We have a massive military. We have bases around the world. We have by far and away the largest military in the world. And the main reason this is is not because of threats to “American interests” but because defense spending is how Republicans (and Democrats too) distribute tax money to their constituents. It’s an ugly truth, but it is the truth.
Yes the “defense” of the country is expressly enumerated in the Constitution. DEFENSE. Not empire. Empires are costly for the citizenry of a country, at least the citizens not in on the deal. But who cares, spend away. Like Dick Cheney, and Paul Krugman say, “deficits don’t matter.”
You know and I know of course that deficits and debt do in fact matter otherwise we wouldn’t have to gather any tax revenue, but politicians want to spend. And “defense” is the preferred way to spend for many Republicans.
And by the way, if you want to see where the money really goes take a drive down Route 28 next to Dulles Airport sometime and you will see it. Shiny office building after shiny office building filled with defense contractors.
At the end of this spectacle of glass, steel, and tax dollars is a Ferrari and Lamborghini dealership. I wonder why?
Look, I’m a sucker for many of these films. Top Gun for instance is still one of my favorite movies ever. I grew up with F-14s screaming over my head and the whine of a Tomcat banking before landing is a memory which sits (pleasantly) deep in my grey matter. The Hunt for Red October? Another classic. Red Dawn? Just great. But even as a kid I kind of wondered about how it was that the military and the Hollywood studios worked together. Now we know a little more about that relationship.
There was a time when good “liberals” in the United States railed against military spending. Granted it wasn’t because they wanted to reduce the size of government or to cut taxes, but because they wanted more money for social programs.
But that general disposition seems to have disappeared. Now, many big welfare state people are also big warfare state people. Military spending you see is a form of “stimulus.” Bombs, guns,whatever. Just get that money into the system.
Of course that the money for these bombs comes from the productive economy one way or another is forgotten, simply not understood, or is ignored for political reasons.
So apparently there’s going to be “search” which will remain Google, and then everything else which will be under Alphabet. I like it. Get it? ALPHA – BET. And it’s probably a pretty good bet given Apple’s recent stumbles.
Google is one of the USA’s largest military contractors by the way. Or I guess Alpha-Bet soon will be. Whatever, they’ll be making these along with God only knows what else..(Boston Dynamics is owned by Google.)
And as the Daily Caller said last year,
Big Brother Inc. aspires to work more closely with Big Brother government.
This restructuring is likely at least somewhat part of that.
This isn’t the end of the world. But given that I can’t find a cap gun anywhere, but this stuff is apparently available at the local Target gives one a sense of what our society has become.
What a great headline.
The attached article comes from Veronique de Rugy, unabashed advocate of free markets, liberty, and fiscal sanity. It goes nicely with our previous post.
Yeah, Senator Graham somehow inserted himself into this story.
This has been one weird day in the Senate and this is the 3rd post we’ve done today on Rand Paul and his military funding proposal.
Though we have said that we were not pleased with Rand Paul’s amendment, at least it called for cuts (if future cuts) to other spending. Rubio just wanted to spend money on defense whatever the cost to taxpayers and future generations. Cruz sided with Rubio. But in the end neither Rand’s or Rubio’s proposals got past the Senate floor.
Nick Gillespie is a great writer and advocate for liberty. Here he analyzes Rand Paul’s proposal in the Senate which will increase military spending by billions. Something which has disappointed many small government conservatives and libertarians.
I am disappointed to see this, but presidential politics are presidential politics. Overall what he is proposing is a large overall net decrease in expenditures which is excellent. His amendment reduces the size of government which is the point. Still, I hate to see more bloat at the Pentagon.
No big deal. What could terrorists possibly do with $500 million in US weapons?
I’ve noticed a pattern and it goes like this:
We engage in some desert state chock full of terrorists and soon to be terrorists. We engage militarily via different means. Sometimes we invade. Sometimes we arm the local “government” army. Sometimes we start droning bad guys from the sky. Usually it’s a combination.
Then at some point we pull out for whatever reason. Or the local government forces are defeated. Either way we leave behind plenty of high powered playthings for our enemy.
Some within the GOP will always want more military spending. Whether in peace or during times of war their bias is always toward MORE. This disposition is not good for the Republic as President Eisenhower in his farewell speech explained.
Remember, this guy led our forces in World War II as a five star general, was a Republican president, and has an aircraft carrier named for him.
For far too long conservatives have given the military the equivalent of a blank check. Through the Cold War and in the years since the budget has ballooned. It takes a huge piece of the federal pie and it is filled with waste and flat out fraud. The Pentagon wastes BILLIONS in taxpayer dollars.
Some of the “fraud” is entirely legal. Overpayments for this, a sweetheart contract for that. Perhaps a deal for a weapons system which makes no sense but is a government works program for some congressperson’s (often a Republican) district.
The military, though expressly enumerated in the Constitution for the defense of the US, is in many respects big government too. It is also rife with crony capitalism. Conservatives need to come to terms with this.
A few weeks ago we wrote about the “mandarin class” which populates official and think tank Washington DC. We argued that many of the people making important policy decisions are dangerously out of touch with the real “blood” of America, the grit, the nuts and bolts. Many of this group of folks come from the same northeastern schools and have similar political dispositions (which is to say establishment liberal). This wonky concentration has only increased over the years.
In our prior post the emphasis was on domestic policy technocrats. But many of the same things can be said for some at Defense as well. “War mandarins” move up through the ranks of academia to find perches within official “Defense.” It is there that their theories can be executed on the world stage. Where they can play Risk with real armies and with real lives. Often with disastrous results.
These “friends and allies” supported (support?) ISIS because they are a Suni counter to Hezbollah, the Shiite army controlled by Iran.
So now we have to go in and spill American blood because the nutbar brush fire got out of hand? (And by extension help Iran and Hezbollah?) We’ve spilled enough blood for very questionable reasons in the Middle East.
By the way, if you want to read an absolutely fantastic article on the radical Islamic group Clark says our “friends” enabled I suggest What ISIS Really Wants in The Atlantic.
Oh Senator Graham. When he’s not shilling for his new sponsor and head of Las Vegas Sands Sheldon Adelson he is doing his dance for the Military Industrial Complex.
Yeah, let’s send 10,000 ground troops back into the Middle East. Great idea. The crony birds continue to fly.
What’s up South Carolina? You guys had a chance to take this guy out last go’round.