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Thread: Cut Military or Raise Taxes, take your pick

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kregisen View Post
    Keep in mind U.S. military spending is much more than simply Department of Defense spending. Look at analysis here:
    To answer your question....yes we can balance the budget. Ron Paul's plan balanced it in year 3.
    Here is an excerpt from Take The Rich Off Welfare by Mark Zepezauer (1996)
    Military Waste and Fraud - $172 billion a year

    When it comes to wasting money, the Pentagon has no peer. For one thing, there's the single question of scale. For fiscal year 1996, the Pentagon budget was $265 billion ($7 billion more than it requested). That's 5% of our gross national product, a larger percentage than in virtually any other industrialized nation.

    In absolute dollars (not as a percentage of GNP), the Pentagon shells out 3 1/2 times more than the next largest military spender (Russia), 6 1/2 times more than Britain, 7 1/2 times more than France, 7 1/4 times more than Japan, 8 1/2 times more than Germany. Our military budget is bigger than the next nine largest military budgets combined, and sixteen times larger than the combined military budgets of all of our "regional adversaries"- Cuba, Syria, Iran, Iraq, North Korea and Libya. It accounts for 37% of all military spending on the planet (in comparison, our economy is only 22% of the world total).

    As enormous as the Pentagon's budget is, there's more military spending buried elsewhere-in the Department of Energy's production of fuel for nuclear weapons, in the military portion of the NASA budget, in the VA, etc. By adding in these hidden military expenses, the Center for Defense Information (CDI), a Washington think tank run by retired generals and admirals, concluded that we spend a total of $327 billion a year on the military. (When it did similar computations independently, the War Resisters League came up with $329 billion.)

    But that doesn't include what we have to pay for past Pentagon budgets. The CDI went back to 1941 and multiplied the military's percentage of each year's budget by the deficit for that year. Using that method, they figured that interest on past military spending cost us $167 billion in fiscal 1996. (The War Resisters League went all the way back to 1789 and came up with $291 billion.)

    Since the CDI's estimates are lower, let's be conservative and use them. Adding them together gives us a figure for total military spending-past and present-of $494 billion a year ($9 1/2 billion a week, $1 1/3 billion a day.

    Waste Beyond Your Wildest Dreams
    But just the scale of the Pentagon's budget alone can't explain its prodigious ability to waste money. Another quality is required- world-class incompetence. There are so many examples of this that they tend to blur together, numbing the mind. Here are just a few:
    According to a US Senate hearing, $13 billion the Pentagon handed out to weapons contractors between 1985 and 1995 was simply "lost." Another $15 billion remains unaccounted for because of "financial management troubles." That's $28B billion-right off the top-that has simply disappeared...

    Career Criminals
    ... According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, every single one of the top ten weapons contractors was convicted of or admitted to defrauding the government between 1980 and 1992. For example:
    * Grumman paid the government $20 million to escape criminal liability for coercing subcontractors into making political contributions.
    * Lockheed was convicted of paying millions in bribes to obtain classified planning documents.
    * Northrop was fined $17 million for falsifying test data on its cruise missiles and fighter jets.
    * Rockwell was fined $5.5 million for committing criminal fraud against the Air Force.
    In another study, the Project on Government Oversight (PGO) searched public records from October 1989 to February 1994 and found-in just that 4~/~-year period-85 instances of fraud, waste and abuse in weapons contracting. For example:
    Boeing, Grumman, Hughes, Raytheon and RCA pleaded guilty to illegal trafficking in classified documents and paid a total of almost $15 million in restitution, reimbursements, fines, etc.
    * Hughes pleaded guilty to procurement fraud in one case, was convicted of it in a second case and, along with McDonnell Douglas and General Motors, settled out-of-court for a total of more than $1 million dollars in a third case.
    * Teledyne paid $5 million in a civil settlement for false testing, plus $5 million for repairs.
    * McDonnell Douglas settled for a total of more than $22 million in four "defective pricing" cases.
    But General Electric was the champ. PGO lists fourteen cases, including a conviction for mail and procurement fraud that resulted in a criminal fine of $10 million and restitution of $2.2 million. In our own research, we found several other examples of GE crimes and civil violations:
    * In 1961, GE pleaded guilty to price-fixing and paid a $372,500 fine.
    * In 1977, it was convicted of price-fixing again.
    * In 1979, it settled out-of-court when the State of Alabama sued it for dumping PCBs in a river.
    * In 1981, it was convicted of setting up a $1.25 million slush fund to bribe Puerto Rican officials.
    * In 1985, GE pleaded guilty to 108 counts of fraud on a Minuteman missile contract. In addition, the chief engineer of GE's space systems division was convicted of perjury, and GE paid a fine of a million dollars.
    * In 1985, it pleaded guilty to falsifying time cards.
    * In 1989, it paid the government $3.5 million to settle five civil lawsuits alleging contractor fraud at a jet-engine plant (which involved the alteration of 9,000 daily labor vouchers to inflate its Pentagon billings).

