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View Diary: Cato: taxes must be increased to stop Bush's Big Government (121 comments)

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  •  Which wouldn't cost over half a trillion to do (2+ / 0-)
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    parrothead, boofdah

    If I were running things, I'd pay our troops more, and provide them with better access to medical care (eg: fully fund the VA) and housing that's more comparable to what you'd get in civilian life.

    For example: the military would rather fund stealth fighters than soldiers.

    Trace the military budget back a quarter-century. You will find that each and every year, no matter what kinds of threats we were or weren't facing, the money has been divvied up in the same way—35 percent to the Air Force, 35 percent to the Navy, and 30 percent to the Army. In no year, at least since the mid-1980s, has this formula varied by more than 1 percent. (The figures do not include costs related to the war in Iraq or Afghanistan, which come out of budget supplementals.)

    Far more than the other services, the Army spends a huge share of its budget—about 40 percent—on personnel.

    So, if we need$512.9 billion and 40 percent of that is to support the troops. Let's give the military a sizable 60 percent of that proposed budget, or $307.7 billion. Then, let's get our soldiers out of Iraq and bring them home. Then pass universal health care in the United States and reduce the burden on the VA. After that, eliminate more weapons programs and make sure the military can provide all the services its needs without outsourcing to private companies.

    •  No, but it WOULD cost a lot (1+ / 0-)
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      It would still cost a lot -- tens of billions.  Plus we need to maintain (and replace) equipment.  Cover the cost of safely disposing unneeded nuclear weapons, etc.  Best case, we're still talking about something like $300 billion/year for the immediate future.

      That's a nice cut from where we are, but not enough to avoid needing to raise taxes from current levels.

      •  If we wanted to spend less we could (0+ / 0-)

        We're in a very cushy position thanks to geography.  $100 billion a year would still be the largest military budget on earth and plenty for any imaginable threat.   Whether it's politically feasible to get to get all the wage slaves to give up their proxy phallic symbols is another matter.  It's compensation for being at the mercy of corporation bosses half their waking lives.

        •  commitments to allies (0+ / 0-)

          We might be able to spend that amount, but we've got a whole lot of commitments to our allies.  I'd be astonished if we could live up to them if we cut our military budget to 100 billion per year.

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