Can one say they support our troops AND a decrease in funding for the Iraq war?

Sukerkin

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I may have decided not to stir the pot of such subjects myself anymore but I have to congratulate Crue on another of a series of good posts over the past few days. Post #40 above is a level-headed espousal of the 'military budget' point :tup:.
 

Makalakumu

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Some interesting facts about our budget I thought I'd throw in...

Here is the allocation for 2007:

Total Funding$439.3 BillionOperations and maintenance$152.2 Bil.Military Personnel$110.8 Bil.Procurement$84.2 Bil.Research, Development, Testing & Evaluation$73.2 Bil.Military Construction$12.6 Bil.Family Housing$4.1 Bil.Working Capital Funds$2.4 Bil.


That doesn't include an additional $120 Bil. for "War on Terror" (Iraq/Afganastan).

That seem's like a hell of a lot of money. Really, too much money, on the surface, but it is really difficult for someone to think in terms of "Billions" of dollars. So here are some additional facts:

1. We have the highest military spending in the world, in terms of dollar amount.

2. We also have been the most tasked out as far as our military being spead around the world for everything from peace-keeping missions, foreign relations, and aid, as well as combat operations like the "war on terror." We are the largest contributer of resources in most joint alliance or projects, U.N. as one example. And we are yet criticized often for not doing more, in places like Africa, for example.

3. Although our budget is huge, our military budget is only 19% of the federal budget.

4. Although our military budget is only 19% of the federal budget, it is approx. 50% (half) of our discretionary spending. This is a lot that could arguably be used for other things.

5. Although we have the highest budget, our budget ranks 3rd in per capita spending, behind Isreal and Singapore.

6. Also we rank 27 in military dollars per GDP. We only spend 3.7% of our GDP on military spending. This is lower than, for example, Saudia Arabia which spends 10% of their GDP on their military.

When you put it in perspective, yes we do have a high military budget. However, it is not outragous in comparison to our population, % of our federal budget, what we produce as a country, and the responsabilities that we have undertaken in other countries.

So, to me the solution to "spending" on our military or our budget isn't simply to cut funding.

That 439 Billion that comes from the federal budget is what it costs to support all of our activities outside of Iraq and Afganistan. If we want to reduce that budget, we need to reduce those activities as the solutions, thus creating a surplus that would be reallocated elseware. Because we certainly can't have it both ways; that is maintain all our activities as they are while simultaniously cutting the budget.

Furthermore, cutting the additional funding ($120 Billion) that is outside the federal budget for the War on Terror, or not voting for the additional funding, only endangers our troops. This is because they won't be pulled out of Iraq, at least not right away, because the funds aren't there. They will just be required to operate with what they can from the general budget, which is not enough. They will be under equiped because they will be underfunded.

So, if we don't want to spend the extra 120 billion or so, then the answer is coming up with a solution that would allow us to remove troops and activities and support from that area safely, thus eliminating the need for the extra funding. To say "don't vote to allow additional funding" before removing our troops is backwards, and dangerous to our soldiers if implimented.

Because of this, its worth saying that we can't fault democrats (who are criticized the most for this) or republicans in the congress/senate for voting for the additional funding, as by doing so, they are just protecting our soldiers.

So, I think that upon examining the evidence, it would seem to me that one really can't say they support our troops and want them to be safe while supporting cutting the additional surplus for the war. I think I am maintaining my opinion on this one.

C.

Here are two articles from WIKI that sum up the budget stuff nicely. I know WIKI is not always a valid source, but these are well done and backed by real sources:

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Defense#_note-4

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/spending.htm

US = 623 Billion/year
Rest of world = 500 Billion/year
China (number two on the all time high list) = 65 Billion

These are some eye opening numbers and they beg a few questions, IMO.
 

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It is worth noting that China's military spending will ALWAYS be lower than ours, even with China having more troops. Conscripts are cheaper than professionals. Add to that, China, being a communist country doesn't have to deal with bids, unions, or many of the multitude of idiotic rules the US has.
 
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Cruentus

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http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/spending.htm

US = 623 Billion/year
Rest of world = 500 Billion/year
China (number two on the all time high list) = 65 Billion

These are some eye opening numbers and they beg a few questions, IMO.

They don't really beg any questions, in my opinion, at least as to why our spending is as it is. As explained in my previous thread, we have a presence all over the world and that costs money. If we want to reduce our spending, then we need to reduce our activity. Some of our activity could be reduced really for the better; but to stop some activities might come at a great cost. It all depends, and it is really a matter of what consequences are we willing to live with for either choice.

The other reason is because although everyone wants to support our military and all, that pretty much goes out the window when contracts are bid out to private companies, it seems. Private corporations often *** rape our federal government on price for goods, materials, and services. **** falls through the cracks in the bureaucracy, and next thing ya know Joe Private is wiping his *** with toilet paper that we bid out at $10 a roll. And it's not like these companies are quick to complain about it when that happens.

So, the reasons the budget is what it is shouldn't be a question to anyone. The real question is how much do we really need to participate in world affairs. But that is probably worth a different thread.
 