    In 1990, GE was convicted of criminal fraud for cheating the Army on a contract for battlefield computers; it declined to appeal and paid $16 million in criminal and civil fines. ($11.7 million of this amount was to settle government complaints that it had padded its bids on 200 other military and space contracts-which comes to just $58,000 or so per contract.)

    In 1993, GE sold its weapons division to Martin Marietta for $3 billion (retaining 23.5% of the stock and two seats on the board of directors).
    The largest investigation of Pentagon fraud took place between 1986 and 1990. Called Operation Ill Wind, it began when Pentagon official John Marlowe was caught molesting little girls. He cut a deal to stay out of jail and, for the next few years, secretly recorded hundreds of conversations with weapons contractors.
    There's no way of knowing how much the crimes Ill Wind looked into cost the taxpayers, but the investigation, which cost $20 million, brought in ten times that much in fines. According to Wall Street Journal reporter Andy Pasztor, "more than 90 companies and individuals were convicted of felonies... including eight of the military's fifteen largest suppliers....Boeing, GE and United Technologies pleaded guilty...Hughes, Unisys, Raytheon, Loral, Litton, Teledyne, Cubic, Hazeltine, Whittaker and LTV...admitted they violated the law."

    Unisys signed the largest Pentagon fraud settlement in history: $190 million in fines, penalties and forgone profits (which means they weren't allowed to charge for cost overruns the way military contractors usually do).

    Assistant Navy Secretary Melvyn Paisley was the central figure in the Ill Wind scandal and the highest-ranking person convicted (he was sentenced to four years in prison).
    He ran his office like a supermarket for weapons manufacturers, soaking up bribes, divvying up multibillion-dollar contracts and diverting work to a firm he secretly controlled with a partner.

    Paisley may have been a bit more...flamboyant than most, but there was nothing terribly unusual about his approach. As of 1994, nearly 70 of the Pentagon's 100 largest suppliers were under investigation. Fines for that year totaled a record $1.2 billion.

    That may sound like a lot, but it's less than 2% of the weapons industry's net income (which averaged $64 billion a year in 1994 and 1995). A billion or two in fines is hardly an incentive to end the corruption and waste in Pentagon contracting.

    The Black Budget:
    Not all Pentagon waste is visible. Hidden within the military budget is a secret "black budget" that's not subject to any congressional oversight (toothless as that usually is). It includes money for the CIA (tucked away in the Air Force budget, it gets about 10% of the total) and for less well-known but better-funded "intelligence" organizations like the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).

    In 1995, several members of Congress tried to argue that, with the Cold War over, there was no harm in publishing the total amount of the intelligence black budget, without details on how it was spent. Even this modest proposal went down to defeat but, in the process, led to the absurd spectacle of legislators mentioning the figure-$28 billion for fiscal 1996-while arguing that it shouldn't be publicly disclosed.
    John Pike of the Federation of American Scientists estimates that the 1996 black budget included an additional $3 billion or so in military "stealth" projects, for a total of about $31 billion-down from about $36 billion a year during the Reagan years. Pike attributes the decrease to a couple of projects that grew too huge to be hidden in the black budget.

    One of the projects that "surfaced" into the public budget is the B-2 bomber. Originally projected to cost $550 million each, B-2's ended up costing $2.2 billion each-literally more than their weight in gold.

    Another is MILSTAR, which is designed to ''fight and win a six-month nuclear war...long after the White House and the Pentagon are reduced to rubble." The Air Force has tried to kill this idiotic program four times since it emerged from the black budget, but Congress won't listen. MILSTAR has cost us between $8 and $12 billion so far, and could cost another $4.5 billion between 1996 and 2000.

    Since the black budget is completely off the books, it encourages waste on a titanic scale. As one Pentagon employee put it: "In a black project, people don't worry about money. If you need money, you got it. If you screw up and need more, you got it. You're just pouring money into the thing until you get it right. The incentive isn't there to do it right the first time. Who's going to question it?" ...

    Don't Call It Bribery
    Why do our legislators put up with military waste and fraud? For the same reason they do anything. Defense PACs gave members of Congress $7.5 million in 1993 and 1994. And PAC money is just part of the story.

    Of the $4.5 billion in unrequested weapons funding added to the Pentagon budget for fiscal 1996, 74% was spent in or near the home districts of representatives who sit on the House National Security Committee. Another $290 million was spent in or around Newt Gingrich's home district, Cobb County, Georgia. (Cobb gets more federal pork than any county except Arlington in Virginia, which is right next to Washington, and Brevard in Florida, where Cape Canaveral is located.)

    Although the Pentagon insists that it doesn't need any more B-2 bombers, Norman Dicks (D-Washington) and Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) don't care. Dicks-who's one of the largest recipients of military PAC money in the House-received over $10,000 from nine major B-2 contractors in the four months just before the battle to resurrect B-2 funding. Stevens got $37,000 between 1989 and 1994, making him one of the top ten recipients of PAC contributions from B-2 contractors. (Isn't it amazing how little politicians cost?)

    If PAC money isn't enough, military lobbyists can always argue jobs. It didn't hurt funding for the B-2 that spending for it was spread across 88% of all congressional districts and all but two states.

