Free Markets, Free People


The defense budget

Here’s a little fact to keep in mind when considering the current cuts to spending at DoD (and let’s be clear, there is nothing wrong with appropriate cuts to defense spending), besides all the other ramifications it promises:

Defense accounts for less than 20 percent of the federal budget but already exceeds 50 percent of deficit-reduction efforts. And for every dollar the President hopes to save in domestic programs, he plans on saving $128 in defense.

And that’s without the looming sequestration cuts (keep in mind, most war fighting costs are not included in the budget) of another half trillion dollars.

Or said another way, the administration has decided that it will attempt to cut spending primarily with cuts to national defense.  There is no serious program afoot to cut back the myriad of other government agencies and branches.  In fact, many are expanding (see EPA, IRS, etc.).

As for sequestration, Democrats are bound and determined to see it through, because, you know, national defense is less important than winning an ideological struggle.

Charles Hoskinson of POLITICO’s Morning Defense reports (btw, if you don’t subscribe to it, you should):

BUT REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS are still far apart on one key issue: taxes. We caught up with SASC Chairman Levin at a breakfast Thursday and he said he’s counting on public pressure to push the GOP to accept new tax revenues as part of any solution – something they’ve so far refused to consider. Meanwhile, Levin and other Democrats won’t budge on reversing sequestration except as part of a complete package. "The dam has got to be broken on revenues, and what I believe will break it is the threat of sequestration," he said.

Shorter Levin, “we’re more than willing to hold national security hostage and see it gutted to get our way on taxes”.

It is rather interesting  approach for an administration which is hung up on everyone paying their ‘fair share’.  It seems that the lion’s share of what it will surely tout during the upcoming campaign as serious budget cutting, will come from the one Constitutionally mandated duty it has – national defense.

As for all the programs that have a future funding liability of 200 trillion dollar?

Meh.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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40 Responses to The defense budget

  • Tax, spend, cut defense.

    We’ve seen this movie before. The admission price is ALWAYS too high.

    • @Ragspierre The one “consolation” is that it’s a blue state that will most likely pay the price.

  • LOL! You don’t see it, do you? Republicans are so ideologically opposed to any reasonable tax increase on the wealthy that they’re willing to see defense spending slashed in support of their ideological jihad. You can’t have it your way in both issues, you have to choose.

    • @scotterb “You can’t have it your way in both issues”

      Why the hell not? Obama has two positions (at least) on every issue.

      We could reduce the Federal “work” force (HA!) by attrition 10%. Nothing wrong with that.

      • @Ragspierre Bottom line: if the Republicans are willing to compromise on taxes, defense cuts will be limited. It’s up to the GOP – they can’t whine about the Democrats on this issue or point the finger of blame. If these cuts happen, the GOP has made a choice and Obama should skewer them over it. I have a feeling this will be a fun election year!

        • @scotterb @Ragspierre Must be nice to be so simple, minded.

          the only thing you didn’t do was blame Bush. You’re so right the Democrats are hapless saints in all this. Well, hapless at least.

        • @scotterb Why don’t you try some non-bilateral thinking, moron? What about the solution of cutting back on the Federal work (HA!) force?

          C’mon…stretch those lil’ gray cells… Bothudem…

        • @scotterb @Ragspierre It simple … let’s raise taxes on college professors to save defense.

        • @looker @scotterb @Ragspierre Speaking of sequestrations… seems that academics aren’t very happy when it doesn’t go their way either.

          http://youtu.be/D6ODwOthDbw

    • @scotterb LOL! you don’t see it, do you? Democrats are so ideologically in favor of any tax increase on the wealthy that they’re willing to see defense spending slashed in support of their ideological jihad.

      You’re such a moron Erb.

      • @looker @scotterb I think the good professor missed the part where Obama figured out that colleges prices are now part of the problem. The “golden age” of colleges is about to come to an end.

        • @Neo_ @looker @scotterb Bubble…meet pin…

          Heh!!!

        • @Ragspierre @looker @scotterb First, Obama came for the doctors, then he came for the “rich” … then he came for the college employees, ….

        • @looker @scotterb Let’s apply this mortgage lesson to student loans.

          Colleges are the effective originators, the promoters, and the chief financial beneficiaries of student loans.

          Who are the most important parties to have “skin in the game” in student loans? The colleges themselves, of course! They are the effective originators, the promoters, and the chief financial beneficiaries of student loans. It is their rising costs which result in ever more debt and more risk of default for student borrowers and for taxpayers.

