We're Spending Too Much on Defense

You only need so many killy things.

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How many killy things do we need before our country is safe from invasion? The United States defense budget is enormous–it's larger than the next eight largest countries combined, most of which we're buddies with.

But military spending is only partially designed around our protection. A significant portion of America's defense tab is caught up in the military-industrial complex. Politicians love to send federal money and jobs back to their district, and defense contractors eagerly soak up the cash. The $400 billion F-35 program, for example, is the most expensive weapons program in history. Yet it might be obsolete by the time it's finished.

In the latest Mostly Weekly, Andrew Heaton explores the scope of defense spending and whether or not we're getting our money's worth.

Mostly Weekly is hosted by Andrew Heaton with headwriter Sarah Rose Siskind. Watch past episodes here.

Script by Andrew Heaton with writing assistance from Sarah Rose Siskind, Brian Sack, and David Fried
Edited by Austin Bragg and Sarah Rose Siskind.
Produced by Meredith and Austin Bragg.
Theme Song: Frozen by Surfer Blood.

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  1. It costs a lot to police the entire world.

    1. I hear Europe is talking about stepping up a little.

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    2. The United States defense budget is enormous?it’s larger than the next eight largest countries combined, most of which we’re buddies with.

      Yeah, couldn’t help but notice this bit here which seems like an up-front admission that the defense budget also covers many places that are noticeably not the United States.

      1. I think we can make a good argument that we need bases in South Korea. But the UK? Germany? And why are we still in Turkey given their veer towards authoritarianism?

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  2. How many killy things do we need before our country is safe from invasion?

    More.

    1. Yeah, no word on the trillions we spend supporting non-productive people.

      Defense is not only for military purposes but to protect interests, such as shipping lanes and trade agreements.

      The military has been cut by over 1/3 of its share of the budget in the last 30 years, while being expected to do more.

      When Welfare and Social Insecurity have had their share of the pie hacked to the same degree, he can come back and we can talk.

      1. Apples to oranges comparison. 30 years ago we were still scared of the Russians invading and having to rely on symmetrical warfare. Now, we like to (covertly) start wars we will never win against far inferior forces who have no real means of invading our country. About a month ago, here in the US, the largest militia in the world fanned out across the US. The next Monday morning, they all went to work at their normal day jobs, whether they killed a deer or not.

        We are able to have nice things, cheaper, because of our military. How much would normal consumer goods cost if we had no Navy? I don’t know, but I bet factories would come back domestically if the Navy were to cut back “their defense of shipping lanes”. We’ve come a long way since the Barbary Coast pirates were sinking our ships back in the day. But we don’t need the massive military we used to have, times have changed

      2. ‘Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don’t care what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the bones. Not me! Julia! Not me!’ –George Orwell, “The Last Man in Europe”

      3. Shipping lanes and trade agreements are also protected by a diplomatic corp, which our current President is hollowing out. Peace is far cheaper than war but we’re a war-based economy. (Which war do you think Trumpl will start first? North Korea?)

        Our military strategy is to be able to fight two fronts simultaneously because that’s how we fought the last world war. Our military is sized to this level. But if we hadn’t invaded Iraq for oil profits and just concentrated on Afghanistan, we’d have paid a lot less and might even be out of the Middle East by now.

        And Social Security is paid for by a separate, dedicated tax and has nothing to do with income taxes or Federal deficits. We have enough SS monies to pay for our retirees through the 2030s.

      4. This article isn’t talking about entitlement programs. It’s about overspending on “defense”. Get with the program and give a valid reason for expanding the military or STFU.

  3. What on earth gave these people the idea that our Dept of Defense is only supposed to defend the country [from invasion]?

    We have a global hegemony to enforce!

    1. We have defense corporations to enrich. We have banks to enrich. We have to defend Jews who decided that they want to live in a bad neighborhood.

      1. We pay more money to Muslim countries by orders of magnitude. For that matter, we pay more to Mexico. But racism against Mexicans’n’Muslims is evil. Racism against Jews is oh so sophisticated and cosmopolitan.

        1. Try to be more subtle about your own bigotry. Oh, and Jews are not a race.

          And learn.
          We have committed our military to guaranteeing that Israel has the only nuclear weapons in the area. But if nobody else has nukes, why would Israel need them, except for aggression? That’s how ISIS recruits.
          And you do know why 9/11 happened, right?

          1. If I may quibble a bit… the only thing keeping the larger Muslim nations in the middle east from banding together to wipe Israel off the map is their own Sunni/Shia infighting. If they ever did join forces, Israel is too small to defend themselves and nukes are the ace in the hole.

            If “aggression” was the real purpose, they’d have just used them on Iran already and been done with it.

            1. They’ve conducted plenty of aggressions.

              1. I’m gathering “aggression” is defined as “defending oneself from invasion and terrorism.”

                1. I’m not prepared to see confusion about aggression on a libertarian website. NAP and all..

                  https://www.merriam-webster.com/ dictionary/aggression
                  (connect the spaces)

                  Then again, your ignorance of Islam is pretty blatant.
                  Probably also unaware of the history of the region.
                  The Quran?

            2. They know that Israel will turn them into a sheet of glass if they attack, that’s the only they haven’t attacked and why the plink at them with missiles over fences and terrorist attacks. They know if they full on conventially attack their cities will be turned to radioactive wastelands. That’s why they don’t attack.

              1. Even though Israel never had one day of being entitled to that land — which even the Old Testament records was taken by committing mankind’s only mass genocide of an entire culture.

                Even then, Jews ruled the land for fewer than 300 years, over 2000 years ago — and lost because of their own civil war. When invaded, Jews refused to help defend their fellow Jews.

                It was Christian Crusaders who first expelled the Jews from Jerusalem (the ones they didn’t slaughter) and Muslims who allowed them back in — for which they were later rewarded … HOW? This was AFTER the First Holocaust, the Rhineland Massacres, also committed by Christian Crusaders (attacking those “Christ Killers”)

                Your whining about missiles and “terrorist” attacks is even more profoundly ignorant … of Israel’s illegal settlements on Palestinian land. Your brainwashing probably also ignores that Israel still maintains a military blockade on Palestinian ports, that a blockade is an act of war, and that followed over 20 years of military occupation,

                So ISIS recruits by saying there’s a Judeo-Christian War in Islam, pointing to almost daily proof in American media — and the raging hatred and lies by right-wing Islamophobic goobers, precious snowflakes who don’t know ONLY the Old Testament commands the killing of all infidels (Deuteronomy 13).

                As Moses weeps in silent shame, alongside Christ doing likewise.
                .

              2. Its also why the Arab states use the Palestinians as a proxy to attack Israel. Being too chickenshit to do it themselves.

                1. Palestinians are Arabs … which shows the danger of listening to self-proclaimed shitlords — who lie about the history there. Is he paid for trolling?

                  1. Palestinians are poorly regarded by Arab nations., who do not consider them to be fellow Arabs None of which want them. They are only useful to them as a proxy to attack Israel. I’ve always heard this, and it has always been reinforced whenever I have been in the Middle East or dealt with people from there.