    Liberal California Representative Maxine Waters defended her vote to continue B-2 funding by candidly admitting that it was one of the few ways she knew to bring federal jobs to her district. (Since her district is South-Central Los Angeles, you can understand her desperation.)

    There's no conceivable need for Seawolf submarines (which cost $2.4 billion apiece)- except for the votes in Connecticut, where it's built, and in surrounding states. That's why liberal New England senators like Ted Kennedy, John Kerry and George Mitchell supported it, as did Bill Clinton-who needed votes from those states-in his 1992 campaign.

    Neither the Air Force nor the Navy wants any part of the V-22 Osprey assault plane, which the Bush administration tried in vain to kill. But it's supported by legislators in Texas and Pennsylvania-the two states that do the most contracting for it-and by Clinton, who...oh, you get the idea.

    What about the jobs we'd lose? -- If new weapons systems are nothing more than make-work programs, they're really inefficient ones. A 1992 Congressional study estimated that shifting money from the Pentagon to state and local governments would create two jobs for every one it eliminates. Building weapons we don't need is so wasteful that the economy would probably be better off if we just paid people the same money to stay at home.

    The Congressional Budget Office concluded that a billion dollars spent on successfully promoting arms exports creates 25,000 jobs, but if that same billion is spent on mass transit, it creates 30,000 jobs; on housing, 36,000 jobs; on education, 41,000 jobs; or on health care, 47,000 jobs.

    Aside from the cost, using federal money to prop up military contractors creates a disincentive for them to convert to civilian products. Shifting Pentagon funds to urgently needed domestic uses would be good for both the US and the rest of the world. As President Eisenhower put it, "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed."

    Pentagon boosters argue that military spending has already been slashed too far, since more than 800,000 military-related jobs have disappeared since 1990. But many of these layoffs were in nonmilitary divisions of the companies, and more than half of them were caused by the economy contracting in a recession, not by smaller Pentagon budgets-especially since they've dropped off only slightly from their all-time high of $304 billion (adjusted for inflation) in 1989.

    Just eight companies-McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed, Martin Marietta, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Hughes-were responsible for half of all military contractors' layoffs in 1993. Only 15% of Boeing's layoffs and a third of McDonnell Douglas' were related to military production. After the firings, the stocks of these eight companies rose by 20% to 140%, and the salaries of their CEOs soared.

    The Revolving Door
    Another reason for Pentagon waste and fraud is the revolving door between military contractors and government personnel. Before he was Secretary of Defense, Caspar Weinberger was a top executive at Bechtel, which does massive engineering projects for the Pentagon and foreign clients like Saudi Arabia. Before he was Secretary of State, George Shultz was president of Bechtel.

    Before his days as a Navy felon, Melvyn Paisley worked for Boeing-as did his boss at the Pentagon, Navy Secretary John Lehman. Secretary of Defense William Perry and CIA Director John Deutch both did consulting work for Martin Marietta before they joined the Clinton administration. The list goes on and on.

    Generals have an interest in keeping weapons contractors happy-at least if they want to sit on the boards of corporations after they retire. Contractors can use their connections at the Pentagon to find work there and, like Paisley, feed lucrative contracts to their friends in the private sector.

    On both sides of the revolving door, militarists live in the lap of luxury. Nobody batted an eyelash when Paisley entertained contractors in staterooms on the Queen Elizabeth, nor is there ever much dismay when military aircraft are used, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars an hour, to fly politicians, lobbyists and weapons contractors on pleasure trips.

    Direct Handouts
    Still, personal perks don't cost us much compared to corporate perks. For example, when Lockheed and Martin Marietta merged to become Lockheed Martin, $92 million in bonuses-or "triggered compensation," as they prefer to call it-was handed out to top executives and members of the board. They expect the government to pick up $31 million of that.

    John Deutch quietly reversed a 40-year ban on such compensation when he was at the Pentagon. The biggest bonus, $8.2 million, went to the new company's president, Norman Augustine, who Deutch and William Perry had done work for at Martin Marietta.

    Both Deutch and Perry obtained waivers from an ethics regulation that prohibits Pentagon officials from dealing with people they formerly did business with untl a year has passed. (Up to 30,000 employees will lose their jobs as a result of this merger.)

    Military contractors milk the government in other ways as well. It's common for the State Department to give foreign aid to brutal dictatorships like Indonesia and Guatemala, with the requirement that the money be used to buy US weapons. Each year this program results in the transfer of $5-7 billion from US taxpayers to US arms merchants (not to mention the murder of lots of innocent people in the countries involved).

    The Pentagon has similar programs that not only provide subsidies to foreign countries to buy from US weapons suppliers but also help them negotiate the sale. In 1994, General Dynamics and Lockheed received a total of $1.9 billion in foreign military sales awards- 126,567% more than the $1.5 million they gave to candidates for federal offices in the 1994 elections. (As we've already remarked, politicians sure are a bargain.)

