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Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:44 AM

The Military Industrial Complex Is Too Strong Is Too Many States

In addition to procurement, there are other issues spiraling out of control, including the military health-care system and staffing. While the Pentagon is cutting combat forces—trimming the Army by 72,000 over the next four years—the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has ballooned from 1,313 in 2010 to 4,244 in 2012.

“Not every defense dollar is sacrosanct,” said former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. “One need only spend 10 minutes walking around the Pentagon or any major military headquarters to see excess and redundancy.”

But it is sacrosanct in Washington. Defense spending is spread across all states, and the industry is so tightly woven into the fabric of Congress, and the amounts are so huge and campaign donations so important that cutting anything at all, even “waste”—another constituent’s income—or even something the Pentagon doesn’t want, may prove too much for our heroes in Congress.

But Americans aren’t blind; Congressional job approval ratings have been in the dumpster for years, hitting new lows of 10% twice in 2012, and hovering at 15% currently. Republicans practically despise Congress, with a mere 6% approving of it in January, a new low, though it has since edged up a bit.

http://www.businessinsider.com/budget-hawks-till-something-gets-cut-in-their-districts-2013-2

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Military Industrial Complex Is Too Strong Is Too Many States (Original post)
FarCenter Feb 2013 OP
unhappycamper Feb 2013 #1
MineralMan Feb 2013 #2
MadHound Feb 2013 #3
Southerner Feb 2013 #9
FarCenter Feb 2013 #10
Southerner Feb 2013 #11
FarCenter Feb 2013 #15
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #16
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #17
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #14
SoCalDem Feb 2013 #4
ProgressiveProfessor Feb 2013 #5
FarCenter Feb 2013 #6
ProgressiveProfessor Feb 2013 #7
FarCenter Feb 2013 #8
L0oniX Feb 2013 #12
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #13
johnnyreb Feb 2013 #18

Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:49 AM

1. How the MIC spreads the pork:

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:55 AM

2. The Proofreading Force is not Strong in This Title.

Do, or do not do. There is no try.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 09:57 AM

3. We are going to bankrupt our country with our military spending,

 

Much like the Soviet Union did. Already, over half our budget is taken up by military spending, and that number is going to continue to rise.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:52 PM

9. Yes, we are spending 4.5% of our GDP on defense.

That is clearly unsustainable.

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Response to Southerner (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:40 PM

10. Our economy has to be at least 2 to 3% more productive, just to keep up.

Other countries spending as a percent of GDP:
1.9% Australia
1.4% Brazil
1.4% Canada
2.0% China
1.9% Egypt
2.2% France
1.3% Germany
2.6% India
1.6% Italy
1.0% Japan
2.8% South Korea
0.5% Mexico
3.0% Pakistan
3.9% Russia
1.3% Sweden
0.9% Switzerland
2.3% Turkey
2.6% United Kingdom

http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/MS.MIL.XPND.GD.ZS

And people argued that a 10% sequestration is going to gut the military and leave the US vulnerable!

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:58 PM

11. You are implying money spent on defense is not productive...

...and does not contribute to the economy. Are you sure about that?

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Response to Southerner (Reply #11)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:11 PM

15. Military expenditures are a form of consumption

Relatively little is spent on investment that results in a continuing productive capacity.

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Response to Southerner (Reply #11)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 03:04 PM

16. Military spending is the least productive government spending.

 

Only a fraction of it goes to the people doing the work and putting their wages into the economy. Every dollar the government spends on physical infrastructure, for example, returns $1.92 to the economy. Whereas, of the total DoD budget (projected 2013), of the half trillion dollars they will get, only $150B of that will go to compensation] to service members. IOW, about $350B of that money spent is an economic sinkhole, there is no economic return at all. Every plane, ship bullet, & bomb is a dead loss.

So while defense spending is somewhat stimulating in that people are paid, the vast majority of it is an initial loss, followed by years more loss in maintaining everything that is not used in that same fiscal year.

Edit: See "That's weird" post below for links.

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Response to Southerner (Reply #11)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 03:06 PM

17. That's wierd, all my links are lost.

 

CBO military salries

Lost the link on the 1:1.92 infrastructure ratio
Sorry.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:05 PM

14. The Soviet Union was spending a much higher % of its GDP on defense at that time.

 

The comparison of "America is ruining itself with military spending just like the Soviets" isn't mathematically right.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:00 AM

4. And, it's not accidental that so many "northern" (blue states) LOST

military during the base closure rounds, and the southern ones were beefed up. It ensures a steady stream of "allowable" pork to flow to those states, and keeps their republican legislators relatively safe.

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:18 AM

5. You are clearly clueless about how BRAC worked

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:27 AM

6. Due to BRAC or not, most of the MIC is located south of the 40th parallel

Much of it is in states like Virginia, Florida, Texas, New Mexico, and California.

There is a huge flow of tax money from northern states to southern states to fund DoD installations and military suppliers.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:43 AM

7. What did BRAC have to do with the MIC?

MIC is contractors, BRAC only impacted Gov facilities.

We had a lot of military infrastructure left over from all the way back to the civil war. It was time to clean things up.

There was an independent internal process to review all the facilities within the executive branch and release a single list to Congress which could vote up or down on without changes. It was about the best in apolitical approaches available.

Contractors get to choose where they are based. If they need high tech workers, it makes no sense to be in the rust belt. However, if you are making things of metal, it would.

The military has over time moved to warmer areas to facilitate year round training while still maintaining sites in northern bases. You can train new pilots in the south and west year round, not so much in NH.

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:52 AM

8. The MIC is both the military and the industrial base:

President of the United States (and former General of the Army) Dwight D. Eisenhower used the term in his Farewell Address to the Nation on January 17, 1961:

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction...

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.


And in many cases the base and the surrounding contractors are tightly interwoven. A local base closed and its activities were consolidated in a more southerly location. Dozens of contractors pulled up stakes and moved along with the activities. Why would they stay adjacent to a closed base?

And if you go to somewhere like the Norfolk - Newport News area, you'd be hard pressed to separate out the military and industrial components of the complex.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:01 PM

12. USA ...a country and economy that depends on war. It's a jobs thing.

Indirect blood money ...your paycheck.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:05 PM

13. And, it's richer than some countries.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 04:02 PM

18. "The B-2 bomber has a piece of it made in every single state to make sure..."

Why We Fight (2005) - Must see MIC doc.



"The B-2 bomber has a piece of it made in every single state to make sure that if you ever try to phase that project out, you will get howls, howls from among the most liberal members of Congress." - Chalmers Johnson (at 38m 39s)

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