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Is Military Spending Crippling America?

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posted on Jan, 26 2009 @ 08:03 PM
In places where folks breathe rarified air, the inefficiency and exorbitant costs of the military are the whole point. It's one way to dredge lots of currency out of the economy in order to stave off inflation. The less efficient, the better.

But the money doesn't really disappear. It goes into the pockets of contractors. Contractors whose executive boards sometimes include people who once worked for the military in procurement, say.

posted on Jan, 26 2009 @ 08:13 PM
reply to post by RFBurns

Let's not forget the GREAT FBI, CIA, NSA, etc, work. How they slack off to make it look like there isn't enough manpower or resources to get even more money from us. Look at Sibel Edmunds.

posted on Jan, 26 2009 @ 08:23 PM
reply to post by marg6043
I sure do! And no one was held accountable for such incompatance! These leaders may have hurt our military by loosing and wrongfuly spending all that cash!

posted on Jan, 26 2009 @ 10:32 PM

Originally posted by dooper
Without a military, the point was, even a piss-poor country as small as Cuba could do a walk-through.

I dont think the OP was suggesting we totally axe the military or cut it back so much that our troops end up fighting with sticks and stones and sling shots.

Originally posted by dooper
Without a very strong military, these social programs and government agencies wouldn't even exist.

Without the people, neither would exsist. At some point you have to divert those funds into the people. Otherwise you end up with no new people to put into the military forces, or have the people who design, build and test the toys.

Originally posted by dooper
As the nation would fall.

Look at what happend to the former Soviet Union and why it collapsed. They thought that having the biggest largest military hardware infrastructure was the way, it only ended up breaking the country and caused a domino effect of their economy to a point where they had all this hardware, but no people to run the hardware, and no money to fund upkeep and replacement hardware.

So unless it is balanced out to where you maintain a good funding income to the military, you also have to make sure that it doesnt become overbloated to a point where your breaking your society down financially. What good is a huge military when there is no society to defend?

Originally posted by dooper
And while other nations may not like to hear this, their own defense budgets are much smaller, thanks to the large defense budget of the US.

Much of the other nations you speak of actually buy their hardware from the US. That is why their budgets are less because they are not manufacturing the hardware, they are simply buying it.

So with that in mind, why not the US military industrial complex re-invest that profit back into their projects instead of lining their accounts with those profits and continue to withdraw billions out of the tax dollar funds?

I think the point here is that the structure of how the military is financed could be changed that would not seriously hamper its effectiveness and ability.

With all this billions being spent, why are so many vets comming home to only feel abandoned and left out of those promises they were told before going on assignment? I know of many vet friends that came back from Iraq and Afghanistan and even Desert Storm and are in worse shape than they were before enlisting! Perhaps a portion of those billions going into fancy RC toys and drones and black op projects can be diverted to taking care of these service men and women who were promised they would not be left out.

I think its a good idea. They do too.


posted on Jan, 26 2009 @ 10:42 PM
Just got a link to a new weapon system that is unbelievable!

It's called the DREAD. It's electrical, can fire 120,000 rounds per minute, no recoil, fires .30 or .50, and is hell on wheels.

It doesn't look anything like a standard firearm, and without gunpowder, or the noise, it looks like spending and grants to develop new weapons systems, has just now received a quantum leap forward.

And who says we can't find new, efficient ways to kill our enemies?

It's been a known fact that war is not enabled by soldiers or equipment. War is enabled by funding.

No funds, no capability to successfully war.

No capability to successfully war is to become extinct.

posted on Jan, 26 2009 @ 10:50 PM
reply to post by dooper

Which brings to my point I made earlier in the thread. We invest in death, not life.

Quite frankly, this type of weapon is basically a rail gun offshoot. Nothing really new, and definately IMO, nothing really impressive.

Sorry but I dont go jumping up and down praising new ways to kill human beings. I believe in defense, but not dumping so much effort and resource into finding so many ways to kill.

The thing requires power, energy to operate. Even that is vulnerable to certian counter measures.

For instance, a good EMP pulse can wipe out its generator or computer fireing control units, even shorting out its accelerator chambers.

What then? Simple..back to the gunpowder. And when gun powder runs out..what then? Back to the bow and arrow, or combat knife, or eventually, hand to hand combat.

Point is..there is no need to claim any victory when your huddled up in some bunker somewhere with one hand on a joystick and the other on a fire button and your controlling some robot or UAV loaded up with weapons. At that point, I begin to wonder who the brave ones are. The ones out in the field doing real battle, or the ones hiding behind huge bunkers behind a screen and control pannel.

