February 14, 2011

Obama's $3.7 trillion budget.

"Senior administration officials cast the document as a responsible alternative to the deep spending cuts that Republicans will urge in a vote this week on the House floor."

Let's get responsible!

216 comments:

1 – 200 of 216   Newer›   Newest»
Fred4Pres said...

The Republicans are more responsibile (Obama's budget is a bad joke), but the cuts need to be far more draconian to really make a difference.

AJ Lynch said...

In 2001, it was $1.863 Trillion. So spending has doubled in ten years? Why?

Fred4Pres said...

This type of spending is unsustainable. Entitlements are the primary problem. Obamacare needs to go. Bush's medicare prescription drug plan needs to go. Social security and medicare eligibility needs to be tightened, benefits capped (in the case of SS) and reduced (in the case of medicare). Defense needs some cuts too. Discretionary agency budgets remaining (with some exceptions for law enforcement) need to be cut 25% to start.

PaulV said...

AJ, Liberals never saw wasteful spending as a problem.

MadisonMan said...

Saving $1.1 trillion over 10 years is not very much when the annual budget is nearly $4 trillion.

Too bad a competent journalist can't point that out. But that would require them to do math, and math is icky.

PaulV said...

Fred, Bush medicare prescription program has already been replaced by more expensive Obama prescription program

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Original Mike said...

"Obama's plan would reduce deficits by more than $1.1 trillion over the next decade"

I believe this statement means that $8 trillion in projected new debt accumulated over the next decade is reduced to $7 trillion.

That ain't gonna get it done.

Fen said...

Either ditch the entitlements entirely or cut them to the bone so they will survive.

Original Mike said...

I bet they're doing what they always do. Most of the "savings" is in the out years when they won't be around anymore. What matters is how much is cut this year. Next year what will matter is how much is cut next year. That's how to be responsible. What happens on your watch.

lemondog said...

That's tightening the belt!

Phil 3:14 said...

Isn't every President's proposed budget
a joke
(or more diplomatically put,
a suggestion)

Phil 3:14 said...

Math is non-partisan

PaulV said...

Good thing spending bills start in House. Does Senate or Obama want to shut government down. Would taxpayers complain if they did so?

The Drill SGT said...

To put this $3.7 Trillion in perspective, it's 25% higher than what was spent in FY 2008 (the Last year the GOP had both houses and the WH). the 2009 Budget climbed 18% to $3.5 trillion

So remember when the Dem's talk about those responsible cuts being 1.1 trillion over 10 years, that is about 100Billion, or less than 3% per year out of the Budsget, and I bet everything is back loaded beyond the Obama years.

Ut said...

Republicans won't say it because of the new "civility" so I will:

D.O.A.

It's not even worth writing about anymo

Ut said...

"Too bad a competent journalist can't point that out. But that would require them to do math, and math is icky."

They can do math.

What they cannot do is criticize Barack Obama. They would lose their jobs. And they have families to feed.

Journalists are prisoners of the Democrats.

Pity them.

The Drill SGT said...

I did like this quote, from a Dem up for reelection in a Red State:

"If we're going to get this debt down to a level that's sustainable, then we've got to do substantially more than $1 trillion worth of deficit reduction in the next decade. We just do," said Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (N.D.).

Quayle said...

Obama is spending the young generation's money for the boomer generation's benefits.

Yet they still think he is the bomb.

Original Mike said...

"They can do math."

Actually, they can't. It's why they ended up in J-school.

Alex said...

Explain me why 2001 spending levels are abhorrent and inhuman?

Marshal said...

"Journalists are prisoners of the Democrats."

Journalists aren't prisoners to Obama, Democrats, or Liberalism. They are the special forces in these armies, and they volunteered, they weren't drafted.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Not sure what the problem is. Doesn't the government just press a button somewhere and money just appears? I seem to remember reading that on these forums at one time.

edutcher said...

Deficit of 1.6T.

And, yes, a fire will have to be lit under a lot of RINOs.

Fred4Pres said...

This type of spending is unsustainable.

According to the CBO, Social Security spends 134M per day more than it takes in. And the CBO says that deficit will be permanent.

And they use the word, "unsustainable".

Bender said...

We could easily cut $800 billion from that.

The budget for FY2008 was $2.9 trillion vs. Obama's FY2012 $3.7 trillion.

Go back to 2008 levels.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'm going to have to find the breakdown of this nearly $4trillion budget and see where all this money is going. I mean the bailouts were a few years ago so where exactly is all this money being directed to?

kent said...

I'm going to have to find the breakdown of this nearly $4trillion budget and see where all this money is going. I mean the bailouts were a few years ago so where exactly is all this money being directed to?

Sneak a quick, horrified gander at the current First Lady from the rear, sometime.

Ut said...

"They are the special forces in these armies, and they volunteered, they weren't drafted."

Patty Hearst walked into that bank with an M-16, too.

Journalists are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. They are mentally ill and deserve our pity.

They simply can't criticize Obama or they'll lose their jobs. It's that simple. They'll be destroyed like Joe The Plumber.

Pity them.

AJ Lynch said...

Our Beltway poobahs are living in a dream world. They won't accept the idea that the people voted to take their checkbook away.

Original Mike said...

@Hoosier: Please do and report back. I've been wondering the same thing.

Ut said...

You know, the laughable part of this is that the Republican leadership think it's a stretch to cut $100 billion from the budget.

Fact of the matter is Republicans will continue funding gnat fart studies, support for foreign dictatorships, NPR, Planned Parenthood - all the bullshit funding.

The sad fact of the matter is that Democrats have taken over both political parties and nothing less than a complete Egypt-style revolution will change things in the United States.

FloridaSteve said...

I know it's a stinker of a budget but can you possibly imagine the magnitude of the stench had the Dems held Congress? How high would they possibly have the balls to have pushed it.

Brian O'Connell said...

NPR tweets "To learn more about how you can help save public media, visit www.170millionamericans.org". Yes that's right- there's a website.

So in the wake of the Juan Williams thing they were all about how few tax dollars go to NPR. Numbers like 1-3% were bandied about.

As I predicted- not that it took a genius or anything- when the eventual Republican cuts were proposed, there'd be cries about the destruction of public media.

When the public has an issue with NPR, tax dollars are inconsequential, almost laughable. When the public threatens to pull funding, tax dollars are absolutely necessary.

AJ Lynch said...

Hoosier:

Here is one example for you.
Dept of Education is $140.9 Billion inn 2011 versus $63.7 in 2001.

www.usgovtspending.com

AJ Lynch said...

Brian:
I wonder who is paying for that website? We the taxpayers?

AJ Lynch said...

Correction on that web address:

www.usgovernmentspending.com

Original Mike said...

"Dept of Education is $140.9 Billion inn 2011 versus $63.7 in 2001."

There's $140G in savings right there. Seriously. Can anyone mount a credible defense for the Dept. of Education? ("Education is good" is not sufficient.)

M. Simon said...

Discretionary agency budgets remaining (with some exceptions for law enforcement) need to be cut 25% to start.

Ending drug prohibition would do it for law enforcement.

Ut said...

"I'm going to have to find the breakdown of this nearly $4trillion budget ..."

There will not be a budget.

The Congress no longer enacts a budget.

There will only be a Continuing Resolution and baseline rigged-in spending will increase no matter who is elected. Budgets, if they existed, could be cut ... so Congress did away with budgets.

"The budget" is a gimmick provided to reporters so they can say something is being cut when in fact, nothing is being cut. Federal government spending growth is not even being slowed.

Reporters are in on the scam (many go back and forth between government and journalism jobs). They'll happily report Obama's budget "cuts" the deficit knowing full well that there is no such thing as "the budget."

Original Mike said...

"Ending drug prohibition would do it for law enforcement."

I'm on board.

Brian O'Connell said...

