Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Makers & Takers

"We're broke and we need to cut our spending."
.This is all we have been hearing, for quite some time. Except when it comes to the Pentagon.  “I think [the cuts are] more likely to happen. And I’m ashamed of the Congress, I’m ashamed of the president, and I’m ashamed of being in this body, quite frankly,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), an Air Force Reservist who has been working for months to develop a bipartisan plan to protect the Pentagon 
Take a guess as to why Lindsey Graham is so "ashamed" about defense spending cuts. 
There are at least a half dozen military bases and defense contractors in South Carolina. 
The DoD is the governments largest agency. It has never been audited. So while all this complaining is going on about our inflated budget, no one seems to want to get real about defense spending. Especially no Republicans from southern states where most of the governments defense money is going. Major defense contractors and their lobbies make it difficult for lawmakers to back military spending cuts. According to Senator Graham, "We're destroying the finest military in the world, just when we need it most"  Well, what we really need most is universal healthcare for all our of our citizens well being. Another thing we really need most is to fix our roads and bridges that are crumbling. We have internet speeds slower than the Ukraine and Lithuania, there are many places it isn't even available and it is more expensive than in Japan and France. Some global power we are. Our education system is a nightmare and there is no money for teachers, our kids are burdened with horrible debt to get a college education. However, there is always money for guns and weapon systems. 
Defense spending at it's peak was $729 billion and we don't have money for the U.S. Postal system? Why is there always money for war? I'll tell you why, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrup Grumman, Raytheon. Corporate welfare is all well and good for them, but not for our own citizens. 
This is not really about national security, it is about contractors cutting jobs, so really Graham is saying that defense spending creates jobs but other government spending doesn't create jobs?  
  • The Army can’t be sure that it doesn’t overdraw its personnel expenditures account, which funds soldier pay, enlistment bonuses and other benefits;
  • The Defense Department still can’t "reliably identify, aggregate and report the full cost of its investment" in weapons systems — currently estimated at more than $1 trillion — and doesn’t have enough information to manage and reduce the billions it spends each year on weapons operations and support costs;
  • Databases tracking hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of Army property are improperly managed.*
Supposedly our national security is more secure with this kind of system?
The only thing that Lindsey Graham and every other politician is interested in, is maintaining the status quo. They are all hypocrites that say they want to "starve the beast" just as long as it's not the Department of Defense. I hope the sequestration hits Graham hard on March 1st. The saddest thing is that he will never feel the kind of financial pain I see my fellow Americans struggling with everyday. We could have done so much more for our own citizens and our own country with all the money the Pentagon spends, but just like everything else, when it comes to money in America, it flows right into the pockets of the 1%. Everyone knows our country is broken. Cutting the bloated Pentagon budget is a good way to start fixing it.



  1. It would please me no end to see the DoD budget cut to the bone. What a waste of money, not to mention the ongoing undeclared wars on civilian populations all over the globe. War on Terror? We are the terrorists.

  2. What we're actually destroying is the finest, or at least the biggest, middle-class in the world.

    I didn't know there was a bipartisan plan to protect the Pentagon from cuts. Including Defense in any kind of automatic cuts is what's bringing the other side to the table regarding the debt ceiling. Exclude it, and watch 'em happily let that ceiling fall in, and on the people who need it the most.

  3. Eisenhower warned us of the "Military-Industrial Complex"...and it is even worse than he predicted.

    Excellent post, btw!

  4. Jim, we are the terrorists. Word.
    Kirk, I may be wrong, but I can't believe either party will let sequestration occur on March 1st. Both Romney and Obama were monetized by Raytheon, Northrup, Boeing, you name it. These contractors play both parties.
    Jaded, I believe it was Eisenhower's last speech before leaving office, when he foretold our doom by the Military-Industrial Complex. There is no way he could get elected as a Republican today.

  5. "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." Ike's farewell address.

    This is a site which tracks the unseemly amounts of money stolen by the Military-Industrial-Complex.

    Additionally by Ike,

    "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron."

    And I'd like to believe that President Obama's opening up combat roles for women (not that they aren't already in combat on the assymetrical battlefield) is a Ninja move to curb the War Monger impulse and curtail the MIC.