                    1. Palestinians are Arabs … which shows the danger of listening to self-proclaimed shitlords —who lie about the history there. Is he paid for trolling?

                      Addenda
                      1) ONLY the Old Testament commands killing of all infidels. Deut. 13. Even one’s own brother, spouse, child or friend.

                      2) Israel has never had a right to that land. They obtained it by mankind’s first mass genocide of an entire civilization, the Canaanirtes, as reported by God’s Own Word (the Holy Bible).

                      3) They ruled the land for less than 300 years, over 2000 years ago, and lost it ENTIRELY on their own .. when Jews refused to defend their fellow Jews from invasion, after a civil war created two Jewish kingdoms.

                      4) The FIRST Holocaust was perpetrated by CHRISTIAN Crusaders, who slaughtered thousands of “Christ Killers” in the Rhineland Massacres.

                      5) A later Crusade expelled and/or slaughtered the Jews from Jerusalem. It was MUSLIMS who allowed the Jews back into Jerusalem

                      Shitlord may not be lying about the history there .. merely another eagerly brainwashed goober.

                      (We stuck our nose into a war which did not concern us, between China and Japan, were shooting down Japanese fighters over China, and suffered Pearl Harbor. We stuck our nose into the Middle East, also none of our business, and suffered 9/11).

                      “Those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.”
                      (Santayana, actually a misquote lol)
                      )

          2. “And learn.
            We have committed our military to guaranteeing that Israel has the only nuclear weapons in the area. But if nobody else has nukes, why would Israel need them, except for aggression? That’s how ISIS recruits.
            And you do know why 9/11 happened, right?”

            What a shitty argument. This is essentially saying that the violent asshole who sets unprovoked fights in bars and then goes home to beat his wife does these things because any little thing provokes him so it’s best to walk on eggshells around him.

            It’s not.

            The way you deal with violent shitbags is by making them afraid to do anything, and failing that, responding with swift overwhelming force. Making it clear the their violent actions can only result in their destruction, because that level of force is the only thing they will ever respect. There is no reasoning with them.

            1. And learn.

              What a shitty argument

              WHOOSH

              This is essentially saying that the violent asshole who sets unprovoked fights in bars and then goes home to beat his wife does these things because any little thing provokes him so it’s best to walk on eggshells around him.

              HELLO? CAN YOU HEAR ME WITH YOUR HEAD UP YOUR ASS?
              That’s actually too fucking stupid to parse. So I can only repeat what you REFUSE to deal with, with more detail

              REPEAT: If nobody else is allowed nuclear weapons, why does Israel need them except to commit more aggression … as they have been doing for well over 2000 years … on land they stole by committing mankind’s only mass genocide of an entire civilization (Canaanites, see Old Testament, chump) … on land the ruled for fewer than 300 years, over 2000 years ago … and only lost because of their own civil war, when one Jewish nation refused to defend their fellow Jews from invasion?.

              Wel-l-l-l-l? (LOL)

              The way you deal with violent shitbags

              SHITBAGS HAVE THE ONLY NUKES IN THE REGION!
              AND WHEN CHRISTIAN CRUSADERS KILLED AND EXPELLED THE JEWS FROM JERUSALEM .. IT WAS MUSLIMS WHO ALLOWED THEM BACK IN ..

              If you don’t know history — shut the fuck up — PEOPLE DIE FROM YOUR BIGOTRY.

              P.S. The Old Testament is the ONLY place where ANYONE is ordered to slaughter all infidels — Deuteronomy 13, chump

              1. No, I;m exactly right. The only things vicious sociopaths and psychopaths understand is the capacity and will of others to decisively stop them. If you don’t believe that, then your understanding of human nature is sadly wanting.

                1. No, I’m exactly right.

                  Jammed up your ass here, chump https://reason.com/reasontv/201…..nt_7071628
                  (sneer)

                  The only things vicious sociopaths and psychopaths understand is the capacity and will of others to decisively stop them. If you don’t believe that, then your understanding of human nature is sadly wanting.

                  To know human nature …but be TOTALLY stupid on its history … while BRAGGING that one is a “shitlord” …. well … that’s what creates the REAL self-righteous psychopaths and hatred-spewing bigots …. deserving of ridicule and contempt by all human beings pledged to honor and integrity.

                  GET THEE BEHIND ME, SATAN
                  (gagging)

  4. Damn, Heaton lost his virginity watching Patton?

    1. Left hand. Right hand was already deflowered watching Dick van Dyke reruns.

      1. The left hand has never forgiven him.

    2. He’s not a virgin? Wow.

  5. While it is stupid amounts of money, and while defence spending should definitely cut back and NATO states should commit to 2%, it is much better for the world and international stability that it is America who is spending so much on defending global interests than say China or Russia.

    It just seems like some are unaware that you can cut back on spending and still be the pre-eminent superpower

    1. China definitely needs to be kept down. They envision one world state……….called China.

      1. I like my American-made nuclear umbrella

      2. Actually, the US is defending Chinese interests at least. China’s main interest is to ‘rise quietly’ and let the US exhaust itself playing world cop, putting out fires that they, China, would otherwise have to tend to, even if the US does the job rather badly. Meanwhile they are encouraging US debt and buying US real estate. When the time comes, the US will imperceptibly slide into satellite status. Only a few will notice when the moment arrives. At least, this seems to be their plan. How things will actually work out is anybody’s guess.

      3. Actually, the US is defending Chinese interests at least. China’s main interest is to ‘rise quietly’ and let the US exhaust itself playing world cop, putting out fires that they, China, would otherwise have to tend to, even if the US does the job rather badly. Meanwhile they are encouraging US debt and buying US real estate. When the time comes, the US will imperceptibly slide into satellite status. Only a few will notice when the moment arrives. At least, this seems to be their plan. How things will actually work out is anybody’s guess.

      4. Actually, the US is defending Chinese interests at least. China’s main interest is to ‘rise quietly’ and let the US exhaust itself playing world cop, putting out fires that they, China, would otherwise have to tend to, even if the US does the job rather badly. Meanwhile they are encouraging US debt and buying US real estate. When the time comes, the US will imperceptibly slide into satellite status. Only a few will notice when the moment arrives. At least, this seems to be their plan. How things will actually work out is anybody’s guess.

      5. Actually, the US is defending Chinese interests at least. China’s main interest is to ‘rise quietly’ and let the US exhaust itself playing world cop, putting out fires that they, China, would otherwise have to tend to, even if the US does the job rather badly. Meanwhile they are encouraging US debt and buying US real estate. When the time comes, the US will imperceptibly slide into satellite status. Only a few will notice when the moment arrives. At least, this seems to be their plan. How things will actually work out is anybody’s guess.

          1. Beware, lest they deposit pee pee in your coke.

    2. Wouldn’t it be much better for the world and international stability of the US promoted liberty and capitalism instead of war? The US has been at war for 93% of its existence. That can’t be good.

      1. I hate to point this out, but war has been used as a vehicle to…promote liberty and capitalism abroad and in that goal it has…been pretty successful.

