Saturday, July 28, 2012
'Muricans Need to Wake Up About Military Spending!
TOP GRAPHIC: The Proportion of Military Spending in this Country Now: With Foreign Aid, Infrastructure, Alternative Energy Research, Scientific Research, etc. occuping the minor 'slivers'.
Even as Repups bellyache to the high heavens about the coming "sequestration" and the "untold damage" (sic) to their precious military (while Mitt Romney promises to double the Pentagon budget- never mind the Pentagon still can't account for $1.2 trillion from 2002), most Americans when questioned or polled still have defective notions about the proportion of the budget sucked up by military crap. However, thanks to the National Priorities Project, they ought to get at least a graphic idea from the attached image. (Note: Fiscal Year 2013 has already commenced (in June), so effectively the pie graph gives a projected proportion, albeit not significantly differing from this year's distributions)
Still, we need to count 'blessings' that not all our citizens are so dumb struck that they actually believe the military needs more moola, and feel sympathy for poor widdo Leon Panetta when he weeps that our miltary will "suffer permanent damage" if not pumped up more. (Even at the expense of critical domestic programs). So, it's gratifying that about 10 percent of voters-citizens have it down that we spend more on military bunkum and toys than the next 25 nations together. What may not be known, alas, is that the military budget has been growing continuously for the past 15 years, despite some arrant media reports it's "shrinking". (I believe most of those media reports were sown by Neoliberal punks, poltroons and misfits as distorted PR to try to get voters to oust or cut critical domestic social programs in favor of growing the military. These wombats need to know a lot of us are on to them!)
What does this steady growth and the current "sequestration" translate into? Only that the alleged forthcoming "automatic cuts" - which have all the Pentagon lubbers pissing and moaning- are really NOT cuts at all, but merely slight decelerations in the RATES of growth! There is a vast difference there, and this is what our fellow citizens need to process.
Further, while the 'bought and paid' for Office of Management and Budget can soon be expected to recycle the baloney that the military budget is "small relatively as a percentage of GDP", the true fact is that it has more than doubled since 2000, from 2.4 % of GDP to nearly 4.9%. This uptick in GDP percentage led former Pentagon Analyst Chuck Spinney (the same person who exposed the unaccounted for $1.2 trillion) to remark that the increase was nothing less than "a war on domestic programs, including Social Security and Medicare". So true! Because if they protect the miltary budget and keep feeding its pork barrel coffers on behalf of congressional maggots around the nation, it will mean that domestic social spending will have to be capped or more likely decreased.
To fix ideas and eyeballs even more, consider that over the past decade this GDP metastasis translates into a pure growth factor of nearly $2 trillion. Thus, Repub Tom Coburn (OK) was correct (even a year ago) when he averred 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)".
Why don't more citizens know this? Maybe because the Corporo-Media's 24/7 Wurlitzer and mind manipulators - Bernaysian PR generators don't want them to!
As for capping social domestic programs, one plausible method that the Neoliberal pawns would love to see is changing the Social Security COLA (cost of living adjustment) to one based on "chained CPI" rather than inflation. This would translate to a loss of one whole year's benefits every ten years for most beneficiaries. It would also make Medicare much much more expensive, and consequently send many seniors - our elderly parents and relatives - over the real fiscal cliff (as opposed to the fantasy one the Neoliberal rascals and rodents have created to further their Pareto- based economic utopia).
As assorted voices in the media start shouting in the coming months about "protecting our military from sequestration" - take them with the proverbial grain of salt. Better, email, phone or write these assholes and tell them to STFU. The truth is we are on the cusp - unless something is done- of approving a massive undermining of our domestic security in terms of health, infrastructure 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, pay attention as the yen to further bloat the military curries more favor from political Jacobins, traitors and numbskulls, and their fellow travelers- the austerity hawks - continue to target "entitlements". They won't be satisfied until we're all homeless, sick, dead or maybe ....walking dead. We the rational and sensible need to be aware the 'body count' is right here at home, not off in Afghanistan - which is already a lost cause, and has been for over five years.
A country in decline or not? You figure it out!
Footnote: Adjusted for inflation, today’s national security-defense budget is nearly double Eisenhower’s when he left office in 1961 (about $400 billion in today’s dollars) — a level Ike deemed sufficient to contain the very real Soviet nuclear threat in the era just after Sputnik. By contrast, the Romney-Ryan version of shrinking Big Government is to increase our already outlandish warfare-state budget and risk even more spending by saber-rattling at a benighted but irrelevant Iran.