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Author Topic:   American Budget Cuts
RAZD
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From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
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Message 1 of 350 (605466)
02-20-2011 2:23 AM


no brainer?
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/spending.htm

US military budget is the largest in the world, accounting for 34% of the total world budget spent on the ability to wage wars.

The second place is held by China at 18% of the world budget and 51% of the US budget.

Next in line are India, 4%, Russia, 4%, Saudi Arabia, 3%, France, 3%, the UK, 2%, Turkey, 2%, and Germany, 2% before we get to Korea at <2% of the world budget, the first possibly belligerent state in the list.

We can cut our budget by 45% and still be the biggest spender in the world, and we are already ahead of all others, so we can afford to cut some slack in this time of economic trouble, when our social values are at stake.

This should be a no-brainer

http://www.warresisters.org/pages/piechart.htm
puts ALL military related spending at 54% of the current budget, or $1,449 billion, including interest on debt from past wars.

45% of that is $652 billion PER YEAR.

http://en.wikipedia.org/...itary_budget_of_the_United_States
puts DoD spending at $721.3 billion.

45% of that is $324 billion PER YEAR.

In addition INTEREST on debt incurred in past wars (thanks schrubbia) is $454.2 billion PER YEAR so the military budget MUST be cut to get the interest payments into control if we are going to be fiscally responsible.

If we are serious about getting the budget under control then the UNNECESSARY items need to go first. This includes 45% of the Military budget, as a MINIMUM.

To put this in perspective, if $325 billion were divided evenly between the current US population of 310,852,839 people that would be $1045.51 per person per year.

How would you like that as an annual tax rebait for everyone in your family?

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : sub,frmt


we are limited in our ability to understand
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Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by AZPaul3, posted 02-20-2011 7:50 AM RAZD has responded
 Message 4 by Phage0070, posted 02-20-2011 4:10 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

RAZD
Member
Posts: 15881
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 3 of 350 (605484)
02-20-2011 9:09 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by AZPaul3
02-20-2011 7:50 AM


Re: no brainer?
Hi AZPaul3,

Thanks.

You are a Senator. Doesn't matter what flavor. You would have to agree to cut a good $8 billion from the defense contractors in your state throwing a good 30,000 of your constituents onto the unemployment queue.

Nice hypothetical, based on the argument from consequences and made up numbers. Why don't you make it 50,000 jobs?

According to Representative Boehner, if the cuts necessary to balance the budget result in some job losses, then "so be it" --

http://blogs.wsj.com/...-so-be-it-if-us-workers-are-laid-off

quote:
House Speaker John Boehner expressed little sympathy Tuesday for federal workers who lose their jobs as the result of Republican budget cutting.

In the last two years, under President Obama, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs, Mr. Boehner told reporters Tuesday morning during a press conference in the lobby of the Republican National Committee, according to various news outlets. If some of those jobs are lost, so be it. Were broke.


http://www.lasvegassun.com/...11/feb/19/so-be-it-not-so-fast

quote:
Boehner was asked Wednesday about layoffs of federal workers, which would certainly take a bite out of the economy. If some of those jobs are lost, so be it, he said. Were broke.

The Associated Press reported that Republican Rep. Tom Price of Georgia said government workers found their way into public jobs. They can find their way into private jobs.

So be it.


That $325 billion you want to cut is now buying a lot of food, shoes, education for literally hundreds of thousands of people in this country. And this doesn't count the thousands more that make the food, shoes and education that would not be bought and thus lose their jobs as well. Can one really so cavalierly cause so much pain for the sake of some personal political agenda?

Apparently that argument does not impress the republicans.

Does that look good to you?

If the question is not IF jobs are lost but WHERE jobs are lost, then yes, it looks better to me to reduce wasteful spending on the military budget.

In addition, money spent on military budget is essentially just make-work welfare rather than jobs that provide a return to the society. Every piece of high end military armament made is a dead-end product designed to kill people, and that cannot be sold for profit that feeds back into the economy -- that money only goes one way, down the drain. That to me is a small loss in this world of overburdened military expenditures.

If we could instantly move those thousands into similar paying jobs in some other private sector then I could agree with you. That is also not going to happen.

The reality of the level of pain you are proposing is not acceptable.

