Overspending on National Security Threatens National Security
The administration recently released its 2013 budget proposal, and conservatives are correctly alarmed that it calls for unprecedented spending and continued annual deficits exceeding $1 trillion. But the same conservatives complain that the budget does not devote enough funds to overseas adventurism.
I continue to be dismayed that in spite of our economic problems, most of those who call themselves fiscal conservatives refuse to consider any reductions in military spending. Doug Bandow of the Cato Institute very aptly addresses this in his recent article for the American Conservative entitled "Attack of the Pork Hawks." He points out that conservatives are using a tired liberal argument to defend the bloated military budget: Namely, that more spending equals better results. The federal education morass is merely one example that clearly disproves this.
The facts are that the President's budget calls for an 18% increase versus the previously planned 20% increase. This is not a cut, yet Pentagon hawks continue to issue dire warnings that this "draconian" decrease in proposed future spending will seriously threaten our national security. In truth, the majority of DOD spending goes to protect other nations, including prosperous allies like Europe, Japan and South Korea − nations that could and should take more responsibility for their own defense.
Is there any amount of money that would satisfy the hawks and the neoconservatives? Even adjusted for inflation, military spending is 17% higher now than when Obama took office. Even the worst case scenarios of Obama's "cuts," adjusted for inflation, still put outlays at 2007 levels, which are 40% higher than a decade ago. Our total spending on overseas adventurism and nation building equals more than the next 13 highest-spending countries in the world combined. Even if we were to slash our military budget in half, we would still be the world's dominant military power, by far.
In reality, the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about has become every bit the voracious monolith he feared. It wastes as much as any other arm of government, if not more, because it knows it can depend on unlimited blank checks from a terrified Congress.
Mr. Bandow concludes that America is more secure today than at any point since before WWII, and that military outlays should be reduced accordingly. We should, Mr. Bandow argues,
"stop garrisoning the globe, subsidizing rich friends, and reconstructing poor enemies. Instead, it's about time Washington focused on defending America and its people."
I couldn't agree more. Wasting money on overseas adventurism and nation building threatens our national security by massively contributing to our debt. Both welfare and warfare spending are tipping our economy into a serious currency and debt crisis. We can afford no sacred cows in our budget. One only has to look to the violence and civil unrest in Greece and ask − is that the sort of security we envision for our nation's future?
Posted by oldman67 on 02/22/12 01:30 AM
It is the majority of Americans who love wars. Click to view link Read the free illustrated book.
Posted by seer on 02/21/12 08:58 PM
If only the misguided, frightened masses would wake up to the fact that US military hegemony is driving the country into bankruptcy; they would totally dominate those TK types who want to put a boot up someone's ass at every turn.
Posted by rossbcan on 02/21/12 03:42 PM
'OUR NATIONAL SECURITY IS THREATENED BY WASTE AND CORRUPTION AT THE PENTAGON'
That is the way it is, so, that is the way the entrenched 'choosers' want it to be. And, making the wild assumption that there are actually honest problem solvers in the MIC, state deindustrialization complex, don't you think they realize that 'solved problem's' equals their unemployment. War is the racket and, they are preparing for the 'big one'.
nope, so long as the choosers are also able to create problems and define their own jobs, we will have more of them and, less of us.
see 'who's the boss', above. Spinning and appealing to the 'problem' is an absurd waste of time, on a par with 'prayer'.
Posted by jkluttz on 02/21/12 03:17 PM
If we could think we wouldn't be in this mess?
Posted by de No on 02/21/12 02:30 PM
It's the message stupid.
This essay is a classic example of why Ron Paul remains stuck in the low teens and has such a tough time capitalizing on the tremendous goodwill out there among the very groups which could propel him to primary wins and to leadership in the general election matchup polls.
In particular, he could win over many so called hawks, but RP gives the wrong sermon over and over on foreign policy. RP, wake up and look at the congregation and then decide HOW to sell them your ideas.
Many sitting in the hawk pews of the congregation say "I like RP except for his foreign policy". (And so it goes for other groups where you can insert abortion or states rights or drug policy into "I like RP except for x".)
At the bottom of this is a marketing communication problem and it's not only RP, but his advisors, cheerleaders and followers who seem to have a skill deficit in this regard. For some, especially those close to RP, it's a tin ear problem, a too many years in the wilderness mumbling to one's own wandering tribe members kind of problem.
