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Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:22 PM

Ezra Klein: We donít have a spending problem, we have a military spending problem

We donít have a spending problem, we have a military spending problem
Posted by Ezra Klein on January 7, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Have you read Brad Plumerís terrific, chart-heavy primer on Americaís insane defense budget? If not, Iíll wait while you do.

Done? Good. The numbers there should shock you. In particular, this one: ďSince 2001, the base defense budget has soared from $287 billion to $530 billion ó and thatís before accounting for the primary costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.Ē Or, if you prefer to see it in graph form:



Thatís big money. More than we spent on Medicare, in fact. But itís big money that doesnít often get recognized in our budget conversation.

The forward of Paul Ryanís 2011 budget ó which was later adopted by both House and Senate Republicans ó offers a concise version of the Republican take on our deficits. ďThe U.S. government is not running sustained deficits because Americans are taxed too little,Ē the authors write. ďThe government is running deficits because it spends too much.Ē

more...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/01/07/we-dont-have-a-spending-problem-we-have-a-military-spending-problem/

16 replies, 1784 views

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Ezra Klein: We donít have a spending problem, we have a military spending problem (Original post)
flpoljunkie Jan 2013 OP
CTyankee Jan 2013 #1
jody Jan 2013 #2
flpoljunkie Jan 2013 #3
jody Jan 2013 #4
Recursion Jan 2013 #7
Cha Jan 2013 #8
colsohlibgal Jan 2013 #5
davidpdx Jan 2013 #6
Cosmocat Jan 2013 #9
davidpdx Jan 2013 #10
Cosmocat Jan 2013 #13
One of the 99 Jan 2013 #11
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2013 #12
NewJeffCT Jan 2013 #14
Filibuster Harry Jan 2013 #15
Sunlei Jan 2013 #16

Response to flpoljunkie (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:30 PM

1. I WISH Joe Scar would have him on MJ talking about this. But, alas...Joe is still

too miserable about Romney's loss to articulate much beyond his usual drivel...no fun at all...

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Response to flpoljunkie (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:33 PM

2. Shouldn't the Commander in Chief over all recent administrations be blamed? He is the one who

 

controls the National Intelligence Estimate prepared by his staff and used to justify military budgets to Congress.

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Response to jody (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:48 PM

3. Congress does the Pentagon budget and fills it with pork for their districts.

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Response to flpoljunkie (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:53 PM

4. CIC aka President routinely signs bills into law with caveats he will not do some thing. As a

 

minimum, a President is at least as guilty as Congress for military spending if not more so because presidents have veto power over bills.

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Response to jody (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 01:49 AM

7. Even Rumsfeld tried very hard to get cuts through Congress and couldn't

Military contractors are very smart about putting operations in key Congressional districts.

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Response to jody (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 03:25 AM

8. President Obama nominated Chuck Hagel to be Sec of Defense

who advocates Cuts in Military Spending.

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Response to flpoljunkie (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:18 PM

5. Thank You Ezra!

This is the elephant in the room.

We could cut it by at least half and still be safe in 2013.

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Response to flpoljunkie (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 01:24 AM

6. I mentioned this the other day in a post about Hagel

We need someone to go in to the Pentagon and cut the budget. If it's not defense cuts, it's going to be discretionary cuts. Deep cuts safety net programs right now would be a huge mistake.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 06:32 AM

9. If you want to see the national discussion take an IMMEDIATE turn

then have this President go the country and advocate for serious budgetary revisions to the military.

It will go from from the "liberal media" hyping our being a nonsecond from being ancient Greece over our debt, and how WE DON'T HAVE A REVENUE PROBLEM, WE HAVE A SPENDING PROBLEM to THE DEMOCRATS HATE THE MILITARY instantly.

I have YET to talk to anyone who served in the military who has not been at a loss of words over how much money is just thrown away, but it does not matter.

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Response to Cosmocat (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:19 AM

10. I have no doubt that's the angle they will take

in fact I think it's already happening. The defense contractors are the major employers in areas of some states. I would also say it's highly likely these are areas represented by Republicans who will start squealing like pigs when their pet projects get cut.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #10)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:22 AM

13. This is one of those truly "bipartisan" things

Rs certainly are 100 percent in on it, but there are A LOT of Ds who have this money built into their districts, too.

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Response to flpoljunkie (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:14 AM

11. Great chart

Here's another:

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Response to flpoljunkie (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:43 AM

12. Even Republican voters want deeper cuts than the sequester

From those links, a poll from May:



http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/post/americans-want-to-slash-defense-spending-but-washington-isnt-listening/2012/05/10/gIQAyAzQGU_blog.html

It ought to be a no-brainer to slash the budget by at least $80 billion a year; and the average among all voters is $100 billion, so that would be electorally achievable. The question is how much more than that should be aimed for. $200 billion a year would take spending back to 2000 levels, roughly; that seems realistic, over, say, 5 years.

Just to add a few more figures in: in 2010, the USA spent 5.1% of GDP on defense; the UK 2.7%, France 2.0%, Canada 1.5%, Germany 1.4%. http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_03/20110309_PR_CP_2011_027.pdf

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Response to flpoljunkie (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:49 AM

14. It's pretty easy to cut defense money without hurting the economy

1) After we got out of Iraq, our spending their went from over $100 billion/year to around $5.4 billion. I suspect Afghanistan spending will be even less.

2) Right now, we have 75,000 or so troops in Europe, and even more in Asia. Cut those numbers in half and close some overseas bases, and youíll save billions per year. Put those troops on US bases and we have 75,000 troops now spending their money in the local domestic economy instead of local economies in Germany, Japan, Okinawa, etc.

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Response to flpoljunkie (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:35 AM

15. $ amounts and charts are staggering. If this doesn't get serious cuts from our congress then

they are really not fiscally responsible. Or serious about the country's spending and debt.

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Response to flpoljunkie (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:53 AM

16. cut the profits from the gov. contracts and make them pay back our federal and state money.

And noone in politics should own stocks or companies that get gov contracts.

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