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Throwing More Money at the Military Is a Waste

Trump campaigned on increased military spending, and this week he will announce [1] a plan to do just that. This line from the report made me laugh:

Given that Mr. Trump plans to boost military spending and cut taxes, the White House budget plan could leave conservatives in a difficult position if the GOP-led budget does little to curb spending.

There are some genuine fiscal conservatives that wouldn’t want to do what Trump is proposing, but there are usually not many of them when a Republican president is in office. Under Bush, there wasn’t even the pretense that Republicans cared about adding an enormous amount to the debt. Most Congressional Republicans supported financing Bush’s wars and expansion of Medicare with borrowing, and I assume the same will be true again now. The administration won’t be able to make up the difference from higher military spending and reduced revenue by gutting other agencies, but I doubt that will stop them from trying. Needless to say, the military doesn’t need a larger budget [2], so Trump will be piling more debt on future generations for no good reason. The U.S. spends as much on our military as the next seven countries combined, and it could afford to spend significantly less than it does if it practiced restraint, but we already know that Trump has no interest in that. Increasing military spending beyond its already exorbitant current level is inherently wasteful, and doing it in the way that Trump plans is completely fiscally irresponsible.

11 Comments (Open | Close)

11 Comments To "Throwing More Money at the Military Is a Waste"

#1 Comment By Uncle Billy On February 27, 2017 @ 8:53 am

Throwing more money at the Pentagon will not make us any safer. They will only waste even more money on boondoggle programs such as the F-35. And he wants to cut taxes as well? Where will the money for these increased expenditures for DoD come from? Other agencies? Not really. Perhaps he can squeeze a relatively small amount of funding from other agencies, but the bulk of this increase will come from debt.

Currently, we have 20 Trillion (yes, Trillion with a “T”) dollars of debt, and Trump wants to add to this? Yes indeed, quite a “conservative.”

#2 Comment By EliteCommInc. On February 27, 2017 @ 9:00 am

“The U.S. spends as much on our military as the next seven countries combined, and it could afford to spend significantly less than it does if it practiced restraint, but we already know that Trump has no interest in that.”

Conservatives always cringe when it comes to government spending, and they should. I agree that before one penny gets spent there needs to be some serious actuarial analysis – top down. Thus far there are some serious question about the roi.

But the tend if one wants to demonstrate support for the military is to give them money. I certainly support the military and I think the country is more than relatively safe from threats. But I agree that more money is not going to solve the choices we are making concerning the needless, and careless us if force.

I was hoping that the Pres. was going to pushing for cost efficiency in all things, including the US Armed Forces.

And cutting taxes at the same time. Where have I heard this before.

Ohh, the last thirty years of governance has been cut taxes and spend more. Deficit 20 plus trillion, minus unfunded liabilities and if I recall minus the interest rate.

US economic growth rate remains less than 3%.

But this is my view of government spending everywhere. Tax dollars make up a sizeable part of the economy and it misleads us as to the actual strength.

#3 Comment By Chris Chuba On February 27, 2017 @ 9:06 am

Our current debt service is $260B/yr which is remarkably low 1.3% interest rate. If we get a higher GDP this can easily approach $500/yr.

Since our current deficit is already at $600B/yr, tax cuts and increased defense spending, and higher interest rates will likely get us back to the $1T/yr deficits.

At some point even slight increases in interest rates will have a massive impact on the annual debt service when we have a debt of $3T, 1%-$300B, 2%-$600B, 3%900B, 4%-$1.2T …

#4 Comment By Sophistry On February 27, 2017 @ 9:19 am

Military spending is government spending. Soldiers are government employees.

#5 Comment By SteveM On February 27, 2017 @ 9:20 am

You’d think that the Red State Trump supporters would be screaming bloody murder over Trump’s sell-out to the obsolete and unaffordable America as Global Cop model. Because it’s their tax dollars being flushed down the toilet.

