Monday, February 04, 2008


We can't get rid of these clowns fast enough...
[NYT link] The Pentagon on Monday will unveil its proposed 2009 budget of $515.4 billion. If it is approved in full, annual military spending, when adjusted for inflation, will have reached its highest level since World War II.

That new Defense Department budget proposal, which is to pay for the standard operations of the Pentagon and the military but does not include supplemental spending on the war efforts or on nuclear weapons, is an increase in real terms of about 5 percent over this year.

Overall since coming to office, the administration has increased baseline military spending by 30 percent...

[...] Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Admiral Mullen have said military spending should not drop below 4 percent of the national economy. “I really do believe this 4percent floor is important,” Admiral Mullen said. “It’s really important, given the world we’re living in, given the threats that we see out there, the risks that are, in fact, global, not just in the Middle East.”

[...] “The secretary believes that whenever we transition away from war supplementals, the Congress should dedicate 4 percent of our G.D.P. to funding national security,” Mr. Morrell said. “That is what he believes to be a reasonable price to stay free and protect our interests around the world.”

Over half a trillion dollars—not including the war? Fucking absurd. Almost as absurd as the idea of tying the funding of anything to G.D.P. Unless The Decider (or anybody else) is willing to index government tax revenues to G.D.P. as well.

If you want to set a floor percentage of the budget for defense, fine, but this idiotic.

UPDATE: Hilzoy did a much better job on this the other day...including this chart (via Ezra):

Ezra adds: "Our spending is 43 percent of the total. Not the total on that chart. The total of the world."

All of the candidates running for PResident are calling for various increases of some sort (Barack Obama included, apparently) This is unacceptable. You want to shift money from ridiculous weapons programs into human costs? Fine, do it. YOu want to add troops? Great, do it at the expense of whatever fucking nuclear weapons Bush is still buying. There is no reason we should be spending anything close to this much of our money on this. Not while the rest of the country falls apart. Fuck that. Not EVER.

And don't give me any shit about "what about at a time of war?" Remember, this doesn't even include the fucking war!!!


Smitty said...

I have an idea, Mr. F.

What if all the Dems and Independents took their "economic stimulus" checks that will be arriving soon....and gave them, every penny, to Barak (or....Hillary)? That would be awesome.

steves said...

Already spent, most likely, on my property tax bill.

Our defense spending is outrageous. I believe the only candidates to talk about a decrease in spending were Kucininch and Paul.

I may be wrong, but the amount we spend on nuclear weapons is relatively small and out arsenal continues to drop. It is certainly much less than it was during the heyday of SAC.

Mr Furious said...

The Department of Energy gets $21 billion to buy new nukes. Like we need any...

But my analogy was flawed anyway since, as I noted, the Pentagon budget doesn't even include that. If the Pentagon needs more money for troops it should be axing a redundant and over-priced helicopter program or something to get the money

Mr Furious said...

Alas, my freelance work always ends up with me writing the gov't a fat check for taxes, and I expect the rebate will be effectively neutralized for me.

Mr Furious said...

But I DID give Obama money last month.

S.W. Anderson said...

I've been shaking my head since 2003 about why people aren't out in the streets with torches and pitchforks, threatening riots and revolution over the idiotic way the terror war is being financed. And, I have zero confidence that Bush & Co. hasn't spent the past five years cooking the books, so that the figures we've been given are as full of BS as a Karl Rove speech to the Cranio-Rectal Connection (a conservative think tank, natch).

Don't be surprised if the next administration discovers all sorts of funny-money games and creative-accounting messes it will have to straighten out.

All Adither said...

Ugh...I just threw up in my Kleenex box a little.