    Thanks in large part to these Pentagon programs-on which we spend $5.4 billion a year, almost half our total foreign aid expenditure-the US is the largest arms supplier on earth, with 43% of the world trade. What's more, many of these loans are ultimately defaulted on or forgiven. Egypt, for example, was let off the hook for $7 billion in loans, as a reward for participating in the Gulf War...

    How much military spending is waste?
    Even if you accept the absurd two-war plan, lots of savings are still possible:
    * We have more Trident missiles than we could ever use, and nobody to aim them at. But the Navy isn't happy with their old Tridents (currently funded at $787 million a year). They want to replace them with a newer version, even though both kinds of Tridents are likely to be eliminated under the next arms-control agreement, START lll.
    * Although our 121 C-5 and 265 C-144 transport planes are perfectly adequate, the Pentagon wants to replace a bunch of them with 120 new C-17s, at a total cost of $45 billion.
    The rationale for the F-22 fighter is especially weak. It was designed to achieve air superiority in the 1990s over the now-defunct Soviet Union. We already have 900 F-15s (which the GAO calls the best tactical aircraft in the world), and none of our real or potential enemies have more than a handful of planes that come anywhere close to matching its capabilities. That hasn't stopped the Pentagon from asking for 442 F-22s, at a total cost of $72 billion.
    * Even a hawk like Barry Goldwater points out the waste involved in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines each having its own air force. Both the Marines and the Army have light infantry divisions, and the Navy and the Air Force aren't satisfied with the same kind of satellites and cruise missiles-each has to have its own kind.
    * The Pentagon keeps 100,000 troops in Europe and 70,000 in Korea and Japan. We spend $80 billion a year on NATO, $59 billion a year in South Korea and $48 billion a year in the Persian Gulf. In all of these cases, the countries we're supposedly defending have militaries that are better-equipped and much better-funded than their enemies'.
    * As we've mentioned above, even the Pentagon doesn't want any more B-2 bombers, V-22 Osprey assault planes or additional Star Wars funds. The Navy doesn't want the Seawolf submarine and admits it doesn't need another $3.5-billion nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. But try telling that to the companies that make those weapons, or to the politicians whose campaigns they fund.
    By now it should be obvious that the "defense" budget isn't based on any rational calculation of what the defense of this country actually requires-it's based on what US arms manufacturers can get away with (almost anything, it turns out).
    Attaching the word "defense" to this spending isn't just misleading-it's the complete opposite of the truth, since military waste and fraud make our country weaker, not stronger. The preposterously obese Pentagon budget is the single greatest threat there is to our national security.
    It's not just wild-eyed radicals who feel this way:
    * Lawrence Korb, a military planner under Reagan who's now with the Brookings Institution, says we could have the most overwhelmingly powerful military in the world for around $150 billion a year.
    * In a report called Ending Overkill, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists laid out a detailed military budget that includes funding for a lot of programs we think are unnecessary (Star Wars, for example). Even so, its report calls for scaling down the military budget to $115 billion by the year 2000, and states that this would still give us a force "adequate to undertake six or eight Somalia-like operations at the same time, or to mount a force somewhat larger than the American part of Desert Storm."
    * The Center for Defense Information (founded by retired generals and admirals) thinks we could get by quite nicely with about a million soldiers, instead of the 1.6 million we now have, and with a Pentagon budget of about $200 billion.
    The average of those three estimates is $155 billion a year-quite a bit less than the $327 billion a year we actually spend. (And remember: that $327 billion doesn't include the $167 billion or more we lay out each year to service debt that's the result of past military programs. Unfortunately, there isn't much we can do about that past debt-except to cut down on present military budgets, so the problem doesn't keep getting worse.)
    Subtracting $155 billion from $327 billion gives us a figure for current military waste and fraud of $172 billion a year-almost $500 million a day-virtually all of which goes to large corporations and super-rich individuals. (Sure, some of it pays for ordinary people's salaries, but they'd also be earning money if they were doing something useful.) Half a billion dollars a day could buy a lot of medical care, or fill a lot of potholes, or...you name it. After all, it's your money.
    All rights and compliments go to the author of this must read book.
    Zepezauer, Mark. Take the Rich Off Welfare. Berkeley: Odondian Press, 1996

    Mind you this version was published in 1996 so the theft and waste has only grown. There is an updated version out that was published in 2004. Guaranteed eye opener for those unaware of the kind of waste really happening.
    Last edited by kcchiefs6465; 12-04-2012 at 04:12 PM.
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  3. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kregisen View Post
    Keep in mind U.S. military spending is much more than simply Department of Defense spending. Look at analysis here:
    http://antiwar.com/blog/2012/02/20/t...et-1-trillion/

    or here:

    http://www.alternet.org/story/150401...get?paging=off


    To answer your question....yes we can balance the budget. Ron Paul's plan balanced it in year 3.
    Ron's plan also assumed that revenues (tax collections) rose 24% over those three years. That is a pretty significant amount.
    Last edited by Zippyjuan; 12-04-2012 at 06:37 PM.
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  4. #33

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    Everything from NASA to state university research and development is also military spending. The one that really chaffs my hide is the military contractors can use the public university school system for free research and development. When the product is finished the contractor gets the copyrights and all profits after the taxpayers paid all the R&D.