        I’m not saying it’s ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but you can’t look at the modern world and not see that many of our wars have turned the world into a more free and more capitalist place than it otherwise would be.

        1. The Middle East is a disaster. South East Asia is a disaster. South America is a disaster. Africa is a disaster. There are slave markets in Libya for christ’s sake. Europe is all socialist. Maybe Japan and South Korea are more capitalist and free but that’s about it. So no I don’t agree with your assesment.

          1. …historically speaking, had the United States not entered into WW2 than the odd’s are pretty good that the entire planet would be Communist/Socialist even while alternative histories are always pretty masturbatory.

            It is amusing to watch people sprain their arms jacking themselves off to ‘America’s Adventurism Has Been Only Bad’ though. I’m not even disagreeing with you, I’m just pointing out that Japan, South Korea, parts of the EU (especially former USSR nations) prove that it isn’t all bad, and it’s more related to the people you free than it is about anything else.

            The Middle East turned to shit precisely because the people who live there overwhelmingly reject freedom and embrace theocracy. As a matter of fact, a lot of our failures occur for this very reason. You can see it when you talk to most Americans, in fact, since it seems we believe people want freedom. News flash, most people do not. Hell, not even we want freedom.

            1. It can both be true that it was right to fight WW2 (and it was successful) and that our foreign wars have been more often than not failures.

              1. Without the trying, they are all automatically failures.

                I’m not in favor of adventurism, but the OP’s point was that adventurism doesn’t work. Well, it does, just perhaps not as frequently as he would like.

                Maybe it’s a dumb point though since you don’t have to pick or choose between ‘war’ or ‘promoting capitalism’, you can do both at the same time as American has proven for well over 150 years.

            2. The US got into WW2 because Japan declared war. Iraq, Syria and Libya were all mostly secular and stable before we stuck our nose in. The way to win is to improve the life of the average person through capitalism not bombing them.

              1. The US was selling weapons to Europe during WWII before it started sending people over there too. It was “in” before Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.

                I have a relative that died before Pearl Harbor patrolling the Pacific to track Japanese movements.

                Your history needs updating.

            3. A long view of history makes it easy to find successes and failures. It’s also easy to rationalize certain things and to explain away others. Western Europe, Japan, and South Korea, by way of examples, have flourished because of the umbrella of U.S. military protection. There was also the economic relationship that benefited all involved.

              Vietnam, on the other hand, was a disaster militarily and economically. The United States never stopped its ‘Monroe Doctrine’ approach to Central and South America. Proxy wars and counterinsurgeries against leftist governments in places like Nicaragua have been replaced by narco wars in Colombia, El Salvador and Mexico.

              The difficulty has been American foreign policy post-9/11. The second Iraq War didn’t “pay for itself with Iraqi oil revenue,” end in six months with the Iraqis embracing us as liberators, nor result in the formation of a federal government in Baghdad with its leaders holding the Qur’an in one hand and the Federalist Papers in the other, all as promised.

              As someone pointed out previously, the United States military is built for symmetrical warfare in an assymetrical world. It is being cut back and asked to do more. Multiple deployments, old equipment, decreasing enlistments. Meanwhile, China’s economy expands while we continue to pour money into Iraq, Afghanistan, and other ‘adventures’ as someone put it. Is it really about promoting capitalism? I would argue that we have been engaging in war for war’s sake.

              1. I would argue that we have been engaging in war for war’s sake.

                Very well stated … but way over the heads of the hard-right goobers who dominate this commentariat.

                Thanks.

          2. IceTrey is a disaster…just sayin!

            1. But watching a pissing contest between IceTrey and BYODB is even worse!

          3. You lost me at “Europe is all socialist.”

            No, it’s not. Not even by a long shot.

            Socialism is state ownership of the means of production. Venezuela is socialist, most of Europe is what’s called a “social democracy.” Canada is a social democracy. The US keeps flirting with it but hasn’t committed yet.

            When European nations nationalize private industry and everyone works for the state, then you can say “Europe is all socialist.”

            1. Righwing fascist are known for pissing over concepts like “will of the people” and “consent of the governed.”

              Which makes them facasists, by definition.

              1. Fascism is a leftist construct. As it is a form of socialism/marxism.

                1. How many times can one self-proclaimed right-wing shitlord fuck up on a single page?

                  Fascism is a leftist construct. As it is a form of socialism/marxism

                  HITLER AND MUSSOLINI SEIZED ALL PRIVATE PROPERTY! BUT THE GODDAMN LIBTARDS HAVE PURGED THE HISTORY BOOKS … GEORGE SOROS … OBAMA …AND THE CLINTON FOUNDATION.
                  …. BENGHAZI!!! …. URANIUM ONE!!!

                  Fascism is RIGHTWING collectivism (DUH).

                  Behold the vast leftwing conspiracy!
                  And SMELL the stench of hatred here.
                  https://reason.com/reasontv/201…..nt_7071522

          4. Europe is all socialist.

            That’s utter and complete bullshit. Europe is full of social welfare states, not socialist states. The two are entirely different. Europe is predominantly government by Christian conservative parties. Switzerland, Ireland, and the UK have more economic freedom than the US. Most other European countries are close to the US in terms of economic freedom. Japan and South Korea are far from the top; the top countries are Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Australia. The US spends more on social welfare per capita than almost all other OECD countries. Most European countries have lower corporate taxes, lower capital gains taxes, and lower income taxes than the US.

            1. And we spend more per capita on PUBLIC health care alone — for less than 40% of our population — tjhan TOTAL per capita health spending in Sweden, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and Japan
              Page 3 at source

      2. It’s not a binary choice between promoting liberty and war. For example, there’s plenty of reasons to object to invading Iraq, but do you think Iraqis are less free than if we had left Saddam Hussein in power? Other problems yes, but less free?

        For that matter, when was the last war that China fought and how do they compare to us on liberty and capitalism?

        I’m not saying the US should go to war to promote liberty, just that war and liberty/capitalism are not the same issues.

  6. Thankfully we don’t have to talk about entitlements again (you know, the thing that is actually bankrupting us?) and can just go just go back to the same old talking points.

    Now where’s a good whine about recruiting costs for an all volunteer army when you need one?

    1. And defense is actually something that is a designated responsibility of the federal government. Unlike entitlements which are strangely nowhere mentioned in the constitution.

      1. Yet, it’s true that we still spend far too much on defense and the military. I see no reason to allow massive waste and corruption simply because the federal government is actually allowed to perform this function.

        Entitlements should be gotten rid of completely, but we can also talk about militarism and its insane costs. Ideally, we should talk about these things often. Unapologetically speaking the truth can make one seem like a broken record at times.

        1. We can’t get rid of social security and medicare. We owe it to all the old people who didn’t want to pay as much into the system and preferred to finance it with debt instead.


        2. Entitlements should be gotten rid of completely, but we can also talk about militarism and its insane costs.

          Except it’s like bitching about the tip after dinner.

          1. DoD spending can be viewed as welfare for poor Midwesterners. It’s a jobs program for jobs that would not exist on the free market.

