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View Diary: White House directs Pentagon to prepare for 'cliff' (110 comments)

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  •  Jesus Christ this is frightening. (0+ / 0-)

    If the military is worried about the country falling off the fiscal cliff, what does that mean for the rest of us?  I sure hope to god that somebody blinks.

    •  the military is only worried about their toys (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phil S 33, Caelian, 207wickedgood, kurt

      As far as they're concerned, the rest of us only exist to buy them toys, so they're not going to lose sleep about tax hikes and benefits cuts.

      Besides, the military mentality is that if you don't have guns, then anyone can come right in and take your butter.  Therefore the choice isn't guns or butter because butter was never an option.  Instead, the choice is guns or no guns, and of course you should choose guns.

      To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

      by Visceral on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:07:10 PM PST

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      •  The point though is that (0+ / 0-)

        when a huge country goes off a cliff, the implications are frightening. People assume that because this is a fiscal cliff, or metaphorical cliff, that it is not going to be as bad as going over a real cliff. But we don't know that - it could be worse. There are millions of people who are barely getting by right now, there are children at risk. Who here can say with confidence that these people are not going to see their lives destroyed if the country goes over this fiscal cliff?

        •  Clearly many thousands in the defense WILL be (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bronx59

          losing their jobs---the question is:  How any???

          •  you and doc2: pick who gets screwed (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            divineorder, Pluto, blueoasis, jdld

            DoD employees or people who depend on Medicare, SS, food stamps, etc.?

            I pick DoD employees. I'd rather we spend our money helping people than killing them.

            To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

            by Visceral on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:23:51 PM PST

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            •  DoD employees are not 1%ers. (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mdmslle, Phil S 33, Bronx59, Pluto, Oh Mary Oh

              They are generally from poor families and join the military because the military is an employer of last resort. If too many of these people lose their jobs the impact on low-income families will be huge.

              •  I didn't say they were (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                blueoasis, jdld, kurt

                But cuts to military spending can in theory trickle up to the 1%: less taxpayer dollars funneled to their companies to build instruments of death and destruction.  Cutting social spending and raising taxes to keep that money flowing is only good for the 1% and bad for everyone else, including poorly paid DoD employees.

                I'd also distinguish between the actual troops and civilian personnel.  The proposed spending cuts imply less money for toys and overhead, not troop reductions or pay cuts.  Also, keeping the safety net intact benefits everyone who's not a 1%er, including and especially people who lose their jobs.

                To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

                by Visceral on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:40:56 PM PST

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                •  I can't say that I'd be unhappy seeing less (0+ / 0-)

                  money going in this direction.  

                  Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

                  by bkamr on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 04:07:06 PM PST

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              •  You miss the point doc2 (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                judyms9, Sarenth

                These jobs are not sustainable anyway.  They are going to go away because they aren't producing anything that can be used in the future.

                Better these people get retrained to build solar farms and stop building bombs.  We can't afford more bombs dude but these defense contractors should be able to convert some of their technology to civilian use.

                Do it now and take the hit while we still have a chance to develop a sustainable society.

              •  People who join aren't going to be impacted (0+ / 0-)

                as much as contractors.

                Contractors who, by and large, are hypocritical anti-government (except when the government is filling their trough) conservative asshats. I honestly don't give a shit if a lot of them lose their jobs. I feel bad for their dependent children, who don't have a choice (their spouses often do, and are often just as much hypocritical assholes as they are).

                Here's the thing, though: a lot of them don't have to lose their jobs if that money were redirected to more benign programs. But that's not on the table, of course, because too many people tuck their tails in and quiver at the merest mention of DoD cuts because "all the unemployed!!!" The MIC is too big to fail in a way no bank could be.

            •  Most of them are not DoD employees. (5+ / 0-)

              They're regular businesses with contracts. Companies who gave regular people working for them. Middle class people.

              I'm part of a team right now bidding a DHS contract. All three companies on the team, including mine, are veteran, women owned, 8a and/or hub zone. I'm not rich. But a contract like this one, of which I'm only a tangential part, would make a huge difference in my life. I won't get rich off this project. I won't be able to buy a second home. But I will be able to pay off my credit cards and what's left of my student loan and probably have enough left over to fund the launch of my non-profit organization enabling me to run the organization without drawing a salary (hubby and I could live on his pension and social security with our bills paid off).

              Quit knee jerking. Everything is not black and white.

              For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

              by mdmslle on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:38:29 PM PST

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              •  I'd prefer a jobs program with less blood on it (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PhilJD, kurt

                I'm not against government contracting; I think it's important that the government do things that the private sector won't touch because there's not enough profit to be made.

                I'd just prefer my money go to something that makes life better for all the people who don't get a paycheck from it.  Infrastructure, education, and yes, "welfare" ... as opposed to weapons and Big Brother.

