Published: Wednesday, Feb. 26 2014 9:56 a.m. MST
In inflation adjusted terms, we are spending more on defense right now than we
ever did under Ronald Reagan. The difference, being that, under Reagan, we faced
an enemy that had the capability to destroy us. We face no one with anything
remotely like that kind of capability now. Iran and North Korea are no threat to
us at all. If they attack us we can wipe their countries off the face of the
earth. What kind of threat is that?It is also completely misleading
to say that we are cutting our forces to their pre-WWII level. At that point our
military was no better than that of several other countries. Now we are so far
superior that is it no exaggeration to say that we are the most secure Great
Power in history.
"The United States faces huge fiscal challenges concerning out-of-control
spending on entitlements such as Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and the
effects of the Affordable Care Act. " Just how is spending on the social
safety net "out-of-control?" Only in the sense that revenues do not
match expenditures. Social Security and Medicare recipients are receiving the
benefits promised them, so the expenditures are to be expected - they are not
out-of-control. The problem is on the revenue side. FICA taxes
need to be levied on all personal income, not just the first $116,000. This
would greatly ease the revenue problem. Moreover, considering the entire fiscal
situation, taxes on the wealthy and corporations should be increased to
1950's levels. Most of our fiscal problems are do to tax cuts for the
richest Americans and corporations. They have been the beneficiaries of most tax
cuts the last 40 years.Speaking of out-of-control spending, how
about the Iraq war? That was a gigantic waste of blood and wealth. I
don't know of anything which argues for trimming the military more.
Utah is dead last in volunteering for the armed forces, maybe that's why
this state seems so willing to engage so much when it's other people's
lives on the line.
The US spends more than 4 times what China does and more than 7 times what
Russia does (these are the closest two contenders).The US Defense
budget is more than one third of the entire WORLD’s defense budget.Certainly we can pull back somewhat here. Yes, we need to (and can) do
this intelligently and with clear-eyed analysis. But we can do it.Surely there should be some “peace dividend” as we pull out of
Afghanistan and Iraq.Finally, none of this means entitlements must
be left untouched. We need hard analysis there too. Doing one does not relieve
us of the responsibility of doing the other.
The US spends almost as much money on the military as the rest of the world
combined.You could halve the budget and still be way way ahead of
the next biggest spender China.
I have a hard time believing that the military could not take a large paycut
without impacting our defense one bit.Even recently, the Army stated
that they did not need more Abrams Tanks, but congress insisted.Why
would congress do that? Well lets see. The tanks are produced in Ohio which
happens to be a very important political state.The plant is run by
General Dynamics who happened to spend over $11 million dollars in 2012 lobbying
congress. (In 2012 the defense industry gave congress $19 million in campaign
donations and lobbied them to the tune of almost $140 million dollars. Why
would they do that?)One would hope that with enough military cuts,
even our pathetic congressmen would begrudgingly put country over politics if
our national defense was actually at stake.One would hope
We shouldn't cut our defense budget? Are you serious?How about
the F-35 fighter, which breaks if it gets wet and can't be flown at night.
Over the expected lifetime of this turkey the F-35 will cost taxpayers a cool
$1Trillion (yes, with a "T").How about the F-22 fighter, an
aircraft for which the Air Force says it has no use and does not want, but that
congress insists that the Air Force buy, at a cost of more than $200 million
_each_.Six out of ten dollars spent on military budget _worldwide_
are spent by the US military. The US military budget is by itself larger than
the next sixteen largest military budgets _combined_. That includes China,
Russia, all of Europe and Asia.Anyone claiming to be concerned about
federal taxes, federal deficits, and total US debt but who refuses to look at
the staggering costs and waste that saturates the US military is being a
Even with our cuts we are still spending 3 times as much as China and 6 times as
much as Russia on defense.We can't keep spending at such insane
and unsustainable levels.If anything, the message to the rest of the
world would be a positive one. We are finally Getting our defense spending under
control. We are being fiscally responsible. And do not intend on waging reckless
war after war. It's time the rest of the world step up and slap some skin
in this game if they want policemen around. The United States cannot be
So can someone explain to me why we do need such a big military? Mentions are
made of Iran and N Korea being threats, really? Does Iran or N Korea have a
death wish? A land invasion of this country would be a death sentence for either
of those two countries. Not to mention the fact that we still have enough nukes
to destroy the planets for the next millenium. The type of stuff these countries
have the ability to pull off is a lot closer to 9-11 than a full scale military
invasion, and giving the military money doesn't prevent terrorist attacks.
So what good is it putting all that money into the military?