Tell that to the republicans.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by AZPaul3, posted 02-20-2011 7:50 AM AZPaul3 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by crashfrog, posted 02-20-2011 11:10 PM RAZD has responded
 Message 34 by Phat, posted 02-21-2011 3:14 PM RAZD has responded
 Message 138 by AZPaul3, posted 02-23-2011 6:23 PM RAZD has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 15881
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 9 of 350 (605558)
02-20-2011 8:33 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Phage0070
02-20-2011 8:22 PM


Re: no brainer?
SO,

can we get back to the topic?

Thanks.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Phage0070, posted 02-20-2011 8:22 PM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Phage0070, posted 02-20-2011 8:43 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

RAZD
Member
Posts: 15881
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 12 of 350 (605564)
02-20-2011 10:40 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Dr Adequate
02-20-2011 9:04 PM


Re: no brainer?
Hi Dr. Adequate, thanks.

It's not as though any of the overspent money is being thrown into a big pit, it all gets spent one way or another.

Actually a fair bit of military spending is on things that are not needed and will never be used. How many atomic bombs do we need?

Stockpiles of armament that have to be disposed of because they have expired are indeed a big pit where money has been thrown.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Dr Adequate, posted 02-20-2011 9:04 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by arachnophilia, posted 02-20-2011 11:02 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
 Message 15 by Dr Adequate, posted 02-20-2011 11:29 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
 Message 20 by Bolder-dash, posted 02-21-2011 12:00 AM RAZD has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 15881
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 29 of 350 (605628)
02-21-2011 9:58 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by crashfrog
02-20-2011 11:10 PM


Re: no brainer?
Hi crashfrog,

Why do we suddenly have to balance the budget in the middle of a recession?

I agree with you on this. The point being that if people are going to talk about budget cuts, then I would say that this should be top of the list.

Why not balance it in the middle of a roaring economy, one with high growth and low unemployment ...

Like we had under Clinton, when Gore worked on simplifying a lot of government systems and reduced their costs?

Like Bush threw away and then dumped more when he invaded Iraq on false pretenses?

We need to reduce the military budget, as it controls half of the budget dollars, and that is too much now and too much in times of prosperity.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by crashfrog, posted 02-20-2011 11:10 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 15881
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 30 of 350 (605629)
02-21-2011 10:25 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by Bolder-dash
02-21-2011 12:00 AM


Re: no brainer?
Thanks Bolder-dash.

How about a public vote annually to determine his salary?

Great idea - all benefits and perks (health care, pensions, etc) for all elected officials should be approved by the public that pays the taxes for these things. This could be done as part of the existing election process, when other bills etc are usually on the ballots.

The problem Republicans have with cutting military spending, aside from the obvious fact that Republicans like guns, and military brute, and force as a high priority diplomatic solution, is that when you spend money on bombs, you aren't giving money to someone who they feel doesn't deserve it.

But if you take that money out of the budget -- or better still, use it to pay down the debt -- then it isn't going to anyone else.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
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This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 15881
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 35 of 350 (605719)
02-21-2011 5:21 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Phat
02-21-2011 3:14 PM


Re: Budget Cuts & Reality
hi Phat,

If expenses need to be cut, cutting the wages of breadwinners in order to stimulate the productivity of corporations and business is counterproductive to the very idea of the American Dream.

Indeed, and counterproductive to improving the economy - the economy is based on the movement of money between people, so the more people that have money to move the better the economy. This is why the economy is based, founded on the worker and not the corporations.

Corporations cannot exist without workers, but workers can (happily) exist without corporations.

The Military-Industrial complex has grown like a tumor on the american economy, and needs to be cut down to size.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Phat, posted 02-21-2011 3:14 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by xongsmith, posted 02-21-2011 11:44 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply
 Message 38 by Phage0070, posted 02-21-2011 11:58 PM RAZD has responded
 Message 173 by Phat, posted 02-24-2011 5:18 PM RAZD has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 15881
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 54 of 350 (605814)
02-22-2011 10:27 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by Phage0070
02-21-2011 11:58 PM


Re: Budget Cuts & Reality
Hi Phage0070

Thats because corporations *are* workers. Organized workers dedicated to a common goal, but its all just workers.

Nice try.

By this argument the "fat cat" queen bees are worker bees ... "dedicated to a common goal, but its all just workers" -- which is false, so your logic is false.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by Phage0070, posted 02-21-2011 11:58 PM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by Phage0070, posted 02-22-2011 11:20 AM RAZD has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 15881
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 56 of 350 (605818)
02-22-2011 10:50 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by Phage0070
02-22-2011 12:07 AM


Waste & Reality
Hi Phagee0070, another propaganda try?