            1. Dollars that are actual and direct welfare are orders of magnitude more than DoD spending, so when people bitch about defense spending you automatically know that they have no idea how bad the entitlements have actually become.

              If entitlements don’t get reformed, we’re fucked as a nation. So maybe, as a nation, we should hoard the weapons of defense that will keep our creditors from wondering if they can get that cash back.

              Ever think about it like that? I doubt it.

          2. That’s quite a substantial tip, and not to mention all the havoc that this money helps big daddy government wreak.

            1. Is it substantial compared to around 110 trillion dollars?

              1. Compared to? It’s too much in and of itself. I don’t care what it’s being compared to, since that’s just a way to ignore the issue. And again, it’s not just about the amount of money being spent, but about the death and destruction this money goes towards causing. Let’s cut everything, alright?

            2. You’ve never left a 19% tip?

              1. current practice is 20%, so more bullets anyone?

        3. Jickerson, you are correct. Our defense spending is too often spent inefficiently and even fraudulently. Something else that needs fixing.

    2. Yeah, I came into this thread to say exactly this. Who gives a fuck about Defense when entitlements are fucking us for the next, what, three generations?

      Articles like these appear to be the sort of article designed to make the seals clap along.

      1. Because defense is directly killing innocent people. At least entitlements aren’t paying for bombing weddings.

        1. *clap clap* said the seal.

          1. Just keep drinking the Kool-Aid.

        2. So your objection is to the military per se, not to the amount spent on it. Since this was a discussion about spending you can go ahead and head back to the kids’ table.

          1. >>”So your objection is to the military per se”

            You seem to have missed his point entirely.

        3. just mac-10 street sweepers…so retail killing vs wholesale?

        4. If entitlements paid for bombing gay weddings, hemp stores or Planned Parenthood clinics, mystical conservatives would be carpetbiting and gurgling pink foam to preserve them intact. This has been their basic programming since 1928.

          1. mystical conservatives would be carpetbiting and gurgling pink foam to preserve them intact. This has been their basic programming since 1928

            As you point out, those are mystical conservatives, the kind that religious lefties believe exist but that don’t actually exist.

            Most real conservatives don’t really give a fuck about gay weddings, hemp stores, or Planned Parenthood clinics as long as they aren’t forced to pay for them or associate with them.

            1. the kind that religious lefties believe exist but that don’t actually exist

              You forget to yell, “FAKE NEWS!”.

              Most real conservatives don’t really give a fuck about gay weddings, hemp stores, or Planned Parenthood clinics as long as they aren’t forced to pay for them or associate with them.

              Those are libertarians …. a minority there …. who had a VERY brief influence of the GOP and are a separate wing within BOTH conservatism and liberalism. And we NEVER spout whiney bullshit about “lefties” (which is what gave you away)

            2. Most real conservatives don’t really give a fuck about gay weddings, hemp stores, or Planned Parenthood clinics as long as they aren’t forced to pay for them or associate with them.

              Those are libertarians. not conservatives. WeI understand your shame though.

              Those are mystical conservatives, the kind that religious lefties believe exist but that don’t actually exist

              LEFTIES INVENTED THE LABEL “CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVES?” (omg)
              You forgot to snarl, “FAKE NEWS.”

              Goldwater had it nailed 40 years ago.

      2. I want to know where I can go to report this whole article as spam
        “Here’s some click-bait – go to our YouTube/podcast.”
        Fuck that!

        1. I want to know where I can go to report this whole article as spam

          Back to your Infowars.

    3. Here’s an article (2015 data) that talks about where our income tax dollars are spent:

      http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/1…..index.html

      Out of every dollar:
      28.7 cents on health (medicare, medicaid, etc)
      25.4 cents on defense
      13.7 cents on the federal debt
      8 cents on unemployment
      5.9 cents on veterans benefits
      4.6 cents on food & agriculture
      3.6 cents on education
      2.9 cents on government itself
      1.9 cents on housing & community services
      1.6 cents on energy & environment
      1.5 cents on international affairs
      1.2 cents on transportation
      1.1 cents on science (national labs, university grants, etc.)

      Depending on how you define entitlements (“energy” includes billions of government subsidies to rich oil companies…), it can be big or small compared to defense. To me, what is bankrupting us isn’t how much we pay for health or services for the poor but how much we overspend and thus end up with 13.7% of the budget going to debt payments, which is about what we spend on unemployment and veterans benefits (another entitlement, right?)

      What is bankrupting us is that congress cannot balance the budget. And today, the House passed a bill that adds $1.5 Trillion or so to our national debt so that 13.7 is going up, up, up!

      1. Well-played. Calling out the hysterical bullshitters.

        Now provide that VERY cogent depiction of debt to the fascist GOP in Congress, and their brainwashed puppets here.

        Oh yeah, how does the General Fund look for those percentages — since Republicans looted it to pay for their Medicare Prescription fraud .. then blaming Obama for THEIR debt.

        1. You are utterly full of shit.

          1. JAM IT UP SHITLORD’S ASS AGAIN!

            You are utterly full of shit

            Medicare Prescriptions were paid for by allowing up to 45% of ALL Medicare spending to be paid by INCOME TAXES … INSTEAD OF THE MEDICARE TRUST FUND. .
            AND HERE’S THE PROOF GOOBER, 2016 data (snort)

            1) Over $300 billion of Medicare spending paid by Income taxes (45% of total)
            2) That would be otherwise be deficits, taken from the Trust Fund
            3) The money is still borrowed, but charged to the GENERAL FUND, NOT THE TRUST FUND.

            Then … GOP misfucks blame Obama for THAT $300 billion deficit.
            And their brainwashed goobers go out and make ASSES of themselves!.

            WHY IS 75% OF PART B ALSO SUBSIDIZED BY INCOME TAXES? (laughing hysterically)
            They needed Democrat votes … and got TOTALLY OUT-MANEUVERED!

            Nearly 25% of ALL personal income taxes is now STOLEN for Medicare subsidies
            That percentage is GUARANTEED to increase, as Medicare grows faster than total federal.

            And right-wing tribal snowflakes DEFEND THE LOOTING (OMG) .
            See MORE fuckups by the stalker/bully/thug/self-proclaimed shitlord!
            https://reason.com/reasontv/201…..nt_7071522

            Left – Right = Zero … only a shrinking minority of Americans (goobers) now support EITHER morally bankrupt side.

      2. *Republican* Congresses can’t help themselves of cutting revenue.

  7. How many killy things do we need before our country is safe from invasion?

    I don’t know but maybe the first question should be, “Why are we not getting our money’s worth for what we have?”

    1. That’s easy – because it is government spending.

      But it is necessary government spending, so we are stuck with it.

    2. Because there is little or no ‘worth’ to get, other than entertainment — many people do seem to like wars as long as they don’t have to fight in them. However, if one actually examined the interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, etc. etc. as business propositions that were supposed to return material value, they’d be seen as scandalously bad investments.

      1. I’m pretty sure those dead/wounded marines & soldiers are really entertained…you fuck swab…

      2. I think you’ve missed something here… they *are* business propositions. You’ve just confused “business benefit to US citizens” with “business benefit to big government donors.”

