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View Diary: Bill Maher smacks down the spoiled & entitled 'persecuted' rich (66 comments)

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  •  Military Spending (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, mrkvica, 417els

    The real federal budget is here.

    What you will notice about it is that Social Security and Medicare have their own taxes. That's because they are transfer payments, not federal spending. So, if you subtract out payroll taxes, total federal spending is about $2.8 trillion. Of that, over $800 billion is spent on national defense. That includes:

    * Dept of Defense: $673 billion
    * Dept of Homeland Security: $55 billion
    * Dept of Energy (where we keep our nukes): $35 billion
    * National Intelligence spending: $53 billion

    Total: $816 billion

    This does not really total all the spending for national defense. IMO, a lot of other spending is really for national defense in the broader sense. For example, the State Department is a real component of our national defense, but I didn't include it ($60 billion, probably including foreign aid, which is mainly aimed at preventing Israel and Egypt from going to war) in the total. This is only money specifically designated for national defense.

    And by that conservative count defense spending is around 29% of the federal budget.

    Bill showed a graphic how our spending stacks up against that of other countries. It's out of control. That's why I want to limit military spending to the combined total of the next five largest military budgets (my 5X plan).

    This would get it down in the range of $400 billion, about what we were spending under Bill Clinton, and a level from which we could decide how much to cut to really meet our national defense needs.

    When people like Kristol say how little we spend for national defense and talk about percentage of the budget or GDP we need to have the facts on the table and call them out. Bill Maher should not buy their argument about percentages. But he can only do that if we make the real numbers widely known.

    •  Begin with this: Close *every* US military base (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Liberal Thinking

      that is not on US territory.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 03:08:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm Not Sure I'd Go That Far (0+ / 0-)

        You never know who would take them over. But I think we could find, say, $350 billion to cut out of our military spending. If not, someone needs to tell me why not.

        •  if the countries where the bases exist want (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Liberal Thinking

          to allow some other country to have a military presence inside their borders, that's their own damned business.

          only empires have military bases in other countries in time of piece.

          the empire must go.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 08:05:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Hear You (0+ / 0-)

            I understand what you're saying, but if we shut down Guantanamo and Russia decides to establish a base there, I suspect the vast majority of the American people would be very unhappy.

            I'm not in favor of completely disarming. I just think we are vastly overspending on the military.

            That's not just a waste, either. It's hurting the economy. The economy is our most important national security asset. We are not in danger of being invaded by a conquering army. We are in danger of being invaded by a conquering army of accountants. So, we should invest in the working part of the economy, not the military, if we care about our national security.

            •  If the Cubans want to have Russian bases on their (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Liberal Thinking

              soil, that's their prerogative. If we don't want the Cubans to have Russian bases on their soil, we can use diplomacy to attempt to dissuade either the Cubans or the Russians. It is, on the other hand, both unethical and immoral for us to:

              A. Maintain a base on the Cuban island that we obtained by force of arms in a colonial war.
              B. Tell the Cubans what they can and can't do within their own borders.

              To withdraw our military to within our borders is not to disarm -- it is, however, to improve the ethical measure of our approach to "defense" by about two full notches on a logarithmic scale.

              The difference between my view and that of probably 92 or 93% of the American population is that I do not consider it acceptable for us to have a defensive posture that guarantees our civilian population (and for that matter, our physical territory) full and absolute protection from military assault. If the leaders of some other nation are insane enough to launch actual military strikes against the U.S., then some of us will die.

              Mind you, the odds of that happening are very, very small. In the meantime, withdrawing our imperial forces from their colonial outposts will improve the overall ethical tenor of international relations by a very significant amount.

              To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

              by UntimelyRippd on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:27:30 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

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