    Foreign Aid is also military contractor welfare. All but a tiny percentage of foreign aid is in military arms. Most of them go to countries who already have military's stronger than any of their potential threats.

  5. #34

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    The other problem is the sick way we let Generals move into the military contractor industry. In some years, the move from general staff to industry is a virtual clean sweep. Thirty-four out of 39 three- and four-star generals and admirals who retired in 2007 are now working in defense contractor roles — nearly 90 percent.

    Dozens of retired generals employed by defense firms maintain Pentagon advisory roles, giving them unparalleled levels of influence and access to inside information on Department of Defense procurement plans. These Generals who become lobbyists under the guise of "advisers" are pure poison to our government. We actually "fabricate" wars to keep these stocks moving up and management bonus's being paid.

    The generals are, in many cases, recruited for private sector roles well before they retire, raising questions about their independence and judgment while still in uniform. The Pentagon is aware and even supports this practice.

  6. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by adams101 View Post
    Everything from NASA to state university research and development is also military spending. The one that really chaffs my hide is the military contractors can use the public university school system for free research and development. When the product is finished the contractor gets the copyrights and all profits after the taxpayers paid all the R&D.
    Foreign Aid is also military contractor welfare. All but a tiny percentage of foreign aid is in military arms. Most of them go to countries who already have military's stronger than any of their potential threats.
    The same is true with many medicines. Look at Taxol. We spend thirty two million dollars developing the drug then give Bristol-Myers Squibb exclusive rights to it. After we paid money to develop their product and give them exclusive rights to it they sell each dose back to us at 20 times the production cost. Another instance of 'you really couldn't make this shit up.'


    ETA: As to your second post- You must spread some reputation around before giving it to adams101 again. Welcome to the forums.
    Last edited by kcchiefs6465; 12-04-2012 at 08:38 PM.
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  7. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by alucard13mmfmj View Post
    I am a lil bit angry about it. State sales tax increase AND income tax increase starting jan 2013.
    And businesses taxes by a billion, also. Oh, and didn't the folks in LA vote for an additional sales tax increase? The worst part is that the Democrats (and not the good type) now hold a super majority and the governorship. They can pass whatever tax, fee and regulation increases they want. Watch spending to go up. In the bright side, at least more people will get jobs... in the government sector.
    Last edited by Keith and stuff; 12-04-2012 at 08:41 PM.
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  8. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Ron's plan also assumed that revenues (tax collections) rose 24% over those three years. That is a pretty significant amount.
    How would you propose to answer this million (trillion, rather) dollar question Zippy?
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  9. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by alucard13mmfmj View Post
    If California agreed to raise their own damn taxes (without cuts).. I am sure the rest of America will agree to it too

    I'd like to see one of our election fraud Flipping People run that one through the mill.

  10. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobody's_hero View Post
    Sadly, I think this was the message which fell off the radar after the elections.

    Republicans still don't get it. You can't just attack domestic spending and ignore military spending.

    At least not for more than fifty or sixty years or so.



    It sticks out like a sore thumb where they went to war against everyone about everything, does it not?
    Last edited by Carson; 12-04-2012 at 09:11 PM.

  11. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carson View Post
    At least not for more than fifty or sixty years or so.

    It sticks out like a sore thumb where they went to war against everyone about everything, does it not?
    Do you have any idea how they calculated inflation before 1913? Not that I doubt this graph; I was just curious.
    Last edited by kcchiefs6465; 12-04-2012 at 09:30 PM.
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  12. #41
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    Why is it never an option to cut military spending to defense only and cut taxes?

    Their damn printer must've ran out of ink, leaving that part out of the letter.
    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
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  13. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by John F Kennedy III View Post
    Why is it never an option to cut military spending to defense only and cut taxes?

    Their damn printer must've ran out of ink, leaving that part out of the letter.
    The problem is we have let too many "voters" being employed by the military contractors and too much money going to those contractors. They have strategically built their manufacturing plants in all the states they need political support from. This makes it appear Any Congressman that votes to cut military spending is un-employing the local voters who put him in office. Any state that starts making waves......gets a plant and is then "on the team". They pretty much have "the team" wired by now. If the state starts to move away from supporting the defense spending the contractors simply increase employment in that state. It is quite a mess.

    It is cold calculating politics which are once again a problem of a highly centralized government that is out of touch with its people and a completely UNDEFINED military and foreign policy. All Washington does is say the word "terrorist" and the public showers them with billions yelling "protect us"! This is despite the fact that more people die from peanut allergies in the US than terrorism.

    If you want to cut military spending you are a terrorist or someone who wants to put Americans out of work. The defense budget has become yet another corporate "BAILOUT" and corporate welfare. Federal dependancy is a plague.
    Last edited by adams101; 12-04-2012 at 10:07 PM.

  14. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcchiefs6465 View Post
    Do you have any idea how they calculated inflation before 1913? Not that I doubt this graph; I was just curious.