On the contrary, they are cheering wildly. Because the warped theology of Military Exceptionalism is even more intoxicating than incoherent Trumpism. The Generals and Admirals elevated to Olympian status by the Politico/Corporate/MSM Complex call the the shots without dissent because of their presumed superior insight, wisdom and intelligence. (BTW, what utterance could ever be more insightful, wise and intelligent than “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”? Give that erudite “Warrior-Hero” a Cabinet position!)

The sclerotic, compliant Congress is obviously all in to Security State worship. Trump himself has been fully seduced into reverential supplication by the cabal of military High Priests he has assembled in his inner sanctum.

And the debt funded buck will not stop there. The hyper-muscled War Machine will then be dispatched to engage in the usual bankrupting, irrational shenanigans of “projecting power” 11,000 miles from American shores over disputes that have absolutely nothing to do with fundamental American interests.

I mean if you have a War Machine, you might as well use it right? Too bad a parallel analogy of, “If you have trained up 20,000 more doctors, you might as well use them” as a spending alternative of those taxpayer Billions is never considered.

#6 Comment By mark_be On February 27, 2017 @ 10:24 am

At the end of the nineteenth century, the British Empire adopted the Two-Power Standard, which meant to keep the size of the Royal Navy such that it was as large as the fleets of the next two naval powers combined.

It appears Trump is going for an All-Power Standard, not in military size, strength, or capability, but simply in defense spending.

#7 Comment By take stock first On February 27, 2017 @ 1:09 pm

Harsh scrutiny and more competitive bidding of defense contracts. Pull the plug on road-to-nowhere weapons systems. Triple the budget for veterans. Pull troops out of the Middle East and put them on the border and on the coming deportation operations.

After he’s done that we’ll have a better idea of what our defense budget ought to look like.

#8 Comment By First Things First On February 27, 2017 @ 2:41 pm

I think if he cut waste to any appreciable extent he wouldn’t need to increase spending.

Corrupt, bloated defense contracts are a big problem, as are the number of shady foreigners who have inveigled themselves into defense contracting and consulting – people who have no loyalty to America and would just as soon make a quick killing off the American taxpayer by paying off the procurement officer, selling us a pile of crap, billing us for non-existent labor, and then banking the money in Zurich and scuttling home to Paris, Tel Aviv, London, or Bangalore.

Prove that you’ve got the defense budget under control, Mr. President. Then we’ll listen to arguments for raising it.

#9 Comment By peanut On February 27, 2017 @ 4:36 pm

“Harsh scrutiny and more competitive bidding of defense contracts. Pull the plug on road-to-nowhere weapons systems. Triple the budget for veterans. Pull troops out of the Middle East and put them on the border and on the coming deportation operations.

Deploying the military to do operations against civillians in American cities. Not only is it totally legal, but it will have no complications whatsoever!

“Corrupt, bloated defense contracts are a big problem, as are the number of shady foreigners who have inveigled themselves into defense contracting and consulting – people who have no loyalty to America and would just as soon make a quick killing off the American taxpayer by paying off the procurement officer, selling us a pile of crap, billing us for non-existent labor, and then banking the money in Zurich and scuttling home to Paris, Tel Aviv, London, or Bangalore.

The America First president proposes nearly all Real Americans agree on. Who is to blame? Why, foreigners, of course!

#10 Comment By Ken Hoop On February 27, 2017 @ 6:03 pm

How long can the Empire continue to do bloody, havoc-wreaking intervention but not national health care?
I’m not for national health care, but if the Empire insists it can do one, (obviously not very well) it can do the other,(probably not very well either) and I will empathize loudly with all those who gradually realize they are being victimized by the ruling class which is denying them, as they take it to the execrable Tom Cottons.

#11 Comment By peanut On February 27, 2017 @ 8:44 pm

Shorter Fran: war is peace and peace is war.

In all seriousness: the army neither wants nor can absorb enough young men to make a dent in the unemployment rate, and the high end manifacruring of drones , fighter planes, and advanced munitions is not going to create a ton of jobs (the Bush era was not working class utopia). Trump even acknowledged, implicitly, that military spending is not going to increase employment when he pitched yuge infrastructure plan. The fact that it has been shelved tells you everything you need to know .