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[Cross-posted at The Left Coaster.]

The evolution of our Christmas cliff twisted to a new level of absurdity yesterday when Paul Krugman passed along polling data showing that by almost four to one citizens think going over the cliff will increase the deficit.  It makes sense, in a way, since the deficit is (falsely) the most scariest thing ever of course the cliff means more of it, but classically a false premise leads to a false solution, the deficit is terrible so we’ll cut it, which is a really scary bad thing.  Whoops.

Folks are really busy trying to juggle work, careers, holidays, family, homes and technology, there’s only so much time people can devote real attention to politics.  Life is difficult and confusing, I defend the American voter and citizen here, only the political junkies know all the deficit hysteria is total bullshit and the ridiculous “cliff” represents super stupid Hoover economics at the worst possible time.  The “cliff” was a dumb and immature deal by fools to try and force themselves to be adults cloaked in many layers of rank dishonesty, it’s no surprise distracted Americans are confused by it.

Faith and trust in American politicians has reached a new low, nobody trusts Congress to feed their cat, rightfully so.  Toss in a nauseating America media that would rather scare voters than try to report simple Keynesian economics and this is the absurdity we get.

For the bazillionth time, the United States does not have a pressing federal deficit problem, our unique currency and global economic position lends us an absurdly enviable position of simply minting more money.  This in theory can lead to future inflation problems, but to use this an excuse for inaction while millions of American lives are being smashed right this second is the height of cruelty and stupidity.  Recessions call for increased social spending, charlatans who fret about deficits now don’t want money spent on the little people, especially the little people who aren’t white.

The United States has a cash allocation problem, not a deficit one.  Our deficit-to-gdp ratio is perfectly reasonable by any historical standard and inflation well in check.  We’re throwing our money away at the Department of Defense and Afghanistan in an awesome breathtaking rate.

If the deficit is so scary and we can’t spend more, why spend money on tanks and planes and wars?  For the sake of time and convenience, just state that the current rate of amazing Defense spending is justified and delivers us security (what a crock).  Okay it does, but what about Afghanistan?  If we pull out a year early that saves $120 billion.

Shift it all as bulk payments to the States, who desperately need it.  Just helicopter drop in tons of cash to deliriously happy Governors and citizens, debts will be wiped out, schools built and heavenly infusions of real little people cash will gush over the land like green fountains of ecstatic nirvana.  Man I can see it.

Then imagine shifting just $100 billion from that bloated blimp of a Defense budget to little people spending every year.  Instead of investing in artillery shells that money builds solar panels, schools, and trains that really pay off for generations.

A threat to our security in reduced DOD spending?  Jesus Christ.  We’ve spent so little on schools and our children far too many young men have no hope for a future, homicides have spiked horribly this year in my city by young men who seem to have no options left but destructive violence.  Everybody’s so shocked, and while we were sacrificing our Army and Marine Corps for poppy fields halfway across the globe our real security degraded a little more every year because we ignored our young people.  Way to go.

Again, just let this confusing holiday hairball of fiscal cliff-ness go, simply and rationally blame the Republicans, which is totally believable because it’s true. In January make the whole idiotic idea of cutting spending go away with a never mind! bill that ends the Afghanistan war and shifts $120 billion to the States.  Just a year of DOD money will start the screaming necessity of shifting further DOD cash to the little people.  Congress would actually earn respect and its approval ratings climb out of Satan’s basement.

Now that’s a Christmas present for the United States.  As likely as Santa coming down the chimney this month, perhaps, but stranger things have happened in this world.


Sacrificing American service people and spending $120 billion annually for the Afghanistsan war has increased my general sense of security.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What, and abandon those $1 trillion worth (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Pissed Off Liberal

    of minerals?

    Seems just a tad short-sighted.  

    In any event, I concede if we left and "saved" $120 billion that'd be great.  

    but I am highly skeptical that the $$s wouldn't simply be shifted to some other arm of the military/security industrial complex.    Obama seems to be completely incapable of standing up to them - if he was, we should have been out of Afghanistan years ago.

  •  I rather give up my Medicare and SS (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Pissed Off Liberal

    than ask our Historic President to give up his Legacy Building Pointless Wars -- can't Slaughter the Sacred Cows, now can we?

    "It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth." - Morpheus

    by CitizenOfEarth on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 05:46:33 AM PST

  •  Defense Spending (3+ / 0-)

    Over the last twelve years has made the Washington D.C. area by far the richest area in the country. Even when the rest of the country reeled in a depression, Washington had a housing and economic boom.

    They ain't going to give this up.

    Way too many media and political spouses are making millions at this trough.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 05:46:59 AM PST

  •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for reminding us that there are plenty of places to cut spending (especially in the Pentagon) that would be a net plus for the country, and should have much higher priority than tweaking Medicaid.

    It's also worth mentioning, early and often, that one reason the national debt is so high is because the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld gang didn't put the 2 wars into the budget, they just spent the money off-line -- running up the debt. The deficit hawks didn't have a problem with that, apparently; it must be OK when you're a Republican white guy.

  •  No, it wouldn't. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We are spending 88 billion in Afghanistan in FY 2013.  In FY 2014, it should be less.

    That means that withdrawing a year early would save us around 50 to 60 billion.

    Saving 50 to 60 billion is not worth making changes at the last minute that would seriously cause problems for the partner countries in the ISAF coalition and the Afghan Security Forces.

    It's going to be hard enough for the Afghan Security Forces as the plan currently stands.  There's no need to make it even harder and more deadly for them by scrambling everything at the last minute.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 09:20:55 AM PST

  •  numbers seem a bit high (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    $120 billion is $10 billion a month.  At the height of the Afghan "surge" I remember us running about $4 billion a month.

    Some of the costs associated are fixed and dont change just because we are not there.  Well fixed in the sense that unless we simply discharge the 60K+ troops and at least that many government civilians/contractors we still have to pay them.  And suddenly firing 120K+ people is not a good thing.  My dear comrades in the US Air Forces will simply change the billing code on aircraft maintenance unless we mothball a lot of planes.  Same for the Navy and ships.  As soon as they cross and imaginary line into the "Afghanistan Zone" they can bill everything to "OCO" - Overseas Contingency Operations.  With no line to cross that billing will go back to big DoD.  It is entirely possible the total DoD bill will go UP as the cost for "Afghanistan" goes down.  The AF and Navy are like addicts with OCO their drug of choice since it lets them move a lot of expense off their books.  The Army is not innocent in this its just that we tend to move people in and out and leave the stuff behind.  The Army will actually see a HUGE increase in spending for maintenance on all the stuff once it comes back and Army leadership is already trying to figure out how to call that OCO after there is no CO O.

    Withdrawal is expensive so that might be where some of the $120 billion comes from but we have to pay that to leave.

    I dont disagree with the basic premiss - war is an expensive activity and that money could fund a lot of other good things.  But the payoff for ending a war takes a few years and the "peace dividend" is normally a lot less than advertised.

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 11:27:16 AM PST

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