    No. I wouldn't see why you would have to. Money was real. It was what it was until a war came along and people wouldn't' show up unless they counterfeited some money.

    Actually I read some of the Doctors stuff and his explanation years ago about how it was put together. Even then, like now, I mostly like it because it feels right. It mirrors what I've felt happen in my life time and the impression I've had of the history I've heard about.


    Robert Sahr main page;

    http://oregonstate.edu/cla/polisci/node/87


    2012 inflation conversion factor revision;

    http://oregonfuture.oregonstate.edu/...isci/sahr/sahr


    Individual Year Conversion Factor Tables ( I don't see as far back as 1913 );

    http://oregonstate.edu/cla/polisci/i...-factor-tables


    Answer; Oh Yah. Here we go.

    Note: In tiny type at the bottom of the chart it says,

    "Calculations for 1665 to 1912 use data adapted from John J. McCusker, "How Much Is That in Real Money?," Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society (2001) , Table A-1.
    Calculations starting 1913 are based on CPI data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


    And then there is the way it goes so well with this chart I found showing the Dow Jones Industrial Average.



    It trips me out that all of my life I thought the DOW meant something totally different when it went up. These two charts together really opened my eyes to the what the counterfeiting by the central banks has been doing.

    Are you seeing it?

    When they double the money supply by counterfeiting, sure you get twice as many dollars when you sell your stock, but they are worth half as much! Then on top of it the government that has been behind a lot of it cuts themselves in on your stuff through capital gains taxes! It's insidious. (What ever that word means.)

    Anyway if your still not seeing the charts move hand in hand pretend the DOW is made up of one hundred stocks. Now divide the 13000 at the top and the 500 at the bottom by 100 by knocking off two zeros and then compare with the chart showing it now taking about 130 dollars to do what it used to take 5. Pretty darn close anyway.

    Once I caught onto this it has helped me put so many pieces of the puzzle, of the way the world works, together for myself.
    Last edited by Carson; 12-04-2012 at 10:16 PM.

  15. #44

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    The situation is so bad that we likely will have to cut everything and raise taxes. It's either that or default.

    We have $16 Trillion in debt. All forecasts are for increasing the debt for years to come. We'll likely hit $20 Trillion by the end of Obama's term.

    In 2010, we paid over $413 Billion in interest on a debt of $13.5 Trillion.

    Further increasing our debt will lead to more credit downgrades, which will result in increased interest rates. We could easily be spending a Trillion a year in interest alone by 2020. At that point there will be no debate on what we should cut. We will have lost control of our own destiny.

    We need to end the Global war On Terror, the War On Drugs and the War On Our Civil Liberties. Only then will be able to fight the real enemy and declare a War On Debt.
    "The principle for which we contend is bound to reassert itself, though it may be at another time and in another form"..... Jefferson Davis

    "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle".
    .....Edmund Burke

    "A corrupt electoral process can only lead to corrupt Government."
    ......jay_dub

  16. #45

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    $663.7 billion (+12.7%) - Department of Defense (including Overseas Contingency Operations)

    448.8 BILLION CUTS

    =================

    214.9 = same Defence budget as Russia and China COMBINED http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...y_expenditures
    It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen
    to set brush fires in peoples minds! Revolution is Action upon Revelation!

    The small green parakeet, Tito, was flung helplessly from the cage, landing on the floor. When a girl screamed, the officer sneerd:
    "F*** THE BIRD !!!"
    ...and stomped on it with his jackboot. READ MORE: http://www.policestateusa.com/2013/n...lugo-parakeet/


  17. #46

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    The Department of Agriculture alone spends spends about 150B and only 80B of that is food stamps and about 6B in forest service.
    I'm not sure where they arrive at that discrestionary vs. mandatory number.



    Discretionary spending: $1.378 trillion (+13.8%)

    $663.7 billion (+12.7%) - Department of Defense (including Overseas Contingency Operations)
    $78.7 billion (−1.7%) – Department of Health and Human Services
    $72.5 billion (+2.8%) – Department of Transportation
    $52.5 billion (+10.3%) – Department of Veterans Affairs
    $51.7 billion (+40.9%) – Department of State and Other International Programs
    $47.5 billion (+18.5%) – Department of Housing and Urban Development
    $46.7 billion (+12.8%) – Department of Education
    $42.7 billion (+1.2%) – Department of Homeland Security
    $26.3 billion (−0.4%) – Department of Energy
    $26.0 billion (+8.8%) – Department of Agriculture
    $23.9 billion (−6.3%) – Department of Justice
    $18.7 billion (+5.1%) – National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    $13.8 billion (+48.4%) – Department of Commerce
    $13.3 billion (+4.7%) – Department of Labor
    $13.3 billion (+4.7%) – Department of the Treasury
    $12.0 billion (+6.2%) – Department of the Interior
    $10.5 billion (+34.6%) – Environmental Protection Agency
    $9.7 billion (+10.2%) – Social Security Administration
    $7.0 billion (+1.4%) – National Science Foundation
    $5.1 billion (−3.8%) – Corps of Engineers
    $5.0 billion (+100%-NA) – National Infrastructure Bank
    $1.1 billion (+22.2%) – Corporation for National and Community Service
    $0.7 billion (0.0%) – Small Business Administration
    $0.6 billion (−14.3%) – General Services Administration
    $0 billion (−100%-NA) – Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)
    $0 billion (−100%-NA) – Financial stabilization efforts
    $11 billion (+275%-NA) – Potential disaster costs
    $19.8 billion (+3.7%) – Other Agencies
    $105 billion – Other

  18. #47

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    We can let you keep about $78 billion for defense if we cut everything else to zero (keeping Social Security/ Medicare) and not worry about raising taxes.
    Less money for defense than for food stamps?

