Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Willard And Military Spending
While the Democrats spend for things like unemployment insurance, job training, education, food security (including free school lunches for poor children), health care, and help for the poor and disadvantaged, the Republicans prefer to spend large sums giving corporate subsidies, giving huge tax cuts to the rich, fighting foreign wars that can't be won, sending arms to warring nations around the globe, and feeding more and more money into our military-industrial complex.
The United States currently spends more than 40% of all the money spent for military purposes in the entire world (and they spend more than the next fourteen biggest military spenders combined). The Republicans say we must spend this enormous sum to defend ourselves. That is nonsense, since far larger and more populous nations defend themselves very well by spending far less. The truth is that we keep spending ever larger sums just to satisfy corporate greed, and the Republicans try to justify this greed by scaring Americans into thinking it is necessary for defense.
Willard Mitt Romney (aka Wall Street Willie) is no different. He has berated President Obama for not spending enough on the military budget, and has promised that he would raise the military budget by $2.1 trillion over the next 10 years (by tying military spending to 4% of national GDP). This is a rather silly way to allocate money for the military -- by allocating it as a percentage of GDP, rather than on the actual needs of the military, and guarantees that we will spend far more than is necessary.
The chart above shows just how ridiculous Willard's idea of military spending really is. The blue line on the chart represents military spending proposed by the Obama administration. The green line shows the spending that would take place if the cuts agreed to by both parties (because of the failure of the budget "super committee") are allowed to take effect. The red line represents the spending proposed by Willard.
The sensible thing to do would be to let the "sequestration" cuts (green line) go ahead and take piece. This country's military leaders have said they could easily absorb those cuts without negatively affecting our military preparedness (or our ability to defend ourselves) in any way. In fact, we could (and should) make larger cuts than that to our military budget (and use the money to help hurting Americans, create jobs, and rebuild our infrastructure). That probably won't happen though. It's more likely that the Democrats will bend to Republican demands and put the funding back to the blue line (current funding).
But even that would be much better than Willard's proposal. His proposal would add an enormous amount of spending to the military budget. And it would balloon the already too large national deficit and debt. There is no way that enough cuts could be made to social programs to cover this additional spending -- especially if he goes through with his new tax cuts for the rich.
Willard likes to pose as the fiscally responsible candidate. But his proposal for massive new military spending (and massive new tax cuts for the rich) show that he is far more fiscally irresponsible than President Obama. It doesn't take algebra or calculus to figure that out. Simple arithmetic will suffice. The figures for Willard's proposals just add up to a bigger deficit, and a much larger national debt -- exactly what this country can't afford in these tough economic times.