“Lol! You keep repeating that. Try this on for size: during the January “Fiscal Cliff” deal the GOP gave away $200 Billion to the Democrats to extend (yet again!) unemployment benefits. That is ONE giveaway program out of all them that got full funding,”
Another red herring. There is no opinion expressed over any other spending, if you wish to imply that I support wasteful spending of any kind, make the accusation, but I’m talking about the defense budget.
Is $500Bn enough for Defense?
“This debate is about our national soul. Our priorities, and our future.”
It’s also about spending of all kinds, our deficit, and many other things.
If you truly care about the defense of the country, and I don’t doubt that, you should figure out ways to defend the country on drastically less money than even $500Bn, because that all that we’ll be able to spend. I think its not only possible, but likely that we’ll have to.
But defending the Defense department bureaucracy and generic “sky is falling if we don’t get $X budget” is not the way it’s going to be.
How would we defend the US with a $100Bn annual budget, for instance is a question that the Defense dept should be able to answer. How about $50Bn? I’m not kidding. This is what we could be facing with the level of budget problems we have.
The solution is not to claim our “national soul” requires a greater than $500Bn defense budget.
The “national soul” calls for much more than what is in a budgetary spreadsheet. But that’s the rhetoric of defense budgets. Talk of “soul”, “patriotism” and other icons are meaningless when we don’t have the money.
I believe, and I’m a veteran, that it is possible to be a simple taxpayer that pays for this all and be a patriot, for instance. The bureaucrats like to monetize the flag and patriotism and turn it into a larger budget authority. They are despicable people who do that.
Anyway, I digress.
How would you defend America with $100Bn? If it’s too hard a problem, then we need better people in the Defense business, because right now if they can’t hack it with $500Bn they should all step aside and let people who actually care about America’s defense do it.
I didn't realize I was debating someone who had such a tenuous grasp on reality.
Tell you what RFEengineer, let's just go all the way and make it three dollars and fifty cents for the entire Defense budget, and $800 Quadrillion (that's the figure that comes after a Trillion) for Entitlements.
Do you believe in the Bible? If you do, read toward the end (Revelation). War is coming on a global scale. I don't know where the US will be during all of that, but I guarantee you that we will not escape the global oppression and persecution that is heading this world's way. If the US military is operating on shoe strings, all our enemies will have to do is kick in the door.
You seem to accept the fact that our defense budget number is something you set first and then try to tailor your force and mission to that number. Why? Shouldn't we assess what the present and potential threat might be, determine the capability of our present and potential adversaries, and then set priorities? You want us to do it ass backwards.
You also assume that the ever increasing entitlement program requirements will be met as our first priority. The biggest driivers of our budget are the entitlment and means tested welfare programs. They are growing faster than GDP and will continue to do so with 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day for the next 20 years doubling our population over 65 by 2030 to one in five. And by that point there will be just two workers for every retiree. The entitlement programs and debt servicing costs are barely covered by the total revenue we take in thru taxes.
Do you realize that Medicare Part B and D premiums only cover 25% of the costs of those programs. The other 75% must be funded by the General Fund. In 2011, the GF had to pony up $222 billion. That number will continue to increase.
SS has been running in the red since 2010. The General Fund will have to cover the costs of redeeming the SSTF T-bills to make up the shortfall.
Source: CBO Combined OASDI Trust Funds; January 2011 Baseline 26 Jan 2011.
Note: See Primary Surplus line (which is negative, indicating a deficit)
Matters are even worse than this chart shows. In December, Congress passed a Social Security tax reduction. Workers are temporarily paying 2 percentage points less, from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent, in Social Security payroll taxes this calendar year. Since the government is making up the shortfall out of general revenues, CBOs deficit projections for the trust funds do not include that. But CBOs figures predict that the payroll tax holiday will cost the governments general fund $85 billion in this fiscal year and $29 billion in fiscal year 2012 (which starts Oct.1, 2011.) Since every dollar of that will have to be borrowed, the combined effect of the tax holiday and the annual deficits will amount to a $130 billion addition to the federal deficit in the current fiscal year, and $59 billion in fiscal 2012.
Actually, the costs were even more according to the 2012 Trustees Report. "A temporary reduction in the Social Security payroll tax rate reduced payroll tax revenues by $103 billion in 2011 and by a projected $112 billion in 2012. The legislation establishing the payroll tax reduction also provided for transfers of revenues from the general fund to the trust funds in order to "replicate to the extent possible" payments that would have occurred if the payroll tax reduction had not been enacted.">
The food stamp costs have now ballooned to $89 billion a year. Food stamps are one of nearly 80 means-tested federal welfare programs, including 17 for nutritional support. Collectively, these programs cost $700 billion annually, plus $200 billion in state contributions.
If you truly care about the defense of the country, and I dont doubt that, you should figure out ways to defend the country on drastically less money than even $500Bn,
It is a matter of priorities. Shouldn't we be figuring out ways to cut back "drastically" on the welfare state, which is the biggest driver of our debt and deficit and will consume the entire federal budget if not curbed. Isn't our national defense the paramount priority?