        Oil prices went up, profits went up, and things are still looking good for millionaires and above. The rest of us… well… not so much, but LOOK! a Squirrel!

  8. If we just want to be fortress America and protect from invasion it would cost a lot less.

    If we just want to protect from invasion and have a navy that can keep sea lanes open it will cost a large amount of money, but not nearly what we’re spending.

    If we want to be able to intervene all across the world either to maintain global stability or for humanitarian reasons it costs a heckuva lot more, including the cost of having a massive wasteful beauracracy and Congress using the military to lump money into their states.

    There’s a good argument that the cost of a smaller military would include the cost of much more expensive wars in the future, but there’s also a good argument that the world isn’t as unstable as all that and in any case it’s not our job to be world policeman. But pretending that we pay for such an expensive military to simply protect our borders is purposefully obtuse.

    1. If we just want to be fortress America and protect from invasion it would cost a lot less.

      Smacks of isolationism.

      This is one of those sticky subjects where you can’t win.

      1. If you trade and collaborate with other countries, you are not isolationist. Non-interventionism is not isolationism. If you have a strange definition of “isolationism”, then all that means is that that sort of isolationism is good.

        1. ^+1
          “Isolationism” is tossed around like “Denialist”; no-thought labels.

  9. I don’t have a problem being a superpower. I don’t have a problem with maintaining a military so strong that no one would dare fuck with us. I have no problem having a military capable of deploying to and winning the next world war. But unless you are actually planning to go to war with your nearest peer, you don’t need to be spending 3x what they are.

    1. There are plenty of ‘gold plated toilets’ in the defense budget. Just going through it and scrubbing some of the waste would save a huge amount of money.

      http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/
      12/06/pentagon-reportedly-
      buried-study-exposing-125-billion-in-waste.html

      1. You’re never gonna fix that. There is simply no incentive to be efficient and the way the military is structured it’s really hard to have any accountability.

        By its nature it’s inefficient. You sit around training for a war that may (hopefully) never happens.

        The real answer is a change in US foreign policy. STOP being the world’s cop.

        1. No, the real answer is privatized defense services.

          1. This I could actually get behind, as could the framers of our Constitution.

          2. I get to be in charge of the family atomics.

            1. Existing nuclear weapons are a problem, of course. It is an interesting question, though, whether customers would pay for the manufacture of nuclear weapons with higher subscription costs. The market would show us the true cost of defense. I would guess that it would be much lower than current “defense” spending.

              1. I don’t really see it as a problem. The States that want nuclear weapons get nuclear weapons, and the militia uses them.

                People act like nuclear weapons are magic, but they’re just oversized ordinance like anything else. Scarier perhaps, but still just ordinance. It’s a missile that goes further, and kills more.

                Since you don’t want, say, Texas firing a nuke at Germany I’d suppose the FedGov would have veto power or something analogous to stop that type of fuckery.

                This is not a problem that couldn’t be solved, it’s just an example people throw out there as an excuse for why we need a standing army.

                1. A standing Army is clearly unconstitutional. We either get rid of it or amend the Constitution.

                  But, given the existence of the standing armies of other nation states and the nearly unlimited resources backing them, I think we’d be hard-pressed to defend against them with a militia.

                  The amount of training required to operate on a modern battlefield precludes a “Johnny get your gun” type of militia. You could incorporate that into the Guard/Reserves, but then you still have the equivalent of a standing army, but you’d lose the synergy of them being able to work together under a common structure, which is not insignificant.

                  I’d prefer a strong, cutting-edge military whose primary focus was self-defense, but with a limited ability to deploy only when absolutely required, under a US foreign policy whose position is to leave the rest of the world to fight their own battles.

                  We could get away with 33% of what we have now and still be the guy on the block with whom not to fuck.

                  But as we all know, it’s not about defense. It’s about power and politics.

                  1. Tell that to the Taliban.


                  2. But, given the existence of the standing armies of other nation states and the nearly unlimited resources backing them, I think we’d be hard-pressed to defend against them with a militia.

                    Considering that the entire modern era has been our military falling flat on it’s face while fighting forces that are analogs of our own revolutionary period, I’m not so sure about this. You’re probably right, but only when considering what other militaries consider valid tactics RE: chlorine gas etc.

                    Even then, the USSR failed in the Middle East so I’m really skeptical here.

                    1. These are foreign policy failures, not military failures.

                      You cannot win a war that doesn’t have clear, achievable political objectives. The US is fighting a limited war against an adversary who is waging total war and defending their own homes.

                      Yes, a dedicated small force can defeat a technologically superior one by wearing them down. The thing is, it takes a long fucking time. The Afghans have been fighting essentially nonstop since the Russians invaded in 1979. That’s 38 years. Half a lifetime. Who wants to live like that?

                      So while it’s possible, it’s probably not the best national defense strategy. Not to mention had they had a formidable modern military, they likely would never have been invaded in the first place.


                    2. So while it’s possible, it’s probably not the best national defense strategy.

                      Nice goal post shift. I’m glad you concede that you’re wrong.

                    3. Wrong?

                      First, I thought we were having a discussion. Didn’t realize we were competing for supremacy.

                      Second, do you really think spending half your life living in caves staving off every more technologically powerful nation that decides to come take your shit and then rebuilding your infrastructure/economy from scratch is a good plan of defense?

                      Personally, I’d much rather be strong enough that they not have the balls to even try (but not much bigger than that).

          3. While we can (and do) privatize some of it, and should do more, we cannot do all of it. For example, do we outsource the draft, and draft people into XYZ private military company (PMC)? How do we handle nuclear weapons security. Why would a PMC die for his company, as opposed to for his country?

            We make extensive use of PMC’s, but not for primary war-fighting. They do a lot of logistics, and also provide armed escort services, relieving the US military from those tasks.

            1. Umm, if you include “privatize” the goobers will swallow ANYTHING!
              Look at the total tupidity of Medicare Vouchers! Increase competition in the wrong market!!!
              Goobers, like Progs, confuse insurance with health care. Easy marks.

          4. No, the real answer is privatized defense services

            THINK before typing..

      1. you can still conclude that the US outmatches any single potential adversary, but since WWII the doctrine has been to assume necessity for multiple simultaneous conflicts on different regional fronts.

        1. And, hence, the need for a policy change.

          1. Also, this culture of blind obedience to a superior’s orders needs to go. If a soldier has moral concerns about an order, and there is no immediate danger to his peers, he should be able to bow out. I know that seems foolish, but putting things in that perspective really shows how the military is based on coercion and involuntary servitude. No valid libertarian contract would allow forced labor against a participant’s will. On this issue, I side with Rothbard and disagree with Walter Bloch.

            1. Or, in other words, you don’t believe in the freedom to contractually obligate yourself to follow orders for a defined term for a defined amount of money knowing full well that the job description is to literally kill other humans.

              Interesting.

              1. That’s right, I believe certain rights are inalienable. You know what “inalienable” means? It means they cannot be taken away from you by anyone, including yourself.

