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U.S. Senate Passes $612 Billion Defense Spending Bill

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posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 01:57 AM

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 02:05 AM
Westpoint, as I have studied and read your statements over time here on ATS, I can understand that you may come from a slightly mroe privelaged background than the average American Joe. A good deal of your justification for considerable expansion of the military is the constant expansion of American hegemony.

An Empire cannot expand indefinetly using its military and continue to neglect its citizens and infrastructure. You should know history has taught that over and over with EVERY empire that has believed it knows the solution to Complete World Hegimony. It always ends the same, and typically as a result of the same neglect.

I love America and really support what it takes to defend ourselves, I do not beleive however that extends to Defending Europe AND footing the cost as well. A good deal of this money goes to supporting the American military bases and Airfields in Europe, as well as the maintenance/equipment costs and salaries to the personell stationed there. They have their own Union, and their own military. We can probably shave off a good 50-70 billion from the budget alone by pulling out what can be considered unnecessary military installations in Europe.

We have NATO, if need be they will grant us use of their bases and airfields in the event of this fictional "Russian Invasion" of Europe which they like to keep you fearing to justify our presence there.

The Average Iraqi citizen does not necessarily want us to pull out every base and outpost in the country, they only want to stop seeing our Tanks and Humvees roaring down there streets, soldiers posted in all their neighborhoods and Choppers patrolling their skies. We can and WILL maintain the airfields and other military installations which are currently being established for regional stability. I assume reducing our presence in Iraq to simply our bases and off their streets can cut at least 60% of the cost of operations in Iraq.

In the meantime we can transfer the forces out of Urban Iraq and begin smoking out the Western Afghan border land with Pakistan to assist in reducing the Taliban threat. We have thousands of bots, in the skies and on the ground. Many are small and quiet, and quite lethal. We need to begin the machine invasion of the Western Aghan borderland and utilize our superior technological prowess to begin eliminating the threat there.

I feel that assuming we pull out unnecessary European bases, pulling out active forces from Iraq (with the exception of our established and under construction installations), and still deploy a force to be reckoned with in Afghanistan, we can cut the defense budget by at least $150 billion dollars.

What do you think about the Westpoint? I udnerstand our overseas bases provide jobs to their local economies, but our responsibility there is not that. Most of those nations have their own respectable forces and we have no business there. there is also no need for us to maintain a presence in order to "get our way" as much of the EU has quite friendly diplomatic and economic relations with the US.

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 02:37 AM
You are all asking the wrong question, guys. I'm actually surprised we're on the third page of replies and nobody has brought this up...

Look at our military expenditures over the past several years:
(Row 8)

2001 Defense spending was about $310 Bil
2002 Defense spending was $345 Bil
2003 Defense spending was $440 Bil
2004 Defense spending was $470 Bil
2005 Defense spending was $485 Bil
(Tables 4.1 & 4.2)

2006 Defense spending was about $450 Bil
2007 Defense spending was about $440 Bil

Looking deeper:
Afghanistan War began in late 2001, but the impact on spending is seen in 2002.
Iraq War began in late March of 2003, which would be reflected in the $100 Bil jump in DOD spending between 2002 & 2003.

Between these two wars, we've directed most of our spending at Iraq, and the numbers indicate the progress that has been made, with 2004 & 2005 being the most expensive in terms of dollars and this cost slowly ramping down as we approach the abillity to leave Iraq. Afghanistan is still a very active war, but due to the nature of where we're fighting and what we're fighting against, it hasn't cost us nearly as much to fight that war as it did to fight in Iraq at the height of the war.

Now, let's assume that we are, in fact, going to essentially pull the majority of our troops and much of our defense budget out of Iraq in 2009 as signs seem to idicate. Let's also assume that the Afghanistan war remains static in 2009, neither costing us more nor costing us less (which is pretty much status quo for that war to this point.)

Here's my question: what the hell is the government ramping up the DOD budget by over $150 Bil in preparation of, presuming that the anticipation of no new major military actions in 2009 would actually lead us to a lower DOD budget than we've seen since mid 2003? What is planned (or expected) that we the people don't have knowledge of in 2009 that will require the largest single year millitary budget increase ever for this country when you consider we should have lower expenditures thanks to troops returning stateside and our largest operation basically ending.