AJ: I thought of that, but any organization can separate their income and make it appear that no money from x is going to y.

The site says "This project receives no government funding."

It's meaningless of course since money is 100% fungible. That's it's purpose!

Meade said...

"Let's get responsible!"

Oh! Oh! And we can make buttons! And everyone can wear them on their lapels!

Remember Whip Inflation Now (WIN)?

Ut said...

"NPR tweets "To learn more about how you can help save public media, visit www.170millionamericans.org". Yes that's right- there's a website."

NPR paid for that propoganda website with taxpayer dollars, too.

They're laughing all the way to the fucking bank.

You people who still pay your taxes are real chumps.

M. Simon said...

Fact of the matter is Republicans will continue funding gnat fart studies, support for foreign dictatorships, NPR, Planned Parenthood - all the bullshit funding.

And Drug Prohibition which makes it easier for kids to get illegal drugs than legal beer.

WV: mormones Mormon hormones (vary the spelling as you wish.

bob said...

I love that phrase "draconian." As if we lived in an age of massive deprivation -- in 2009.

chuckR said...

O announces a $100 billion cut in Pell Grants. Then you find out its over a ten year period. Then you recollect that this would obligate this and the next 4 Congresses plus the next president (or maybe two if we are really dissatified). Hey, why not announce a $TRILLION!!! cut over the next century. Just as realistic.

And just as realistic as the rest of what must be in that steaming pile of a proposal. I hope it is DOA. I hope.

Gabriel Hanna said...

We don't want to go back to 2008 levels. Don't you remember how few government programs were able to function then? All the cops and firefighters and teachers fired, all the old people thrown in the snow, the people on welfare starving?

As the President says, $100 billion out of $4 trillion is a "deep spending cut", unacceptable. We can't run this country on 97.5% of what we're spending now.

edutcher said...

Meade said...

"Let's get responsible!"

Oh! Oh! And we can make buttons! And everyone can wear them on their lapels!

Remember Whip Inflation Now (WIN)?


And it's descendant, Stop Inflation Now (SIN)?

PS Are you mocking your beloved bride, sir?

Ut said...

Here are the numbers:

2010 Total federal expenditures: $3.5 trillion

Obama's 2011 Request: $3.7 trillion

Cut? Huh?

His proposed spending is higher than last year's spending.

How is that a cut?

Remember that when you read your local newspaper claim this spending request represents a cut.

They're LYING. TO. YOU.

Fen said...

Journalists are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. They are mentally ill and deserve our pity.

No. They deserve nothing but contempt and hatred.

I hope they lose their jobs and starve to death.

AJ Lynch said...

If we kept only special ed and Pell grants, the Dept of Education would spend only $50 Billion so that reduction would be $90 Billion.

I'd love to know how many people work in the Dept of Educ and what we spend in payroll, etc for them. Maybe some intrepid reporter could ask that of Secretary Arne Duncan at his next press conference.

Original Mike said...

"Remember Whip Inflation Now (WIN)?"

Yeah, I sure do.

My favorite from that era was an SNL skit (yes, I know WIN was "real") that had Jimmie and Amy Carter. Jimmie's plan to fight inflation was for everybody to take X% out of their savings and burn it. Amy (Lorraine Newman) demonstrated with money from her piggy bank.

Original Mike said...

"Here are the numbers:

2010 Total federal expenditures: $3.5 trillion

Obama's 2011 Request: $3.7 trillion"


Fuck.

Ut said...

"Hey, why not announce a $TRILLION!!! cut over the next century. Just as realistic."

It's all bullshit.

Obama has proposed #3.7 trillion in spending ... higher than last year. Not even a cut.

And last year contained all sorts of "one-time" emergency stimulus spending.

So, in reality, Obama's spending request is vastly increased over the prior year.

It's obscene that the press is trying to couch this as some sort of huge budget cut.

It's amazing how they're lying about this and the breadth of the lying. It's almost universal amongst the mainstream media. They're almost all characterizing this as a cut budget.

Just shows you how deep the rabbit hole is.

Lockestep said...

Meade,

I still have my WIN button. Almost time to pull it out, just waiting for the effects of the Mexican freeze to hit the supermarket.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Obama's 2011 Request: $3.7 trillion

Hey, remember when Democrats used to care about deficits? Hard to believe that was only two short years ago.

Ut said...

Hey, remember when Democrats used to care about deficits? Hard to believe that was only two short years ago.

Nothing will change as long as Americans continue to voluntarily give the government these huge sums of money to begin with.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Jake Tapper of ABC:

"At no point in the president’s 10-year projection would the U.S. government spend less than it's taking in."

That says it all right there. Nothing is being "cut" in the sense that you and I use the term. Rather, they are reducing increases in spending. They're making d$/dt smaller, but not negative.

Mom said...

$1.267 trillion of that amount is deficit spending. In other words, one-third of the budget consists of a plan to spend money we do not have and don't expect to get until some dim time in the unknown future. This is responsible? How??

Pastafarian said...

The numbers are beyond comprehension at this point.

They spend over $800 billion now just in Health and Human Services. HUD, over $50 billion. Afghanistan isn't shit compared to that "war on poverty". There's your fucking quagmire.

In locally funded things like education and transportation, where the feds have little if any legitimate roll, they piss away $100 billion each.

And most of these programs have the effect of keeping people ignorant and in poverty; these programs perpetuate themselves, that's really their primary purpose.

Imagine the economic renaissance that we could have, if all of these bureaucrats and tax-eaters had to go out and get a real productive job tomorrow. But they won't; they'll continue to draw their 6-figure salaries well into retirement. I wonder how many pencil-pushers become millionaires on rounding errors when they push around these unfathomably large amounts of money?

This is nightmarish stuff. And now my lunch is over, and I can go back to work, to earn more money for my betters in Washington.

I'm ready for the torches and pitchforks at this point. Florida, you were right.

Pastafarian said...

Ut said: "Nothing will change as long as Americans continue to voluntarily give the government these huge sums of money to begin with."

Fail to pay your taxes, and they'll just borrow/print more money. And you'll read about it from prison. Their spending won't be slowed by people paying less taxes; they don't give a shit about spending more than they take in.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Well here is the breakdown from the official document itself. Not surprisingly Defense, Medicare and Social Security accounts for well over half the budget.

Agriculture – 152,090
Commerce – 11,885
Defense – 739,665
Education – 79,383
Energy – 46,231
HHS – 909,812
Homeland Security – 48,081
HUD – 60,814
Interior – 13,098
DOJ- 33,501
Labor – 148,020
Dept. of State – 54,801
Transportation – 79,495
Treasury – 121,020
Veterans Affairs – 141,137
Overseas Contingency Ops – 164,469
Corps of Engineers - 10,656
EPA – 11,100
NASA – 19,477
Natl. Science Foundation – 8,602
SBA – 6,218
Social Security – 803,511
Corp for National & Community Service – 1,030

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2012/assets/budget.pdf

Ut said...

"Fail to pay your taxes, and they'll just borrow/print more money."

I never said "fail to pay your taxes."

I said stop voluntarily paying your taxes. It would be wrong not to pay at all (and illegal). But it is neither wrong, nor illegal, to stop volunteering.

If you think on it, you'll see the difference. And you'll see why stopping to voluntarily pay would eliminate the government's ability to borrow - because nobody in their right mind would buy T-bills at that point.

Ut said...

Hoosier: Now, which dept's got cut? Compare 2011 request with 2010 spending.

Original Mike said...

@Hoosier: Where are the interest payments on our current debt?

Ut said...

2010 Actual: $3.5 Trillion
2011 Proposed: $3.7 Trillion

Increase in Obama spending: $.2 Trillion ... which is a spending increase of $200 trillion more over the next 1,000 years.

Can our children and their children afford another $200 trillion in wild-assed Barack Obama spending?

I think not.

gutless said...

