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View Diary: Obama in weekly address: Congress must act now to stop sequester (99 comments)

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  •  We could easily raise taxes (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zinger99, ladybug53, emal, bdop4, NoMoreLies

    Or just cut the military instead. No need to destroy swaths of government funded jobs.

    •  Need to be careful about this... (0+ / 0-)

      ...large military cuts right now are going to kill large numbers of jobs, as well.  While we need to shrink defense spending, the time to do it is later, when the economy is strong enough to absorb the people who would lose jobs as a result of defense cuts.

      As for tax increases...again, we need to be careful, since the wrong tax increases will ripple into a weak economy.  The perfect example, of course, is the ending of the payroll tax cut, which is directly reducing retail spending.  Tax cuts need to be carefully targetted to hit those at the top, and even then they should probably be phased in over several years so as not to create an immediate economic shock.

      The bottom line is that while we do need to deal with the deficit, we really don't need deficit reduction right now.  A good sequestration replacement (which, unfortunately, isn't going to happen) would replace cuts now with tax increases and cuts that start several years from now.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:42:44 AM PST

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      •  Bullshit? It depends on where the "cuts" happen. (1+ / 0-)
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        The Pentagram will protect their playpen and certain profitable programs, at the expense of payroll for "The Troops We Support," the costs of Supporting The Troops Who Were Sucker Enough To 'Go Fight To Protect Their Country By Kicking In Doors In Kandahar And Got Their Brains Rattled Or Legs Blown Off', stuff like that. If you work for a "defence contractor" that lives off cost-plus (whatever they can steal) contracts, and your town profits from that behavior, too, maybe it's time to realize that it's time to switch to something other than making world-destroying buggy whips...

        "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

        by jm214 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:02:40 AM PST

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        •  You missed the point. (0+ / 0-)

          My comment is that cutting that defense (and non-defense, for that matter) spending will hurt the economy.  That's indisputably true -- I don't think that Paul Krugman or any other rational economist with disagree.

          In contrast, your argument is that defense spending is evil.  You're entitled to your opinion on that matter (and I'm entitled to give it the respect it deserves, which isn't much)...but it also has nothing to do with how cutting that spending will impact the economy.

          The problem with cutting defense spending now is that there is absolutely no political path today for moving that spending into other activities that would boost the economy.  Most of us here on DKos wish that were otherwise, but it isn't -- and that means defense cuts will hurt the economy.

          Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

          by TexasTom on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 03:12:02 PM PST

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          •  I don't think I missed your point at all, (0+ / 0-)

            which is largely that Resistance Is Futile -- if, as you insist, there is no political path for moving that spending to other activities. It's a tautology to say that spending less through the War Department will harm the bits of the economy that feed off that war Department udder. But it is not a reason not to choke off some of the Pentagram's infinite appetites.

            I wander around in Milbabble-space, read the trade press for the MIC players frequently, and have many times suggested that for people to see what they get for their "defense" dollar, they should just start reading through the DoD Dictionary, that thing that takes a huge bureaucracy to produce and update to keep up with message and doctrine changes to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, that kind of fails to define a few terms like "war" and "peace" and "victory" but is chock-full of insane bureaucratic tidbits that any random page will display:

            I guess I must have little respect for YOUR message, and your attempt to say I think defense spending is "evil." Huge parts of it, by any ethical measurement I've come across, would sure seem to qualify as "evil," not to mention "stupid" and "wasteful" and "dead-end," but of course humans are ugly creatures, so a certain amount of "defense" is inevitable. Huge swaths of military and "defense" spending are a huge waste, as far as I can see, underwritten by taxes and debt imposed on people who have no idea what the whole Global Network-Centric Battlespace Management miasma is, in the parts that can be seen. Or that "contracts," for services that GIs getting paid penny-ante TROOP wages can do just fine, involve paying parasites, who often just sit on their asses while the GIs do the workd, anywhere from 10 to 100 times as much for the same work (plus travel, housing, tax-free income, health care and other crap).

            What you are selling is just "don't rock the (YOUR, actually) boat," another version of the argument on which the people building the F-22 and F-35 have pressed so vigorously and "politically:" "Hey, man, it's a JOBS program! Good-paying middle class jobs!"

            Defense cuts will hurt the economy? Who's worth more? Your contracting buddies who build weapons to fight wars that surprise! are losers from the git-go (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.) or will never happen, or the grandma in Keokuk who gets to be ChainCPI'd down to hoping she can get someone to run her to Walmart to buy a case of high-sodium Ramen to fill her stomach with until she dies from a stroke induced by sodium-augmented hypertension?

            Change our national spending priorities away from the huge boondoggle that is "defense," and do I really need to cite examples, beyond recent conclusions that the whole system is so systemically corrupt that hundreds of billions of dollars have just "disappeared," and that the whole Pentagram thing simply cannot be audited?

            IS it really true that "most of us here on Dkos wish it were otherwise?" Anyone taken a poll on that lately?

            If not now, when?

            And your answer would appear to be (correct me if I'm wrong) something between "Not now, I and my pals still benefit from it," and "Never!"

            "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

            by jm214 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:04:37 PM PST

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      •  A lot of Defense Spending (1+ / 0-)
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        is not labor intensive, but incorporates high skill workers. Why don't we move them from developing weapons to kill people to developing technology that promotes their health and welfare?

        •  A great idea... (0+ / 0-)

          ...the problem is that it has zero chance of happening.  Cutting the defense budget will go to deficit reduction, not to alternative research and development in non-defense fields.  

          In a politically sane environment, we might be able to do exactly what you propose.  In the current environment, it ain't happening -- so postponing both the civilian and defense cuts until the economy is stronger is the best idea.

          Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

          by TexasTom on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 03:04:44 PM PST

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