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The Pentagon Strangles Our Economy: Why The U.S. Has Gone Broke

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posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 10:46 AM
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The Pentagon Strangles Our Economy: Why The U.S. Has Gone Broke


alternet.org

The military adventurers in the Bush administration have much in common with the corporate leaders of the defunct energy company Enron. Both groups thought that they were the "smartest guys in the room" -- the title of Alex Gibney's prize-winning film on what went wrong at Enron. The neoconservatives in the White House and the Pentagon outsmarted themselves. They failed even to address the problem of how to finance their schemes of imperialist wars and global domination.

As a result, going into 2008, the United States finds itself in the anomalous position of being unable to pay for its own elevated living standards or its wasteful, overly large military establishment. Its government no longer even attempts to reduce the ruinous expenses of maintaining huge standing armies, replacing the equipment that seven years of wars have destroyed or worn out, or preparing for a war in outer space against unknown adversaries. Instead, the Bush administration puts off these costs for future generations to pay or repudiate. This fiscal irresponsibility has been disguised through many manipulative financial schemes (causing poorer countries to lend us unprecedented sums of money), but the time of reckoning is fast approaching.

(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 10:46 AM
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And herein lies why these maniacs keep pushing theur endless wars down our throats---GREED. It's no wonder why they are hiring talking heads as "war salesman" to pimp out the wars, and why they won't let us leave Iraq, or why they are so desperate to start up their next war with Iran. They have become nothing but a giant BUSINESS, and death and destruction fuels their endless profiteering...Unfortunately for the rest of us, it's OUR pockets that they are emptying out to do this...



There are many reasons for this budgetary sleight-of-hand -- including a desire for secrecy on the part of the president, the secretary of defense, and the military-industrial complex -- but the chief one is that members of Congress, who profit enormously from defense jobs and pork-barrel projects in their districts, have a political interest in supporting the Department of Defense. In 1996, in an attempt to bring accounting standards within the executive branch closer to those of the civilian economy, Congress passed the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act. It required all federal agencies to hire outside auditors to review their books and release the results to the public. Neither the Department of Defense, nor the Department of Homeland Security, has ever complied. Congress has complained, but not penalized either department for ignoring the law. All numbers released by the Pentagon should be regarded as suspect.




alternet.org
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 26-4-2008 by DimensionalDetective]



posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 11:56 AM
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Actually we're going broke because of sweeping social programs like Social Security. It's getting worse and worse. I'm no fan of the Iraq War (I've always opposed it, though I question whether we should pull out right now), but you have to be realistic.



posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 01:14 PM
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reply to post by Johnmike
 


I would agree the social programs are part of it, but S.S. probably not. They stole the $$ from S.S. long ago. Money that we, employed, paid in. It was never theirs to use and should not have been any effect on any bottom line to this point in time. Only now, with the baby-boomers retiring in droves, should it even started to be a drain on the system.

All the other social programs... yes... a constant drain, as those are not specifically and directly funded by a portion of our paychecks. BUT... the cost of our military operations in the Middle East alone is certainly the main cause of this country being broke. That is painfully obvious. Open your eyes...



posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 02:09 PM
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Originally posted by RabbitChaser
the cost of our military operations in the Middle East alone is certainly the main cause of this country being broke. That is painfully obvious. Open your eyes...

Nope. National debt has raised a bit, but it's been worse, and we haven't raised taxes to pay for it.

As for social security, it doesn't work like that. It would make sense if you paid into an account that was yours, but you're really just paying other peoples' social security money. It was always like that. I'm all for privatizing social security (see: abolishing it) and replacing it with individual investment because having the government do it is, as is painfully obvious, worthless. You could be gaining interest in investment; instead, you have to beg the government for money that was never yours in the first place.



posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 02:13 PM
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reply to post by Johnmike
 


Social Security is a Trust, not a social program. It's purpose to to generate revenue for the UNITED STATES and nothing else.



posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 02:34 PM
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reply to post by DimensionalDetective
 


BLAME STUPID AMERICANS!