          The federal student loan programs should simply compel colleges which get proceeds from the programs to maintain a 10 percent first-loss share in the credit performance of the loan. This puts a material risk of excessive and un-repayable debt and of high college costs on those who are promoting the loans. The colleges would stand to take losses on bad loans before the taxpayers, as they should—they would, in financial parlance, be subordinated or “junior” to the taxpayers. A highly desirable improvement in financial structure and incentives!

          So, just as for the mortgage lenders, let’s give the colleges some “skin in the game.”

        • @Neo_ @looker @scotterb These are PREDATORY LENDERS, snake charmers seducing puurrrr lil’ chilren…who are tender and innocent…into loans they cannot afford. And for WHAT…??? Meretricious CRAP degrees in pseudo-science degrees like “political science”.

          And all so the rich, fat-cat professors, with their soft white delicate hands and lack of upper-body development, can eat their petifor in their towers ivory…

          Where are the mobs? Jacques, to the barricades…!!!

    • @scotterb Oh, and, uh, where’s the budget. Oh, and, uh, where’s the spending cuts (I mean, aside from those coming out of the wicked wicked military).

      Yeah, thought not. Talk about ideological blinders. You’re the poster boy.

    • @scotterb Let’s not overtax Obama’s brain and give him a chance to prove he is worth re-election.

      The annual budget request, according to the Budget Act, is due next Tuesday. Will he deliver it on time, or has his campaigning around the country diverted his attention from his primary job.

      • @Neo_ @scotterb Then I stand corrected, I was wrong to demand the budget, now, I mean it’s only been 1000+ days since we’ve had one, Clearly I was just too impatient.

      • @Neo_ @scotterb But why break form…??? He has never proposed a budget on time.

        And the LAST proposal was such a laugher, NOBODY voted for it.

        • @Ragspierre @Neo_ @scotterb Well, you know, if you bring it up, he’ll probably get angry, budgets, ears, it doesn’t take much. Anything that displeases him.

        • @looker @Neo_ @scotterb Yeah. Just ask Gov. Brewer…

        • @Ragspierre @scotterb OK I know it will be late. The White House said so already.
          I have no idea what will be in it, but we all can be sure that Obama will think that it is good for America

        • @Ragspierre @Neo_ @scotterb Cause, you know, I WANT a President who can’t take criticism, and who you can’t poke fun at. Good Lord, what a baby.

        • @Neo_ @scotterb “…all can be sure that Obama will think that it is good for America”

          Equally true of Venezuela…!!!

        • @Ragspierre @scotterb … and Brazil.

    • @scotterb I love the smell of burning strawmen in the morning, it smells like… vanity.

      • @DocD @scotterb
        What do you expect from a person who thought Kerry’s Cambodian Flight of Fancy was true, or who thought Murtha’s attack on the Haditha Marines was warranted, or who said the Surge was a failure 3 months before the first surge brigade was to arrive in iraq, or . . . shall I go on?

        The man is a maroon!!!!! And a Democrat Shill!!

        ‘Nuff said!

        • @sshiell @DocD @scotterb Kerry has done more for his country and deserves more respect than you sshiell. Murtha was telling the truth — the atrocities committed by Americans can’t be denied, every side commits atrocities in war. It’s cowardly to try to hide them or pretend they don’t exist. I also noted early on that the Bush policy of changing from fighting insurgents to coopting them was the correct strategy. It meant admitting they were wrong about the war initially — it was a shift from neo-conservative delusional thinking to realism, a very necessary shift and a good one. But once they stopped trying to “win,” establish democracy and a long term presence, “peace with honor” became possible. I early on praised President Bush for those choices, even while others on the so-called left criticized him harshly. Bush did a good job the last two years of his Presidency.

          By the way, I was right about Iraq when the war started, while the right was arguing we’d be greeted as liberators and saying this would spread democracy to the region. Funny how you forget that.

          The Iraq war was the biggest foreign policy fiasco in US history since WWII, surpassing even the Vietnam war in the harm it has done to our national interest. Any cheerleader of that catastrophe has a lot of nerve trying to claim other people are “maroons”.

        • @scotterb @sshiell @DocD Erp, there is no way to say but simply to observe you are a moral coward and a Collectivist dupe.

          Well…and a moron.