                To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

                by Visceral on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:50:04 PM PST

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                •  Like it or not, the job of the military, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Oh Mary Oh

                  in the end, is to kill people. The only question for us as progressives is would we prefer the work to be done by machines like drones, or in the form of jobs for hard-working Americans.

                  •  sounds like a reason to abolish it to me (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kurt

                    There are a few countries out there with no military forces, and many many more countries with significantly smaller and less active militaries: i.e. that act as deterrents to neighbors rather than an imperial juggernaut straddling the world.  I think the drones vs. grunts argument sidesteps the real question of whether or not what they'd be used for can be justified.

                    Besides, Russia and China - the closest thing we have to "enemies" these days - have better things to do than occupy 300 million people.

                    To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

                    by Visceral on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:36:56 PM PST

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                    •  i think it's now part of US policy, (4+ / 0-)

                      as practiced by all recent presidents, that in order to keep up our street cred we should kill at least a certain number of people every year. Have you noticed  there's always some people or other that needs to be killed?

                      •  I'll agree with that (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        kurt, Heart of the Rockies

                        Though I suspect even that's just an excuse to keep those juicy defense contracts flowing.

                        It's sad that these people seem to think that the US has nothing else worthy of respect and peaceful coexistence.

                        Either way, it's definitely counterproductive.  Usually when you shoot at someone they get angry and shoot back ... as opposed to rationally and gracefully yielding to your superior firepower and resolve.

                        To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

                        by Visceral on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:54:13 PM PST

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                  •  Better to have drones (0+ / 0-)

                    than send brave young men and women out to get turned into hamburger on the other side of the world, where our "allies" are as likely to kill them as the enemy. But I still see "neither" as the best option.

                    "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

                    by Alice in Florida on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 04:52:57 PM PST

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                •  wow. you'd be surprised at the contract were up (0+ / 0-)

                  for. There's no "blood on it". In fact, it doesn't even offend my democratic socialist sensibilities. You have a lot of preconceived notions stemming from obvious ignorance and no understanding of the system that you are criticizing.

                  Am I suggesting that we can't or shouldn't have cuts in the DoD budget? no. But you paint with a pretty broad brush and it's obvious you have no idea what you're talking about. To you, everything DoD is war. And that's just not true.

                  For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

                  by mdmslle on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 06:12:54 AM PST

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              •  Deficit mania flies in the face of jobs. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jfdunphy

                That's just a fact. The jobs have to come from somewhere. Besides the moral issue of linking one's livelihood to the military it has always meant a greater than usual vulnerability to volatility and budgets. But it sure is important to remind everyone that this voluntary unnecessary deficit mania is at odds with the nations plea for Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

                Let all Bush tax cuts expire and , bring on the Sequestration cuts to defense.

                by kck on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 04:28:15 PM PST

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            •  I think they'd like us to think we have to (0+ / 0-)

              sacrifice the old, the sick, the powerless, the disabled and the weak or the DoD employess. Don't buy into it. It's the same old argument as in "we have to destroy the planet or people won't have jobs."

              48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam> "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Edna St.V. Millay

              by slouching on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 11:04:08 PM PST

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        •  It's not really a cliff (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          orlbucfan, PhilW

          things don't happen all at once..the only thing that changes for sure is that withholding taxes go up on Jan 1, but Congress can still pass a bill cutting federal taxes retroactively, any time up until the end of the year. The various defense programs will feel the pinch at different times as appropriations expire. The stupidest thing about sequestration, though, is that rather than eliminating the most wasteful programs and leaving necessary activities intact, it requires across-the-board 10% cuts on everything. Of course, it could be beneficial if Congress can come up with a bipartisan agreement to protect only the most necessary spending...unfortunately, it's hard to see Congress, esp the the Republican House, doing anything so sensible.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 04:47:39 PM PST

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          •  As EVERY business manger knows, across the... (0+ / 0-)

            ... board cuts are worse than anything ...

            ... except having to make a more selective choice, telling the afflicted people and trying to reasure the ones who aren't yet, managing the certain redistribution of workload and workarounds for tasks and people that were axed. And the certain knowledge that if the cuts do turn out to be real, they're likely to be things that are or will be missed after the culpable cutters and slashers have long since left the building. (Replacement parts, old George who how it really worked, the back channels that got stuff done which had been the victims of past cuts, etc.)

            Yes, the military budget - please let's stop calling it "defense" - surely is hugely bloated. But the participants are crying "vital-to-defense" or hiding or marshalling surrogates (like Congressmen) to put in a word for them.

            It's a curb, followed by a slope. Probably with little time to do the cutting well enough. Trust me, I've been there.

            2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

            by TRPChicago on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 05:08:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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