                1. Out of curiosity, who gets to choose which ones are inalienable?

                  ——

                  For what it’s worth, I never saw a “blind obedience” culture. Your duty not to follow illegal orders. Never personally witnessed an illegal order.

                  I’m sure it happens, but it’s certainly not a systemic problem.


                  1. Out of curiosity, who gets to choose which ones are inalienable?

                    Well, if you believe in unalienable rights God decides. That’s an honest answer.

                    1. Well, if you believe in unalienable rights God decides. That’s an honest answer.

                      It’s profoundly ignorant. God already decided (for those who believe in Him).
                      How the are DEFENDED is determined by SCOTUS — as a check and balance against the other two branches violating them. Per the Constitution (9th and 14th Amendments). Despite the raging bullshit of southern racists, the KKK,.Ron Paul and his alt-right

                      Yes, by unelected judges. This is not a democracy, dumbasses.

                    2. Hello Mikey Hihn. Nice shiny new sockpuppet you’ve got here.

                2. Right, so a military is impossible. Alternatively, it is possible but is always and eternally damned to failure against any force with less ridged morality.

                3. There is only one human right, to not have force initiated against you.

                  1. Ice Trey has (unwittingly) defended bans on gay and interracial marriage, and denying women the right to vote … among many other atrocities. The ever-mindless slogans of Rothbardian trolls.
                    And SO self-righteous!

                    1. Uhh…wouldn’t banning an interracial marriage need to be backed up with force Mr. Hihn?

                    2. Ice Trey has (unwittingly) defended bans on gay and interracial marriage, and denying women the right to vote … among many other atrocities

                      Uhh…wouldn’t banning an interracial marriage need to be backed up with force

                      Uhhhh, NO!

                      “The ever-mindless slogans of Rothbardian trolls.”

                      Not to issue a license is not force … except to Rothbardian trolls.

                      NOT DOING is the exact opposite of INITIATING!!!
                      I’m afraid to ask YOU, but … Is it initiating force if you cannot get a drivers license unless you pass a test?
                      .
                      “And SO self-righteous!”

                    3. Hey Mikey, government licensing is an exercise in force you fucking halfwit. The government had to initiate force to begin with by making people get a license in the first place.

                    4. >>>”The government had to initiate force to begin with by making people get a license in the first place”

                      Describe the force for us. How is force initiated by denying a right?
                      It’s not possible.

            2. That is foolish. You can’t have people picking and choosing the orders they think are moral. The military is entirely based on coercion and servitude. To put it short, the military is a a giant bureaucratic organization full of people stupider than you telling you things that are ridiculous to any sane person, could get you killed, or both, and you do this by choice for less than minimum wage.
              You do understand we have an all volunteer military, yes? If you are patently against the killing of people you don’t know because someone told you to, my suggestion is not to join the military.

              CPL. R Desikan, USMC


              1. If you are patently against the killing of people you don’t know because someone told you to, my suggestion is not to join the military.

                Yes, to say nothing of how long the imaged military in Chipper’s head would last against a fighting force of, say, Russian’s who if they fail to push forward hard enough get a bullet to the back of their head.

                1. the imaged military in Chipper’s head

                  Umm,. he also said this: “and there is no immediate danger to his peers”

                  Chipper’s head or yours?

    2. You do when you consider all the allies of those peers.

      At the moment, we could not fight a two theater war, which we could do throughout the cold war. And yet, our cold war enemies are still there, are arming up, and acting hostile to us. Russia has invaded democratic countries (Ukraine and Georgia) and threatens others.

      China is planting island “aircraft carriers” surrounding the South China Sea, which is one of the most important trade routes in the world, and through which a whole lot of oil flows.

      And then, there’s North Korea, which while puny, could require a significant amount of combat power to stop unless we are willing to let them invade South Korea, or nuke it and gas it.

      1. Not our job to defend Ukraine and Georgia.

        When China actually impedes trade routes we’d have cause for action.

        And it’s not our job to defend Korea.

        1. Francisco speaks truth to power nothingness

    3. You do when you consider all the allies of those peers.

      At the moment, we could not fight a two theater war, which we could do throughout the cold war. And yet, our cold war enemies are still there, are arming up, and acting hostile to us. Russia has invaded democratic countries (Ukraine and Georgia) and threatens others.

      China is planting island “aircraft carriers” surrounding the South China Sea, which is one of the most important trade routes in the world, and through which a whole lot of oil flows.

      And then, there’s North Korea, which while puny, could require a significant amount of combat power to stop unless we are willing to let them invade South Korea, or nuke it and gas it.

    4. But unless you are actually planning to go to war with your nearest peer, you don’t need to be spending 3x what they are.

      A lot of US military spending exists to reduce risk to soldiers. We do that because we’re a democracy and voters really hate American soldiers getting killed. China needs to be a lot less sensitive to such concerns.

      1. “But unless you are actually planning to go to war with your nearest peer, you don’t need to be spending 3x what they are”

        A lot of US military spending exists to reduce risk to soldiers

        1) Totally non-responsive
        2) Yes, we give them guns and air support … and nobody knew that before you

        Also non-responsive to the topic: we have far more troops than we need … in far more places than we need be.
        But you cuckservatives want MORE .

  10. The Pentagon has lost $6.5 trillion this century.

    http://thefreethoughtproject.c…..lars-went/

    1. In 2010, Congress included a requirement in the National Defense Authorization Act that gave the military “an extra seven years to clean up the books and get ready,” as Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa said last year. That set a new deadline to be ready for an audit by September 2017.

      What are they going to do, cut them off?

  11. I’m not sure how we are going to ever see any serious military budget reductions as things stand internationally. The reality of our position as the world hegemon places us in a bind. That is complicated drastically by our commitments to our untold number of vassal states, and our commitments to guarantee the independence of the entire Western Hemisphere.

    Sure it sounds nice to gut these promises and tell our subjects “Just take care of yourselves dammit!” but is that really an option with the petrodollar as the world’s reserve currency? What kind of havoc will be wrought on the economic situation at home if that were to change?

  12. The facts: FedGov spends 14% of its budget on Defense of the Nation.

    http://mil14.com

    per FY 2018…

    69% Social Services $2819 Billion
    14% Defense of the Nation $595 Billion
    11% General Government $457 Billion
    06% Interest on the Debt $241 Billion

    Total spending: 4.1 Trillion Dollars

    1. Yes but welfare for Mexicans’n’Muslims is the only true function of government in Reasonland.

      1. How so? You also say that denying a wedding license (race or gender) requires the initiation of force, not just the denial of equal rights. Why such hatred for libertarians?.

  13. But if all you have in your toolbox is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.

  14. More hysteria (yawn) More preaching to the choir. With no fucking solution.

    “Cut defense spending” is no more a solution than “repeal the income tax.”
    But self-righteous posturing does pander to the Liberty Coalition Cult
    Is this why libertarians despise libertarianISM? Why the libertarian label is rejected by 91% of libertarians? (Cato Survey)

    1. But it’s hard for Reason to understand that spending is the only thing that could even theoretically control the deficit because the truth hurts and spending cuts literally kill people. Or so I’m told.