  19. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by dinosaur View Post
    Less money for defense than for food stamps?
    The problem is both "poor" and "defense" are totally undefined. Most of the money is going to neither. Only after we as a country define these terms can we make a sensible budget. The problem is you can spend 10 times as much leaving the terms undefined. With "defense" undefined you can do anything you please with the US military and call it "defense". You can say some boogie man called a "terrorist" is chasing 300 million people here in the US and spend unlimited resources to catch ghosts. You can supply weapons to two waring factions then jump in and "save them" from each other. You can plunder foreign governments for corporate profiteering. You can antagonize countries with embargo's etc forcing them into military action just to survive. Heck, military contractor employees have to eat too so lets build a bunch more stuff we don't need. If we can't find some place to store it until it is obsolete we will give it away in foreign aid.

    The same crap goes on with the term "poor" which has simply encompassed all "charity". Once you start elevating someone's standard of living it is never enough. If you say giving them $1000 a month for food stamps is good then $1200 is even better. Phones are nice things lets give them one of those. Unlimited utility usage would make them feel better. How about discounting their housing with HUD.

    Mexican National citizens need food too and they will come here, lower our working wages and raise corporate profits. Heck there are people 7000 miles away nobody knows starving in foreign countries. If we feed their "poor" they will let EXXON plunder their natural resources. It is a win/win as the people get stuck with the bribery tab while the corporations get to plunder foreign oil then sell it to us under the OPEC mafia pricing. Ooops the people of that country feel they are getting screwed on that deal so we better send in the military under the "defense" budget. After all even defending corporate profiteering in foreign countries is "defending someone".

    Heck, since all this charity and defense bounces back and forth so much lets just lump them in together so the taxpayers don't have to worry out what is what and we don't have to define anything. No matter what we want to do it will fall under the "no parameters" of one of them.

    Where does the logic end without definition? You just can't feed, house, clothe and give cellphones to enough people. You can't raise someone else's standard of living high enough. You can't keep 6 billion people safe enough. It is just numbers on a spreadsheet. Just keep adding zeros.

  20. #49
    Member Zippyjuan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcchiefs6465 View Post
    How would you propose to answer this million (trillion, rather) dollar question Zippy?
    It is incredibly difficult. If your want to balance the budget with tax increases only you would have to double the current income tax. If you want to do it by cuts only and leave off Social Security and Medicare/ Medicaid, you basically have to cut 100% of everything including defense. Neither is realistic therefor it must include everything- making changes in the social programs (any savings would come in the future on that) and you must have cuts in other things and you must raise taxes.
    I am Zippy and I approve of this message. But you don't have to.

  21. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    It is incredibly difficult. If your want to balance the budget with tax increases only you would have to double the current income tax. If you want to do it by cuts only and leave off Social Security and Medicare/ Medicaid, you basically have to cut 100% of everything including defense. Neither is realistic therefor it must include everything- making changes in the social programs (any savings would come in the future on that) and you must have cuts in other things and you must raise taxes.
    Ron Paul's plan seemed pretty reasonable to me. What was so difficult about that? It didn't completely eliminate the military, or put Seniors on SS out in the cold. It cut from everywhere.

  22. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    If you want to do it by cuts only and leave off Social Security and Medicare/ Medicaid, you basically have to cut 100% of everything including defense.
    I actually wouldn't have a problem with that. There's a reasonable way of looking at the federal government which is that it basically provides inter-State neutral social insurance & raises an army when necessary. The States do everything else.

    There's also the issue of different types of taxes other than the income tax as well as a different theoretical look at the income tax. True consumption taxes, where you tax direct resource consumption are IMV morally legitimate. Higher tax rates on the extremely wealthy (not just making 250k in one single year) are legitimate as well in my view. No one with less than $1 million in net worth should even have to look at an income tax form IMV. Resource consumption taxes could be levied without the vast majority of people filling out forms as well.

    National Medical Insurance (let's call it what it is at this point) could also be vastly less expensive if Medical industries were deregulated. Most of the big budget problems seem to be coming from Medical insurance. It has its claws reaching in lots of different places. Much like military programs, but Medical reaches into private business and individual budgeting problems.

    But nobody's really talking about a balanced budget at this point. We could meet reasonable debt to GDP goals in the next few years very easily by merely reducing military to a reasonable level & not raising taxes.
    Last edited by furface; 12-05-2012 at 01:11 PM.