Historically the public sector is significantly more wasteful than the private sector ...

Curiously, when public sector jobs are transfered to the private sector, service deteriorates and costs go up. There may be less waste, but there is also significantly less service for the same cost.

Privatization of health care as an example: since the Reagan deregulation that allowed for HMOs to come into existence, they have increased costs and reduced service. When there are so many exclusions that the only people who can qualify for coverage are healthy people that don't need coverage, then there is a significant loss in general service.

If a public sector job can be transferred to the private sector without compromising its execution then its always going to be a good idea.

If a private sector job can be transferred to the public sector without compromising its execution then it is always going to be a good idea ... it's easy to make self-referential tautological statements when you include the conclusions in your premise.

A profit margin of 40% (typical in big business) is wasted to the consumer. That same margin in a public sector job would allow a lot of "wasted" work without jeopardizing the level and quality of service in any way. When that "wasted" work benefits people that otherwise would not be covered then there is a gain to the consumer.

However, we STILL have the obvious point that IF we are going to discuss budget cuts, that the PURE WASTAGE of funds on overblown private sector costs for military equipment (because private production is so much more efficient?) is a good place to start. Trim the military budget and take out these plumcakes for the "private" sector -- such as eliminating all single source contracts, unnecessary specification restrictions and other cozy arrangements that do not increase the level of service for the cost.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by Phage0070, posted 02-22-2011 11:34 AM RAZD has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 15881
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.7


(1)
Message 109 of 350 (605970)
02-22-2011 10:37 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by Phage0070
02-22-2011 11:20 AM


Re: Budget Cuts & Reality
Hi Phage0070, nice try.

Basically you are arguing that the CEO working to run a corporation isn't really "working".

The amount of "work" done by a CEO could be compared to the work done by the "white collar slaves" (I'm sure you know the term), and the amount they are paid. Anything more than that is fat cat gluttony that is not earned by "working".

Equal pay for work of equal value is not just a glass ceiling women's issue.

One easy way to cut the gluttony is to tax high pay scales.

Republicans used to be big on "user fees" where people using gov't services pay a fee in addition to income tax. Apply this to income tax as well: people that benefit from using the US economic\legal system pay a fee in increased taxes.

Cut out the corporate loop holes and get taxes from those who benefit most.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by Phage0070, posted 02-22-2011 11:20 AM Phage0070 has not yet responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 15881
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 176 of 350 (606318)
02-24-2011 7:09 PM
Reply to: Message 138 by AZPaul3
02-23-2011 6:23 PM


really?
Hi AZPaul3

You're right. A little more research indicates that my number was off by almost 4 times. Not 50,000 jobs, RAZD, but more like 150,000 to 200,000 jobs depending on location.

Curiously you don't share the data for those numbers and calculations.

In addition, money spent on military budget is essentially just make-work welfare rather than jobs that provide a return to the society.

Are you really so ignorant of economics, RAZD? You think that when GD makes an Abrams tank or Lockheed an F-35 these things just sit out in their parking lot rusting away? Like any other manufacturer of any other product they SELL them, RAZD.

The US gov buys the equipment, and some of it is used (whether that use is appropriate or not is not part of this discussion).

But most of that equipment ends up rusting away. Here's an example:

http://www.modern-ruins.com/ruins/boneyard/

quote:

AMARC, the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center, 1999

Outside Tuscon, Arizona in the Sonora Desert is AMARC, the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center. Here the U.S. Air Force mothballs planes until they either need them again or it's time to salvage them for parts. Whenever the U.S. sells surplus planes to foreign governments part of the sales pitch is that there will always have a ready supply of spare parts. Some are turned into pilotless drones and used for missile target practice.


Most of the use is in practice -- make work for the military people.

The rest of you post is too laden with emotion to be taken seriousl.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 15881
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 177 of 350 (606320)
02-24-2011 7:38 PM
Reply to: Message 169 by Dr Adequate
02-24-2011 4:27 PM


Include the costs of waste disposal\cleanup and the economics change
Hi Dr Adequate,

There are even alternative fuels - thorium is even more plentiful than uranium, easier to get, and has a better fuel life cycle that results in spent fuel that decays in a few centuries rather than millions of years - not to mention bypassing weapons proliferation concerns.

Thorium isn't economic. That's why the US has no thorium reactors.