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Cruentus

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And sorry to double tap here, but...

It is also worth mentioning again that our military spending makes up only about 3-4% or our GDP, which is pretty low in comparison to the rest of the world, considering that we're ranked 27th. I am not saying that we can't tighten things up a bit in regards to our budget, but our spending actually seems reasonable in comparison to what we produce, as hard as that is to believe.
 

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Rebuilding America's Defenses has been the guidebook to how this administration runs our military. By the end of President Bush's 2nd term, the goal is to raise military spending up to 7% or GDP or twice the level it was during the Clinton years. They would like to have force capabilities to fight three regional conflicts at once, reposition the current forces we have through Southern Europe, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, and create a new wing of the military that has space based capabilities.

Repositioning our military in Iraq has been part of this plan from the beginning. Deposing Saddam, installing a pro-west government, and building permanent military bases is all implicit. This isn't just a Republican thing. The Democrats have signed on to this too. Thus, I don't think that we really need to worry about anyone cutting funding any time soon. It's all talk IMO.

Whether we need to do all of this stuff is another debate.
 

michaeledward

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So, I think that upon examining the evidence, it would seem to me that one really can't say they support our troops and want them to be safe while supporting cutting the additional surplus for the war. I think I am maintaining my opinion on this one.

I think there are some gaps in the numbers you present. Such as the military portion of NASA's budget is not shown here. And the Veterans Administration and its expenses are not included in these numbers.

But, in general, I can live with these numbers.


Now that we have come right back around to your original premise, the question is. How are you going to pay for it.

Since the Bush Administration took office, they have implemented a number of tax cuts, and spending policies that have placed the country in a worse financial condition than when the Clinton Administration left office.

From your reasoning, it is not possible to call for funding cuts, and support the troops, and each day that passes the countries ledger is showing more and more read,

what specific taxes are you going to proprose to demonstrate your support for the troops?
 
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Cruentus

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I think there are some gaps in the numbers you present. Such as the military portion of NASA's budget is not shown here. And the Veterans Administration and its expenses are not included in these numbers.

But, in general, I can live with these numbers.


Now that we have come right back around to your original premise, the question is. How are you going to pay for it.

Since the Bush Administration took office, they have implemented a number of tax cuts, and spending policies that have placed the country in a worse financial condition than when the Clinton Administration left office.

From your reasoning, it is not possible to call for funding cuts, and support the troops, and each day that passes the countries ledger is showing more and more read,

what specific taxes are you going to proprose to demonstrate your support for the troops?

That is a very good point. I never understood why we would have tax cuts while we are waging a war, or even how that can logistically work... :idunno:
 

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That is a very good point. I never understood why we would have tax cuts while we are waging a war, or even how that can logistically work... :idunno:
Tax cuts increase revenues. http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=2869105 Not the best article to illustrate it, but, the inclusion of the phrase "
Federal Deficit Shrinks Sharply Thanks to Continued Gusher of Revenues"

is telling. This is a 2007, post Bush Tax cut, article. Whenever taxes are cut, revenues skyrocket. They did when Reagan cut taxes, they did when Bush cut taxes. This is not a coincidence, this is one of the planned for goals of cutting taxes.
 

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If what you say is true, I don't understand why there were record federal deficits when Presidents Reagan and Bush left office; and how the current President Bush has generated so much red ink.

Let's see, has any President in the last couple of decades left office with a surplus? Seems to me, there was one. .... Hmm. President Clinton did that, didn't he.
 

Big Don

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If what you say is true, I don't understand why there were record federal deficits when Presidents Reagan and Bush left office; and how the current President Bush has generated so much red ink.

Let's see, has any President in the last couple of decades left office with a surplus? Seems to me, there was one. .... Hmm. President Clinton did that, didn't he.
He was impeached too... was that admirable?
 
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Cruentus

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Tax cuts increase revenues. http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=2869105 Not the best article to illustrate it, but, the inclusion of the phrase "
Federal Deficit Shrinks Sharply Thanks to Continued Gusher of Revenues"

is telling. This is a 2007, post Bush Tax cut, article. Whenever taxes are cut, revenues skyrocket. They did when Reagan cut taxes, they did when Bush cut taxes. This is not a coincidence, this is one of the planned for goals of cutting taxes.

Hmmmm %think%

I need to think about this more really. I understand the point about a revenues increase, but I am not so sure that has to do with tax cuts, at least not by itself. The increase in revenues, argueably could be due to the natural recovery process that we are still in from a severe drop in revenues that we experienced from 2000-2003, as evidence from the S&P 500 which showed a total loss of almost 1/2 it's value within that 3 year period. The past 3 1/2 years we have been recoving from this, with 2006 showing the most increase. This is part of the natural fluctuation of the markets. Plus, we went from record levels of unemployment during that period to a recovery from that, which is also a natural product of this fluctuation. So we are going to show increased revenues, especially from 06-07, due to this.