"Sixty Grit said...

It should be Dead on Arrival. Taken out back and shot."

Good start, Sixty, but it should also be torn asunder, burned, ashes scattered and the smoke from the fire captured and sequestered for all eternity in an abandoned salt mine. That's for openers.

The Drill SGT said...

Mom said...
$1.267 trillion of that amount is deficit spending. In other words, one-third of the budget consists of a plan to spend money we do not have and don't expect to get until some dim time in the unknown future. This is responsible? How??


It's worse than that if you express it as:

In other words, we are spending 50% more than we expect to take in and 'borrowing it forward" for our kids to cover after they finance their own budgets.

mark buehner said...

He wants to increase spending this year by 8 billion. That is ludicrous. This thing is a joke- most of the alleged savings are backloaded until after the election. Tens of billions to expand Amtrack?! No thanks. And what happened to his vaunted debt commission? After spending 2 years lauding it, he buries it when it comes back with conclusions he doesn't like. If we reset the budget to what it was Jan 1, 2008, how can anyone possibly claim the country will collapse? We survived 2007 spending 1 trillion dollar less per year, how was that possible?! And why not do it again?

DADvocate said...

Reminds me of the time years ago (pre-cell phone) that a woman I worked with was supposed to pick up my daughter and I to go to our company picnic. The woman ended up being about an hour late picking us up.

During the wait my daughter asked me if the woman was "responsible." I told her I thought so. My daugter replied, "She's responsible for us being late."

Maybe that's the kind of "responsible" the Dems are talking about.

orbicularioculi said...

Maybe Obama can put one of his friends in the Muslim Brotherhood in charge of his Economic Non-Policy. Muslims are doing such a great job in the countries where they are in power. And they can simply raise the jizzya (dhimmi tax) on all non-Muslims in the USA.

Spending money they don't have isn't a problem with Progressive, Socialist-Marxists like the Democrat folks in the White House and Congress. Economics might as well be spelled "Scimonoce" as they seem to have everything ass-backwards.

Do NOT raise the Debt Ceiling say 70%+ of the American People. Let's see how the Republicans respond.

MadisonMan said...

Can anyone mount a credible defense for the Dept. of Education?

Nope.

Ending the Dept of Education would have a trickle down effect, too. Soon, Universities would find that their Education PhD students would have no job, and these programs would be cut as well.

I do wonder -- when was this year's deficit the actual budget total? It can't have been that long ago.

Alex said...

can anyone explain to me why we need to spend $900 billion on defense?

Scott M said...

Good start, Sixty, but it should also be torn asunder, burned, ashes scattered and the smoke from the fire captured and sequestered for all eternity in an abandoned salt mine. That's for openers.

Just drop it into Mount Doom where it was forged in the first place. Biden is horrible Saruman, by the way. Pelosi is a passable Witch-King.

norman said...

Corp for National & Community Service – 1,030

WTF is this bigger than defense orSS??

norman said...

Corp for National & Community Service – 1,030


What is this strange budget item biger than defense & SS??

WTF?

garage mahal said...

Do NOT raise the Debt Ceiling say 70%+ of the American People. Let's see how the Republicans respond

Republicans raised the debt ceiling 7 times under Bush. I doubt they are a guiding light in all this.

John said...

Useful links..

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals/

Receipts, Outlays and defict/surpluses

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2012/assets/hist01z1.xls

Receipts, Outlays by Agency
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2012/assets/hist04z1.xls


wv:upipi...on me, and tell me it's a warm rain?

Scott M said...

Republicans raised the debt ceiling 7 times under Bush. I doubt they are a guiding light in all this.

Different era, now, GM, or haven't you been paying attention?

AJ Lynch said...

MadMan:
Fed spending in 1990 was $1.25 Trillion.

Hal Duston said...

Hoosier Daddy,

You pulled from the wrong column. The numbers you show are from 2011. You need to look at 2012:

Agriculture – 144,014
Commerce – 13,142
Defense – 707,467
Education – 70,927
Energy – 43,089
HHS – 892,811
Homeland Security – 46,913
HUD – 49,399
Interior – 13,912
DOJ- 33,151
Labor – 109,026
Dept. of State – 62,609
Transportation – 89,622
Treasury – 114,507
Veterans Affairs – 124,332
Overseas Contingency Ops – 126,288
Corps of Engineers - 8,036
EPA – 9,986
NASA – 18,174
Natl. Science Foundation – 7,906
SBA – 1,205
Social Security – 817,144
Corp for National & Community Service – 1,111

Michael K said...

Defense is one of the Constitutional obligations of the government. Most of the rest is not.

Bush tried to start to reform SS and was savaged for it. The young, like my 45 year old son, are convinced they will never see a penny of SS. The Democrats will demagogue this by saying that present recipients will be affected. That cannot be part of the reform. The big crisis will come when those under 60 now retire. That is why reform has to be quick and apply to those still in a position to do some planning.

Medicare is a tough one but Obamacare already cuts them $500 billion. A voucher plan might be offered as an option and a market of insurance for that group might appear. The chronically ill will have no good option so they must be allowed to stay on a comprehensive program. There are a lot of people on Medicare who would pay part or all of routine care because they are healthy. I'm one. The big problem coming for us is the availability of doctors to care for us. They are going to abandon Obamacare in droves.

Medicaid is a mess. The payments are too small to interest doctors in caring for them unless they are running Medicaid mills. The care is poor and usually by non-physicians. I don't have a problem with PAs and NPs but they need some supervision. They don't have any in these mills. I talk to them every day because I review workers comp claims. They are usually the ones caring for the patient and they know what is going on. I've even discussed their "supervising" doctor with a few of them and know they think no more of them than I do.

If we don't start now, it will get worse every year.

Original Mike said...

"Republicans raised the debt ceiling 7 times under Bush. I doubt they are a guiding light in all this."

Once again, you think we are going to defend the Republicans.

Bruce Hayden said...

WTF?

I am assuming that you are using the old meaning of that acronym, not the new meaning. It now officially means "Winning the Future" and is expected to be the slogan for the Obama 2012 campaign.

Of course, maybe you are using the new meaning, and are commenting on all the great new investments being pushed by the Administration. That they cost some money is not really important here, since we all know that investment in our future is good.

Just pointing this out so we can all be on the same page.

mark buehner said...

Suggested new talking point: "Why is Obama obsessed with expanding Amtrack? A bridge to the 19th century?"

Hagar said...

The operative sentence:

However, Obama also would rely heavily on new taxes, to a degree unacknowledged by administration officials in recent days.

And I think "directed" taxes and tax-breaks cause far more damage than they are nominally worth, by skewing and dislocating the economy.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Corp for National & Community Service – 1,030

WTF is this bigger than defense orSS??


It isn't. Defense is 739,655 (in millions) or $740 billion (rounding)

Corp for National & Community Service – 1,030 or one billion and change.

cbinflux said...

All of the votes that money can buy! Go Cloward-Piven, GO!!!

BHO

Hoosier Daddy said...

You pulled from the wrong column. The numbers you show are from 2011. You need to look at 2012:

I stand corrected. Thanks

holdfast said...

How to cut defense spending? After Iraq and Afstan, the world knows that the US will never again voluntarily invade another country anyway, so the US Army really isn't all that useful a threat.

1) Weaponize space. Put up the "Rods From God", and if anyone pisses us off they'll be getting a DU slug dropping on them from orbit.

2) Reduce the regular US Army to 4 Divisions - 101st, 82nd and two heavy armor. The rest become reserve or NG.

3) Reduce overseas bases other than Afstan and Iraq to staging and equipment depots. Germany, Korea and Japan can look after themselves. We will provide Naval and strategic support to allies if they are attacked, but no more ground forces.

AJ Lynch said...

Hoosier:
That is interesting data.