Where sane people are intune with what is right... feeling a deep instictive distrust of (Mr. Bush) from the start... for some strange reason... those "ultra patriotic" Republican worshippers couldn't see the con as it slapped them in the face!

I'm speaking to the wimpish pawns who forced themselves to believe the "Devils brigade" (Bush - Cheney - Rice) would save the day!

But ohhhhh... what 8 years of trickery has exposed, as you loose your jobs, homes, sons & sanity at breakneck pace...

Now, ALL OF A SUDDEN... you have curageously grown balls to speak-out against the bumbling fool you voted for! ----- May God save your flag flying souls!

America has gone broke simply because stupid republicans voted for a stupid moron!

To quote Forrest Gump - "Stupid is... as Stupid does!"



[edit on 26-4-2008 by Level X]



posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 02:58 PM
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It costs a lot of money to build an Empire.

If we could have a real debate about American military involvement overseas (we're in what, 160 countries now?) I think most Americans would judge it as not worth the expense - at the very least.

But the American political & media environment doesn't allow for that kind of honesty.

Look at the beating poor Ron Paul got when he stated the obvious fact that it's our constant meddling in the affairs of other countries that brought us 9/11, and in fact most of the "threats" we allegedly face.

Our foreign entanglements do not make us safer.
They make us a target.



[edit on 4/26/08 by xmotex]



posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 03:18 PM
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We have people in our governement that is so involved in corporate America that they have killed our nations wealth in favor of profit margins.

Number of U.S. Companies Sold Since 1978
15,397 Companies
$1,974,779,092,616


America is not longer a producer of wealth but a nation of consumers that at this time are living on debt.

Foreign Financing of
U.S. Government Debt
Japan $517.2 Bn
China $405.5 Bn
United Kingdom $299.7 Bn
Brazil $128.8 Bn
Oil Exporters $126.7 Bn
Luxembourg $76.3 Bn
Hong Kong $54.3 Bn


In order to support the outrageous deficit and to financiar our debt our government depends on foreign nations to support us financially.

www.economyincrisis.org...

Current Debt as 04/24/2008, Held by the Public 5,207,367,063,908.35. 4 Intragovernmental Holdings 4,125,835,077,338.75, Total Public Debt Outstanding 9,333,202,141,247.10.

Free markets and outsourcing is killing America.



posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 03:26 PM
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reply to post by Johnmike
 


Yes... I see your points. I think we all agree to one thing... giving our money to this Gov't is not a financially sound idea.

Again, I won't apologize for plugging this guy...


*I support Social Security reform that creates ownership for senior citizens- I believe Social Security reform is a property rights issue. The money we pay into the Social Security system is our personal property. Each taxpayer should have ownership over that property- and therefore be allowed to leave that property in a will to their loved ones.
*I also believe in CHOICE as it applies to Social Security- all Americans should have the choice to create personal retirement savings accounts that give us ownership over our own retirement savings (the same right that federal employees and politicians enjoy).


There is much more here.



posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 04:32 PM
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Seems to me that Pentagon alone is almost entirely responsible for our national debt, and they don't even know what almost a quarter of it was even spent on...



Perhaps is it weren't for such terrible spending practices and accountability, the American people wouldn't need social programs to fall back on after they have been robbed. This is the biggest looting in history, but instead people would rather complain about having to help their fellow man who has fallen on hard times, or has worked hard all their life and deserves to take back a little bit of what they have paid in. :shk:



posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 04:56 PM
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I know of the disapproval of one-line posts but I can offer one solution of four words: Mandated Transparency of Oversight.



posted on Apr, 27 2008 @ 11:15 AM
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I can think of several reasons why the US currently has a national debt running into trillions of $.

I'm no economist, but the following is basic common sense I think.

