Friday, July 9, 2010

I Want To Laugh But I Just Can't - US Spending

I Want To Laugh But I Just Can't - US Spending

Just what you were waiting for, the new US spending measures were announced the other day. So let's see how we're cutting cost and decreasing that deficit...
U.S. spending on weapons through 2016 likely will grow faster than the overall defense budget, which will have annual increases of only about 1 percent above inflation, according to Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale.

“Our goal would be to get forces and modernization to grow by 2 or 3 percent,” Hale said in an interview, while saying that “it’s not a given.”

An increase in weapons spending will include greater purchases of Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F- 35 fighter, new ground vehicles, ship construction, satellite systems and unmanned drones, according to the Pentagon’s long- range plan. Northrop Grumman Corp., of Los Angeles, and Chicago- based Boeing Co. also stand to benefit.

Some money may be shifted into equipment and personnel accounts from an effort to cut $100 billion of overhead costs over five years, announced by Defense Secretary Robert Gates on June 28, Hale said.

“Procurement and research are in the ‘gaining’ portion of the budget,” Hale said. “The goal would be to move money from support-type activities -- operations and maintenance, military construction -- into acquisition.”

Hale’s remarks are good news for defense contractors, said Todd Harrison, a defense analyst with the Washington-based Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

“It sounds like they are trying to do everything they can now to avoid major program cuts in the next few years,” Harrison said. Yet, if the Pentagon goal of cutting overhead and support costs isn’t achieved, “they will have no choice but to cut” programs, he said.

‘Gusher’ Turned Off

Gates has announced plans to revamp Pentagon spending, saying in a May 8 speech that future budgets will see little real growth because a defense-spending “gusher” that opened after the Sept. 11 attacks “has been turned off and will stay off for a good period of time.”

In April 2009, Gates proposed to cut and truncate programs worth as much as $330 billion over their service lives.

The Pentagon’s $549 billion base budget request for fiscal 2011 represents an increase of about 1.8 percent over fiscal 2010, when defense spending rose 2.1 percent. Those budgets follow eight years of 4 percent average annual growth.

Hale said there still may be more cuts in store for some weapons programs after a Pentagon review later this year for the fiscal 2012 budget.

Weapons Spending

Congress approved $104.8 billion for weapons buying this year and is considering proposed procurement spending of $111.2 billion for fiscal 2011, which begins Oct. 1. The Pentagon may request $120 billion in 2012, rising to $137 billion in 2015, according to comptroller’s office projections that Hale said are, at this time, only for planning purposes.

Estimates about how much money may become available from the cost-cutting efforts are “going to get squishier” as projections move further into the future, Hale said. “That’s just inevitable.”

The Pentagon plan calls for $7 billion in savings in 2012, increasing to $11 billion in 2013 and $18.9 billion in 2014, according to a Pentagon fact sheet. The largest savings are projected at $37 billion in 2016.

While it will be a “significant challenge” to achieve those goals, Hale said that Gates wants “to push the process a little bit. Let’s see how far we can get.”
Clearly the article restored my hope in solving the budget crisis, restoring America to a peaceful democracy, and eventually bringing about peace for all mankind. Oh wait.. this is the opposite of that.

So what's this feeling? My impotent rage is changing, becoming something new, a sort of dull sadness... I'm finally crossing over! Goodbye my friends, I'll see you on the other side!

The way we're running this country, the US spends more on bullets, and only bullets, than it spends on the entirety of the Peace Corps. We piss away 10.5 billion for C4 systems. We're literally blowing money away. Let's, for a moment, think about all the things we could do with this amount spent on military weapons

-Free health care for every American ever
-We could feed the entire world instead of killing brown people

There's seriously no words to explain my contempt for this country. Just look at the conversation going on between the Pentagon and the senate.
"We don't want this shit" ~ the Pentagon, 2010
"Yes you do" ~ Congress, 2010
I just love the mentality of our government over this. "We can't afford to keep unemployment extensions around, nor can we give a better stimulus to the people who are one paycheck away from being homeless, but shit, let's buy a whole bunch of weapons that even the Pentagon doesn't want."


Now I can feel safe again as I go to sleep at night. Thank you America.

Actually, the thing we're all forgetting about this is that military spending is the one form of stimulus spending that Obama hasflksjdfljsalfkjalkfjalfj FUCK! This is the only form of stimulus that Obama can get past these mother fuckers in the senate. Disband that shit already.

But.. but... but... now that democrats are in power, we have to find funding for things before we can do them. Oh wait, it is for bombs. And why do we need to keep pumping money into weapons making? Well good thing you asked...
"The defense-industrial sector used its clout to deliver more weapons than the armed services asked for and even to build new weapons systems that the operational military did not want." An "internal arms race" developed in which design bureaus produced a variety of ICBMs with the same missions. When some called for a reduction of missiles, defense industry officials objected, because it would cause unemployment problems. [I: 61-63; II: 92 (Kalashnikov)]
So it's pretty simple to see why we keep pumping money into weapons making. It's because this is like 99% of everything still manufactured in the US anymore. Please stop America.