But obviously tax cuts play a role. My thing is the long term implication of these cuts. When we hit a bear market in 2000, added with Sept. 11 in 2001 and Iraq, it was wise for the Fed to run a deficit as we did. But now that we are recovering, there comes a point where we need to be thinking about trying to run a surplus, pay back our dept., and increase the value of the U.S. dollar. Where tax cuts helped in the short term, Long term tax cuts probably won't help us run a surplus now, and might actually hurt our ability to do that (although I am not sure to what degree).

To answer M. Edwards question, the answer to how we payed for the war is the same answer as to how we delt with the bear markets, we cut taxes while spending money, borrowing what we needed, which (in theory) increases revenues and helps turn the economy around.

The real question is, how do we now pay back our debts, get into surplus, and get the value of the dollar back up again?

Tax cuts, by the way, is pretty controversial. Professional economists can't agree as to whether it is a good idea or not, and to what degree it helps or doesn't help to turn an economic downturn around. So I doubt we'll come to agreement or even a full understanding here on Martial Talk!

:)
 
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If what you say is true, I don't understand why there were record federal deficits when Presidents Reagan and Bush left office; and how the current President Bush has generated so much red ink.

Let's see, has any President in the last couple of decades left office with a surplus? Seems to me, there was one. .... Hmm. President Clinton did that, didn't he.

Because our politicians in general don't think far enough ahead, usually. This problem is not isolated to a single party or canidate.

Example: Kennedy proposed tax cuts to combat unemployment rates in 1960. Good idea, but they weren't instituted until 1964, thus impacting the economy in 1965/66. Turned out to be counter productive, as it encouraged inflation around a very inopportune time (Vietnam).

We face the same problem now. Tax cuts and deficit spending was a great way of handling things up until about 2004. But some of these cuts are still going to be in effect now, thus being counterproductive to our efforts to prevent inflation, raise our dollar value, etc.

And the cycle continues...
 

michaeledward

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He was impeached too... was that admirable?

No. Not at all.

And I am so relieved that those involved in that impeachment process have been shown to be un-admirable.

Speaker Newt Gingrich was run out of the House of Representatives .... of course he was diddling his girlfriend while crying foul about President Clinton doing so.

Who was supposed to be the Speaker after Gingrich ... Livingston ... him too. Seems he had to leave Congress because of improprieties. And Livingston's successor from Louisiana, Congressman Vitter. He decried Clinton publicly, all while wearing diapers for his prostitute.

There was also Congressman Delay, then Majority Whip, He was run out of the House of Representatives, too. I don't know if Mr. Delay was in the "I'm upset because I have to pay for it crowd" or not, but it does seem that you reep what you sow.

It seems that whole impeachment displayed the 'less than admirable' side of everyone. What was that old saying .... about Glass Houses and submitting articles of impeachment.


Cruentus, I am not certain that tax cuts and deficit spending made sense until 2004 ... but as the budget is projected right now, the red ink keeps piling up. It is not being reduced in any significant manner. (Don't be fooled by the WH OMB mirage numbers from early in the year, which are always high, so they can announce progress later in the year, when the numbers aren't as high as they predicted.).


Can one support deficit spending and tax cuts, AND support the troops?

And, continuing with my unaddressed corollary ... if combat ended tomorrow, the costs of this war will continue for the rest of these soldiers lives, through VA Benefits.

Will the Contractor/Soldiers serving our Department of State be eligible to receive the same types of mental health/physical theraphy benefits currently extended to veterans?
 

crushing

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If what you say is true, I don't understand why there were record federal deficits when Presidents Reagan and Bush left office; and how the current President Bush has generated so much red ink.

Let's see, has any President in the last couple of decades left office with a surplus? Seems to me, there was one. .... Hmm. President Clinton did that, didn't he.

It's too bad that the budget surplus never turned into an actual surplus. Sure, the Republican congress played a little shell game with the purse strings in the late 90s to give the appearance of a surplus, but it was mostly political posturing.

The national debt has increased EVERY year since the 1957, independent of the political party affiliation of the president.
 
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Can one support the soldiers and oppose what's going on in Iraq?

Absolutely.

You need to read the thread brutha; the question is in regards to funding. Of course someone can be against what is happening in Iraq while supporting the troops; to me, it seems silly to assert otherwise so I wouldn't even ask that question.
 
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Cruentus

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It's too bad that the budget surplus never turned into an actual surplus. Sure, the Republican congress played a little shell game with the purse strings in the late 90s to give the appearance of a surplus, but it was mostly political posturing.

The national debt has increased EVERY year since the 1957, independent of the political party affiliation of the president.

True, but that actually doesn't matter nor is that what they mean when we talk of surplus.

What count's is the GND (Gross National Debt) in comparison to the GNP (Gross national Product). This takes into account our growth and inflation. Just looking at a chart that plots the GND and saying, "hey our debt. has been increasing for decades now," is misleading. The GND was at it's lowest point (wanna say 30%) in 1981. Under Clinton, we were operating under "surplus" in that the GND to GNP ratio was going down significantly. Now that ratio is back up to right around where it was before Clinton took office.

We need to think about reducing that ratio again. Good luck during a period of tax cuts and wartime, unfortunatily.
 

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One can say it. Of course, saying it doesn't really mean anything...
 
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