I wonder how Prez Obama will get from the current $140 Billion for Educ Dept to the $70 Billion?

woof said...

It isn't. Defense is 739,655 (in millions) or $740 billion (rounding)

You need to add to that Overseas Contingency Ops – 126,288.

The Overseas Contingency Operations budget request funds U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and around the globe.

David said...

Utterly irresponsible.

Nothing on entitlements.

Nothing from the Congressional leadership on entitlements either, for that matter.

The Republicans are just as irresponsible, though since Obama is President he's supposed to lead.

Never thought of myself as a Tea Party candidate, but that's changing.

Hoosier Daddy said...

By contrast, the three big ticket items in 2001 were:

Defense - 279 billion

Medicare & Medicaid - 342 billion

Social Security - 422 billion

David said...

Well, Holdfast, I don't agree with your plan for the military, but at least it's a long term plan. That's more than Obama can say.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott M said...

@holdfast

I'm with you on #3, but #1 won't happen without touching off another Cold War. #2 is far too far.

Are you coming at it with the same logic that asks, "why do we have 36 B2 bombers when the Air Force only has 12 operating at any given time?" This was the point of view of my poli sci department chair and quite a few profs. It was fun to watch the AFROTC commandant, a former BUFF pilot himself, inform them that 12 are required to be in operation at all times, requiring 12 in maintenance and 12 in training.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Reduce overseas bases other than Afstan and Iraq to staging and equipment depots. Germany, Korea and Japan can look after themselves. We will provide Naval and strategic support to allies if they are attacked, but no more ground forces.

I'll go further and say eliminate them all together. If any of them are attacked we can send our best wishes as that is about as far as I would go in risking American servicemen any further.

You need to add to that Overseas Contingency Ops – 126,288

I didn't create the budget breakdown by function, the White House did.

I wonder how Prez Obama will get from the current $140 Billion for Educ Dept to the $70 Billion?

I don't see where the $140 is unless you're talking loans which 'technically' isnt spending as its a credit.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

How to cut defense spending? After Iraq and Afstan, the world knows that the US will never again voluntarily invade another country anyway, so the US Army really isn't all that useful a threat.

1) Weaponize space. Put up the "Rods From God", and if anyone pisses us off they'll be getting a DU slug dropping on them from orbit.

2) Reduce the regular US Army to 4 Divisions - 101st, 82nd and two heavy armor. The rest become reserve or NG.

3) Reduce overseas bases other than Afstan and Iraq to staging and equipment depots. Germany, Korea and Japan can look after themselves. We will provide Naval and strategic support to allies if they are attacked, but no more ground forces.

Holdfast comes up with the usual US Defense Plan, emphasize things over people, UNTIL the Next War Comes and we “Suddenly Discover” we DO need a Ground Force…
“God Rods” Indeed.

Ut said...

"Nothing from the Congressional leadership on entitlements either, for that matter."

And there shouldn't be anything either.

Republicans should not propose one cent of cuts in any entitlement program until AFTER they have complete control of the House, Senate and White House and 50 state governorships.

Democrats got us into this fucking mess. They deserve time to try to get us out of it.

If Republicans lead the charge on cutting Social Security and other ways Americans get their tax money back from Democrats, then elderly voters will eviscerate them and that would only accrue to the benefit of Democrats.

Let's crush the Democrats first. Eliminiate them as a threat. Then we can deal with entitlements.

Entitlements aren't the enemy. They're a symptom. The enemy is the Democrat Party.

And their destruction has to come first.

Ut said...

"can anyone explain to me why we need to spend $900 billion on defense?"

So Barack obama can kill brown people.

Mick said...

This is the story of what's really going on. The Banking Elite controls
Obama. Money= Debt= Profits for the few, and misery for most.

http://www.theburningplatform.com/

AJ Lynch said...

Hoosier:

Sorry that may have been an apples to oranges comment by me.

But According to usgovernmentspending.com, we spent $140 Billion of Education dept. and now Obama is gonna reduce it to $70 Billion.

AJ Lynch said...

Also, should read "spent $140 in 2010".

edutcher said...

Alex said...

can anyone explain to me why we need to spend $900 billion on defense?

Besides the fact he's a troll?

Well, how about it's a dangerous world full of crazy people who want to kill us.

holdfast said...

How to cut defense spending? After Iraq and Afstan, the world knows that the US will never again voluntarily invade another country anyway, so the US Army really isn't all that useful a threat.

1) Weaponize space. Put up the "Rods From God", and if anyone pisses us off they'll be getting a DU slug dropping on them from orbit.

2) Reduce the regular US Army to 4 Divisions - 101st, 82nd and two heavy armor. The rest become reserve or NG.

3) Reduce overseas bases other than Afstan and Iraq to staging and equipment depots. Germany, Korea and Japan can look after themselves. We will provide Naval and strategic support to allies if they are attacked, but no more ground forces.


1 - this was similar to Eisenhower's plan in the 50s. See how well that worked

2 - if anything, Iraq and A-stan prove the opposite. A President with a pair (Dubya, Bolton, Palin) can invade and win. Bring the Army back to pre-Willie levels (18 divisions) so we don't have to depend on the Nasty Guard, which didn't work last time out. His idea would give us 1 corps too heavy to move or too light to win.

3 - done already. That's what Rummy spent 6 years doing.

Next...

garage mahal said...

Different era, now, GM, or haven't you been paying attention?

I know I know, Democrats are in power now. Conservatives can now come out of their slumber and can criticize spending.

dont tread 2012 said...

We really need more bailouts, more underwater mortgages, more social giveaways, more education spending, more regulation, more federal lawsuits against states, more ILLEGAL immigrants, more judicial activism/eschewing the rule of law, more propping up of dictators, more terror trials on US soil, more Obamacare waivers, more presidential rhetoric slamming Americans not in lock-step with his leftist worldview, more abortion-on-demand, more gay marriage, more tax increases, more fees, more academic theoreticians that couldn't balance a checkbook, more malpractice awards, more food stamps, more SSI for addicts, more legislator sex scandals, more christian-bashing, more muslim-outreach, more green jobs, more free condoms, free Viagra/Cialis for seniors and sex offenders, more free needles for drug addicts, shopping carts for the homeless, more EVERYTHING for EVERYBODY.

Because so far its worked out so freaking well.

Ut said...

"Democrats are in power now."

Democrats currently control the US Senate and have veto power over everything the House Republicans vote on.

So, you're right, Garage. Democrats are in power now.

But not for long.

Hoosier Daddy said...

But According to usgovernmentspending.com, we spent $140 Billion of Education dept. and now Obama is gonna reduce it to $70 Billion.

They may be including federal student loans which are actually increasing several fold in 2012. Its all an accounting thing I believe. You know how those accountants are.

Only thing worse than a Packer's fan is an accountant ;-)

garage mahal said...

So, you're right, Garage. Democrats are in power now.

But not for long.


We can always rely on your supreme fighting skills, from your keyboard, Ut/NewHam/Florida.

Comrade X said...

wow. the minimum payments on the debt (interest-only) will top $500billion by 2015 (probably sooner since rates will go up). cut spending now or the market will cut it later after Obama ruins the country's credit rating.

Original Mike said...

"Only thing worse than a Packer's fan is an accountant ;-)"

I fart in your general direction.

Ut said...

" ...cut spending now or the market will cut it later after Obama ruins the country's credit rating."

Yes, but by then he'll be a nulti-millionaire and teaching constitutional law at the University of Illinois - with an entire campus of buttmunchers and cock-polishers hanging on his every utterance.

Why should he possibly give a fuck?

cubanbob said...

Just using the chart provided by Hal Duston I came up with 525,359Bn in cuts that can and should be done today.Take the balance of 2,914,395 and reduce it by 25% and the savings are 728,598.75Bn. Combine the two and the total budget reduction is $1,253,957.75Tn.

