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View Diary: Unions and Other Progressives Encouraged after WH Meeting (61 comments)

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  •  Defense budget is twice what it ought to be (11+ / 0-)

    (and what it was just a decade ago). It is higher in inflation-adjusted terms than anytime since World War II. Since the demise of the Soviet Union over 20 years ago, we have no significant military enemies. Cutting the defense budget now makes a lot of sense.

    •  It makes a lot of sense but politics is not (0+ / 0-)

      the art or science of "ought".  We'll see.

      Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

      by tikkun on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 09:21:30 PM PST

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    •  Much of the problem with this comes in the actual (0+ / 0-)

      cutting.  No community, be it blue or red, wants to lose their bases or their aerospace industry money.  In particular, the California coast is dotted with training bases, particularly between LA and San Diego, and LA itself, particularly the South Bay and the High Desert, are heavily reliant on aerospace jobs where work on civilian projects isn't enough to keep those jobs from going to Airbus, whose civilian projects are, last I heard, illegally subsidized by the eurozone (ever wonder why we're flying on more and more Airbuses and fewer Boeing equipment?  "Thank" German and French taxpayers for that).

      On top of that, a lot of midwestern states also have bases and I think that rural areas have above-average rates of military enlistment, including places like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

      So when it comes down to actually doing the cutting, nobody wants to lose their shirt and every defense line item has a civilian constituent to object to its cutting.  It's why the base closings in the 80s and 90s were so damn difficult.  Some places that lose their bases, particularly rural areas, simply don't recover.  It's a non-trivial issue.

      I'm agnostic.  I know we need to "cut" something but it would have been nice if we could've kept the cutting to overseas stuff such as Afghanistan.  I'm a little reluctant about wholesale cutting at the tail end of a recession - enlisted Marine Corps infantry in San Diego spend the same color money as do any other person whose job is subsidized by Federal money, and I guess I'm OK with, at this stage in the economy, supporting Boeing just to get them to do R&D for the sake of R&D and see what pops out.  Maybe they can invent the killer app to replace velcro or Tang or something :).

      Of course, the problem of getting the GOP to go along with that kind of stimulative use of defense spending may make my little economically stimulative utopia unrealistic.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:43:23 AM PST

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