Originally posted by KrazyJethro
Vagabond: From my understanding, the a huge portion of military spending is generally unneeded for the simply fact that when push comes to shove,
boots on the ground are huge to winning a war. Do we need to be high tech? Not in particular, although some is nice. We sure don't need much of
what we have, and we need a lot more of others.
While the military has had quite a few projects blow up in its face (even without them knowing it- Styrker is a perfect exampe), and has a bad habit
of wanting to go in every direction at one time, a good portion of our military spending is perfectly legit.
The boots never get on the ground if you can't ensure naval superiority, and in today's world that means air superiority at sea.
They don't stay on the ground long if you can't fight a numerically superior force with a relatively small force of your own- there's where all of
those multi million dollar vehicles come in- mobility equals control of tempo and the ability to hit them where they aren't.
Can't stay mobile if the enemy blows up your fuel- hence all the high tech air defense equipment.
Then consider the speed and firepower of modern armies. Wars can be over in as little as six days, hence the enormous logistical infrastructure.
Expensive, not very flashy, but vitally necessary and quite possibly the cornerstone of American power.
Then there's deterrence. VERY expensive, especially considering that we'll probably (hopefully) never use it, but again, necessary.
You can only streamline R&D so much, at the end of the day, we have to keep moving forward. We're probably 1 or 2 generations ahead of most of the
world, (keeping in mind that stuff built in the 70s was only made public in the 90s) and people know it. That keeps us out of wars. Conventional
Last but not least, you actually have to fill the boots, because a pile of boots on the ground with nobody in them won't even scare the French. Every
squad of infantry is a million dollar plus weapon system, and we definately can't get rid of them.
The military thing is really a crappy job, but we've got it, because we're at the top. We're holding most of the cards. We're the ones people are
gunning for. We spend 3.7% of our GDP on the military, while the best armed of the Europeans (UK and France) spend 2.5% and the rest of Europe sticks
closer to 1.5%. Japan spends 1%. But do you know WHY those nations can get away with that? Because on one level or another, they are our allies- they
have things that we need, and they know we have to protect them. Otherwise, they'd be spending as much of their GDP as we do on defense.
Russia spends 2.75% and for that they get a Navy that can't even go to sea in peacetime without losing vessels. Russia is a case study in what
happens to America's ability to defend interests abroad if we are forced to go too
far in cutting costs in the military.
Additionally, social programs are unneeded and unAmerican generally and should be systematically removed over time (so as not to shock the
system) coupled with income tax reduction.
I agree with you fully. Let's also not forget the illegal immigration problem which is driving down wages and thus driving down tax revenues as well
as stagnating the economy, lining the pockets of corporate fat cats while poisoning the rest of the nation. Not to mention the enormous drain on
social programs which they technically don't even have a right to.
I believe you and I would agree on more topics than we would disagree on, but military spending may not be one of them.
I believe in honest work for honest pay so that a man can make it on his own. I believe that a steady flow of wages down to the common man with a
lighter tax burden created by cutting the least necessary and most disfunctional social programs means a steady flow of consumer spending back up to
business. I believe this means more tax revenue at a lower tax rate. When kept under the proper controls by interest rates this means sustainable
growth and a better future for everyone.
I get the sense that you might agree with me on that.
But I also believe that the above should be the primary means of decreasing the military budget: as a percentage of the total budget, not as a
reduction in actual dollars spent and force sustained.