So what is wrong with his essay and how could it be corrected? - for the potential converts in the congregation, not for those of us already on board with Austrian and RP.
I'm not going to rewrite this whole thing - I have sent my money over and over and complained numerous times about this to RP advisers with no results - they don't even see the problem it seems.
Maybe DBers can crowd source a rewrite and elves with their access to RP advisors could engage them in dialogue using a rewrite as the point of discussion.
So I'll start by changing the title and hopefully another DBer will do the first section.
"Overspending on National Security Threatens National Security"
Well right off the bat, it's out of phase with the core Austrian principle of MALINVESTMENT, not to mention parallel ideas from public choice theory.
Every communication piece is an opportunity to introduce Austrian ideas and terminology into the memesphere and decent copywriting takes that to the sentence level; titles are especially important.
So not only does the use of the work "Overspending" flunk in this regard, it means defence budget cuts to hawks and that is exactly what scares them about RP. The title is a turn off; that's just stupid.
Consider that we could have a powerful defence in the following ways:
lots of money with lots of waste, or
lots of money without lots of waste, or
lesser amounts of money without waste
So. three simple choice for the hawks to consider right off the bat. (It doesn't matter that actually we have a crappy defence; the point here is to frame the choice so the hawks are not turned off by the preacher immediately.)
So change the title to something like:
OUR NATIONAL SECURITY IS THREATENED BY WASTE AND CORRUPTION AT THE PENTAGON
Then in the first paragraph present the three defence spending choices and argue that we should expect waste and corruption based on economic and political theory and remind them that this is well proven in all government led efforts. (It also puts the neocons and the pork hawks on the defensive; something that even those on the left seem unable to do.)
This title leads the hawks in the congregation to the choice of strong defence without waste and corruption and once framed as such, RP can move on to give his many examples of waste: troops in Korea, Japan and Germany, the runaway Trotskyites in the State Dept. spreading deomocracy chaos, etc.
Next is the question, does anyone think our own borders are adequately protected and how about South Korean and Germany covering their own borders so we can beef up ours?
So I am not going to rewrite more than the title and I hope there are some high verbal IQ DBers out there who will take the hour needed to craft this essay.
And please Elves, use your elbows to get this message to RP's advisors like Lew Rockwell. I think they are currently failing RP and those of us out here supporting him. How ironic this is considering the legacy of great communicators in the Austrian camp like Rothbard and Hazlitt - to name a few.
Posted by Abu Aardvark on 02/21/12 12:28 PM
DHS employe Mickey McCarter learns about the Internet Reformation - the hard way - live on C-SPAN:
Click to view link
Posted by rossbcan on 02/21/12 10:36 AM
In case there is ONE reader who is not aware of what it means when THINK is stated:
Click to view link
Posted by rossbcan on 02/21/12 09:57 AM
RP: Overspending on National Security Threatens National Security
corollory: Ùnderspending on National Security Threatens VESTED National Security Interests.
Same old tied question: Who's the boss?
Once answered by 'democratic will of fully informed people', counterbalanced by the 'rule of law', to avoid democratic excesses, such as the Nazis:
Click to view link
But, we cannot be fully informed for 'security considerations', circular and false arguments MEANING you cannot have the information for 'problem solving', because our 'èxpert' 'problem solvers' know best. This is true,
'best for themselves'. Our self-appointed, monopoly wielding 'problem solvers' ARE the problem, in our, but, not their perspective. The problem, as THEY see it is our freedom.
Luckily, it is very easy to THINK ourselves out of these problems, apparently, very difficuly to acquire the cohones and courage to actually do something, actions with consequences leading to a different balance of forces, or reality.
Posted by Abu Aardvark on 02/21/12 05:35 AM
And here's Paul "let's fake an alien invasion" Krugman:
"The fact is the Great Depression ended largely thanks to a guy named Adolf Hitler. He created a human catastrophe, which also led to a lot of government spending. As you know, I'm famous for worrying about space aliens. It looks like it has to be some forcing event. Obviously you don't operate on that basis, so what people like me will do is keep hammering on this stuff and hopefully it will eventually break through. The safety net has been enough to avoid mass suffering, to muffle it. People are exhausting their savings. This is where you start to wonder how much individuals really do matter. Maybe there is somebody on the political scene who will emerge. I don't know where that comes from. But the big lesson I've taken from 10 years of punditry is that the story is never over. Who knows where we might be in four or five years?"
Click to view link
I have no words ...