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Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:09 PM

Let us tie military spending to a percentage of tax revenues

Right now we spend over 50% on the military.
That is too high
Perhaps 25% would be a better figure
Bring in $1 Trillion then you get to spend $250 Billion on the military



Just a thought

49 replies, 2958 views

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Arrow 49 replies Author Time Post
Reply Let us tie military spending to a percentage of tax revenues (Original post)
Angry Dragon Feb 2013 OP
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #1
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #4
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #6
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #8
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #9
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #10
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #13
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #14
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #17
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #19
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #21
Sherman A1 Feb 2013 #16
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #20
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #23
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #28
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #37
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #45
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #46
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #47
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #48
Sherman A1 Feb 2013 #25
avebury Feb 2013 #43
think Feb 2013 #2
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #3
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #5
Angry Dragon Feb 2013 #11
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #12
Angry Dragon Feb 2013 #22
hay rick Feb 2013 #49
Coyotl Feb 2013 #7
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #15
Angry Dragon Feb 2013 #18
tritsofme Feb 2013 #24
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #26
Angry Dragon Feb 2013 #27
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #29
Angry Dragon Feb 2013 #30
tritsofme Feb 2013 #31
Angry Dragon Feb 2013 #32
tritsofme Feb 2013 #33
Angry Dragon Feb 2013 #35
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #36
Angry Dragon Feb 2013 #38
tritsofme Feb 2013 #39
dems_rightnow Feb 2013 #41
JVS Feb 2013 #34
Revanchist Feb 2013 #40
Angry Dragon Feb 2013 #42
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #44

Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:13 PM

1. Or, base it on actual work accomplished and products produced.

Saluting and other forms of kissing ass not included.

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:37 PM

4. Military accomplishment is often in what does NOT take place rather than what does.

 

A strong military can deter war from breaking out. That is by its nature very difficult to measure or quantify. But the military isn't about just winning wars. If a show of strength prevents an enemy from starting a war, I'd say that's a very good accomplishment on the military's part.



To use a sports analogy, sometimes the best cornerbacks in football have very few interceptions. Why? Because they're so good that opposing quarterbacks prefer not to throw their way. Thus, to measure how good a cornerback is by how many interceptions he gets would be unfair.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:40 PM

6. How's that worked so far?

America has probably been involved in more conflicts than any other nation in history.

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:44 PM

8. I disagree.

 

Britain has probably been involved in more conflicts in its history than the United States.

France has probably been involved in more conflicts in its history than the United States.

China, and its several internal entity-states that were part of its long history, has probably been involved in more conflicts in its history than the United States.


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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:46 PM

9. Maybe. But, how has having a bloated military stopped wars for us?

How many and where?

And, how did having a mighty military work for Britain, France, & China at stopping wars?

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:52 PM

10. Depends on what you mean by "stopped."

 

Technically, the armed forces of the Allied nations "stopped" World War II in the sense that they won it, and thus brought an end to the war.

Now if by "stopped," you mean "prevented," well then, it didn't prevent World War II from breaking out, but then again Hitler was probably bent on conquest anyway and it would have been very hard to dissuade him.



Which brings me to another point: It's not just enough to have a strong military. One also needs the right leadership and approach that comes with it. There are some who argue that one reason that Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in the 1990s was because other nations did not show sufficient indication that his invasion would be resisted with armed force. The United States had a strong military, all right, but had the United States indicated to Saddam from the very beginning that an invasion of Kuwait would result in U.S. military intervention, Saddam might have been dissuaded from doing so in the first place.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:13 PM

13. So, how did our "strong military" do in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the rest?

The Chinese called us a "Paper tiger" which we done a good job of proving when it comes to the "little wars". Much as the Romans, Brits, French, bankrupted themselves strengthening their "defenses" to defend their empires, so have we done the same in a vain attempt to hold it together. In the course of which, we've managed to bankrupt ourselves losing more wars. We have created a useless monster that accomplishes nothing except display it (and the government's) ineptitude.

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #13)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:17 PM

14. Not the military's fault.

 

Poor judgment on part of the civilian leadership.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #14)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:29 PM

17. Which can only give one pause in turning over a huge machine to incompetents.

And, makes a good case for giving said incompetents a much smaller and less deadly toy to play with. Not to mention the "just following orders" rationalization for killing.

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #17)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:32 PM

19. To the best of my understanding,

 

the "I was just following orders" defense does not constitute satisfactory defense for American armed forces during a trial/court-martial.



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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #19)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:39 PM

21. If they go to trial. See drone operators and torturers for reference.

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:28 PM

16. Well,

There was that whole potential Soviet invasion of Western Europe thing for a few years during the 50's, 60's, 70's and part of the 80's.

There was that minor issue in Cuba with some missiles or something in the early 1960's.

So, Yes, some wars were stopped.

Along the way there has been numerous humanitarian relief operations which might be worthy of consideration as well.

