Thursday, December 12, 2013
Latest Budget Deal Seeks to Preserve Military Bullshit Spending - Spare it from Sequester
"No one has recently said to me, 'You can only get so angry,' and escaped with their hide intact, probably because I tend to spend my time with people who know better, and the people who know me know better than to try and tell me I'm making too much of things in this diseased day and age, when "things" make plenty of themselves without my help."- William Rivers Pitt, in 'It Only Hurts When I Laugh' - on smirkingchimp.com
Well we now know, after Paul Ryan's conscious (or maybe unconscious) admission this morning on CBS Early Show, that this new budget deal is designed to spare the military -defense enclave about $23 billion in sequester cuts that otherwise would have gone into effect. Hence, any deficit savings are on the backs of the poor, hungry kids, the unemployed.
Ryan openly admitted his "concern" about military spending cuts in the sequester so was "pleased" that $63 b of defense sequester cuts are "offset" by $85b in gov't "automatic spending". Unmentioned is that unemployment extension was off the table, as were any new tax increases - which would have helped limit the deficits by nearly $150b within two years. But oh no, none of the Reepos want higher taxes - so the Demos obliged them. The above offset - or rather spending cut imbalance between defense and "discretionary budget allocations" amounts to nearly $23b. That amount will now allow the defense industry-Pentagon to go ahead with the building of 2,335 F-35 bombers at a cost of 3/4 billion each. But oh no, can't cut this piece of waste! Too important to line the pockets of defense contractors! See also:
The fact is that in real terms, military spending has exploded the past 11 years, thanks to the American people being scared shitless into believing them there "terrorists" will get them if they don't have massive, sustained and insane "defense" spending. Back in 2011 it was noted that Pentagon spending had doubled since 2000, to $790 b a year. This number included 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) was correct (for once) when he admitted in a 2011 statement that Pentagon spending :
"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.
Anyone who doesn't see this as the distinctive symptom of a nation in decline is a foursquare idiot.
Does the U.S. REALLY need 702 military 'installations' in 63 foreign countries (it has 4,471 bases altogether), according to the Defense Department's 2012 budget statement? ( Figures that don't include bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.) We're talking about our military presence in nations like Germany, South Korea, and Japan. ALL of these represent redundant costs since the wars that incepted the bases are now more than a half century over! While the total cost of these bases is kept secret, the best analysis I've seen estimates their ten-year cost at approximately $1 trillion. Cut that fat and waste, and unemployment insurance could easily be extended and a Farm Bill could be passed that doesn't kill food stamps to the tune of $40 billion over 10 years.
So why the fuck are we blowing so much on this military bullshit when our own people need help - with 16 million kids going to bed hungry each night - and our infrastructure falling into massive disrepair? The reason is simple: the defense contractors know if they can squirrel away some amount of jobs into every congressional district they essentially have all the politicos in those districts - now numbering in the thousands - by the brains and balls. They know that being seen to surrender jobs in this low aggregate demand environment would likely see a congress critter getting "primaried" by some military spending whore, like our own Doug Lamborn here in Colo. Springs, e,g,
Lamborn in his most recent comments to The Denver Post ('Defense Cuts Put Lamborn in Tough Fight'. Nov. 8 p. 5A) on the importance of military spending, is on record as saying he:
"intends to find other places to chop, including entitlements like food stamps and Medicare, to shield the military."
The Post piece also went on to note:
"Lamborn receives his heftiest campaign contributions from military contractors. Just in this election cycle, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman- both with offices in Colorado Springs - gave him a combined $10,000, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. He has also received contributions from Honeywell International and Boeing."
Where will it end? Sadly, as the yen to further bloat the military curries more favor from political Jacobins, traitors and numbskulls, the target of REEP austerity hawks will continue to be "entitlements". That essentially is what Ryan implied this morning, as he professed so much "concern about our debt". Funny.....,these fuckers when in power don't worry about debt or deficits at all. Wasn't it Dick(-head) Cheney who actually said: "Deficits don't matter!" No, I guess they don't when Reep-Turds are in power and blow up the budgets with unpaid for "wars" and tax cuts so the next Dem Prez gets the blame and has to clean up the mess - by cutting domestic spending! These Rat fuckers won't be satisfied until we're all homeless, sick, dead or maybe ....walking dead.
Am I angry"? Fuck YES! And if you're not then either you're not paying attention or you're already among the Walking Dead!