Essentially that would result in a balanced budget with the current tax scheme we have now. Eliminate all tax credits and subsidies along with taxing all income above the minimum wage (that is include the 47% who are not paying income taxes) and the government is running a surplus. This is the message the TEA Party is stating. The Republicans still don't really get it and to the Democrats shrinking the government is heresy.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I fart in your general direction.

Yes but did you do it in an outrageous French accent?! :-)

Actually I have no animosity to the Packers and their loyal fans. I was just trying to see if Trooper was awake.

Seven Machos said...

The Banking Elite controls
Obama.


Does it surprise anyone that Mick the Birther also believes in conspiracies involving bankers? Is the Trilateral Commission also involved?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Eliminate all tax credits and subsidies along with taxing all income above the minimum wage (that is include the 47% who are not paying income taxes) and the government is running a surplus.

Actually those benefiting the most from the tax credits and offsets is the middle class. Child exemptions and mortgage interest deductions are pretty huge in terms of lost tax revenue.

I could support a removal of such exemptions if there were some assurances that the revenue would be used to bring down the debt to managable levels as opposed to simply funding another Federal program.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

Does it surprise anyone that Mick the Birther also believes in conspiracies involving bankers? Is the Trilateral Commission also involved?
Don’t forget the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bildebergers…..

Comrade X said...

hoosier, should mortgage interest be eliminated as a business expense too?

if not, business will have a significant advantage in the real estate market over consumers.

if so, then you'd be taxing an expense as income.

Maguro said...

Don’t forget the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bildebergers...

Also the Queen, the Vatican and Col Sanders before he went tits-up.

Trooper York said...

Hey I am awake. I am on my way to the Curve show at the Javits Center.

That is the lingiere show where models will be parading around in bras and panties and sticking them in my face as we choose some stuff for spring.

It's a tough job but somebody has to do it.

Alex said...

explain to me why $450 billion isn't sufficient for defense.

DADvocate said...

Since this is the day for speech problems, let me point out that garage, like so many other lefties, suffers from palilalia, the mindless repetition of words or phrases.

Bush's fault, Bush's fault, Bush's fault, Bush's fault, Bush's fault, Bush's fault, Bush's fault, Bush's fault, Bush's fault, Bush's fault, Bush's fault, Bush's fault, ...

Seven Machos said...

Really, all of this FCR's fault. I don't see how anyone could suggest differently.

Seven Machos said...

Also FDR.

cubanbob said...

Hoosier there is a difference between a tax credit and a tax deduction. A direct subsidy is the same as a tax credit and both are not deductions. Ideally the best solution would be a flat tax with no credits or deductions beyond the personal exemption and a credit for other federal taxes paid (social security-medicaid-medicare and excise taxes). Eliminate the corporate income tax and levy a small gross receipts tax (crediting other federal taxes paid against the gross receipts) on corporations and tax the shareholders on the pass through income. Tax non profits on the income from investments at the individual rate. The purpose of taxes is to raise revenue for the government, not to pick winners versus losers or various social engineering schemes. Let the politicians be put on the hook for voting to appropriate the funding for these disguised expenditures. If they are legitimated they should be proud to vote for those expenditures. If not, then they obviously should not be spending the money.

Scott M said...

End withholding completely and make people pay their taxes like any other monthly or quarterly bill.

Original Mike said...

"Hey I am awake."

Prove it.

Seven Machos said...

Balance the federal budget immediately and dramatically lower federal income taxes by asking a simple question: could the individual states handle this thing the federal government does?

Michael said...

ScottM: I agree that if withholding was eliminated and people had to pay quarterly we would live in a much better world. 1. The people would recognize the real implication of taxes and tax hikes and, 2. The people could revolt in the most powerful of all ways by refusing to pay. The government would never permit the elimination of withholding for reasons 1 and 2 above.

Hoosier Daddy said...

hoosier, should mortgage interest be eliminated as a business expense too?
if not, business will have a significant advantage in the real estate market over consumers.if so, then you'd be taxing an expense as income.


Honestly I haven’t thought about that aspect although my mortgage is just as much of an ‘expense’ for me as it is for a business. Eliminating that deduction for business would only mean that cost is then transferred to the consumer. I can’t pass my expenses down to anyone.

Fact of the matter is we as a nation have been borrowing from Peter to pay Paul for the better part of half a century and an ever increasing proportion of the population has little to no financial stake in the process. Again, if say a x% tax increase was allotted to paying down the debt and getting us on a path of sustainability I would cheerfully support it. The problem is that the Government will simply find something else to spend it on.

holdfast said...

Sorry, but no US President is going to launch a large-scale land invasion unless they have absolutely no choice, at least for another whole generation. While Iraq looks like being a win, finally, it took far too long and cost far too much to ever do again unless absolutely vital (i.e. we've been nuked already). I say this as a supporter of the Iraq war. Smaller operations can be done by the Marines.

We are already in a new arms race with China, and they are already working on weaponizing space. We need a military that can fight them in the WestPac, and that is going to be Naval and Air Elements, likely in the Taiwan Straits and its environs.

We are going to have this conversation sooner or later - I remember Canadian politics when the budget finally hit the wall in the late 1980s, and we are a year or two away (at best) from the same thing here. Pro-defense conservatives better start thinking about this and how to defend America's vital interests on 60% of today's defense budget, because it US going to happen, and if the Libs control that conversation, we are screwed for good.

AS for things over people - well, yeah. People are getting too goddamned expensive, in every sense of the word. While large scale pacification/coin operations can work, we simply cannot afford them, not the money and not the political cost of the steady drip of casualties.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hoosier there is a difference between a tax credit and a tax deduction.

Yes I know and the middle class is the demographic that largely benefits from both.

mark buehner said...

The more you read of this budget the better it gets- to save 1 trillion dollars, he proposes tax increases of 1.5 trillion. What's the tell us? He's spending more money yet! Worse, even this makes sunny assumptions about the economy taking off- which wont happen when he levies large new taxes on small business people. If the economy continues in malaise, all bets are off. Thats what happens when you refuse to actually from a record shattering baseline.

Seven Machos said...

it took far too long and cost far too much to ever do again unless absolutely vital (i.e. we've been nuked already)

So you believe that a conventional bombing attack such as what happened on September 11, 2001 will not result in substantial invasions of other countries?

You cannot be serious.

holdfast said...

@Seven

I'm very serious - We're not going to do Iraq again, at least not until all memories have faded. Bomb them flat. Embargo them into starvation. Just Fuckin' Nuke Em.

Sure, but 100,000+ ground troops for 8+ years. Hell no.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

Does I'm very serious - We're not going to do Iraq again, at least not until all memories have faded. Bomb them flat. Embargo them into starvation. Just Fuckin' Nuke Em.
Until the NEXT Ground War….Hope Springs Eternal….

F15C said...

Hoosier Daddy:

I could support a removal of such exemptions if there were some assurances that the revenue would be used to bring down the debt to managable levels as opposed to simply funding another Federal program."

I agree.

However, I simply do not trust that revenue from increased taxes would be used to decrease the deficit.

When it comes to promises made to the American people I trust Al Qaida to honor their promises more than I do our elected and appointed officials.

Seven Machos said...

holdfast -- We've had 45,000 ground troops in South Korea and tens of thousands all over Europe since 1945. Why are you not groaning about that? Is it because those places are basically peaceful? Why, do you suppose?

Hoosier Daddy said...

So you believe that a conventional bombing attack such as what happened on September 11, 2001 will not result in substantial invasions of other countries?

If Al Qaeda pulls off another 9/11 who do you suggest we invade? In 2001, they were pretty much confined to Afghanistan as a base of operations. Now, not so much.

Hoosier Daddy said...

We've had 45,000 ground troops in South Korea and tens of thousands all over Europe since 1945. Why are you not groaning about that?

