Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Look What $1 Trillion Will Buy

Did you know that the president's 2015 budget request for all national security-related programs amounts to over $1 trillion? Yes, you are reading that correctly. It's not a misprint. Before going any further, just mull that number for a moment. Do you know how many starving people that could feed for two or three years? how many schools, bridges, highways, water treatment plants, wind and solar farms, light rail systems, and on and on could be built with this amount of money? But what are we going to buy with this? We're going to buy so-called "national security."

I'm not even going to go into my usual rant about how much of this is wasted, pissed away every year on everything from boondoggles for the brass, to unneeded weapons systems, to recruiting advertising, to special forces operators in roughly 175 countries in the world, to 12 battle carrier groups for the Navy, and so forth, etc., etc., etc. No, this time I'm going to just bewail how huge the number is. Monstrous in every way.

The military's friends and shills in Congress are whining that even this outrageous budget is not enough. Don't forget that the Republicans managed to exempt the DoD from the crippling budget sequester that every other department of government is bearing.

Read this piece "An Inadequate Defense Budget? Compared to Whom? Compared to When?" You know the answers to the questions . . . but it's laid out pretty neatly here.
The relationship of US defense spending to that of presumed threat nations and the girth of contemporary defense spending compared to a time of greater threat does not call into question the adequacy of the size of today's US defense budget; it calls into question the competence of current US political and military leadership, both in the Pentagon and in Congress.
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