If you're going to have a huge military capability (way, WAY more than you actually need to basically defend the country) you need to pay for it, and to pay for it you have TWO choices - both involving taxation.

1/ You either TRY to live within your means, and raise the money from direct and indirect taxes - problematical, since tax revenue cannot be guaranteed... or

2/ You borrow heavily on the basis that you will pay it back from tax revenue. This guarantees you get to have your military machine NOW and pay for it later. THis is the preferred option of most governments, as short term you can live beyond your means.

Unfortunately the problem with both options is that they rely on people and businesses flourishing, so that tax can be raised to pay back what you've borrowed (at least some of it), so you in turn guarantee that you can continuously borrow as required.

The whole process has began to break down, or perhaps is already broken. Here are some reasons.

Government has borrowed way too much... so much so that if everyone in the USA paid 100% tax on everything they would STILL have no chance of repaying the national debt.

In the rush to send business offshore to increase their profits, many companies have forgotten that their customers are also their employees. Make someone redundant (or have to get a low-paid service job) and that person can no longer afford to buy your product. You may produce it cheaper in India or China, but you're going to have to sell it cheaper if you want to carry on selling it.

So now wages are lower, more people are unemployed, companies have moved offshore, and are having to sell their products cheaper. What does this combination do to government revenue in the form of direct and indirect taxation?... Reduce it substantially

So... Government gets less income but STILL has to feed a huge war machine... It's answer is to borrow more and more, whilst paying back less and less.

Out of control government spending + decreased income from taxes + rampant consumer borrowing (only way to afford those offshore goodies) + no production industry = Trillions of $ of debt, decaying infranstructure, non-existant medical provisions for millions, tent-cities sprouting up everywhere and a HUGE mess that affects EVERYONE, not just the US.

How much longer can that huge military machine be kept going for?... Who is going to pay for it?... and how?



posted on Apr, 27 2008 @ 11:31 AM
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A couple of questions here.

I see a lot of comments about how much the war costs, but other than the expenditures for armament - bullets, bombs etc. - as well as additional fuel being consumed, is it that much more than what the armed forces cost if they were all at home or their overseas military bases and not engaged in war?


I'm trying to figure out this statement as well, " I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace."

Militant pacifist seems to be a bit of an oxymoron, but along with that how do you tell which wars for peace to fight for?



posted on Apr, 27 2008 @ 11:39 AM
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reply to post by Johnmike
 


Nonsense... the amount spent on social programs are a pittance compared to what the Pentagon spends.

Eisenhower warned of this in his famous last address to the American people when he addressed concerns about the military/industral complex.

An act of honesty we will never see from the current batch of presidential wannabes.



posted on Apr, 27 2008 @ 01:21 PM
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reply to post by grover
 


Originally posted by grover
Nonsense... the amount spent on social programs are a pittance compared to what the Pentagon spends.

U.S. Budget, 2007:
Original source: Wikipedia, converted from svg to jpg. Released into the public domain.


Are you sure?

[edit on 27-4-2008 by Johnmike]

[edit on 27-4-2008 by Johnmike]



posted on Apr, 27 2008 @ 01:41 PM
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Its so disconcerting to me that many recognize the nation is circling this lamentable state of economic decrepitude, yet while debating its' cause we seem destined to stay the course, fractioning the problem down thus making it impossible to solve.

The 'cost' of things seems to be the focus, according to some. The 'Pentagon' is bleeding us dry', this is countered by others with "its the nanny-state 'social services'," or the soon upcoming "the Fed, they keep devaluing our dollar."

Guess what, I have a fair analogy for you, suspend your disbelief for a moment...,

We live in the world of the 1954 'Toho' classic Godzilla (Gojira), and were debating the horrible expense represented by continually having to deal with the death-dealing destruction machine Godzilla. Imagine the silliness of the debate between those blaming the dangerous fiery-atomic breath, and those that hold the massive tail is the biggest culprit, while some focus on the gigantic feet as the real problem.