If you include the cost of waste cleanup\disposal then the picture changed. The US is currently looking at an extremely costly long term storage for spent uranium fuel -- one that needs to hold it's integrity for billions of years, not easy, never been done & likely to fail, imho (too many variables).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decay_chain#Thorium_series

But I'm not sure thorium itself is better: 232Th has a half-life of 14.1 billion years, but the largest half-life of all the following isotopes is 228Ra at 5.75 years, so the products of the decay should be undetectable in ~10 half-lives or ~60 years. Not bad, hardly any storage\disposal cost by comparison. All you need to worry about is the original thorium that needs to be re-refined to concentrate it into new fuel as it becomes to depleted for use.

When I worked as a municipal civil engineer (long ago in the dark ages) there were two methods of making paper, sulfate and sulfite. One was cheaper, if you just considered production, but the streams where the waste was dumped were stinky and dead downstream. The other system was significantly cheaper to clean up but only cost a little more for production.

If you tax companies to cover the cost of disposing of their unmanaged wastes (like McRat wrappers) then the cost efficiency equations change.

I also remember driving south from California into Mexico and being appalled at the amount of litter along the roads - my first thought was "why don't these people clean up this mess" ... but as I got further south the mess dissipated - as the Americans traveling south used up their "resources" to create waste petered out. A lesson in cultural differences.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : added link


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 169 by Dr Adequate, posted 02-24-2011 4:27 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 15881
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 178 of 350 (606325)
02-24-2011 7:53 PM
Reply to: Message 173 by Phat
02-24-2011 5:18 PM


Union Busting Counter Protests
Hi Phat,

Look at this article!

And rallies are being held in other states: we had one in RI.

When I was young I was hopeful that unions would no longer be necessary, as the same protections would be made available for everyone by law.

This was also back in those days when they were predicting that the increase in US productivity would mean lots of leisure time for working people in the future.

Sadly these are not so.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 173 by Phat, posted 02-24-2011 5:18 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 189 by Phat, posted 02-25-2011 10:36 PM RAZD has responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 15881
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 184 of 350 (606468)
02-25-2011 2:50 PM
Reply to: Message 183 by DBlevins
02-25-2011 2:42 PM


Re: Very interesting reading -- but re budget cuts?
Hi DBlevins,

but I thought? you might be interested in this post.

I think there should be a lot of talk about alternative nuclear sources rather than assume that because we know how to use Uranium that it is the best long term choice.

I also think that the proper use of nuclear fission is to get us to nuclear fusion.

However this topic is about Budget Cuts. How about a new topic on the use and misuse of nuclear power?

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : end


we are limited in our ability to understand
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Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 15881
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 217 of 350 (606673)
02-27-2011 5:52 PM
Reply to: Message 189 by Phat
02-25-2011 10:36 PM


Re: Union Busting Counter Protests
Hi Phat,

A union is a way for a group of people to negotiate a better deal than an individual could expect to receive on their own.

Indeed. When an individual is negotiating a wage in a (particularly large) company, there is an imbalance, which usually favors the company (unless you have a valuable skill in high demand). The issue is how the company divides up the pie of profits (intake that exceeds costs): does the company offer employees minimum wage (won by unions) while the executives walk off with the rest, or is there some profit sharing, so that employees share in the ups and downs of the companies performance? The extreme for profit sharing would be having everyone paid a minimal wage (although there may be different levels for different skills) and then share equally in the ups and down of the company.

Its like how group rates are lower in health care than individual rates.

Which benefits those not in unions as well as those that are members. In many companies the wages of non-union workers (usually admin\etc) are tied to the union wages so that if the union gets a 6% raise, then the other workers do as well, if not more.

Note: I've always felt that this is counterproductive in terms of equitable division of the profits among the people responsible for making the company profitable (which necessarily includes the workers), as it doesn't change the pay hierarchy. Rather progress would be made in wage equality (equal pay for work of equal value) if raises would be a set $$ for everyone.

Critics argue that unions extort money from corporations, and that the employees need to prove their value in order to earn higher wages, but the question is whom should set and/or determine a value..in dollar terms?

Particularly, who decides how much the top executives should be paid, other than the top executives. A strong union acts as a brake on the total freedom of executives to be greedy self-serving autocrats.

I've not heard any reason why one person working for a company is worth 100 other workers for the same company, and yet we frequently see wage disparities in excess of this.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : clrty


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
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