Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Super- Committee's Failure... Politics as Usual... And the MIC

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs -Tyranny

Supreme Commander, Allied Forces WW II. President of the United States of America 1953 - 1961. A man of reason by choice. A man of war by necessity. Ultimately a leader with vision.

Fast forward to today. It seems our nation continually finds itself involved in conflict across the globe. Conflicts that in the final analysis have largely been by choice.

The United States spends more on the "defense" of our nation than the the total of the next seventeen nations who follow us in military spending.

The eighteen countries with the largest military budgets. See table below for actual dollar amounts.

It is clear that the United States has willingly assumed the role of "world policeman" and "protector of those in need of support." The cost to our nation has been staggering. Now to the point of this post.

The "Supercommitte" that was given the responsibility of finding 1.2 trillion in federal spending reductions over the next 10 years has failed. Automatic spending reductions, 50% defense and 50% domestic will occur beginning in 2013.

Does this really surprise anyone given the "state of war" that currently exists in our national political reality?

I have decided to accept the inevitably of the "draconian" cuts in projected defense spending.

(Reuters) - Automatic spending cuts that could result from a special congressional committee's failure to reach a deficit-reduction agreement could "tear a seam" in defense, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Monday.

The so-called super committee's failure on Monday to agree on $1.2 trillion in deficit-cutting measures triggers up to $600 billion in additional defense cuts over 10 years beginning in 2013.

"If Congress fails to act over the next year, the Department of Defense will face devastating, automatic, across-the-board cuts that will tear a seam in the nation's defense," Panetta said in a statement.

"The half-trillion in additional cuts demanded by sequester would lead to a hollow force incapable of sustaining the missions it is assigned." {Read More}

Brace yourselves for the onslaught of propaganda as to what the automatic "cuts" will allegedly engender. The case will be made that we are gutting our national defense and that military personnel will suffer in their efforts to accomplish the "mission."

As I said earlier I have resigned myself to the fact that the automatic reductions are going to occur. Our leadership is totally incapable at this point of doing the right thing because they have little to no integrity or logic.

So I did a bit of research, made some assumptions, and actually think maybe the trigger may not be such a bad thing. The numbers...

2010 United States total defense spending = $698.3 billion. Using this as a baseline, and assuming projected outlays were to stay relatively the same, the $60 billion reduction in projected spending in 2013 amounts to 8.633% of $698.3 billion. Given the winding down of the Iraq and Afghanistan engagements our cost should be significantly less. That is of course unless the next "engagement" is already on the table.

"Slashing" 8.633% from our military budget should be very doable. It is sensible, it is prudent, it is essential, and it won't hurt our ability to defend our nation one damn bit. But for those who seek to be the worlds policeman and the arbiter of influence and global power it is seen as devastating.

What say you?

Via: Memeorandum


  1. I say it is about time that we gave the Pentagon a haircut and >10% is pretty easy to find, especially with all the brass and SES laying around. I am all for a strong defense, but after being on the pointy end of the global police force I am against it.

    We should not be using our military as a nation building force (see Jefferson's ideas on the matter). A strong defense starts at home with secure borders. We don't need bases all over the world staff by thousands of wonderful young people, we need them here protecting our border and ending narco-terrorism and the invasion of AZ, NM, and TX.

    We have expanded the military's budget year after year and got very little for it, so it is time to trim it and force hard looks at what is really important. The forces should be capable and so should their equipment, but they don't need every damn new toy out there. We are very good at identifying a need and addressing it, but we identifying thousands (most of which never occur) and then throw millions of tax dollars against it (see LCS).

    The military like the government needs to cut spending and to do that successfully is to prioritize. Do we really need DDG 1000 when Burke's work great? Do we need more LCS when they are not achieving objectives? Do we need to reinvent the tanker or buy new 707's? Do we need super-soldiers or guns that work on the battle field?

    Strong defense heck yeah, wastefully programs that play what if with my tax dollars, heck no!

  2. Government, defense especially, is above all else a giant social program. Thousands of companies rely on defense contracts. We have an armory in my district that employs around 6,000 people. Plus the jobs those jobs support.

    Think of all the military bases. I don;t think we need to spend 700 billion a year, plus the cost of maintaining the nuclear arsenal and other stuff that doesn't fall under the Defense Depts. budget to keep us safe. And I'm not disagreeing with you Les that defense spending should be cut. The bigger picture is not security although that will be hammered by the pro big defense budget crowd. The real big picture is the jobs that will be lost. Good paying jobs with benefits that support other jobs. Walmart only needs so many associates and McDonalds only needs so many burger flippers. Those jobs don't support an economy like Seattle's or Rock Island or the areas around military bases. Republican or Democrat; how you going to vote to eliminate jobs in your district and "put America at risk."