I am very much for cutting the defense budget and eliminating some really bad programs and breaking the hold of the MIC on this country, but I will not denigrate the efforts of those who worked tirelessly at great personal risk to hold things together in the past.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #16)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:37 PM

20. As I recall, it wasn't the military that stopped the wars.

Kennedy and Kruschev made a deal over the missiles in Cuba and Turkey. The cold war was fought, needlessly, on the outskirts of the two empires at a cost of millions of lives.

to hold things together in the past.

Did those efforts "hold things together" or merely exacerbate and extend the killing fields? Our empire is still crumbling despite, and because of, our efforts to "hold things together".

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #20)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:44 PM

23. Not to take this discussion off-track, but.........

 

What is your view regarding military assistance of US allies under attack?


You say "The Cold War was fought needlessly....at a cost of millions of lives," but, to use just one example from the Cold War, North Korea was the one that attacked the South in the Korean War. Would you have preferred that the United States and United Nations have done nothing about it? That might have "saved lives," so to speak, but then we'd probably be seeing a unified Korean peninsula today that is basically a similarly brutal, terrible regime like that in North Korea today. South Korea as we know it today - a vibrant, prosperous, democracy - probably wouldn't exist, instead having been taken over by the North.



It's one thing for the US to avoid getting involved in wars that it doesn't have to - see Iraq in 2003 as an example - but what if a US ally is attacked?

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #23)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:55 PM

28. As a pacifist, I don't see war as an answer. Rather, I see it as an avenue to more war.

BTW, Kuwait was an "ally" that we "helped".

The Korean war wasn't merely an attack by a bad guy on a good guy. Rather it was a civil war between two bad actors, each of which, were supported by other bad actors. Ditto Vietnam, to a lesser degree, in that the support for North Vietnam was less.

Historically speaking, you might check WWI to see what happens when nations build strong militarys and find themselves in a position of "use it or lose it".

Eisenhower was smart, or humanitarian, enough to avoid helping our "allies" Britain, France, and Israel, during the Suez crisis and we survived, as did Egypt. Britain, France, and Israel, didn't invite us in to their bit of aggression because we had a "weak" military.

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #28)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 05:21 PM

37. So what about existing security treaties?

 

Such as the one with Japan?


If China or North Korea were to attack Japan, should the United States simply disregard its treaty with Japan and say, "Sorry, we consider war as an avenue to more war, so we won't come to your aid?"

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #37)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 06:51 PM

45. Yes.

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #45)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 06:54 PM

46. So I guess America's promise, signed on a treaty, wouldn't mean anything after all.

 

I'm sure that'll do wonders for the United States' reputation and trustworthiness abroad.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #46)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 08:55 PM

47. Tsk. Tsk. See treaties with various tribes of Native Americans for precedents.

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #47)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 10:57 PM

48. Still doesn't make it right to break it.

 

You seem to be suggesting that because America's word didn't mean much in the past, that therefore it's okay not to keep it in the future.

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #20)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:50 PM

25. Well,

Yes, JFK & Kruschev made a deal one to avert war.
There was also a mobilization ongoing, overflights of Cuba and a a rather large Naval "Quarantine" in progress. That deal didn't happen in a vacuum of diplomatic niceties, war was very, very close to occurring. Believe as you wish, but there was a huge military involvement and presence that kept the two nations from going to war. The Berlin Airlift was another example of preventing a war with a military presence.

The smaller wars were fought on the outskirts of the empires so to speak, but not all of them involved the US & Soviet Union directly or indirectly, some certainly did in the global chess game of power and influence.

Could things have been done better and with less costs, certainly, but 20/20 hindsight is a great thing. I don't have it, but apparently there are those that do.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #8)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 06:01 PM

43. And history shows that when a country finds itself involved

in too many conflicts and over the top military spending, the country goes into decline. The UK used to be dominant, not any longer. The USSR could not keep up the pace of military spending in the cold war with the US, it splintered.

If we do not bring our military spending under control and stop getting into so many conflicts, this country is doomed. It will be time for another country to rise up to global dominance. If we try to perpetually use the big stick to cower others then we have lost the moral high road and are no better then a lot of other countries we look down upon.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:23 PM

2. Agree something must be done.

I'm on board with anything that can bring military spending in line.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)


Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:39 PM

5. I find the 50% figure very doubtful.

 

Do you have a source about how much total tax revenue the U.S. government collected, and how much defense spending there was? While certain aspects of defense spending could certainly be cut, I find it very doubtful that the figure would be "over 50%."

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:02 PM

11. Do you have figures to dispute my claim??

From what I have read it is over 50%, but I will look again

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #11)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:10 PM

12. The data just doesn't support the claim.

 

If you look at this source here, defense spending doesn't constitute anywhere near the percentage-proportion that you claim.


[link:http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1258|

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:43 PM

22. I have some problems with this

Social Security -- self-funded account, not part of the budget and by law can not add to the debt -- that gets rid of 20%

Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP -- Not all of this comes from the budget, the people do pay part of this before taxes

Veteran Affairs -- seems like it is a direct cost of defense

Atomic Energy -- how much of this is part defense??

Homeland Security -- defense??

Border Patrol -- is this not defense??



