Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Default setting: Stuck on stupid

The big debt deal that passed the House and I suppose will pass the Senate is a knockout punch for the Pentagon in its unflagging effort to destroy the national security of the United States of America.

Of course, you'll hear the opposite from the hawks, as in John McCain's or Joseph Lieberman's reluctant agreement to go along despite their version of worrying about national security. Their definition would leave more Americans unemployed, out of health insurance, homeless, poor and polluted, but all that would be offset because we could still kick global butt with our massive military budget.

Sadly, the version of the 'solution' that is emerging from Congress to the default threat will basically freeze the currently massive tilt toward overspending on the Pentagon. Much is being made of the part of this deal that says the Pentagon will be cut as much as other agencies. Well, that is better than watching the debtonators make the US implode immediately, but nowhere near what a healthy society should do.

From a McClatchy News report:
Adjusted for inflation, the United States spent at most $580 billion a year on defense at the height of the Cold War. In the 2011 fiscal year, the Pentagon's baseline budget is $549 billion, with another $159 billion allotted for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, for a total of $708 billion. That total figure drops slightly to $670 billion in the 2012 budget proposal.

Real security would involve fixing the entire problem with huge cuts of the porcine Pentagon budget. When the smoke and mirrors clear up we will find the entire Social Security budget upended and Medicare washed away. The whining from the Joint Chiefs about their inabilities to overpower everyone in the world is going to sound more hollow than the treasury. Too bad we can't grow a backbone and stop these moneygrabbers now.

No comments: