Welcome to the world of the real U.S. national security budget. Normally, in media accounts, you hear about the Pentagon budget and the war-fighting supplementary funds passed by Congress for our conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. That already gets you into a startling price range -- close to $700 billion for 2012 -- but that’s barely more than half of it. If Americans were ever presented with the real bill for the total U.S. national security budget, it would actually add up to more than $1.2 trillion a year.
Thats right, it's over half of all tax revenue taken in by the government for fiscal year 2010 ($2.381 trillion).
For now, however, the conclusion seems inescapable: the government is currently spending at a rate well in excess of $1 trillion per year for all defense-related purposes. Owing to the financial debacle and the ongoing recession, millions are out of work, millions are losing their homes, and private earnings remain well below their previous peak, but in the military-industrial complex, the gravy train speeds along the track faster and faster.
I commend both of these guys for speaking the truth - which is grossly hard to find these days. It seems that most of the American people are terribly misinformed and have no concept of what the US government really spends on Defense. And this spending seems to be rubber stamped by both political parties. This illustrates that when it comes to defense, their is basically no difference between the two parties. We spend more on defense than the entire world combined. Can anyone keep a straight face if they think this is in anyway appropriate
Our military spending exceeds the rest of the world's spending combined, and we spend almost 10 times what the second-place country, China, spends. "Only" about $150 billion of the total U.S. amount is attributable to the two active wars we're fighting, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thus, even if one wants to excludes those amounts, the basic picture remains the same.
What's so incredibly sad is that politicians never, and I mean never, mention this outrageous spending when speaking about budget cuts (unless you happen to be one of the two Paul's, Ron and Rand). Instead you hear some kind of pathetic dribble about cutting fuel subsidies for poor people, which amounts to pennies compared to the Defense leviathan. It's truly sad.
In the meantime, the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives is intent on taking out fuel subsidies for the poor, federal funding for Planned Parenthood, money for National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System, and the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant that “supports state-based prenatal care programs and services for children with special needs,” among many other programs, but not (as New York Times columnist Gail Collins pointed out recently) the millions of dollars the U.S. Army sinks into its “relationship” with NASCAR. The House voted down a proposal to eliminate that program a week ago by a wide margin.
If I could wave my magic wand, I would close all foreign US military bases and bring all the troops back to North America or US territories. And cut the defense budget to roughly $300 billion. Keep our nuclear stockpile at about 1500 missiles - in adherence with the Start Treaty - and call it a day. What a concept, changing our military posture to defense of the United States and it's territories. Now that's something the Founding fathers could be proud of, actually defending the country instead of projecting force worldwide.
I fear if Thomas Jefferson were to walk into Congress these days and see what we spend on defense: He would first throw a massive tirade and then be arrested and banned from the Capital.
We may be about to find out. Along with the operational stuff, etc, we have a massive investment in energy production for military purposes. If my gut feel is correct, we may see the Navy go in and save the day in Japan. I hope, anyway. I don't agree with all the spending, but a lot of what we consider modern life comes out of tech research, i.e. DARPA.
If we cut stuff, I hope it's not from there.
A (bona fide; possibly communist, possibly socialist, ex African liberal/libertarian talking here).
Do or do not, there is no try....
-- Yoda, Dagobah
We have over 800 installations in more than 130 countries. The Navy has 11 carrier strike groups (with surface escorts, possible attached submarines, support vessels, air wing (65-70 aircraft) and 7,500 men each). We have more carriers the rest of the world combined; each air wing is bigger than most of the world air forces and still more ships, subs and planes. Our Air Force is second to none with a world wide reach and the Coast Guard bigger than most of the world’s surface navies.
Currently we have two long term Pacification/Counter-Insurgencies/Occupation conflicts, one in a land-locked country, on-going plus sea pirate patrols.
The Enterprise (near Libya) expected to be replaced with the new Gerald Ford with a vague price tag of 9 Billion around 2015. Multiple weapon systems developments, some on hold, some on-going: fighters, jet tankers, new rifles, etc…
Somewhere hidden in those figures are parts of the black budgets for the alphabet organizations mostly ending in “A”.
There are some forms of insanity which, driven to an ultimate expression, can become the new models of sanity. -- BuSab Manual
Yeah well Canada has NO aircraft carriers or strike groups! :P
On a serious note all i have to say about that is DAYUM! Thats a TON of money and i can see where alot of it goes when you consider the cost of military technology. Considering the Javelin rocket costs $40k and the launcher is $125K. War isnt cheap and as much as a trillion dollars is, i can see where its needed. Doesnt make it right to spend that kinda cash though.
Do you really want invincible bears running around raping your churches and burning your women?
As long as the 527IE groups and 501 and 502 PAC's are the people who really decide our elections, there are never going to be any serious reforms in defense spending or any other aspect of the federal budget that is normally "hands off".
Sadly, this isn't really going to result in anything meaningful, even if someone somewhere deems it necessary to placate the intelligent populace (e.g., the meaningless costs would go away in noisy fanfare...and then we would get back to CHARLIE SHEEN ZOMGZ without a bit of actual reform).
I am almost certain that any money freed from the event horizon of the defense spending black hole would immediately disappear into the sister black hole of domestic spending, with zero effect on the balance of our national budget.
Giving money to the government is akin to giving a three year old a bowl of cookie dough.
I propose we begin measuring the cost of military and other government actions in "NPR"s, that is, the cost of completely defunding NPR and PBS from the public circle.
See here, the initial cruise missile strike costs approximitely 1.2 NPRs.
<04:11:24> *** You are now talking in channel: "TFP - Task Force Proteus"
<04:16:25> "|TG-XV| Tralic": this channel is so gay
DICE needs to make a comical boxing glove attached to a spring punch the player in the face 40% of the time they get into a helicopter or jet.