      /sarc

      1. Tax increases would. Elementary-school arithmetic.

        /non-sarc

    2. Why do you bother with the sockpuppets when you are literally incapable of not copying and pasting the exact same shit in every post you make? Do you really think you’re fooling anybody, or are you so fucked up in your rotted pea sized mind that you don’t realize you’re doing it?

      1. Do you have anything coherent?

  15. Ok, first point; we are at war. We,are likely to be at war until one of two things happens.

    A) We lose our tempers and conquor most of the Islamic world and become a true Imperial power. I don’t recommend this.

    B) We convince the coutries that sponsor Islamic terrorism to out at least that much effort into surpressing it, because “A”is a possibility.

    That point made, yes there are things we should cut. The F-35 does tend to spring to mind; we certainly don’t need history’s most expensive hanger queen. I seem to recall a few Naval idiocies too, though maybe they’ve already been ashcanned. And I assume that Obama foisted a bunch of ‘diversity’ programs that have nothing to do with the military’s primary purpose of killing people and breaking things.

  16. The comments section here demonstrate one of the two reasons than the US will never cut spending until its inevitable bankruptcy (at which point any military spending will be difficult:

    1. The left doesn’t want to see their entitlements (e.g. welfare) cut, so they deflect any talk of this by pointing out the size of the DoD budget.

    2. The right doesn’t want to see their entitlements (e.g. spending on weapons the military literally doesn’t want and won’t use) cut, so they deflect any talk of this by pointing out the scale of entitlement spending.20

    And the cycle repeats ad nauseam.

    I just want to say to the several posters here who are blatantly guilty of (2): fuck you. And cut spending.

  17. The comments section here demonstrate one of the two reasons that the US will never cut spending until its inevitable bankruptcy (at which point any military spending will be difficult). These reasons are:

    1. The left doesn’t want to see their entitlements (e.g. welfare) cut, so they deflect any talk of this by pointing out the size of the DoD budget.

    2. The right doesn’t want to see their entitlements (e.g. spending on weapons the military literally doesn’t want and won’t use) cut, so they deflect any talk of this by pointing out the scale of entitlement spending.20

    And the cycle repeats ad nauseam.

    I just want to say to the several posters here who are blatantly guilty of (2): fuck you. And cut spending.

    1. Heh. It just occurred to me that I said the right opposes talk of cutting their entitlements by pointing out the size of entitlements spending. While this might seem a syntactic contradiction, it’s semantically precise & accurate.

      Therefore, I just now concluded that the right is hypocritical to boot, in pretending that their job programs and crony subsidies are not entitlements, but somehow related to critical national interests. Which is, of course, a wildly indefensible, trivially disprovable position.

      There’s really no leg to stand on here, except: fuck you, cut spending.

      1. Defense is a constitutionally required function of the federal government. That’s the difference you equivocating fucking idiot. There’s a material difference between making sure the country can defend itself and handing out welfare to Mexicans’n’Muslims as much as you’d like to pretend there isn’t.

        1. Where does the Constitution mandate any specific level or degree of defense spending, compared with other spending? Be specific.

          And why do you sanction welfare for only some Americans? Are Negroes excluded, or just Mexicans and Muslims?

          1. And why do you sanction welfare for only some Americans?

            Libertarians don’t “sanction” welfare for anybody. We’d prefer to cut it to its bare minimum for everybody.

            Are Negroes excluded, or just Mexicans and Muslims?

            Non-citizens are excluded, and ought to be excluded, from any government welfare or benefits.

            1. Libertarians don’t “sanction” welfare for anybody

              HE DID.
              PHONY LIBERTARIAN (YOU) DEFENDS TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION.
              YOUR ENTITLEMENT MENTALITY HAS HIM SUCKING OFF OF MEXICAN AND MUSLIM TAXPAYERS. AND YOUR SHAMEFUL BIGOTRY CONFLATES MUSLIMS WITH NON-CITIZENS (as evasion, like hello)
              THAT IS A CONSERVATIVE — LOWEST DENOMINATOR

              AND HE’S STILL FULL OF SHIT

              Libertarians don’t “sanction” welfare for anybody. We’d prefer to cut it to its bare minimum for everybody

              REAL libertarians would restore private charity ,.. for The ENTIRE SAFETY NET … including healthcare …. because WE know that performed better for centuries. EDECATE YOURSELF.

              Then Ron Paul began the influx of cuckservartives, destroying the movemement,. promoting uneducated nonsense like your and hello’s

    2. Well, it’s not an equivalency:

      1) the score is 14% vs 70% (DoD vs SocialServices)
      2) a government to defend freedom is valid and proper, whereas government as AdminOfEconomy and DistributorOfWealth is not.

      1. So … you’d be okay with spending 60% on the military?
        Tell us again about false equivalencies!
        Or total irrelevance!!!

        1. @John Galt is back

          Non sequitur.

          ——————————–
          What is your position on the percentage that should be spent for DoD vs SocialServices?

          1. Non sequitur.

            EVASION. Deny and revise YOUR metric..

            What is your position on the percentage that should be spent for DoD vs SocialServices?

            STILL the most god-awful stupid way to do a budget. AND BACKWARDS!.

            YOU would start with a total budget — an amount pulled out of thin air
            THEN allocate it per some — god knows what — percentages..
            Then …. if we reduce either one … we’d reduce the other to maintain a percentage????

            Pay attention.
            1) Determine the budget for each, based on actual priorities.
            2) THEN add them together.

            Yours is an argument by and for tribal goobers — BOTH liberals and conservatives — which assumes the budget should reflect political; ideologies …. which is why ….. Left – Right = Zero (no difference)

            1. Your responses are obtuse and scattered…

              How about this…please post your ideal form of government and what it should collect/spend.

              If you do that, we might get somewhere.

  18. The only thing more expensive than the best military in the world, is the second best.

    There are lots of opportunities to improve the procurement process, but the military needs to be so much better than the next best that we are not challenged. This is the primary life-saving strategy we use.

    1. ‘… the military needs to be so much better than the next best….’

      No, it just has to be good enough so that it is obvious that the value to be obtained from attacking the military’s home country would be less than the costs occasioned by the attack. You could see this playing out around Russia between 1990 and last year. Russia was much weaker than the US, and was the target of various hostile maneuvers and provocations, but the American leadership would have been insane to, say, directly intervene in post-coup Ukraine because the cost would have been much greater than the prize. So they didn’t. (I mean even more insane than the neocon Bush-Obama-Clinton-etc. establishment.)

    2. We have nuclear bombs. What else do we need to forestall invasion?

  19. The problem with the statement “we’re spending too much on defense” is that it avoids addressing what specifically should be cut. How many aircraft carriers should be moth-balled? How much less should we spend in pushing the technological boundary for aircraft or missiles? How many foreign bases do we close and how does that impact our ability to project strength when we need to? People are always the most expensive part of this calculation….how much do we shrink our fighting force…..while still opposing China expansionism in the South China sea, while still opposing nuclear proliferation in North Korea, while still leading the opposition to Iran getting the bomb, while trying to prevent terrorist groups from gaining footholds in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Syria, and while trying to reasonably buffer former soviet satellite countries from an increasingly nationalistic Russia?

