Preparing for missile attack

| May 10, 2012 | 6 Replies

New round of insanity. Preparing for missile attack by blowing our infrastructure money:

The House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday backed construction of a missile defense site on the East Coast, rejecting Pentagon arguments that the facility is unnecessary and Democratic complaints that the nearly $5 billion project amounts to wasteful spending in a time of tight budgets.

Won’t they soon say that they need a West Coast Plan too, and a Southern Plan? The military-industrial complex will never have enough.

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Category: Military, Warmongering

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich and his wife, Anne Jay, live in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where they are raising their two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Brynn Jacobs says:

    A new poll by the Center for Public Integrity has just come out which is a bit different from how most polling is usually performed. In this poll, respondents were supplied with value-neutral budgetary information reflecting how funds are currently allocated in the United States, followed by representative arguments both for and against cutting various types of spending. Respondents were then asked a series of questions about how they would choose to allocate scarce budgetary resources.

    The findings are interesting: most respondents found value in both sides of the arguments, especially as they related to military spending:

    “Sixty-one percent agreed, for example, with a statement that the U.S. has special defense responsibilities because it is an exceptional nation, while 72 percent said the country is “playing the role of military policeman too much.” Fifty-four percent agreed that cutting defense spending is problematic because it will cause job losses, while 81 percent — in one of the largest points of consensus — agreed with a statement that the budget had “a lot of waste” and that members of Congress regularly approve unneeded spending just to benefit their own supporters.”

    Even while recognizing the merit in these opposing arguments, most respondents still chose to make significant cuts to the military’s portion of the budget, and did so on a surprisingly bipartisan basis:

    “two-thirds of Republicans and nine in 10 Democrats supported making immediate cuts — a position at odds with the leaderships of both political parties.

    The average total cut was around $103 billion, a substantial portion of the current $562 billion base defense budget, while the majority supported cutting it at least $83 billion. These amounts both exceed a threatened cut of $55 billion at the end of this year under so-called “sequestration” legislation passed in 2011, which Pentagon officials and lawmakers alike have claimed would be devastating.

    More about the survey here: http://www.iwatchnews.org/2012/05/10/8856/public-overwhelmingly-supports-large-defense-spending-cuts

  2. Jim Razinha says:

    …members of Congress regularly approve unneeded spending just to benefit their own supporters.

    Without going into too much detail, during the Base Realignment And Closure rounds of the early 1990s, the Navy decided to close two training commands (boot camps) of the three. One of those commands hosted another training command. That school could have stayed as a stand alone entity, with a cost of only around $5M to bring the facilities up to standards. Instead, someone made the decision to relocate it at a cost of $105M. Maybe that made sense, but when a very powerful Senator on the Armed Services Committee lost his argument to close the base in his home state, he somehow strongarmed the Dept of Defense (sort of like ignoring the “Pentagon arguments that the facility is unnecessary “) and forced the relocation to his state. Pricetag was in excess of $150M.

    Do make sure not to confuse the “military-industrial complex” with the military. I spent years working budget cuts (the Global War of Terror was a hidden cost taken out of hide until January 2009…then it was still taken out, but no longer hidden) and I was just one part of it…that is the norm on all levels in all the services, despite impressions. Too often, bad and costly decisions are made so legislators can get re-elected for saving jobs in their districts/states. And I’m not naive in thinking campaign contributions have no sway.

  3. Jim Razinha says:

    I realize my wording my be misleading…the Senator lost his argument to NOT close the base in his state. And by “made sense” (the $105M option), I meant from a life cycle costs, transportation costs, isolated administration (lack of full support) costs perspective. The $150M option never made sense to me.

  4. Brynn Jacobs says:

    Good perspective Jim, thanks.

    Noticed this today which continues to put our military spending in context. Perhaps you remember the “automatic budget cuts” which were passed as part of the debt limit compromise last year which were to apply to the military in the event that proposed spending cuts were insufficient to reduce the deficit.

    Well, the House has passed a measure which would shift those cuts away from “defense” spending and instead cut social safety net and regulatory programs, including cutting the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Color me unsurprised.

    You can read more here: http://news.firedoglake.com/2012/05/10/house-passes-measure-to-replace-defense-trigger-with-safety-net-cuts/

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Brynn: Though this is entirely expected (given that this country is being run by psychopaths http://dangerousintersection.org/2011/06/12/a-country-run-by-psychopaths/ ), it is still outrageous. Dick Durbin was so correct when he said that the “banks own the place.” But so do defense contractors, and increasingly all other big business. It is surreal. To add insult to injury, most reasonably smart people I know tune all of this stuff out, because they would rather do something else, likely because it is a massive head-splitting burden to keep up with all of these issues. This is an increasingly dangerous situation for those of us who wanted to believe in the Constitution and representative democracy.

  5. grumpypilgrim says:

    Republicans long ago stopped being the party of fiscal conservatism. They are delighted to spend money like drunken sailors, as long as they can earmark it for their own (self-serving) pet projects. Military spending is their biggest sinkhole: the U.S. (with just 4% of the world’s population) already spends more on its military than all other countries on the planet *combined*, yet Republicans whine that our military is grossly, even dangerously, underfunded. Exactly how can that be even remotely true?

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