I know we got alot of equipment and troops in Iraq, but I seriously doubt that full remobilization of the troops, equipment, and fleets to bring them all back home accounts for that increase.

They're planning or expecting something, but what?

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 02:52 AM
Imagine the good that could have been done if they would have made as small of a change as rounding that number down to 600 billion and putting that saved 12 billion towards improving inner city education, or giving grants to start-up businesses, or researching alternative fuels.

Imagine the astounding amount of good we could have done if we paid to defend our borders and our homeland instead of our "interests abroad," whatever the heck those are.

I guess in the end, it's more important for the American government to rule the world than it is for it to serve its people. :-(

*hangs head in shame and walks away*

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 03:56 AM
reply to post by mattifikation

My God Mat you sound like a Socialist!!!

And I completely agree with you.

Hell just take 1 off that number. Just 1. Give it to medical research. Diseases are killing more of us then all the terrorist organizations put together.

Jesus, the fact that '1' in my example is a billion dollars

Sad times.

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 04:53 AM

Originally posted by kawz1
If we were to cut that budget down by a third, or in half, would that make us any more vulnerable to attack?

[edit on 18-9-2008 by kawz1]

Well, if our defense acts the way it did on 9/11, having $100 Trillion wouldn't even help.

The idea of security through vigilance will only result in imperfect security with excessive vigilance. The victims of this system will be the average American (some who are already on government watch lists for no apparent reason, not to mention the COST of all of this). If having the appearance of "being safe" means having the government watch my every move, it's not worth it. Really, NOT worth it.

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 05:01 AM
DELTA/WEST/ a typical response from you two, obviously you have not sussed out yet that YOUR COUNTRY does not need to be fighting two illegal wars or plundering the national budget to fight said wars. And wars being waged at the expense of everything and every one else regardless of the costs human and finacial.

I'm sure there must be somewhere where we can put all the Worlds Fanatics and let them wipe themselves out and let the rest of us live in peace and prosperity.

Given America's current financial situation this is an immoral amount of money to spend on weapons and war when the US has falling health, education and welfare standards. Plus of course 4k a day losing their homes and finding it difficult with ever increasing fuel and food prices. But maybe its just a case of that some American's as well as being ignorant and arrogant have too much money and don't give a dam about their fellow Ameican's plight or the fact that the countries going down the pan.

Well there is nothing newe in this, some humans have a knack of ignoring danger when its staring them in the face.

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 05:25 AM
link's only bits and bites on a computer, people.
they aren't even going through the hassle of printing the paper anymore, so we don't even have that expense.
what's a few billion bites on a computer? heck a good solar flare can wipe them out.
I'm serious, we can create these bits and bites all day doesn't cost us a cent. it just makes your cents worth less...which, well, why haven't you converted you cents into bits and bites yet anyway?? then we could just wipe them out too by that nice solar flare......

I'm halfway serious here at least...
if it costs the ptb virtually nothing to create this money, and they can make so much by their creation, what motive do they have not to keep churning out the bits and bites. at least before, they had to worry about the cost of the paper and ink... when we we on the gold standard and our coins were gold and silver, they had to worry about actually having the gold and silver to coin...
but now?? the creation is only restricted to the massive memory held within the biggest computers in the world...and they will probably never run out. although the are trying like heck to use it all!

ya know, to someone who makes just a little over $8 an hour....a billion dollars seems like an outrageous amount of money...maybe I am doing things wrong with this work bullcrap....
maybe we all are.
maybe we should all start creating our own bits and bytes....
if the powers that be aren't being restrained by the revenue they have coming in, or the voices of the people, or the fear of depression....
why should the rest of us be restrained in any way either?

everyday now it seems, you are hearing where they are throwing billions upon billions of dollars every which way....dollars, created out of thin air...
this is our economy, a bogus ruse with no foundation whatsoever. just keep kicking out those bits and bytes, guys!!! but, you little people down there, well, you have rules to play by. well, it seems they don't have any rules to play by, so why should we???

some communities in the country are experimenting with the idea of using their own local currency....
this might be the way to go....let the powers in washington play thier game, but start restricting your local economies some back down to the local level. that way, when their game blows up in their faces, well, our little neck of the woods will have at least something to run on .

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 05:53 AM
Thought the US was going broke! are they going to put this on a credit card or somthing?