Wait, I didn't put an apostrophe there. I know. Maybe I'm asking for some foreign country to come in and stop America. Because Jesus fuck, this is just fucking nuts!

I shall call this the "Shadow Stimulus." I'm having a little bit of a hard time understanding the logic here.If government spending on non-defense jobs = Socialism, doesn't government spending on defense jobs necessarily = National Socialism? This is pretty much the case, but it's been going on since the end of WWII, so what are we to do about it?

Even though the Senate isn't completely full of morons. There's some voice of reason in the madness of stupidity that is the Senate floor..
The Senate has unfortunately failed once again to put the taxpayers’ interests ahead of its own,” Feingold said. “We are now going to spend $2.5 billion on a military aircraft our own Defense Department doesn’t want. Congress should not be wasting taxpayer dollars on lawmakers’ pet projects, especially in the face of record deficits. We need to get our defense spending priorities right so we can adequately address the real world threats we face today, and not waste taxpayer dollars on unnecessary projects.”

The Senate went on to pass the Defense Appropriations bill. Senator Feingold was one of seven senators to vote against it. Earlier this year, Feingold was part of a successful, bipartisan effort to save billions of taxpayer dollars by stopping the purchase of seven additional F-22 Raptor aircraft, a Cold War relic that had never flown a mission in Iraq or Afghanistan and the Department of Defense said it did not want.
Good thing our responsible news media will report on this travesty in the face of our deficit crisis... Oh wait, no. No they won't. CNN just fired their mideast reporter to appease right wingers
On Sunday, Octavia Nasr — CNN’s Senior Editor of Mideast Affairs — acknowledged the death of Lebanon’s Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah by tweeting:
    Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot..
Fadlallah was well known for a number of relatively liberal views, such as his support for women’s rights and fatwas against the brutal practices of female circumcision and honor killings. But Nasr’s comment was enough to spark fierce outrage from the various precincts of the neocon blog/twittersphere, who went after Nasr for her egregious failure to reduce Fadlallah to an anti-Israel, anti-American terrorist bogeyman.
Then again, it is pretty standard practice to fire reporters who don't agree with America.

Fuck it. Let's run this ship into the motherfucking ground. That's really the only way to be an optimist, to be perfectly honest. It's only when you truly lost everything that you have everything to gain.

The basic thing you need to know is that this is how we got ourselves out of the depression. It was arms and airplane manufacturing for WWII. Afterward they realized that reducing government spending would cause problems, so the department of war became the Pentagon and the cold war began because we constantly needed to manufacture weapons to keep that money flowing and jobs filled.

Frankly, the Great Depression was the nail in the coffin for Laissez Faire capitalism, it removed any credibility it had left as a functioning economic system. This is readily visible by the fact that every country experimenting with solutions ended up coming up with the same one, massive public spending. In fact if you take a look at all the industrialized countries today, you'll see that they all have a huge state sector.

What is the economic rationale for weapons production? I just don't understand how a non-consumer, non-utility producing product is able to improve our economies problem.

What really happened in WWII was all the fertile farmland in Europe got turned into battlefields and it took the Marshall Plan to rejuvenate the landscape after it was devastated by war. This is basically what has happened in Afghanistan except the climate is harsher and no one is proposing a recovery plan, so it's going to take even longer for the land to become fertile again. Is it any wonder these people don't grow anything but poppy when their farmland is always getting shelled and bombed?

Maybe these words should be taken to heart by a very smart man.

Why not put the money into research and development to help build things that make all of humanity better off as a whole? Oh wait, then we won't get free oil from it, right. But then again, I guess that does make humanity better. By reducing the proportion of undesirable human beings in the population, the lot of humanity as a whole is improved.

It's all some big circle anyway. Military spending secures the supply of oil, which secures our food production. It also secures the supply of other material that secures our financial system. What did we just find in Afghanistan, after all.

It is one of the greatest ironies of the war in Iraq that we ended up losing much of the oil. The infrastructure breakdown that we caused slowed down Iraqi oil drilling to a near halt, and during the first gulf war, Saddam ordered an oil spill that rivals the current BP Deepwater Horizon. It's going to be a run-off as to which one is actually going to be bigger.

It's just a great example of how social conflict, when brought to the level of industrial war, wastes more resources than you can imagine. Not to mention the funny fact that nothing in existence takes more oil to produce, maintain, and transport than tanks, planes, ships and troops.

I guess all I know is that Death is certain.

1 comment:

Shinxy said...

You've hit the nail on the head with the National Socialism comment. I hadn't thought of it like that, but you're right.

You guys are in some serious trouble.