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  1. #1
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    mp40x's Avatar

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    Unlikely Allies 'Wage War' to Defeat US Military Spending

    Barney Frank and Ron Paul have teamed up to propose cuts in the US Defense budget, a rather odd couple to say the least.

    Why We Must Reduce Military Spending

    As members of opposing political parties, we disagree on a number of important issues. But we must not allow honest disagreement over some issues to interfere with our ability to work together when we do agree.

    By far the single most important of these is our current initiative to include substantial reductions in the projected level of American military spending as part of future deficit reduction efforts. For decades, the subject of military expenditures has been glaringly absent from public debate. Yet the Pentagon budget for 2010 is $693 billion -- more than all other discretionary spending programs combined. Even subtracting the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, military spending still amounts to over 42% of total spending.

    It is irrefutably clear to us that if we do not make substantial cuts in the projected levels of Pentagon spending, we will do substantial damage to our economy and dramatically reduce our quality of life.

    We are not talking about cutting the money needed to supply American troops in the field. Once we send our men and women into battle, even in cases where we may have opposed going to war, we have an obligation to make sure that our servicemembers have everything they need. And we are not talking about cutting essential funds for combating terrorism; we must do everything possible to prevent any recurrence of the mass murder of Americans that took place on September 11, 2001.

    Immediately after World War II, with much of the world devastated and the Soviet Union becoming increasingly aggressive, America took on the responsibility of protecting virtually every country that asked for it. Sixty-five years later, we continue to play that role long after there is any justification for it, and currently American military spending makes up approximately 44% of all such expenditures worldwide. The nations of Western Europe now collectively have greater resources at their command than we do, yet they continue to depend overwhelmingly on American taxpayers to provide for their defense. According to a recent article in the New York Times, "Europeans have boasted about their social model, with its generous vacations and early retirements, its national health care systems and extensive welfare benefits, contrasting it with the comparative harshness of American capitalism. Europeans have benefited from low military spending, protected by NATO and the American nuclear umbrella."

    When our democratic allies are menaced by larger, hostile powers, there is a strong argument to be made for supporting them. But the notion that American taxpayers get some benefit from extending our military might worldwide is deeply flawed. And the idea that as a superpower it is our duty to maintain stability by intervening in civil disorders virtually anywhere in the world often generates anger directed at us and may in the end do more harm than good.

    We believe that the time has come for a much quicker withdrawal from Iraq than the President has proposed. We both voted against that war, but even for those who voted for it, there can be no justification for spending over $700 billion dollars of American taxpayers' money on direct military spending in Iraq since the war began, not including the massive, estimated long-term costs of the war. We have essentially taken on a referee role in a civil war, even mediating electoral disputes.

    In order to create a systematic approach to reducing military spending, we have convened a Sustainable Defense Task Force consisting of experts on military expenditures that span the ideological spectrum. The task force has produced a detailed report with specific recommendations for cutting Pentagon spending by approximately $1 trillion over a ten year period. It calls for eliminating certain Cold War weapons and scaling back our commitments overseas. Even with these changes, the United States would still be immeasurably stronger than any nation with which we might be engaged, and the plan will in fact enhance our security rather than diminish it.

    We are currently working to enlist the support of other members of Congress for our initiative. Along with our colleagues Senator Ron Wyden and Congressman Walter Jones, we have addressed a letter to the President's National Committee on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which he has convened to develop concrete recommendations for reducing the budget deficit. We will make it clear to leaders of both parties that substantial reductions in military spending must be included in any future deficit reduction package. We pledge to oppose any proposal that fails to do so.

    In the short term, rebuilding our economy and creating jobs will remain our nation's top priority. But it is essential that we begin to address the issue of excessive military spending in order to ensure prosperity in the future. We may not agree on what to do with the estimated $1 trillion in savings, but we do agree that nothing either of us cares deeply about will be possible if we do not begin to face this issue now.


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    Re: Unlikely Allies 'Wage War' to Defeat US Military Spending

    No comment on this at all from the Sandbox? I was hoping to get into a discussion about this issue. It seems clear that the money being spent on Defense is bankrupting the country. I guess this really is an issue that no one is interested in, even though it's obviously a serious problem.