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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:16 PM

49. 50% of discretionary spending.

Mandatory spending is spending that is required (mandated) by current law. Social Security and Medicare spending are the two largest mandatory spending programs. Discretionary spending is spending that is authorized through appropriations bills.

Real military spending is probably higher than 50% of discretionary spending as many military goodies are included in appropriations outside DOD- for example, much of the nuclear weapon budget is spent by the Department of Energy.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:41 PM

7. Let's create a schedule for Peace, the gradual diminuition of defense spending.

Have military spending go down and down and down over time while proactively working for peace.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:22 PM

15. Isn't that already close to the current situation though?

 

Quote: Angry Dragon:

Perhaps 25% would be a better figure
Bring in $1 Trillion then you get to spend $250 Billion on the military




If the US government brings in over $2 trillion in annual tax revenues (I don't know the exact numbers, but this sounds close,) then wouldn't your proposed 25 percent figure put annual defense spending at over $500 billion a year.....................which is already close to what it is today anyway?

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #15)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:31 PM

18. $3.2 Trillion was brought in

defense is way over $500 billion
It all depends on what you claim was brought in
Are you going to put SS and Medicare money into the brought in amounts??
Is SS part of the budget??

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:45 PM

24. Today about 19% of budget goes to Defense



If you add in Homeland Security and Veteran's Affairs, spending would be about $929 billion, or 26% of the budget.

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Response to tritsofme (Reply #24)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:50 PM

26. Thanks. That's closer to what I thought. n/t.

 

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Response to tritsofme (Reply #24)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:53 PM

27. How is Social Security part of the budget??

Is not part of Medicare already paid for by payroll taxes??

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #27)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 03:57 PM

29. Even if it is, it may be just listed there for information's sake, to show how much was spent. N/t.

 

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #29)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 04:02 PM

30. It is listed there as part of the budget and the monies brought in by it as revenue

Last year SS had a surplus

Adding it in is a classic republican talking point
BY LAW SS can not have anything to do with the budget


If you take out SS spending and monies then the defense budget goes WAY UP

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #30)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 04:25 PM

31. And if you take out everything but defense it goes up to 100%

I guess I really don't see where you're going here. The military accounts for about 26% of federal spending, it seems like you are arguing semantics.

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Response to tritsofme (Reply #31)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 04:36 PM

32. I am arguing that SS is not part of the budget

and the monies it brings in is not part of revenue

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #32)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 04:45 PM

33. I just don't understand how the way Social Security is treated in the budget is relevant

to a discussion about how much we spend on defense, which we have determined is about 26% of all federal spending.

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Response to tritsofme (Reply #33)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 05:02 PM

35. Because you are adding in what is spent on SS into total federal spending

and then putting it into a percentage
That is what republicans do so they can make defense look better and then make SS spending as out of control

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #35)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 05:19 PM

36. Well, you started the thread with "tax revenue" in the title.

 

Since people pay SS taxes, I suppose it's a form of "tax revenue" - even if it is to be treated a bit differently.


And even if you take SS out of the equation, I still don't see how defense spending adds up to 50% or more of "tax revenue." The math doesn't seem to add up.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #36)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 05:31 PM

38. Defense comes out of the budget, how much of SS comes from the budget??

That is like asking if you paid income taxes on any birthday or Christmas presents you got ..........



And as I said before that is how republicans frame the debate

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #38)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 05:37 PM

39. Leaving these semantic arguments behind

It really is more instructive to look at a figure like defense spending as a percentage of GDP.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #38)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 05:57 PM

41. In this case...

... it's how the Congressional Budget Office presents it. Just say "OK, I was a little high". It's fine.

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Response to tritsofme (Reply #24)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 04:48 PM

34. Social security is self funded and shouldn't be on that chart. It's not part of the general fund.

In fact, since Reagan upped soc sec tax, soc sec has been lending money into the general fund.

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Response to Angry Dragon (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 05:51 PM

40. If you want to reduce military spending

Let the military decide what they need to spend money on and not politicians (from both parties) who are more interested in securing projects for their home districts instead of what the military needs.

That and don't punish them for being frugal. I lost track of the number of times we had to buy supplies, test equipment, and just let the jets idle on the runway to burn off jet fuel so they could buy more at the end of the fiscal year. But when you've just come off a deployment and are on a relaxed schedule for a few months while everyone recharges, you don't need as much money. But if you don't spend it they reduce your budget for the next year when your ramping up for deployment or are on deployment and you need the funding. Your punished if you don't spend every last dime or over-spend so you can ask for more to "justify" an increase for the next year.

We have a stupid system that just encourages people to waste funding.

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Response to Revanchist (Reply #40)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 06:00 PM

42. I an not really against military spending just a fair comparison with other spending

I feel we are not taxing enough and taxes need to come from the top .............
Perhaps I am a closet Socialist ..................

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #42)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 06:13 PM

44. What we really need to cut out is wasteful spending.

 

Doesn't matter if it's contained within defense spending or spending for any other program. The waste and unnecessary spending must go.

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