    Strategy and tactics matter in this discussion. We are making investments today in what we want our fighting force to look like in 20 years. Simply bitching about the F-35 and how expensive defense contractors are misses the boat….if you stop building submarines….in time you lose the ability to build them well as workers relocate. Yes, this is an expensive gamble at times…but one I don’t want to lose just because of ideology. Introduce a credible plan of what you want to stop influencing and how much less capability is required..starting with how much dollars to cut just sounds kind of stupid.YMMV

    1. >>”The problem with the statement “we’re spending too much on defense” is that it avoids addressing what specifically should be cut.”

      That seems totally backwards. FIRST address what we need. And why. THEN cut everything else. .

      >>>”I don’t want to lose just because of ideology”

      Or go bankrupt because of ideology. Performance-based budgeting has been in common use for at least 30 years.

      1. I thought my comment was clear that we need to decide what we would stop doing…implying that we would be prioritizing what we should be doing. Where in this Reason article do you see any effort to wrestle with strategic or tactical goals? That’s my complaint….just bringing up the cost of the F-35 or how much we spend relative to other countries is superficial stuff….if not the F-35, then what should we be doing? If you are not proposing a time machine to go back and undo that decision, what are we left to analyze? Is this just a hand-wringing lament that we should avoid making bad decisions? Duhhhh.

        I agree that defense spending must be cut somehow….I believe deficit spending must be addressed…but the political climate is working against much meaningful happening here…on entitlements or defense. We need to commit to a Simpson-Bowles or Grace type of commission that will deliver bi-partisan pain….but the average voter is not interested in giving up anything or delivering a responsible budget. Something will need to break before we see meaningful progress…and then it might be too late

        1. I thought my comment was clear that we need to decide what we would stop doing…implying that we would be prioritizing what we should be doing.

          “I clearly implied the exact opposite of what I said”
          Oh.

    2. That’s right. You never know, so spend money on all the things.

  20. I’d cut their bloated fuckem budgets by 85%, anyone who says that’s too much is an authoritarian asshole so fuck em anyway.

    1. The authoritarian asshole is quite obviously you. When did your absolute monarchy seize power?
      You’ve dissolved Congress. May we still have elections at all? If so, for what purpose, Your Highness

  21. While watching Patton doing what?

  22. Andrew is a valuable asset to Reason. I joined the John Hospers Libertarian Defense Caucus before joining the LP. There were tens of thousands of communist fusion bombs to worry about in 1981. Today Russia is full of nice bikes, vehicles, clothing, food, appliances, well-fed, good-looking people who have FELT communism and starvation in the past. It makes the platform-denying conspiracy hawkers seem almost sane. I want Russia to elect leaders that LIKE libertarianism, and I hope they will respond in kind.

  23. Meh. I like Heaton, but can’t stand these lightweight analyses that trump out “amazing facts”…that may or may not be meaningful. Defense as % of GDP has dropped like a stone over the past 50 years, and doesn’t like to be the debt driver entitlements will be. Comparing US spending to others without a PPP or other adjustment also seems misleading.

    Defense could surely be trimmed, and the procurement process could always be better, but overall I can’t get excited about cuts to this.

    I’ll also defend the F35. Yeah it’s the most expensive single program…but that’s mainly because we didn’t spend even more dollars on 4 or 5 separate projects for separate planes for each branch. On top of that, it’s a quantum leap in capability. What’s next, an interview with that dumbass Pierre Sprey ?

    1. but can’t stand these lightweight analyses that trump out “amazing facts”…that may or may not be meaningful.

      Followed by THE most useless fact of the year!

      . Defense as % of GDP has dropped like a stone over the past 50 years

      World War II is over!.
      AND THE COLD WAR!!!.

      1. So we agree the % has moved in the right direction. What’s your point ?

        1. So we agree the % has moved in the right direction. What’s your point ?

          What I said One more time.
          You said:.

          tbut can’t stand these lightweight analyses that trump out “amazing facts”…that may or may not be meaningful.

          Followed by your own “amazing fact” that was totally meaningless.
          And now I see this is your style.

          1. Keep up the posting, brother !

            Now and again, I forget what real progressives are like. You posts are a good reminder of the witless, humorless hectoring, the willfull ignorance, and the rapid-fire strawman non-sequiturs passing for argument that I’ve come to know and loathe. A bit more and I’ll be wearing a MAGA t-shirt.

            1. iheartskeet
              “I forget what real progressives are like”

              I forget how fucking stupid Trumpsters are! Bend over, This will jam up your ass easier!!
              Here’s the web archive of my published political writing.
              Check the ones on taxes, health care and federalism … to see how far your head is up your ass, Trumpster diver..

              You posts are a good reminder of the witless, humorless hectoring, the willfull ignorance, and the rapid-fire strawman non-sequiturs passing for argument that I’ve come to know and loathe.

              No response. Just adding to your ridicule. (sneer).

              A bit more and I’ll be wearing a MAGA t-shirt.

              To go with your Dunce Hat? (lol)

              1. You might reflect on how unhinged, rude, and psychotic your posts are when people can’t even tell that you are libertarian…on a libertarian website. With actual libertarians on it.

                Thanks for the in-kind donation to the Trump 2020 campaign !

                1. Boldface in defense of MORE aggression by conservative cyber-bully

                  Launches aggression: :

                  >>Now and again, I forget what real progressives are like. Your posts are …. witless, humorless hectoring, the willful ignorance, and the rapid-fire strawman non-sequiturs passing for argument that I’ve come to know and loathe.

                  PROVEN A FOOL for calling me a progressiv …GOES FULL SNOWFLAKE

                  >>“You might reflect on how unhinged, rude, and psychotic your posts are”.

                  Even crazier than the thread to that point
                  (sneer)

                  1. Lol I rest my case

                    1. Jam it up a bully’s ass and ….

                      Lol I rest my case

                      MOAR infantile bullshit! (sneer)

  24. They need to start an approved “miltiary adventure” program. Country’s defense takes care of defense and proactive strikes as a form of defense. But military adventurism to satisfy an ideological goal to take out a confirmed bad group? Get an OK from the defense department, but fund it yourself and hire mercenaries and US is not liable. US will sell intelligence that is deemed acceptable to disclose to such a group.

    I am sick of taxpayers paying for some rich lobbies wish list or the military dreams of people who lack something in their lives.

  25. Of course, since the capitalism uber alles meme says that any wealth bestowed upon the untermensch must be done through “work”, and there is not enough work around for everyone, heavy spending on the military in essence provides a lot of work that must be done by Americans (i.e., defense jobs are NOFORN at the very least). Of course we could come up with some sort of hybrid Guaranteed Income & income rationing (i.e., ration the ability for folks to earn a certain amount of money, after which confiscatory taxes are applied, so as to incentivize such folks to stpe aside and let other folks work), but that would be SOCIALISM! EEK!

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