I do all the time. I've been adamanetly opposed to stationing Americans in rich nations to provide sufficient protection that they don't see fit to provide to themselves.

Alex said...

Why do we need to have troops in Korea and Germany? Pull them out NOW! Bring the troops back home!

edutcher said...

For those who missed it, why this needs to get done now.

holdfast said...

Sorry, but no US President is going to launch a large-scale land invasion unless they have absolutely no choice, at least for another whole generation. While Iraq looks like being a win, finally, it took far too long and cost far too much to ever do again unless absolutely vital (i.e. we've been nuked already). I say this as a supporter of the Iraq war. Smaller operations can be done by the Marines.

How did I know...?

No, smaller ops can be done better by the Army; it's better set up, first of all, since it's not tied to the Navy and second, has a much more varied force.

Besides, it looks like the Corps is about to go on the chopping block for real this time.

In any case, Iraq and A-stan killed a lot of the myths of 'Nam. Granted, no Demo would do it, but invasions are launched when there is no choice, anyway, so the argument is irrelevant on its face.

Seven Machos said...

If Al Qaeda pulls off another 9/11 who do you suggest we invade?

Saudi Arabia or Iran. Who do you think it funding these people living in Afghanistan? It's not cheap, you know, having an Arab army in Afghanistan.


Why do we need to have troops in Korea and Germany?

We definitely need troops in Korea because that war is not over. We did not win. Also, as a deterrent to China. As for Germany, Europe had been a hothouse of war for 3000 years until 1945. If the price of peace across all of Europe is a few dilapidated army bases, I am certainly willing to bear that burden.

Alex said...

Notice that the 'baggers in this thread can't find one dollar to cut out of the $900 billion defense budget. It's all sacred.

madAsHell said...

Corp for National & Community Service – 1,030

Hmmm..I think a leather Sam Brown belt would really make that brown shirt dazzle!

Seven Machos said...

Alex -- Who has said they don't want to cut the military? It should be cut, along with everything else about the bloated federal government.

By the way, the commercial is simple.

INITIAL SHOT: Capitol Hill.

CUT TO: BILL CLINTON: "The era of big government is over."

CUT TO: SYMBOLS OF DEBT, with ANNOUNCER: "Let's join together, Democrats and Republicans, young and old, rich and poor, to cut the national debt in half, before it's too late."

LAST SHOTS ARE SYMBOLS OF DILAPIDATION AND BANKRUPTCY AND HYPER-INFLATION.

woof said...

If the price of peace across all of Europe is a few dilapidated army bases, I am certainly willing to bear that burden.

Where does the US Constitution authorize keeping peace in Europe ?

Scott M said...

I am certainly willing to bear that burden.

I'm not. There's nothing the US Army can do in a land conflict in Europe that the Europeans can't do themselves. There comes a point at which you really have to start making serious decisions based on a descending list of priorities. The Europeans can handle themselves and their defense.

Michael said...

Alex: I might be a "bagger" as you term it but I would be in favor of lopping off 20% starting tomorrow. What I know for a fact is that if I went through every office in any government building and marked an X on the door of every office and cubicle and then flipped a coin to determine if the X was to stay or to go the government would purr along without a single blip. The military is included in this little game. It would not make a difference. Half. Ditto most every major corporation in the country.

Seven Machos said...

Where does the US Constitution authorize keeping peace in Europe ?

Where does the U.S. Constitution forbid keeping peace in Europe?

Michael said...

Meant to write "every other office"

Seven Machos said...

I hasten to add here that I have no problem folding up our presence in Europe. It is a bit of an irony, though, that you people need to understand: if we leave today, we'll definitely have to go back, probably in our own lifetimes. So keep those runways paved and smooth.

Korea absolutely not. We must stay there, if only out of a moral obligation to the Korean people. Also, China must be deterred.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Saudi Arabia or Iran. Who do you think it funding these people living in Afghanistan?

Yeah that will go over well.

We definitely need troops in Korea because that war is not over.

No, South Korea needs troops over there.

As for Germany, Europe had been a hothouse of war for 3000 years until 1945. If the price of peace across all of Europe is a few dilapidated army bases, I am certainly willing to bear that burden.

Somehow I don't see the prospect of Germany shedding away those great social programs in order to resurrect the Wehrmacht. Not much need for lebensraum when your nation is a demographic death spiral.

The biggest threat to peace in Europe came from some honked off Serbians in the late 1990s. Evidently that threat was so great we had to drag NATO kicking and screaming into the conflict where the USAF comprised 90% of the combat ops.

Hoosier Daddy said...

It is a bit of an irony, though, that you people need to understand: if we leave today, we'll definitely have to go back, probably in our own lifetimes.

Seven I can make a pretty good argument that we didn't have to go over there the first two times.

Seven Machos said...

Somehow I don't see the prospect of Germany shedding away those great social programs in order to resurrect the Wehrmacht.

You cannot be serious. The modern welfare system -- exactly those great social programs -- was invented in Weimar Germany, between the wars.

Seven Machos said...

I can make a pretty good argument that we didn't have to go over there the first two times.

And I can make an argument that we should have stayed in Europe to finish the job by pushing all the way to Moscow. So what? We play with the cards we are dealt.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You cannot be serious. The modern welfare system -- exactly those great social programs -- was invented in Weimar Germany, between the wars.

Serious as a heart attack. Do you honestly, truly think that Germany is going to rise again as some totalitarian military power? You're talking about the one NATO member in Afghanistan that explicitly refuses to engage in combat ops.

So what? We play with the cards we are dealt.

Sure. I say we fold our cards and our bases over there.

Scott M said...

I don't think it would take very much for German nationalism to take over again. Shut the power on and off for months on end, combined with food shortages and immigrant unrest...blamo. What you can count on is for any new German power not to make the same mistakes the Gifted Amateur made.

cubanbob said...

Holdfast do you think this country has the stones to embargo a country into submission by mass starvation?

We did in the past. The Germans gave up in 1918 not because of losses in territory but because of the starvation the Anglo-American blockade was causing in Germany. In 1945 the US Navy had utterly destroyed the the Japanese Navy. Japan was suffering severe shortages before the atom bombings. The America public was tired of the war and Truman certainly did not want to end the war relatively quickly with a horrific invasion, hence the bombings. Also he did not want Stalin to come in to the act and occupy Japan. If Truman could have kept Stalin out of the picture and if the public was willing to be more patient, the Navy would have brought Japan to her knees through starvation. Millions of Japanese would have starved to death, how many in total God only knows but the death toll would have exceeded all Japanese combat deaths by several times at the minimum. Of course under such a scenario the war would not have ended for several more years but other than the burden of maintaing the fleet to conduct the blockade the cost in American lives would have been very small during that period of time.

With todays PC ROE and mindset, do we really have the fortitude to starve millions to death? Ironically a substantial portion of the defense cuts you advocate would be reduced by the need to seriously expand the Navy (and the Marines since embargoes and blockades work much better when ports are destroyed). Then again we would have to seriously expand our air and anti missile defenses since an enemy suffering such extremes would lash out in it's existential death throes.

Hoosier the middle class isn't going to give up its deductions and credits for no good reason. Agreed on that. Slash spending in real terms as in elimination of agencies, departments and programs with real reductions on the rest then yes the middle class will go for eliminating their deductions and credits. But first show them the real deal of cuts then then the taxpayers will believe.

Alex national defense is a core constitutional requirement. Subsidizing welfare parasites isn't. But in the quick number I came up with that included a 25% cut in all defense spending along with a 25% in the other core functions and entitlements. If defense can take the cuts so can the 'entitled'.