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    Re: Unlikely Allies 'Wage War' to Defeat US Military Spending

    Barney " the whoremaster " Frank and Ron 'the wackjob" Paul are not serious people, despite their followings and/or Congressional power.
    We are fighting two wars, with no real sign of anything like victory in sight and we are going to get the public to push for cutting the DoD budget ?
    It isn't going to happen but it will get the netroot nutjobs all in a tizzy.
    But to look at the bright side, it might get some of the more speculative spending cut a little, but remember Barney likes to use your money to engineer a more socially just world ( housing market crash ) so even if they cut DoD spending, they aren't going to lower your taxes.
    Grandstanding instead of leadership, nothing new.
    You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
    So that when they turn their backs on you,
    You'll get the chance to put the knife in.Pink Floyd "Dogs"

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    Re: Unlikely Allies 'Wage War' to Defeat US Military Spending

    Quote Originally Posted by mp40x View Post
    No comment on this at all from the Sandbox? I was hoping to get into a discussion about this issue. It seems clear that the money being spent on Defense is bankrupting the country. I guess this really is an issue that no one is interested in, even though it's obviously a serious problem.
    I agree with Barny and Ron, am happy that congress members from two parties are able to work together and I agree with the concept of a leaner and more appropriately armed army based on today's warfare so I don't really have anything new to contribute.
    |TG-6th|Snooggums

    Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

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    Re: Unlikely Allies 'Wage War' to Defeat US Military Spending

    Quote Originally Posted by CallousDisregard View Post
    Barney " the whoremaster " Frank and Ron 'the wackjob" Paul are not serious people, despite their followings and/or Congressional power.
    Where do you get that Ron Paul is a wackjob? He's probably the most conservative member of Congress, and has a better voting record than most, at least comparatively to other so-called conservatives. I don't agree with him on every issue, but when your right about something - yes, even Barney Frank is included - I'll support the effort.

    Quote Originally Posted by CallousDisregard View Post
    We are fighting two wars, with no real sign of anything like victory in sight and we are going to get the public to push for cutting the DoD budget ?
    They're not proposing any war related spending cuts.

    Odd Couple: Frank And Paul Target Military Spending

    One target in Frank's sights: the U.S. military base in Okinawa. "We don't need 15,000 marines in Okinawa they're a hangover from a war that ended 65 years ago. And Japan now ought to be able to defend itself."

    Frank says U.S. sea and air power can deal with any threats from China, so having troops stationed nearby is unnecessary. "No one thinks you're going to land 15,000 Marines on the Chinese mainland to confront millions of Chinese military."

    Same goes for Europe. "NATO was a great accomplishment 61 years ago," Frank points out. "I don't see why we need troops in Okinawa or why we need troops in Germany, why we need troops in Italy."
    Maybe you should read a bit before making broad generalizations. The Defense budget is out-of-control, and this spending is leading us to insolvency. Total Defense related spending is over 1 Trillion Dollars a year, and going up every year. Are you saying that it should not be cut at all, nothing? If you are for cutting the DOD budget, then these two guys are the only ones talking about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by CallousDisregard View Post
    It isn't going to happen but it will get the netroot nutjobs all in a tizzy.
    Who are you speaking about specifically? People who don't agree with you?

    Quote Originally Posted by CallousDisregard View Post
    But to look at the bright side, it might get some of the more speculative spending cut a little,
    Wow, that's the most sensible thing you said.

    I'll take anyone in Congress that brings this issue to light, despite my general lack of trust in that Congress. They even started a bipartisan task force to examine this issue. And, since there is talk about cutting spending in Washington, finally. The DOD budget should be right there on the chopping block along with everything else, it's only fair.


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    Re: Unlikely Allies 'Wage War' to Defeat US Military Spending

    It doesn't matter that these cuts will not affect the troops in the field, it will be portrayed that way in the media.
    I'm an increasingly becoming an isolationist so the idea of withdrawing troops that we have had all around the world for decades is something I am in favor of.
    That would include the Balkans, South Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan.
    But that, along with a lot of other things Ron Paul supports like abolishing the Fed and the IRS, are simply never going to happen.
    I think Ron Paul devoutly believes what he says but it doesn't make any more likely it will come to anything and I think too often people spend too much effort on "perfect" and not enough on "good".
    Cleaning up the appropriations process and limiting the amount of ex-military that can be hired in the private world would be a great step.
    But for Obama to be seen withdrawing troops, worldwide, with his current polling numbers ?
    It isn't going to happen.
    That is why this is just a publicity stunt for the two of them and nothing will come of it but more of our money spent looking busy while accomplishing little.
    You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
    So that when they turn their backs on you,
    You'll get the chance to put the knife in.Pink Floyd "Dogs"

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    Re: Unlikely Allies 'Wage War' to Defeat US Military Spending