        • @scotterb @sshiell @DocD “Murtha was telling the truth — the atrocities committed by Americans can’t be denied, every side commits atrocities in war.”
          Uh, NO, the investigations are down to one guy, Murtha was scathingly wrong, and his death is probably the only thing that protected him from a civil suit by the falsely accused. But you keep trying there chuck, someday you’ll be right.

        • @scotterb @sshiell @DocD would it be time to jump in to the way back and look up around, say August of 2009 when you were CERTAIN Obama was going to have to cut spending?

        • @scotterb @sshiell @DocD “Murtha was telling the truth — the atrocities committed by Americans can’t be denied, every side commits atrocities in war.”

          Now, see, that has been bothering me. That isn’t just a junior-high level piece of moral equivalency BS (though, if true, it would be that).

          I is an outright lie. Murtha did not say that, but instead accused a Marine unit of murder.

          So, let’s add to moral coward, Collectivist dupe, and moron the term “LIAR”.

          BTW, the last Haditha defendant took a misdemeanor-level plea bargain last week. Murtha was slandering the Marines, the cock-sucking phuc.

        • The only statement Erb made that might be true is that the Iraq war could have been the worst thing for our national interest in decades; but only if it can be proven that it got Obama elected. The rest is flat lies.

          If Erb has any integrity, he won’t be complimentary of the foreign policy acumen of the poeple that said the following about Iraq; but I suspect the rave reviews will continue, at least through the first week of November.
          “Iraq is not a perfect place. But we are leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people.”
          “I am very optimistic about — about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You’re going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You’re going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government.”

        • @scotterb @sshiell @DocD … we were greeted as liberators in some places, but it all went South when Bremmer and the State Department decide we should have an occupation. It would have gone better if we had just installed a “puppet government” and faded into the background.

        • @scotterb @DocD
          Yeah, I remember how you cam to Kerry’s defense over his Cambodian Fable – how di that finally turn out, oh yeah, his “staff” admitted it was indeed a fable! LOL!!!
          It seems strange to hear you now state that ” . . the Bush policy of changing from fighting insurgents to coopting them was the correct strategy.” Because in March of 2007 you stated “It is obvious that the Surge Strategy is a complete failure.” And that statement was made months before the first surge brigade was to even enter the war.
          Regarding Murtha, he said the Marines were guilty of “MURDER!” So how did those trials turn out there, Erp? Oh yeah, of the eight Marines indicted, seven had the charges dropped and the eighth Marine pled guilty to a misdemeaner! So much for Murtha telling the truth!!! For Murtha only one name is appropriate – Semper One!! Ask any one of your Marine buddies (if you have any) what that means. But for you the name “Maroon” stands out loud and clear!

        • @sshiell @scotterb @DocD Erb beclowns himself so effectively – it’s like hearing a guy who claims to be an astrophysicist discussing on his latest visit to his astrologer he was told a big promotion was in his future.

  • This is worse … the Defense Budget as corporate welfare for “Friends of Obama” …
    http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/house-doe-pushed-federal-contracts-solyndra/344876

    The House Energy and Commerce Committee summarized the push to prop up Solyndra in two letters to Obama Administration officials. “Documents produced to the Committee show that Jonathan Silver, the Executive Director of the DOE Loan Programs Office, contacted the General Services Administration (GSA) in July 2010 about scheduling a meeting with Solyndra to discuss a contract for Solyndra to provide solar panels for government buildings,” Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation Chair Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., wrote to GSA Administrator Martha Johnson. The investigators asked Johnson for all GSA documents related to Solyndra.

    The same month that Silver was connecting Solyndra to the GSA, George Kaiser — a fundraiser for Obama with a massive stake in Solyndra — and his adjuncts were game-planning how to get military contracts from the Defense Department that could solve Solyndra’s financial problems. “What about DOD (and other governmental entity) sales efforts? Do the DOE people focus at all on how a Buy American plan could be a win win win for them and do they have any influence?” Kaiser emailed to some executives in his investment firm, Argonaut Private Equity, according to the House Committee.

  • I am OK with sequestration. We don’t need such a huge military anymore, it only serves as temptation to stupid or bellicose presidents to use it.

    We could have done nicely with a military only about two thirds it’s present size. If that had been the case, then maybe we would have just killed Saddam and got out of Iraq, and Killed the Taliban and left Afghanistan. Those policies have their own downside, I admit, but perhaps less of a downside to what we got, which is permanent client states, greater regional instability, universal animus at our belligerence, and an enormous expense in money which we do not have, not to mention lives.