The neocon GOP and MIC propaganda is all pervasive.
(MIC is the Military Industrial Complex Eisenhower warned about in his farewell address in 1961. Here is the clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y06NSBBRtY
Please watch it, if you haven’t already done so. It is only 2 minutes long.)
This propaganda appears on ALL TV channels and ALL the main papers.
The politicians outright lie about military spending every day.
Boehner : “the military cuts (in the fiscal cliff sequestration) will have a drastic effect on our National Defense.”
Total garbage – they could find the $24bn in the fiscal cliff from petty cash.
But nobody – not from the GOP or the Dems or the mainstream media calls him out about it.
You won’t see any analysis of military spending from any mainstream media outlet or any politician.
This is a great one.
Military spending is 60% of discretionary spending.
Education gets 6%.
DHS gets over half what America spends on public Education (3.5% of discretionary spending).
N.B. the above chart does not include a lot of military spending that is squirrelled away in other departmental budgets to hide the true amount that America is spending on the military.
When the Pentagon’s budget does not even include the cost of maintaining America’s nuclear arsenal you know something is wrong.
The real National Security budget – the number NOBODY wants you to see – $1,219bn
Even after hiding circa $500bn of true annual costs – the official budgets are still higher than even the peak of cold war spending.
Switzerland spends $700 per person per year on civil and national defense.
America spends over $4,000.
If America spent the equivalent per person as Switzerland it would spend $220bn a year – not $1,219bn.
There is ALL of America’s budget deficit right there. (91% of it)
(Switzerland is very wasteful on Defense Spending – it could probably spend half as much and still feel as safe.)
I don’t advocate going as low as Switzerland – but $400 to $450bn would be about right. That would be about 5 times what China is currently spending (China spends about $91bn).
I advocate immediate military spending cuts of $500bn+ – it’s easy to see how.
$105bn a year is being spent on 7,000 “contractors” in Iraq. Presumably most of these are Blackwater type people.
$170bn a year is being spent on building and supplying foreign military bases. Close half the bases and bring back the 138,000 military currently stationed in Germany, Japan, South Korea, UK and Italy.
A new large base is currently being built in Italy. I don’t know what good the military think this will do. The Italians didn’t even allow America to use their Italian bases when Libya kicked off. America used aircraft carriers and UK bases for Libya.
The 2013 budget for the Afghan war is $88bn. End it – NOW.
America is developing the new F35 stealth plane at an estimated cost of $1,450bn.
America hasn’t had a plane shot down since the first Gulf War in 1992.
We all know what happens to the estimated costs of large military projects – they usually go up multiple times.
America is developing the next generation ballistic missile submarine. Goodness knows how much that is costing.
There are a LOT of other wasteful procurement contracts.
EVERY single contract should be up for review.
$10.8bn of new procurement contracts were signed just on 12/28. More get signed every day. Whatever the politicians say – there is still plenty of money available to feed the arms industry.
More details of military spending are available here.
The arms industry currently enjoys major tax breaks. Not surprisingly, with the recent massive ramp up in military spending, they are also making record profits. Take the tax breaks away.
America has got it’s priorities all wrong.
And nobody in the mainstream even discusses it.
The fiscal cliff as it stood.
N.B. The defense industry constantly say that cuts to defense spending will mean job cuts.
But this is extremely disingenuous.
Yes, there would be some job losses in the defense industry if real cuts were made – I am talking $500bn+ of annual cuts. (Not the tiny $24bn in the fiscal cliff as it stood.)
You could cut the current Pentagon budget of $105bn a year for 7,000 “contractors” still in Iraq.
That works out at $15 million per job.
I wouldn’t be adverse to losing those 7,000 jobs. Not if it means saving most of that $105bn. They are probably blackwater type mercenaries.
In fact cut ALL the mercenaries currently being used – use troops instead. It is a method of hiding the true facts about military activity and spending – at a vastly increased price to using US troops. People are leaving the military to join companies like Blackwater because they get paid multiple amounts more.
You could massively cut the $170bn currently spent on building and supplying foreign bases.
The building of foreign bases employs a lot of foreign native workers – not Americans.
If you brought the 138,000 military currently stationed in Germany, Japan, South Korea, UK and Italy home – your supply costs would go down significantly.
Similarly stopping the war in Afghanistan would save $88bn a year. It wouldn’t mean job losses (well a tiny amount maybe – you wouldn’t buy so many bullets and you wouldn’t need so many Predator drones costing $36m a pop. How much of that $36m is labor costs? Not much I’ll bet – China is building similar drones for $1m each. How much profit is being made on each drone? Cut the price.).
Cuts to the US defense budget do not affect exports.
America had 79% of the global arms trade in 2011.
The defense industry currently receive major special tax breaks. They are also making record profits. You could cut the Corporate Tax breaks – that wouldn’t cost jobs.
Also labor costs for the arms industry are about the lowest proportionally of just about any industry and the LEAST productive economic activity.
E.G. You create three times as many jobs for every dollar you put into education compared to every dollar put into the arms industry.
If you want to create jobs and a thriving economy – you don’t spend your money on the arms industry.
The media and politicians are also lying about the true costs of Bush’s wars.
$1.3bn is often quoted – this is just the Pentagon’s base budget and does not even include Congress appropriations for war operations.
The true costs for Bush’s wars are $5tn plus and the costs are still mounting.