Skip to main content

View Diary: Tone-deaf and war-crazy: "Defense" budget for 2012 to exceed Vietnam years, year after Pearl Harbor (12 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  This is very simplistic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nick Lento

    I think we all agree that defense spending is obscene and the easiest area in the long run to cut the federal budget and hence deficits.

    But it's also an ocean liner that takes a long time to turn around.

    For example, when economist Joseph Stiglitz proved Bush was lying about the cost of the war, and that it would top $2 trillion, much of that estimate was based on the cost of caring for wounded and disabled soldiers, sailors and marines.

    You can't simply cut defense spending without taking care of these people for the rest of their lives.

    What we need to look at to determine whether the Obama administration is turning around the ocean liner, is the costs of the ongoing wars and the costs of over the top weapon systems, especially obsolete nuclear weapons.

    The current budget slashes expenditures for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by an unprecedented, mind boggling $41 billion for next year -- thanks in large part to carrying out the largest withdrawal of US forces from anywhere since Vietnam, in this case from Iraq.

    Also, the administration is proposing cutting major weapons systems, and has a long term goal of substantial nuclear disarmament.

    When you net the necessary, automatic increases with these big decreases, you get this year a small net increase, with projected decreases of $78 billion over the next five years, or about $15 billion a year, a level of absolute cuts (ie, not just restraining the growth in spending, but actually cutting), which hasn't happened since early in the Clinton administration.

    In this context, getting outraged over the inability of the administration to cut the military budget instantly is pretty much a symptom of outrage addiction.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site