Well - In MY opinion, As a veteran, I have to ask...Why did we start Wars of agression?Why did we attack and invade, and
occupy a country that did nothing to us?Why did we spend 12 years, 5,000
lives, 75,000 causalties, and still yet another $3 Trillion un-funded?I have NO problem fighting to defend our Country and our Constitution, butI have a real problem when I'm fighting for the best interests
of CORPORATIONS.Final note...Did we really need to spend
$3 Trillion to get the attackers of 9/11?Because everything
I've seen and heard is they we got them Predetor drones, Hellfire missiles,
and the Head was done in by a valiant team of Navy Seals in PAKISTAN.For a newspaper who whines constantly about our National debt, I gotta
ask -- Who's side are you on?
It is a shame that the D-News is unable to step away from partisan politics and
stand up for fiscal responsibility. Yes, spending on "entitlement
programs" needs to be curbed, but we can do both - tame domestic spending
and cut a military-industrial complex that is just as wasteful as any domestic
program. While the D-News opinion is apt to point out in general terms
"out-of-control-spending on entitlements," it conveniently ignores the
well-documented military spending boondoggles in Afghanistan. The premise by
the D-News that cutting military spending somehow upends any chance of reigning
in entitlement spending is a disingenuous argument one expects from a political
ideologue or a representative attempting to save a military base. I would hope
that the D-News would rise above such political carp. Finally, on
the D-News's subsidiary point that cutting military spending weakens world
security, I urge the editorial board to give less credence to the "fear"
ideology of Dick Cheney and to re-visit the wisdom of another Republican -
Dwight B. Eisenhower - who in his farewell address in 1961 sagely warned of the
rise of the military-industrial complex in the US.
The President took an oath of office, "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that
I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will
to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the
United States."Article 1, Section 8 requires that tax revenues
be spent on defense. There is NO authorization for Congress to spend money on
social programs in Section 8. There is NO enumeration in the Constitution for
social spending. If Mr. Obama is to keep his oath of office, he is
duty bound to see that Congress cuts social spending and all other unauthorized
spending before jeopardizing the defense budget. With North Korea rattling its
sabre and Iran rattling its sabre, Mr. Obama should spend some quality time with
those in the military who have the experience to advise him on what is needed.
He won't find that caliber of people on the golf course or at his favorite
vacation spots, but he will find them at work, where he ought to be. We did not
hire him to be our golfer in chief, but to be our commander in chief.
If we want to have the world's largest military force, we need to have the
world's highest taxes.
a bit of realityShawnee Mission, KSIf we want to have the
world's largest military force, we need to have the world's highest
taxes.7:39 a.m. Feb. 26, 2014============ Amen! Amen and Amen!That about sums it up perfectly!
I have to admit I'm confused by your stance Mike. You post some of the most
religiously laced comments with an almost theocratic dictatorship, yet you
believe the Sun should shine brightly on weapons of mass destruction who's
only use is to kill many other men women and children. Yet you decry social
programs that would help the least among us get by when religion fails in their
mission to take care of the sick and afflicted.
One small step toward fiscal sanity. But Rob Bishop will come unglued because
it might affect some of his most ardent fincancial supporters -- the
military/industrial complex that Eisenhower warned against.
"The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and
Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence and general Welfare
of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform
throughout the United States;..Mr. Richards, clearly the majority of
the country and those in history, do not agree with your interpretation of this
clause. The use of a semi-colon between the phrase containing general welfare
and the remaining phrases would in and of it self indicate the writers intended
the phrase to stand alone as related but not reliant on. I'll
leave the budget argument to others, but once again the DN has fallen along
silly partisan lines. I say silly because they don't make any sense in
todays world. And what's with the published rule of no capital
letter shouting but certain opinions do it all the time?
Schnee 1:48 a.m.Well, that kind of makes sense. Utah is filled with
people who think that knocking on doors for the LDS Church for two years is just
as good as serving in the military.
After all the howling about government spending, you want to leave the most
bloated of the bloated off the table? Now that's what sending the wrong
message to the world looks like. Let alone telling them we want to be ready to
fight the second world war in a world where a few terrorists here and there
represent the day to day enemy.
This is a stunning editorial, which must have been written by neo-cons and
defense contractors. Do you suggest that we should send troops into other
countries like Korea anytime we think it a good idea? The pork in the military
is renowned, and you really don't want that to end. YOu decry
"high" taxes and deficits, and here we are with a serious proposal to
right-size the military, and you are worried about having enough troops for the
next invasion (which I assume will happen when the next Republican is elected to
the White House). The message we need to send to the rest of the world is that
diplomacy and peaceful means should be utilized more, that the U.S. won't
act alone and be the world's bullies, and that we are smart and can use our
resources more tactically rather than relying on brute force with little or no
return (re: Iraq and Afghanistan. Our loss of lives, money and prestige made
very little difference in the long run.). Sorry, but it's time for us to
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