spending if he ever gets in the Oval Office.

Well, let's hope to hell he doesn't! (And btw, this is another warning to the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement that the biggest effect they can have between now and next year is to get out and VOTE in Nov. '12 and prevent a Repuke takeover of the whole government. No, the Dems aren't angels by any stretch, but think of how much worse you will all have it if a firmly 100% pro-corporate personhood, Wall St. party gets in and controls all the executive and legislative branches! The way I usually portray this political choice is simple: You are more likely to live if you get dysentery rather than cholera!)

Anyway, let's get back to the hype about tearing down our military to the bare bones, and leaving the planet at the mercy of modern day Huns. To hear these military defenders blabber, that's what you'd believe. The truth is somewhat different! Not counting the payment of interest on the debt, it means cuts of roughly $55b a year.

But are these really cuts? Consider first, that total or aggregate Pentagon spending has doubled since 2000, to $790 b a year. This number includes both yearly "supplementals" to fund the Afghan conflict and occupation, along with $553b for the base Pentagon budget. Over the past decade this translates into a pure growth factor of nearly $2 trillion. Thus, Repub Tom Coburn (OK) is correct that Pentagon spending today "is higher in constant dollars than at any time in the last 60 years, including the Korean War, Vietnam and all the Defense Dept. spending during the Reagan years ($2.2 trillion)".

It is also more than the next 25 nations' military spending combined. The gist of all this? In fact there are no real cuts to military spending in any absolute terms, but only an estimated "trim down" of roughly 23% in the projected INCREASES in Pentagon spending over the next ten years!

The point here? Contrary to the bloviators' bollocks of "jeopardizing national security", just the opposite is true: the Pentagon base budget will still be larger than it is today by 2021! This necessarily means, given the zero sum resources we have, everyone else will be much poorer. That means an even more shattered and useless infrastructure with crumbling roads, cracking sewer and water mains and collapsing bridges....and a much more likely intolerable domestic environment over all. That's because the primary focus of the immediate domestic spending triggers will be on reducing air traffic controllers, and also regulatory departments in charge of overseeing the quality of our food and water.

In other words, we are on the cusp - unless something is done- of approving an undermining of our domestic security in terms of health and national welfare, at the expense of padding the pockets of the defense contractors, their lobbyists and all the whore congress critters that support them!

Meanwhile also, as the yen to further bloat the military curries more favor from political Jacobins, traitors and numbskulls, the target of austerity hawks will continue to be "entitlements". They won't be satisfied until we're all homeless, sick, dead or maybe ....walking dead.

A country in decline or not?

You figure it out!

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