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Chalmers Johnson: Going Bankrupt: Why the Debt Crisis Is America's Greatest Threat

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 08:51 AM
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Chalmers Johnson: Going Bankrupt: Why the Debt Crisis Is America's Greatest Threat
from TomDispatch, via AlterNet:




Going Bankrupt: Why the Debt Crisis Is America's Greatest Threat

By Chalmers Johnson, Tomdispatch.com. Posted January 23, 2008.

Welcome to 2008, a year of morally obscene, fiscally unsustainable spending. Watch as the military bloats and our standard of living sinks.



Within the next month, the Pentagon will submit its 2009 budget to Congress and it's a fair bet that it will be even larger than the staggering 2008 one. Like the Army and the Marines, the Pentagon itself is overstretched and under strain -- and like the two services, which are expected to add 92,000 new troops over the next five years (at an estimated cost of $1.2 billion per 10,000), the Pentagon's response is never to cut back, but always to expand, always to demand more.


After all, there are those disastrous Afghan and Iraqi wars still eating taxpayer dollars as if there were no tomorrow. Then there's what enthusiasts like to call "the next war" to think about, which means all those big-ticket weapons, all those jets, ships, and armored vehicles for the future. And don't forget the still-popular, Rumsfeld-style "netcentric warfare" systems (robots, drones, communications satellites, and the like), not to speak of the killer space toys being developed; and then there's all that ruined equipment out of Iraq and Afghanistan to be massively replaced -- and all those ruined human beings to take care of.

You'll get the gist of this from a recent editorial in the trade magazine Aviation Week & Space Technology:

"The fact Washington must face is that nearly five years of war have left U.S. forces worse off than they have been in a generation, yes, since Vietnam, and restoring them will take budget-building unlike any in the past."


Even on the rare occasion when -- as in the case of Boeing's C-17 cargo plane -- the Pentagon decides to cancel a project, there's Congress to remember. Contracts and subcontracts for weapons systems, carefully doled out to as many states as possible, mean jobs, and so Congress often balks at such cuts. (Fifty-five House members recently warned the Pentagon of a "strong negative response" if funding for the C-17 is excised from the 2009 budget.) All in all, it adds up to a defense menu for a glutton.

Already, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has said that 2009 funding is "largely locked into place." The giant military-industrial combines -- Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Raytheon -- have been watching their stocks rise in otherwise treacherous times. They are hopeful. As Ronald Sugar, Northrop CEO, put it: "A great global power like the United States needs a great navy and a great navy needs an adequate number of ships, and they have to be modern and capable" -- and guess which company is the Navy's largest shipbuilder? .......(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/story/74620 /



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livetohike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 09:27 AM
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1. Thanks for posting this
:hi: I had the pleasure of attending lectures by Chalmers Johnson while living in S. California. He's amazing and as usual right on.
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flashl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 09:32 AM
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2. Is it a 'threat' to have the abomination called capitalism in its current form die? nt
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indepat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Capitalism in its current form is all about the national wealth accumulating
Edited on Wed Jan-23-08 10:13 AM by indepat
to a precious few, with their income being largely unfettered by federal taxes during life nor their wealth being taxed at death.

Edited: syntax (twice)
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flashl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Exactly. Then, why is it suppose to be a collective 'threat' to Americans? n/t
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indepat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. A lie?
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-24-08 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. More like
Entropy.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-23-08 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
6. Kick
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-24-08 08:09 AM
Response to Original message
7. Oh don't worry, Harry and Nancy have got our backs.
They will face down the MIC the same way they have faced down the criminal cabal in the white house. That would be the clever tactic of lots of group photos, and generally lulling them into a false sense of security by giving them everything they want whenever they want it. After all we have to sport da troops. But soon they will spring the trap. They are very clever you know. Harry and Nancy. They've got our backs.
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