7machos has a point: keeping the peace in Asia and Europe is infinitely cheaper than the costs of full blown war in those areas. Eventually we would be dragged in to such a war or the results of the fighting would be extremely damaging to our national interests and our economy. Just imagine the arms race in Asia if we were to pull back the Navy and our other forces to Hawaii. Do we really want to see a resurgent IJN? The Chinese will freak out, the Koreans will freak out and the rest of the Asians will freak out as a reaction to all of the others freaking out. The Chinese certainly want a Navy that can defeat an American Naval blockade but they don't want a resurgent Japan, Korea,Vietnam and so on. Its the old balancing act and we are the only ones that can do it and be relatively trusted by all parties to act reasonably.

Calypso Facto said...

Single biggest spending percentage INCREASE in the President's budget?:

24 percent more money for the Executive Office of the President

It's good to be the king.

Alex said...

cubanbob - sure national defense is a Constitutional imperative, but spending $900 billion? Let's face it - 60% of the military is glorified workfare.

Seven Machos said...

A couple of points here.

1. Germany, and the city-states that now make up Germany, have been known through history to be warmongering. The crisis of national psychology that Germany had to undergo after World War II caused a notable contingent of Germans to be overly, laughably peacenik. (I have told the story here before about when I was working for the State Department and the fat drunk Austrian girl harangued me about war. I kindly did not mention Hitler.) Anyway, there is also a large contingent of skinheads in Germany, and much pent-up national resentment.

2. The whole Euro movement is a joke, underwritten by the U.S. military. It is simply hilarious and sad that preening European intellectuals believe that France and Germany could get along, or believe that the made-up land of Belgium can last, or believed that Serbia and Croatia (which cannot stand each other and never could) should be in the same country. All preposterous. However, the alternative is perpetual European war, in which the United States will always get dragged. Think about it.

Seven Machos said...

One more point: I think there is an absolute cause-and-effect relationship between the freaky, fucked-up weirdness that continually emanates from Japan and Germany and the fact that those countries so steeped in warmongering have had peacefulness forcefully thrust upon them.

It is the turning inward that Nietzsche so brilliantly discussed.

Scott M said...

Let's face it - 60% of the military is glorified workfare.

Citations, please.

holdfast said...

@cubanbob

If the provocation was great enough, yes, if sold as the alternative to a full-scale ground invasion. The US cannot afford to do another Iraq invasion again unless it is literally a matter of immediate national survival, and if that really is the situation, then we'll just nuke 'em until they glow.

A bare majority of the US population is, quite properly, willing to see us finish what we started in Iraq and Afstan. No f'n way they are signing on for another one, and every serious candidate for President in both parties understands that.

Anyway, if you all don't like my plan, what's your plan to shave 40% of the defense budget? Because those cuts ARE coming.

dick said...

Drill Sgt,

The last year the Republicans had both houses and the WH was 2006. That was the reason the budget was so out of kilter in 2007 and 2008 - they were Dem budgets from Pelosi, Reid and company.

Seven Machos said...

60% of the military is glorified workfare

I would agree with this statement. Once you learn how to kill people and break things, you really only need to practice it from time to time. The rest of the time, you sit around and, as they say in the military, hurry up and wait.

Alex is, of course, a lame troll. But he does often provide a useful foil. In this case, he presents me with yet another opportunity to wax with grandiloquence about the alternative.

In this case, we have a glorious, all-volunteer army. Every one of those men and women has chosen the the risk, the sacrifice, the boredom, the lousy pay. It's enough to make you cry. The alternative is to largely disband the army and wait for the next big war to arise (not prevented, of course, because we largely disbanded the army). And then we'll have to conscript an entire generation of men.

Alex and anyone who wants to dramatically reduce our foreign entanglements is willing bet that by doing so we will not have another large military conflict. Ever. Because otherwise we face massive conscription.

MadisonMan said...

Add me as a data point who thinks the bases in Europe should close. Maybe not the big airbase in Germany that serves as a stopping-over point from the Mideast. But why are the others there?

I would keep a presence in Korea.

As for the budget, I wonder what would happen if -- this will never happen -- the President rolled back spending levels to 2003 values. And told the managers to deal with it.

PatCA said...

Seven Machos,
I completely agree with you on Europe (and Asia). Europe has not always been a delightful museum for US tourists. These perpetually warring nation states have only been at peace for 50 years, and at the point of an American gun at that. Asia as well.

In a country like Germany, about the size of Wyoming, a food shortage or hyperinflation can ignite a revolution; in the huge US it would be definitely harder.
Have you read Schura Cook? Her thesis is that urban terrorism arose in Germany, Italy and Japan precisely because they were Axis countries. The kids couldn't face the crimes of their fatherlands in WWII.

Back OT, why don't they cut everyone's salary 10% and give them furloughs? How much would that save? Easy peasy.

Scott M said...

One of the reasons our troops are so good, relative to most of the armies of the world, is that that modern battlespace is a far cry more techincal than it's, say, WWII/Korean/Vietnam counterparts. In other words, conscripts can't just be yanked off the streets, be sent through 6 weeks of basic and a month or so of AIT, then thrown into the modern battlefield with anything like the expertise of our current troops.

We have shot ourselves in the foot in so many other areas and let the world catch up. Why do it in one of the few remaining sectors we still excel at...one that guards our existence?

administrator said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kaitian said...

How about this draconian measure. Shut down the government? The Department of Defense budget was passed a couple months ago. So the states can pick up the taxes that the Fed's can't collect and start taking care of the citizens themselves. Yes there will be about 10 million or so federal civilian employees out of a job so no big loss.

holdfast said...

@Seven:

You can't have a war if you don't have any young men to man your military. That's where they Euros are now - do you think that French Muzzis are going to fight ze hated Bosche? Seriously?

The only war Europe MIGHT see in the nearish future is a sort of religious/civil war IF the natives find the cojones to resist the full implementation of Sharia law. And I wouldn't count on it. Rummy could not have been more right when he referred to Europe as "Old" - only even the "new" parts like Czech and Hungary are likely to get dragged down.

Scott M said...

The only war Europe MIGHT see in the nearish future is a sort of religious/civil war IF the natives find the cojones to resist the full implementation of Sharia law. And I wouldn't count on it. Rummy could not have been more right when he referred to Europe as "Old" - only even the "new" parts like Czech and Hungary are likely to get dragged down.

I wouldn't count on this at all. Whatever their declining numbers are demographically, there are still millions of young Europeans and they're still as full of piss and vinegar when pushed as any other group of "youth". Especially when unemployment is over 30%, there are food shortages and the power is unreliable. The oldsters would find them useful enough idiots to solve their various immigrant problems.

I don't have any problems whatsoever in believing Europe is always a hop, skip, and a riot away from nationalistic fervor.

holdfast said...

The action in the next couple of decades will be in Asia, East and South. I don't think we're willing to fight another big land war in South Asia, and I don't think we need to in East Asia. The ROK's economy is 40x+ that of the DPRK - if they need more ground pounders, let them draft more. We provide Naval and Air assistance, plus of course the nuclear deterrent.

The Germans run a big trade surplus with the US, while being too cheap to see to their own defense. Screw 'em.

madawaskan said...

Drill

Actually Kent Conrad is going to retire in 2012.

So, he already knows he isn't getting re-elected, he just beat the voters to it.

*******************************

Scott

We have shot ourselves in the foot in so many other areas and let the world catch up. Why do it in one of the few remaining sectors we still excel at...one that guards our existence?

...Because the next war will be won with bullet trains?

holdfast said...

@Scott:

Even if you're right, so what? What are they going to do besides eat their own? They're not going to close the Atlantic, and they are not going to invade Russia - so who cares? NATO's biggest problem is that the Germans and others WON'T fight. Our future opportunities and threats are all in Asia.

Scott M said...

We may be talking past each other. I advocate closing everything in Europe except for Rhamstein. My brother is currently stationed in Germany and married to an East German. He's a spec-ops E-7 (soon to put on E-8) and that's his opinion too. Ditto most of the troops he works with.

holdfast said...