    I've been a political hack since I was thirteen. Bullshit and hyperbole like risking America's safety and job killing work far better than cold facts and logic.

  3. I find it difficult to take issue with anything you said here.

    To put it in a nutshell... Since WW II we have essentially been on a wartime footing (economy. A 8.633% reduction would pinch quite a lot of people.

    This nation simply doesn't know how to survive on a peacetime footing and budget any longer.

    Perhaps it has forgotten how. We've given so much ground to foreign nations (manufacturing jobs), we are in hock to China and other creditor nations up to our eyeballs, and yet we sleep at night as a nation.

    Go figure.

    Then there is the social spending and engineering waste. But I'll leave that for you to address in a post at Truth 101. I've cut the "perceived" strength of the republican party. You Joe should do the same on the domestic (democratic) side.

    After all we should be in this effort together, should we not?

  4. I've blogged this subject before and I don't think most people realize how much the US spends on defense, they just focus on the domestic entitlements.

    I found an old State Department memo called Publication 7727 which argued for a global police force that would answer to a global authority. There was an article on it in a 1962 LA Times article. But that's what our military has become. American's wouldn't accept a Blue Hat UN brigade, but if they are told that they can keep their insignias and flags and that they're fighting for "democracy", they'll support anything these globalists want.

    What do they want? They want a feudalistic global society in thrall to them. Thus with the offshoring of our jobs, making us interdependent.

  5. As long as we have a two party system it's too easy for extremists to hold sway. Republicans have to trip all over themselves showing how conservative they are and how much they hate illegal immigrants and Castro.

    Democrats? Heck. I don't even know what my party stands for as it's deeds and platform go in opposite directions. We spend our time one upping each other with put downs (I'm good at that. he he) Or googling information we can use to buttress a position. The answers are there but the people in charge are smart enough to get in charge then use government for their own agendas. Wish I had some inside info like Pelosi and Boehner. Wish I could get a high paying consulting or lobbying job like Newt.

    Guess you're stuck with me here and at Truth 101 Les. I have no other prospects.

  6. "We should not be using our military as a nation building force (see Jefferson's ideas on the matter). A strong defense starts at home with secure borders. We don't need bases all over the world staff by thousands of wonderful young people, we need them here protecting our border and ending narco-terrorism and the invasion of AZ, NM, and TX."

    Beautiful statement. I couldn't agree more.

  7. I can not express to you guys how much you have affirmed my faith in humanity. This should be something we all can agree upon. We do not need such a ridiculously massive empire, and in fact, it's killing us.


  8. Japan, South Korea, and especially all of those Euro countries need to spend a hell of a lot more of their own money. That is fo sho. Hey, maybe they could buy some of those weapons from us, too. That would be especially nice. In my opinion, Ron Paul had it just about right. We need to differentiate between military spending and defense spending. If we can somehow learn how to do that, the rest will follow.......And do we really need a military base in Aruba? ARUBA?

  9. Well, Will, I guess when you hand a government department hundreds of billions of dollars a year, it should not surprise anyone that some in the military would find Aruba a pretty enticing place to have a base, huh? ;)


  10. The one thing that is totally irrelevant is the chart of spending compared to other countries. The issue should be whether or not what we spend is getting the job done. Not how much that compared to what China spends, etc.

  11. And a fact check for Jersey: We'e not had an empire since before WW2.

  12. I do believe in a strong defense and it seems here that no one is opposed to reigning in wasteful military spending. If we lead our sacred cow to slaughter then the Democrats need to do the same. If we are going to cut the military by ~10% then domestic programs need the same cut.

    But here is what is going to happen, we will get the military cuts, but the weasels will find a way to ensure that the leaches get their money to ensure they weasels get the leach vote. This is we act in good faith and the end result is we get bent over. We make a step to compromise and they get everything they want. That is why we are where we are today.

    The Republicans never pull the reigns of government to the right, but just like Charlie Brown keep expecting the Democrats to meeting in the middle which never happens so the end result the country keeps going left.

    We need to break this cycle and force things right, spending cuts across the board, and never raise the debt ceiling again period. I hate that idea before, but the more business as usual I see the more I like forcing a government shutdown and prioritization of available resources.

    Will millions of blood sucking leaches be out of work, probably, but reduce the beast and the private sector will respond. This was proven through out the 80's & 9090's.

    2000 rolls in and it is all about big government only it is big government republican style. Still sucks, but it is to the benefit of business suck, everyone by the joes gets rich buying and selling houses that no one can afford.

  13. I pretty much agree with everything said here. No more wars! Close the majority of bases around the world and bring our troops home!

  14. After I initially commented I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now
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