    If they mean it, then it isn't really a publicity stunt. It's just a public announcement of their beliefs that they found an opportunity to fill. It really doesn't matter if their goals are unattainable, if they don't speak up then everyone assumes they are alright with it.
    |TG-6th|Snooggums

    Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

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    Re: Unlikely Allies 'Wage War' to Defeat US Military Spending

    This video is very amateurish but the story sounds so familiar to the story of the Bradley.
    This would seem like an easy place to start, with the troops health and welfare.
    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=f63_1279063968
    You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
    So that when they turn their backs on you,
    You'll get the chance to put the knife in.Pink Floyd "Dogs"

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    Re: Unlikely Allies 'Wage War' to Defeat US Military Spending

    The people who fought the American Revolution were also wackjobs. The regular sensible people of the time were called "Tories" and were perfectly happy with the status quo.

    Abolitionists and gradualists both opposed slavery, but abolitionists were wackjobs who wanted too much, that would never happen.

    Sometimes you have to set the goal posts way out beyond the immediately-achievable or people won't stretch to get to them.
    Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

    snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

    Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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    Re: Unlikely Allies 'Wage War' to Defeat US Military Spending

    I'm too drunk to check but wasn't slavery already illegal in England by then ?
    So, then they were not reaching for the impossible and to be honest equating cutting the defense budget with the fight against slavery isn't, IMHO, equal.
    When then VA is the finest medical establishment on earth, then start to talk about cutting this or that.
    But that would require a good long and very hard look at the cost of our " foreign" policy.
    How many dead in Iraq ?
    half of you are pretty close,,, within 100 or so.
    How many wounded ?
    I bet not 1 in 10 are within 1000 of the real number.
    Those people put everything on the line, and what do we give them back ?
    The VA.
    So when when Barney talks about cutting costs, I just don't hear him,,,, 'guess I'm small minded.
    You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
    So that when they turn their backs on you,
    You'll get the chance to put the knife in.Pink Floyd "Dogs"

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  21. #11
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    Re: Unlikely Allies 'Wage War' to Defeat US Military Spending

    Quote Originally Posted by CallousDisregard View Post
    When then VA is the finest medical establishment on earth, then start to talk about cutting this or that.
    You do realize that it's possible to cut spending in one area and raise it in another, such as the VA. And, that's exactly what the guy you called a wackjob, Ron Paul, has been advocating for quite some time.

    Mistreating Soldiers and Veterans

    More Empty Rhetoric for Veterans

    From his Congressional campaign website.

    I support:

    Reforming the VA to make sure that it efficiently provides affordable care and benefits to our veterans.
    Giving employers a tax credit for hiring veterans.
    Narrowing the pay gap that exists between military and private sector pay scales.
    Restoring health care coverage to retired service members and reducing their out-of-pocket costs.
    Establishing a House Select Committee on POW and MIA Affairs.
    Fully investigating the causes of Gulf War illnesses and providing all necessary treatments to veterans suffering from those illnesses.
    Immediately ending the requirement that disabled veterans give up their military retirement pay in order to receive VA disability benefits.
    Sounds like you and that wackjob share some of the same beliefs, imagine that.

    The US government has a less than savory history of taking care of it's veterans, even though they seem to have no problem at all in sending them into incredibly difficult situations. The latest war funding bill was $33 billion, wouldn't it be nice if they invested that money into research about PTSD or traumatic brain injury, or just to improve the care they provide for veterans.


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    Re: Unlikely Allies 'Wage War' to Defeat US Military Spending

    But they won't do that is my point.
    They keep the VA barely turning over and any increases recently are because of the enormous burden on the system the returning wounded have caused.
    I know about Ron Paul and I also know that good ideas don't always make good policy and well ....Paul is fine if you take him in small doses but the whole package reaches wack job level.
    I like wack jobs, I voted for Perot.....twice.

    I hope I'm wrong, because money aside I think it is far past time to bring the boys back home.
    I'm guessing a couple of divisional level exercises a year, on the southern border, would solve a whole bunch of other problems while keeping our troops acclimated to some of the terrain they find themselves in future conflicts.
    You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
    So that when they turn their backs on you,
    You'll get the chance to put the knife in.Pink Floyd "Dogs"

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    Re: Unlikely Allies 'Wage War' to Defeat US Military Spending

    Ron Paul is a smart man and should be your new president, He is one of the most down to earth members of your parliament(that I have seen).



    When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. ~ Jimi Hendrix

    And isn't it a bad thing to be deceived about the truth, and a good thing to know what the truth is? For I assume that by knowing the truth you mean knowing things as they really are. ~ Plato

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