Wow..another way to kill. Woopiee. Im sure that will help the economy and put people back to work real soon.


[edit on 26-1-2009 by RFBurns]

posted on Jan, 26 2009 @ 11:00 PM
I'm so sick of that excuse "yeah - we'd put millions of people out of jobs if we stop the great war machine" blah blah....

Just think what we could do if we didn't spend so much time, energy and money on building things that kill people.

We could for instance:

Build stuff. You know!
Beer (sorry - most American beer sucks lol)
Healthcare infrastructure

I still believe this country is the land of opportunity. I'm just sick of it being outsourced.

posted on Jan, 26 2009 @ 11:05 PM
reply to post by RFBurns

No, RF, it's not a rail gun. It's not remotely like a rail gun. No rail gun, and on your other point - yes, it is something to get excited about.

I just love your automatic dismissals. You already know about this thing, but you don't have a clue about it.

You may want to read up on it before you go talking. Just because it's electric, doesn't mean it's a rail gun. Three inches high, round, and a couple feet in diameter.

I don't know why in the world I wasted time reading about it when I could have just asked you.

And to suggest we only invest in death is BS.

Weapons are made to preserve life.

The better your weapons, the better chance you have to preserve you life.

posted on Jan, 26 2009 @ 11:50 PM

Originally posted by RFBurns
Having worked in one key military contracting company back in 81, shortly after earning my EE degree, it was amazing to see that much of the materials we worked with were no different from materials one could find off the shelf at the local hardware store or electronics supply store.

Heh, more often than not, most of those raw materials like pannel plates and knobs and bulbs and things like resistors and diodes or even certian IC chips, came from the closest supply house than some fancy schmancy high end specialized industrial manufacturer.

Glass is glass, vinyl is vinyl, rubber is rubber, velcro is velcro. But you see in the military industrial complex, the cost of raw materials is not on the same level as it is for those same materials out here in the public realm..they are much, much higher.

Now this doesnt mean that there are not specialized components or materials used in military hardware, there is. But most of that specialized material is not manufactured overseas or across the boarders. They are made right here. Last thing you want is for a specialized microprocessor chip or special application computer module to be made in China or Korea.

Putting this all together, there are some items that are a little pricey, but those items alone wont create the huge buldging military bust-a-gut like it is. It is the price gouging of the rest of the common materials that are jacked up so high, and replicated more than the specialized items, is the very reason why the annual budget is chewed up by the defense spending.
[edit on 26-1-2009 by RFBurns]

I have to disagree with you RFBurns. From my experience (18 years working for a major ($1.4 billion annual budget, 12,000 contractor employees) non-DOD contractor in budgeting and cost accounting), it is not price gouging but having to abide by the literally 1000s (if not 10s of 1000s) of regulations that makes the government so expensive to operate. You may say that glass is glass but when laws govern the way you have to buy the glass then even ordinary glass becomes very expensive. Just one subset of regulations to think about – federal procurement. Do you have any idea how many regs are involved with procuring a paperclip? I can think of 4 right off of the top of my head and I wasn’t even in the procurement group so I’m sure they would know of a lot more than I do.

Let’s get back to your glass example. First you would have to determine if there were any minority or women-owned small businesses that were already pre-registered with you that could supply the glass. If there were, you would have to buy the glass from them at what they charge you for it. In most cases, small businesses cannot give you the best price (or even close to the best price) but you have to do it because that’s the law. Ok, so if there weren’t any minority or women-owned small businesses, then you would have to go out for competitive bid. This is when the local white male owned Glass Shop can bid on providing the glass. In most cases, the local Glass Shop has had experience with you buying their glass and have no desire in doing business with you because they know that it will take 1-2 months for you to pay them (this is an entirely different set of regulations that the contractor has to abide by and is a lengthy process) and they can’t afford to sell you the glass. So, who ends up bidding on the glass contract? Large businesses that know how the government works and has enough capital to wait for payment. That’s when the glass is contracted. When the delivery man delivers the glass to the site, he can’t go directly to the person who ordered the glass, he has to take it to a receiving point where the glass can be confirmed by someone not involved with procuring it. Finally, the glass is then delivered to the person who ordered it.

