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The Pentagon, Poster Child for Govt. Waste Not Part of Deficit Talks? Why?

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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 04:34 PM
Original message
The Pentagon, Poster Child for Govt. Waste Not Part of Deficit Talks? Why?
Social Security, despite not having contributed a single penny to the Deficit, is constantly mentioned in the discussions regarding the Deficit, Debt, Debt Ceiling, carefully worded to create the impression that it and any other programs that take care of the least among us, may be the sole causes of the collapse of the US Economy.

Even Democrats are now, shamefully, 'considering' the possible necessity of trading part of the pittances received by the most vulnerable members of this society for a 'deal' with the most corrupt and compromised elements of this society.

But the Military Budget which directly contributed to the deficit is rarely mentioned at all.

Apparently the bloated Military Budget and the combined fraud, corruption and sheer incompetence regarding its management, is the real 'third rail' of politics.


Why is the Pentagon Not Part of the Deficit Discussion?

When debt ceilings and deficits seem to be the only two items on Washingtons agenda, it is both revealing and tragic that both parties give a free pass to military spending. Representative Paul Ryans much discussed Tea Party budget accepted Obamas proposal for a pathetic $78 billion reduction in military spending over 5 years, a recommendation that would only modestly slow the rate of growth of military spending.




U.S. military spending now exceeds the spending of all other countries combined. Knowledge military experts argue that we can cut at least $1 trillion from the Pentagon budget without changing its currently expressed mission. But a growing number believe that the mission itself is suspect. Economic competitors like India and China certainly approve of our willingness to undermine our economic competitiveness by diverting trillions of dollars into war and weapons production. Some argue that all this spending has made us more secure but all the evidence points in the opposite direction. Certainly our $2 trillion and counting military adventures in the Middle East and Afghanistan and Pakistan have won us few friends and multiplied our enemies.






What is perhaps most astonishing of all is that cutting the military budget is wildly popular. Even back in 1995, when military spending was only a fraction of its present size, a poll by the Program on International Policy Attitudes reported that 42 percent of the US public feeling that defense spending is too high and a majority of Americans were convinced that defense spending has weakened the US economy and given some allies an economic edge.


Public prefers cutting defense spending

WASHINGTON | Wed Mar 9, 2011 2:47pm EST

(Reuters) - A majority of Americans prefer cutting defense spending to reduce the federal deficit rather than taking money from public retirement and health programs, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday showed.

The poll found 51 percent of Americans support reducing defense spending, and only 28 percent want to cut Medicare and Medicaid health programs for the elderly and poor. A mere 18 percent back cuts in the Social Security retirement program.


The Pentagon waste described in the linked article is nothing short of criminal. That waste alone could probably take care of the deficit.

So, why are Congress and the WH talking about raising the Medicare age to 67?

Why are the American people being ignored who clearly prefer cuts in Military spending?

Who are the politicians in DC trying to please if it is not the American People?

There is simply no excuse, no way to explain what is being proposed and any politician who goes along with cuts to programs for the most vulnerable, raising the age for medical benefits or in any other way taking more from the most needy, should lose their job.


I'm FOR 'Austerity' and 'Shared Sacrifice', 'Belt Tightening' and 'Reigning in Spending' for the Pentagon and those who benefited the most from the policies that created the current economic situtation, but NOT for those who already have so little. And it is a crime to even suggest doing so.



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steelmania75 Donating Member (836 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 04:36 PM
Response to Original message
1. defense contractors are an extremely powerful lobby.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. You are absolutely correct.
From he article:

The Pentagon is not just incompetent. It is corrupt. In November 2009 the Pentagons Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), the federal watchdog responsible for auditing oversight of military contractors, raised the question of criminal wrongdoing when it found that the audits that did occur were riddled with serious breaches of auditor independence. One Pentagon auditor admitted he did not perform detailed tests because, The contractor would not appreciate it.


And the reason why the Pentagon tolerates the corruption, according to the article is because of the 'incestuous relationship' between the Pentagon and its Contractors. Military Generals apparently are retiring and then going to work for the defense industry at a higher rate than ever:

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AnOhioan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 04:44 PM
Response to Original message
3. Cause the Democrats like to be "tough"
Gotta keep up the "Might makes right" mindset.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Or far too many members of Congress on both sides
actually support Military spending. And those who try to do something about it are out-numbered. The money that goes into electing members of Congress raises the changes of Military Contractors and other big corporations buying votes.

There are some Democrats who do consistently try to cut military spending but they are few.

Unrecs for facts. Seems to be par for the course. And that is why nothing will change because both parties will make sure to silence the truth when their team is in office.
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StarsInHerHair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
5. the 'Confidence Game' that are our undeclared wars is VERY profitable to top 10%
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. Yes, but is there no opposition, or is it too dangerous to oppose
them?
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 05:39 PM
Response to Original message
6. Because invading foreign countries is an essential function of government;
Edited on Fri Jul-15-11 05:39 PM by kenny blankenship
taking care of people at home is not.

Apparently.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. If we had a real news media any politician talking about 'national
security' would never get away with what they do right now. To claim that killing hundreds of thousands of people in foreign countries will make us safe, is simply outrageous, yet they are never challenged to explain how pissing off the entire world makes us safer.

Then their refusal to save the lives of the over 44,000 Americans who die each year, a real National Security issue, is never challenged on that basis either. We have the dumbest, stupidest 'journalists' if indeed that is what they are. And most of the blame for where we are is because of the lack of a true news media.
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PragmaticLiberal Donating Member (169 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
7. Actually, defense cuts were proposed in the deal.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Yes, they were, a miserably small amount which will hardly be
missed.

The President did appoint a committee I believe, in 2009 to look into the fraud in the Pentagon, however. I do not know what came of that but will try to find out.
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hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
11. Why am I the 4th rec?
I thought there would be more people here in tune with this notion.

-Hoot
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Ichingcarpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. I gave it a nom
We said years ago that these wars and defense would bankrupt this country. But what did we know except
the truth.

,
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
13. f 'n a k 'n r
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 10:59 AM
Response to Original message
14. Because we need to defend Malibu from the mighty Taliban Navy.
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suffragette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-11 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
15. Very good question
Why, indeed?
K&R
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-11 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
16. K&R (nt)
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Kaleva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-18-11 09:16 PM
Response to Original message
17. Defense spending, as a percentage of the budget, is less then it was in 1960
Going by the info available in the following link, I calculated defense spending accounted for 68% of the discretionary spending budget back in 1960.

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/spend.php?span=usgs...

If one includes mandatory spending then defense accounts for half of what it did in 1960 (54.5% in 1960 vs. 24% today).
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