Ah, lists.... Always so easily digested, so easily crafted, and frequently incorrect.
Ujala Sehgal, the author of this piece, got a few things wrong; or at least she failed to research (or mention) some details, which makes her list
1 - America spends more on its military than THE NEXT 15 COUNTRIES COMBINED
True, but this also includes all DOD activity, CIA, NSA, NASA, and other agencies' activities (Like veterans' services) which many differentiate from
'military' costs. It's picking nits, but it would be more accurate - if your objective is to point out the heavy-handed military-industrial complex
revenue - to focus on combat and deployment numbers.
2 - In 2007, the amount of money labeled 'wasted' or 'lost' in Iraq -- $11 billion -- could pay 220,000 teachers salaries
Is that 'current' teacher's salaries or 2007 teacher's salaries? Are these dollar adjusted? Lacking any spending in Iraq, MUCH could have been
accomplished aside from teachers' salaries. And when you say "teachers" are you referring to public schools? Universities? How about educational
system administration and support services? Are they included? The statement is too vague for my taste; but then it was obviously intended for a
different - less discerning - audience, wasn't it?
3 - America's defense spending doubled in the same period that its economy shrunk from 32 to 23 percent of global output* (*This fact originally
said defense spending had doubled since 2008.)
And what period would that be, I wonder? Presumably, since 2008. Now spending dollars in 2008 have a different 'valence' when you talk about them in
2011 after we have clearly endured an economic storm (purposeful or otherwise). The spending to which the list refers is again, unspecific.
"Defense" spending is not all about bombs and bullets.
4 - The yearly cost of stationing one soldier in Iraq could feed 60 American families.
Again, unclear generalization because we don't know what you consider the 'average' family spending on an ostensible 3-meals-a-day lifestyle... which
many working adults are forced to forgo.
5 - The total known land area occupied by U.S. bases and facilities is 15,654 square miles -- bigger than D.C., Massachusetts, and New Jersey
As was stated earlier int he thread, clearly this is only talking about 'certain' bases and facilities; the numuber is quite a bit larger than that...
actually it's a LOT larger than that - especially when you include defense contractor facilities which the defense department is obliged to secure and
house... but these expenditures count as 'corporate' for reasons that escape all but the conspiratorially minded.
6 - Each day in Afghanistan costs the government more than it did to build the entire Pentagon.
The pentagon cost less than $100 million to complete when it was finally all said and done back in the 1940's. Are we adjusting dollars again?
Consider that now their payroll tops $70 Billion a year, and they will spend over a billion in construction there before the fiscal year is out. Too
7 - In 2008, the Pentagon spent more money every five seconds in Iraq than the average American earned in a year
When we say "the Pentagon spent" we have to assume you mean the total expenditures for the DOD over the span of a year averaged out. Then you are
also talking about averaged income. Of course, the 2008 economic crash and burn lends extra 'sting' to the number. Better to use and offer accurate
numbers, than potentially weaken a fact that you wish to use for 'list impact.'
8 - The pentagon budget consumes 80% of individual income tax revenue.
The Pentagon adds to the national deficit by an amount equivalent to 80% of all income tax revenue which is exclusively used for payment to service
the national debt. Not ONE PENNY of ANY federal income tax goes ANYWHERE other than to service the national debt. That money belongs tot he private
bank known as the "Federal Reserve." People - even educated media people (presumably) - seem not to be able to cope with this reality, and still
think their tax dollars are somehow 'used' by the government for operations and activities.... they are not. They are used to pay interest on the
national debt to the bank. For shame.
9 - Two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Defense Department still has more than 40 generals, admirals or civilian equivalents
based in Europe.
Yeah, take it up with NATO.... or should I say the "Trilateral Commission" (or the CFR)... who had compelled our nation into such expenditures against
the 'threat' of a superpower, but now they have to settle for defending against threats less easily marketed.
10 - The amount the government has spent compensating radiation victims of nuclear testing ($1.5 billion) could fully educate 13,000 American
Captain Hindsight strikes again.... I suppose they shouldn't have irradiated those people in such a callus and uncaring manner in the first place.
The government claims noble motives, but liability is not that easily shirked. Is the point of this to say that the military spent this money? That
the NIH, and the Congress, and Executive Administrations had no control over it? Think again ma'am.
11 - The Pentagon spends more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety.
Of course, the states (all 50 of them) could spend proportionally more
on health, education, welfare, and safety... why don't they? Not
meaning to be rhetorical here, it's simply because it is not politically expedient to do so. The states could represent their citizens and take issue
with federally mandated spending... with the military industrial complex setting the fiscal agenda and the banks setting the monetary policy; but for
some strange reason 'they' don't. Whatever the federal government chooses to spend on defense is not remediable by the states is it? What they spend
is... or isn't it?
12 - The U.S. has 5% of the world's population -- but almost 50% of the world's total military expenditure
Again, the numbers are concealed here, we don't really know by this list what the amounts are we are talking about. we may spend an inordinate amount
on defense activities, or whatever, but compared to other countries we spend less per person than they do.... but that comparison seems lost in item
In summary, the list is meant to get people thinking a certain way. Or it is there to please people who think a certain way. This is an
entertainment piece, and I'll close by presuming to advise you that lists are very brazen tools of propaganda. Be cautious before accepting lists at
Anyone notice the follow-on list?.... another doozey:
20 More Tax Facts That Will Make Your
.... another almost criminally-over-simplified and 'not entirely accurate' list for our entertainment pleasure....
21-6-2011 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)