I must remind you that the Pentagon is a consumer. Social Security is a trust - a savings account.

The problem here is the fact that we forget that whatever money is spent on the Pentagon is spent by way of 'paying a business' for materials, or services. It's the businesses that are walking away with all this money, making certain that their profit is maximized. By way of simple logic that translates into - Making certain that the Pentagon gets as little as possible for every penny it spends. Because the whole point of doing business is to make a profit NO?

In fact, every government agency that 'purchases' from civilian businesses is a 'victim' of the profit model. The government as it has been rendered is merely a 'business opportunity'. It's a machine being re-engineered to provide opportunities to move wealth from the common fund of the people to the 'enterprise' we call 'business'.

You can blame a specific agency all you like, but thats like blaming a single hole in a sieve for letting liquid pass through.

If we do not begin to address the massively vulnerable nature of the government-business relationships in this country, we will never stop the bleeding.

It was the responsibility of our elected officials to ensure that abuses like those we're seeing never happen. They are in the very position to do so. They have both the opportunity and the means to restore fiscal control to the nation. What they lack is the motive. In fact, you'll soon agree, the motive is NOT forthcoming.

We were used. America, as a whole community, has been cheated. It began with the frightening effectiveness of 'popular' media to contain and control our attention. Then our politicians were replaced with, what some might call 'tools.', but in the end they are just more 'business people' Once 'inside' they are are installed into functions for controlling the money for the government - then they spend more than is available - all the time. We borrow more fake money, and then repay it (just the interest mind you) with wealth extracted from the citizens.

Slowly we have placed more and more 'successful businessmen' in control. Spending and spending, in a way they would never do with their own money. We ask other businessmen to review their activities. We start to think that the country should be run like a business. Instead of a nation.

Profit and wealth are the problem, not the Pentagon, or the DoD. These are just 'money teats' for businessmen, who have the most attractive of carrots to offer those in control - wealth. It all revolves on the well protected stance that being a senator, or congressman, or even president is a business opportunity, not a civil service. That's the paradigm that must be destroyed.

Since the business concerns in our nation secured 'citizen' status they have successfully managed to ensure that unless you are a rich business person - a political career of any consequence is out of the question. In fact, I don't think many would dare seriously contend that 'anyone can rise to become president', as they used wax patriotically in pre-1970 elementary schools.

I think one small 'trick' to screw with the PTB would be to popularize the notion that since you have to be rich to be elected, maybe they should get no benefits and no pay. It's not like they need it.

Remember, the wealth HAS TO GO SOMEWHERE. The agencies are spending it, but what they get for their money is always going to be as little as acceptable possible. How the money is spent cannot be controlled until you realize that you MUST also consider WHERE IT IS GOING. We are getting ripped off because we are following the 'script' of blaming different 'needs' instead of considering 'WHO is signing the checks? Who is actually walking away with the money? And how are the people served for the expense?'



posted on Apr, 27 2008 @ 02:15 PM
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reply to post by grover
 





posted on Apr, 27 2008 @ 02:18 PM
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reply to post by Johnmike
 


Well, if the Pentagon can lose a few trillion dollars here and there, I'm sure someone can cook the books enough to come up with a fancy-looking pie-chart that people like you will swallow.

EDIT to add: And don't forget, that the money the Pentagon lost, is a huge slice of our total national debt.



[edit on 4/27/0808 by jackinthebox]



posted on Apr, 27 2008 @ 02:34 PM
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History shows what happens when we ignore our national defense.

If you think military spending doesn't improve local economies, pay close attention the next time the Pentagon proposes mass base closures.

This is just a verbose argument for weakening the US militarily, so that we are not only vulnerable, but so those moneys can be dropped into the black hole of socialist programs.

The article also ignores the fact that we are in a war and the fact that our military isn't as big as it needs to be for the job that needs to be done.




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