Right - I think I said above staging and depots, and I'd definitely include a few big air bases in that (Ramstein and Aviano come to mind). I just don't see having ground troops deployed overseas long term (maybe a brigade+ in Iraq and Afstan for a while after operations wind down).

Let's be clear - I don't like any of this. I'd love an 18 division Army and a 600 ship Navy, but the money simply isn't there.

madawaskan said...

holdfast-

Force projection.

Seven Machos said...

The only war Europe MIGHT see in the nearish future is a sort of religious/civil war IF the natives find the cojones to resist the full implementation of Sharia law.

Holdfast -- How can you possibly not see that maintaining a U.S. military presence in Western Europe makes the chances of this happening virtually zero? And how can you not see that abandoning said presence increases the chances of this thing you want to avoid?

Think, man.

Phil 3:14 said...

I would suggest that two "big buckets" that cross several departments are :
-healthcare
-pensioners expenses (and of course pensioners consume proportionally more per capita in healthcare)

We will have to figure out how we will care for those who no longer generate "working revenue" into the system and how we will control healthcare costs.

And yes that will hurt.

madawaskan said...
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madawaskan said...

A large force of German troops are actually hospital manning.

We air vac our own like nobody's business the best hospital in the world for war casualties might be in Germany.

Survival rates were greatly improved because of this capability.

It's better to do it in a secure location like Germany that is static.

You cannot do it in the field, make shift and have the forces needed to protect a hospital of significant size in theater.

Guys and gals risking their lives to defend their country are damn worth it-they deserve the best.

Of course I guess we could spend more on high speed rail instead of these people because you know it makes the Liberals feel better.

holdfast said...

@madawaskan

Yes, and one of my friends was treated at Landstuhl for head trauma. I'm kind of hoping that won't be as common in a couple of years.


@Seven

You misunderstand me - I am HOPING that they do find the balls to resist Sharia. Of course it is going to get ugly, but I believe every legitimate nation has the right to resist invasion (even the US, though it doesn't seem to want to).

cubanbob said...

@holdfast: 40% reduction in the military is absurd. True there is waste and fraud that needs to lose its political patronage and therefore be eliminated and true there is some capacity that can be cut but 40% is completely out of the ream of possibility. A military that cannot meet its mission obligations is worse than useless. It drains an economy and provides a false sense of illusion that it can do what it can't and is a sure fire way to get in to wars that one cannot win. 20% is about the top end of the sustainable cut and still be effective.

The Germans and the rest of the Europeans have managed to fight horrific massive wars in the past all the while have severe population declines brought on by disease and famine. The same militant anti-war green Europeans can very easily very militant in the opposite direction.

That Germany can run a substantial trade surplus with the US is not the result of them not having a sufficiently large armed forces but rather a testament to our stupid fiscal and regulatory policies.

madawaskan said...

Or how about this for cynicism-

you want to add a bunch of young men to the ranks of the unemployed?

Now how about the global economy-what happens when that starts to go to pot?

Does conflict escalate or de-escalate?

As to someone up thread demanding to know specific defense cuts-how about justifying your high peed rail-first.

Here's what can happen and has happened historically when economies crash-wars break out. It's almost unavoidable.

Regimes needing to "unify" their people often focus on an "external threat" or scapegoat-America has been set up as this scapegoat for decades now in many regions.

There are a lot of countries that have a surplus of men that they can't keep happy. Therefore we aren't winning the next war by attrition-that's where technology-minds the gap so to speak.

It's a dangerous time to be sizing down and peeling back but it's often tempting.

Butter over guns.

FDR did it-and he had to send a lot of bodies in to win WW II while we caught up in equipment. You could say for a long time the-

bodies were cheaper.

Do we have the surplus of men to afford this yet again in the future?

Want to know what happened to France?

What was their body count for WW I?

But ya cut away so we can all ride the Obama Debt Express.

[edited because I was too annoyed to proof read it the first time.]

madawaskan said...

At Liberals to be clear.

bagoh20 said...

If everyone would just take the thing that they think is most essential and agree to cut it, we could get something done.

I'll go first: I think the #1 responsibility of the federal budget should be defense, but I'd be in favor of an across the board 20% cut to defense spending. We have smart enough people to do that and improve our defense, but they won't try unless they have to.

Who is next?

bagoh20 said...

There has been virtually no effort ever to actually make government more efficient and lower cost. It has never happened, because it has never been necessary. It is now, whether we admit it or not.

I've been forced to reduce an organization's expenditure by over 50% more than once and improve effectiveness. It quite doable, because organizations requiring it are always full of waste, but none so much as our government. The cutting may not be popular with a lot of people, but it would not be hard to figure out how to do it.

This would be the healthiest and most empowering thing this nation ever did for both government and individuals. It would be a watershed event in U.S. history. It's an opportunity, even more than it's a problem.

madawaskan said...
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madawaskan said...

Republicans should stop playing their game even if the refs are the liberal media.

I'm voting for the first Republican presidential candidate that puts them back on their heels.

Let them defend their astronomic through the roof spending.

Re-roll those damn stupid campaign commercials by the "Jacksonian Democrats" who were soooo concerned about the debt a couple of trillion ago but voted straight party line Democrat and didn't do one action to stop it-not one vote against it all just words.

Like Jim Webb-don't let his early surrender buy them mercy.

They LIED.


They rode the Obama Spending Express and took us all with them-wether we liked it are not.

Was high speed rail tested in the free market of ideas?

Does anyone remember the great High Speed Rail Presidential Debate?

No.

But it's gonna cost you.

8 billion already,and 58 billion this budget cycle .

Forward projection?

Well the Democrats are exploring the Debt Frontier...

holdfast said...

There really isn't a "guns or butter" choice - we already bought that rich, creamy, butter on credit - and now the bill is past due. In a sane world there's no reason that American cannot afford a kick-ass military. But we don't live in that world, and everything is going to be on the budget chopping block, so we need to figure out what we need to keep to protect our core interests. Also. I would argue that the things which take the longest to build are the things that we need to retain the most.

Roger J. said...

The President of the United States is one pathetic ignorant and bombastic asshole

rityas

madawaskan said...

bagho

You're making the quintessential Republican mistake; you think Liberals play fair.

Think about it this way-what would be the worse case scenario of not spending?

If you don't spend enough on high speed rail what's the worse that could happen?

If you don't spend enough on defense and get caught short what are the costs?

If you stand down on defense particularly in these times-what devils to you tempt?

Sorry, but I question the timing.

madawaskan said...

Name one country that cut on defense while their fellow countrymen were volunteering to fight?

What do you owe them?

Possibly better than that.

If you find that country, tell me if they won and what shape they are in now.

edutcher said...

holdfast said...

Right - I think I said above staging and depots, and I'd definitely include a few big air bases in that (Ramstein and Aviano come to mind). I just don't see having ground troops deployed overseas long term (maybe a brigade+ in Iraq and Afstan for a while after operations wind down).

Let's be clear - I don't like any of this. I'd love an 18 division Army and a 600 ship Navy, but the money simply isn't there.


The money isn't in force strength, it's in procurement. What needs to be done, and this is as big a task as going after entitlements, is go after the lobbyists and all the cost overruns.

McCain, of all people, had a good proposal - when the bottom line is signed, no more additions. That's where a lot of the money begins to hemorrhage, trying to shoehorn things where they weren't supposed to go.

madawaskan said...

Republicans should stop playing their game even if the refs are the liberal media.

I'm voting for the first Republican presidential candidate that puts them back on their heels.


I think you have a lot of support there, sir.

edutcher said...

FWIW, this off The Hill, 77% of voters, not just the public at large, think Social Security is in trouble. We'll see if this goes anywhere.

holdfast said...

@educher

Procurement is actually a surprisingly small part of the budget, less than 1/4 in 2010, though the whole system is a horrible mess.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States

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