Monday, February 9, 2009

Can Prez.O Get A 10% Defense Budget Cut?

Short answer: "Are You FUCKING Kidding Me?"

Ken Silverstein, who somehow reads EVERYTHING, has this up at the Harper's Blog:
From Stephen Walt:
Obama’s plan to cut the Department of Defense’s budget request by roughly ten percent is a step in the direction of a more sensible foreign and defense policy. But as one would expect, the proposal has some neoconservatives up in arms, insisting Robert Gates be given the full budget he requested and predicting the worst if he doesn’t get it…

Strategy is about relating means and ends. From that perspective, it doesn’t make sense to spend as much as we did when the economy seemed to be healthy. Nor does it make sense to pursue the overly ambitious and misguided foreign policy that we tried (unsuccessfully) to pursue under President Bush. Given the results of those policies and our current financial plight, this stubborn defense of the budgetary status quo has a head-in-the-sand quality that would be laughable if the issues weren’t so important.

A prominent example is Robert Kagan’s recent warning against any attempt to cut the U.S. defense budget. He opposes any trimming even though the United States spends almost as much on defense as the rest of the world put together and even though the U.S. economy is facing its biggest crisis since the Great Depression.
The Defense budget is sacrosanct. Expect a rousing chorus of "He Hates Out Soldiers. He's Killing Our Boys."

Expect it to work, too.

In case it doesn't, though former Raygun functionary Lawrence Korb wants to "Re-brand" Defense spending as part of the 'stimulus':
Increased spending on defense should be part of a stimulus package, but there is a wrong way and a right way to do it. The wrong way is to ask Congress to spend money on weapons that are not needed. For example, two of the four largest defense contractors, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, have been pouring money into a publicity campaign and stepping up congressional lobbying efforts to maintain funding for an unnecessary and expensive program: the Air Force's F-22 Raptor.

The right way to use defense spending to stimulate economic growth, while simultaneously enhancing our national security, is to accelerate defense spending in the next two years for items that would have to be purchased eventually. Analysis of the defense budget shows that there are three areas where this can be done: personnel, military construction and equipment "reset."
USers will NEVER retreat from international militarism. I have mentioned before that the B-2 Bomber is the paradigm case of the military co-opting defense cutters in Congress by ensuring that there is some work on the B-2 in EVERY Congressional distict in the country, all 435 of them, which ensures the continued support of all 435 Congresscritters fo the program. Some one or few companies in every District either makes, or polishes, or tunes, or ships or installs, or tests B-2 sub-assemblies, securing jobs for the District, and ensuring--as long as those jobs persist--a constituency for this monstrously expensive (over $2BILLION/copy) boondoggle.

1 comment:

kelley b. said...

War is a jobs program the oligarchs prefer. Not only does it win them territory and plunder, it keeps the rabble occupied and too busy disciplining each other to notice who's got all the money.