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To: kabar

“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.”

Nope. But like any good bureaucrat guarding his budget, you seem to think that you have to strive for bigger budgets ad infinitum. You know darn well that “tailoring the force and mission” is a farce in defense budgets predicated on justifying the new system someone wants.

Those days are over, regardless of whether you and I agree or not.

“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? “

The point I make, that eludes you is that we have to cut back on EVERYTHING. I’m equally tough on other threads on social security/medicare, for instance. Start one, ping me to it, I’ll participate.

This thread is about the Defense budget. You refuse to admit that there can be an effective defense fielded for a “mere” $500Bn. You seem to buy into that number being one that represents one where “hollowing out” occurs.

If our bureaucrats in the DoD (or any other federal dept) didn’t use apocalyptic language, they might not get ever increasing budgets.

This salvo is not about protecting the United States, it’s about defending budgets. You know it better than most, that’s why you won’t get boxed in by my argument about $500B budget being “enough”. While that’s being a good loyal bureaucrat, it’s not being honest about the fiscal realities that face us. You even ridicule the very notion of drastically reduced budgets of the sort that would be required in an inevitable fiscal collapse of our finances (it IS inevitable) Who is separated from reality, you or me? I submit it’s you, but we can argue that, too.

Government and everything government does will forever change when we can’t borrow the money upon which all government spending depends, including Defense budgets.

We need to be able to respond to that likely scenario - and I have no doubt (and more top secret than anything else) we have budget plans within the DoD for just such an austere eventuality.

So is $500Bn a year enough to provide for the defense of the United States of America?


44 posted on 01/20/2013 3:28:16 PM PST by RFEngineer
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To: kabar; SkyPilot

Sorry, I seem to have you two guys mixed up. But the point stands, and both of you seem equally intransigent about the fiscal realities that face us, and their impact on DoD budgets (and everything else government does)


45 posted on 01/20/2013 3:36:01 PM PST by RFEngineer
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To: RFEngineer
Nope. But like any good bureaucrat guarding his budget, you seem to think that you have to strive for bigger budgets ad infinitum. You know darn well that “tailoring the force and mission” is a farce in defense budgets predicated on justifying the new system someone wants.

DOD is getting a reduced budget prior to sequestration. They were the only agency that suffered a real reduction in budget as part of Clinton's peace dividend.

I don't know darn well that "tailoring the force and mission” is a farce in defense budgets predicated on justifying the new system someone wants." You sound like Obama.

I do know that it takes more than a decade from conception to operational use for a weapons system. We are using systems that were designed 10 to 20 years ago. And many of our planes and ships are even older.

The point I make, that eludes you is that we have to cut back on EVERYTHING. I’m equally tough on other threads on social security/medicare, for instance. Start one, ping me to it, I’ll participate

The point is that we won't cut back on those entitlement and means tested welfare programs. First, an aging population will add 10,000 people a day for the next 20 years to the entitlement programs, i.e., there will be twice as many people 65 or older in 2030 as there is today. So costs are going to go up regardless of what efficiencies we may try to achieve. It is just demography.

Second, medical/health costs are going up faster than inflation and GDP growth. Our technology is far better, but it costs more. And add to this more elderly with more medical needs.

Third, there is no political will to rein in the costs of entitlements. The politicians are responding to what the people want. That is, they want all the benefits the welfare state has to offer, but they don't want to pay for it in terms of taxes or a cut in benefits. One third of current retirees depend upon SS as their sole source of income. Two thirds of SS receipients have SS as more than one-half of their income. And most Americans are not putting away money for their retirement.

Finally, we are in the process of implenting a huge new entitlement program, Obamacare, that will add 18 million to the Medicaid rolls and no doubt, cost much more than projected--just like Medicare which costs nine times what it was estimated to cost.

What we are seeing is the Guns versu Butter struggle as this nation declines. Any reductions in defense spending will be plowed back into the welfare state which has an insatiable appetite just to keep treading water. Let's at least be honest and say that we are playing a zero sum game with defense going against the welfare state.

If our bureaucrats in the DoD (or any other federal dept) didn’t use apocalyptic language, they might not get ever increasing budgets.

Disagree. My 36 years experience in the federal government doesn't support that assertion.

You even ridicule the very notion of drastically reduced budgets of the sort that would be required in an inevitable fiscal collapse of our finances (it IS inevitable) Who is separated from reality, you or me? I submit it’s you, but we can argue that, too.

If we have a financial collapse, defense will be the last thing to be cut. We will need armed forces to address the resulting civil disorder and riots as we can no longer pay the welfare benefits and have to reduce SS and federal pensions. Greece is the perfect example of how people will react. They will take to the streets and demand the stuff government promised them.

So is $500Bn a year enough to provide for the defense of the United States of America?

Silly question. I would hate to find out the answer if it isn't. I have already provided you the right way to approach our defense budget needs. It doesn't start by providing a fixed amount and saying stay within it.

50 posted on 01/20/2013 4:38:38 PM PST by kabar
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