The cost of the glass is only a portion of the total cost to the government. Included in the cost to the gov are indirect costs associated with abiding by all the imposed myriad of regulations. This example, although very simplified, would look something like this:
$10 piece of glass
1 manhour for the contractor person ordering the piece of glass to write the requisition, get all of the required approvals, and deliver it to procurement.
1 manhour for the contractor minority & women-owned coordinator to determine if any small businesses are interested.
1 manhour for the contractor procurement specialist to write the request for bid, get approvals, mail it and post it publically.
1 manhour for the contractor person at the receiving dock to perform the confirmation, do the paperwork, and stow it in the warehouse.
1 manhour for the contractor delivery person to deliver the glass to the work site

That’s the DIRECT portion of the cost. INDIRECT costs haven’t even been considered yet. The indirect costs associated with this piece of glass include the salaries and benefits of all of the people involved in regulatory programs that are not associated with a work product per se. For example, environmental, safety and health, quality assurance, the controller organization, general counsel (legal), internal oversight, public relations, human resources, etc… to name a few. (Just so you know, all of these programs have regulations pertaining to them as well.) Indirect costs are generally 15% of direct costs.

Let’s say that 1 manhour is $40 (that person’s labor rate plus a component of their management’s labor rate). If my calcs are right, in this example a $10 piece of glass will cost the government $315.

It is truly a NIGHTMARE! I’m not saying that all government contractors are not “price gougers”, I’m just saying that there’s more to the story than people think about.

[edit on 26/1/2009 by Iamonlyhuman]

posted on Jan, 27 2009 @ 12:06 AM
Well it doesnt matter if you disagree with me or not, I know what I know, and was involved with stuff none of you could imagine or even come close to being involved with. And if I could disclose it here, I would, however I am still bound by certian oaths.

The point is that because of buldge spending on hardware we dont need when already we are so far ahead of the curve against anyone else, is not just crippling our economy, it is eventually going to bankrupt the reserve system too.

When the flow of funds are gone, what happens then? Will your electric gun fix it?

We could take the example of what happend to the former Soviet Union, or be stupid and sit there with chips on our shoulders and wait around for the bottom to come falling out and end up just like their military, stagnet, hardware sitting in docks and airstrips rotting away because there isnt any funds to maintain it.

When applying basic economics 101 to even your self declared military might, even the stroke of a pen can bring that might right down to the ground so fast you wont know what the heck happend.

That gun is nothing new and doesnt impress me. I do know about it, more than you apparently. You really think they are going to tell you..john q public about how its really made and how it really works? Heh...ok whatever.

Its easy to be blinded by the 'ohh ahh' that you dont even recognize when you are being dupped. But then doesnt surprise me to see so many that are so easy to capture.

I for one am glad I got out of that field, creating items of distruction was never my bag, nor was it what I wanted my career to become, a contributor to death than to life. From that point on, I swore to myself that I would never praise any new instrument of death, nor consider it to be of any signficant progress to the goal of preserving humanity.

Enjoy your WMD's.

posted on Jan, 27 2009 @ 08:30 AM
reply to post by Iamonlyhuman

The dilemma, right now that glass that we are to use as an example doesn't come anymore from America either, it comes from China as an example also, so the money it doesn't comeback to the America economy but ends up in the economy of some foreign country.

posted on Jan, 27 2009 @ 08:35 AM
reply to post by PammyK

Interesting that in our nation we regard incompetency with presidential medals of honors, Paul Bremen stole plenty of tax payer money and squandered the rest under his care while in charge of Iraq after the invasion as a provisional government.

But he rather than ending in jail for what he did he got Bush to give him a presidential medal of honor.

No wonder our nation is in such a mess when now we are rewarding again incompetence in the financial sector and corporate America with tax payer money to be squandered by the thieves once again.

This are things that should open the eyes of the people in this nation to see how corruption runs rampant in our government.

posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 12:17 AM
reply to post by dooper

As was pointed out, the USSR fell because they spent so much on technology and on nothing else.

Any wonder why the states are bankrupt, we've been paying more in income taxes each year since 2003, the society's infrastructure is falling apart and we have nothing else? Because these CEOs are robbing us, thanks. David Walker was right, we'll be a third world nation before 2020, but hey at least the government got a #load of cash from us that wasn't even put to good use.

posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 12:23 AM

Originally posted by dooper
That's a great idea! Cut military spending, disband the military, put hundreds of thousands of defense industry workers on the dole, and we can expect Cuba to invade and take over within a week.

That's a great idea!


posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 12:25 AM
reply to post by The Bald Champion

In the words of Lewis Black (but for Iranians): "They're going to build a bomb, and 500 Cubans are going to throw it at us"

posted on Jul, 8 2010 @ 10:23 AM
I think it is time to fire the whole military. Canada and Mexico will protect us. I wish I had voted for Ron Paul. He is very smart. Maybe we should stop spending to protect us from the Soviet Union. Maybe a trillion dollars saved over the next 10 years could be put towards the national debt.

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