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 05:54 AM
I would absolutely love for the US to pull out all the plugs and retreat back to our own yard.

Then, when the 1st request for assistance from elsewhere in the world comes to the White House bat phone we simply tell them to stick it where the sun don't shine.

Of course, at that point, the US will get blasted for not utilizing their super imperial defense machine to help and assist the wailing victims.

So $612B? Yeah, that's a real big number but I take great comfort in knowing that even if the whole planet comes attacking that we'll put up one heck of a fight and we won't go easy.

In response to the Aussie poster and others who think this country has it all wrong, I can only say that yes we are a culture that has become accustomed to a excessive level of convenience, security, SUV purchasing, and at times gluttony. However, those traits turn a significant gear in the World's economy. Hell, Walmart alone peddles nearly $1B a day of the world's products produced by underpaid, overworked citizens. So while you are spewing your diatribe about how awful the US is for this world understand that your way of life would likely be vastly altered had we split ourselves up amongst our northern and southern neighbors. In the end, you'd be spewing the same rhetoric towards whatever country happened to be driving the world leader boat unless you were along for the ride.

Do you really think the world would be a better place if Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, or any other country was holding the big stick? Like it or not, this world will always have a citizenship that will be stronger than all the others. With that will come a natural attempt to spread their culture, their religions, and their values that they feel are righteous. So if your ideology is a planet of equal defense spending, equal GNP, equal social support systems, etc you will have lived and died 1000's of times before you'll ever get even close.

and of course, for you fellow US citizens that seethe over how the US government works, don't forget, you have approximately 194 other options to pick from so raise your utopian back end up, gather all your things and go. It will run you around $100 for a passport but after that you are free to roam the world and spread your disdain for the domineering Americans that you had the misfortune of growing up with.

Bye-Bye, and don't let the door hit you in the BLEEP!

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 05:58 AM

Originally posted by magicmushroom
DELTA/WEST/ a typical response from you two, obviously you have not sussed out yet that YOUR COUNTRY does not need to be fighting two illegal wars or plundering the national budget to fight said wars.


I don't even need to see their responses anymore. I just need the thread topic, and my brain is so fantastical it references all their previous posts and I am able to formulate what they will say before they say it, with a 90% accuracy rate. Okay I will be fair, only threads that pertain to the US Military, War, 'terrorist organizations, and War. On second thought, let's make that a 95% accuracy rate

I hope they don't take this as a personal attack. It's just an observation. Just being honest.

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 06:05 AM
The implications of such a high defence budget go beyond that of the military. It is a foreign policy tool and with russian/chinese budgets also seeing huge escalations then i believe it to be warranted. It still stands at only about 4% GDP which historically isn't the greatest it's been, proportionally speaking.

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 07:05 AM
reply to post by DimensionalDetective

Errr, this sounds just about right, although this could probably feed the world for a whole year there is no doubt that some exciting new tech is in the pipeline, I wanna see scramjets!

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 02:52 PM
Why all this debate on the defense bill?

Why did congress even bother debating this?

See all the bailouts going on, the government should just pull more money out of thin air and pay for the military.

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 02:57 PM
im just baffled , the u.s economy is going down the drain and yet you guys spend money on this kind of loonazy.

just curious as to whos gonna pay for your debits with real money since the u.s has non.

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 04:11 PM
I don't know now many of you are really feeling a serious cash flow problem that will lead to foreclosures of unpaid credit card bills. Most of the middle class neighbors I have changed excess behavior like shorter trips and getting out less often, but nothing very drastic. There are still boats and like new cars in their driveways. There are only two foreclosures in our two block neighborhood and one other is almost gone (illegal immigrants!).

I think with all the government spending (Wars and Natural disasters) and the expensive bailouts, taxes will have to go up. No matter what the Presidential candidates say, taxes will rise. No more economic speculation with stimulating the economy with tax cuts. It's too late for that. We need the cash to buy down the debt or China will end up owning us.

As for feeling the pinch, my 401K is really suffering. That my recover over time, but 2009 will be a tough year with layoffs and inflation starting to make us all miserable.

As for the defense budget. Russia, China and the Middle East are all being naughty and North Korea is starting up their bad ways again, so we need the military to stay strong. That is the only thing that keeps those guys in check.

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