  23. #52

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    At this point, it can't be fixed without killing the empire and gutting monopoly protections in Medicine. Medicare is increasing exponentially because medical costs are going up. Break the monopoly protections and medical costs would crash by 80% overnight.
    Stop the Looting and Start Prosecuting! Gold plated Tungsten IS Money!
    We Must Dissent A colher não existe.
    A government is just a body of people, notably, usually, ungoverned.

    "You mean this entire war started because The Empire dressed as the enemy? That's exactly what happened in the last major war! Our government is so stupid!"

  24. #53
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    Let's say we wanted to use a sales tax- and left off food sales so you don't hurt the poor too much. According to the Fed you have $367 billion a month or $4.4 trillion a year if you annualized that. http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/RSXFS Let's say you wanted to balance the budget by keeping everything as it is but adding a national sales tax. To raise the $1.2 trilllon you need, it would require a national sales tax of 27%. Naturally such a high tax would greatly reduce retail sales so to raise the same amount the tax rate would actually have to be even higher than that.

    What if we stuck with millionaires? http://quinnscommentary.com/2011/04/...-you-wish-for/

    According to IRS data, 323,069 income tax returns out of some 144,000,000 filed (2008) showed an adjusted gross income of $1 million dollars or more. That is roughly 0.3% of all households. Only three percent of all returns have an AGI over $200,000 (that’s households, not individuals). The top 1-percent Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) break point (TY 2008) was $380,354. The state with the most such returns was California…imagine that, not New York with all those greedy Wall Street types, more like high-tech entrepreneurs and Hollywood celebrities.
    If we expected to pay for all of our current government expenses of $3.3 trillion, we would have to tax each of them an average of about a $10 million each.

    How about merely a "reasonable" reduction in defense spending and no taxes raised? How about half its current level? That would save about $350 billion. Deficit is about $1.2 trillion so we would "only" be adding $850 billion (plus interest) to the debt every year. That would put us about $25 trillion in total debt ten years from now.
    Last edited by Zippyjuan; 12-05-2012 at 01:47 PM.
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  25. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    How about merely a "reasonable" reduction in defense spending and no taxes raised? How about half its current level? That would save about $350 billion; we'd still be spending 60% more than Russia and China COMBINED.

    Fixed.
    It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen
    to set brush fires in peoples minds! Revolution is Action upon Revelation!

    The small green parakeet, Tito, was flung helplessly from the cage, landing on the floor. When a girl screamed, the officer sneerd:
    "F*** THE BIRD !!!"
    ...and stomped on it with his jackboot. READ MORE: http://www.policestateusa.com/2013/n...lugo-parakeet/


  26. #55

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    If we expected to pay for all of our current government expenses of $3.3 trillion, we would have to tax each of them an average of about a $10 million each.
    It could possibly be an average of $10 million each. You'd have to know something about the distribution of incomes in that bracket.

    The issue in terms of monetary policy is that money tends to stagnate in a small number of places. If you could print money and have it disappear in bank accounts & asset hoards of say over $1 billion, it would be quite an effective monetary policy.

    Really, who would care? "Money" is a State granted monopoly over a certain share of resources & goods. Since there isn't zero unemployment, goods are essentially resource bound, so it's really a State granted monopoly over pure resources. Why should the State go out of its way to grant monopolies to massively wealthy individuals & entities that are acting extremely anti-socially? And it's more than just wealthy people hoarding money. It's sovereign asset funds like those of Gulf Arab States & China.

    What I'm getting at is that the open secret of the budget debate is that monetization is somewhere on the horizon. There's no way around it and the only goal of the current budget is to get the deficit pointing in the downward direction, so that a combination of monetization & restructuring of government could work to getting it down to zero.

    So really, it's not so much a matter of getting a balanced budget next year. It's a matter of policy decisions & trends. That's why I think that reducing military & cutting the federal bureaucracy to the bone is the best strategy, while leaving tax rates alone.

    ALL government bureaucracies are predatory. Give them money & they'll be at your door with a shotgun demanding more. That's including military bureaucracies. Starve the bureaucracies & provide social insurance for the masses to keep money moving & enforce a minimal sense of economic justice. It's much safer than funding predatory government bureaucracies.
    Last edited by furface; 12-05-2012 at 04:09 PM.

  27. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by alucard13mmfmj View Post
    If California agreed to raise their own damn taxes (without cuts).. I am sure the rest of America will agree to it too

    Sad isn't it.

    Alameda County had a Measure B1 to raise taxes that almost passed...until the recount.

    Apparently a bunch of TEA Party People where there to witness the recount. I guess it was close enough the government wanted to find a few more ballots to push it over the top.

    Here is a message from the TEA Partyers;

    Patriots,

    Measure B1 has failed. The recount has been stopped! No more volunteers needed. Congratulations!

    Kudos to the patriots who were there watching to make sure the votes were counted correctly!

    TVP



    Alameda County transportation sales tax measure loses after recount

    By Denis Cuff Contra Costa Times
    Posted: 12/05/2012 02:38:07 PM PST
    Updated: 12/05/2012 04:09:38 PM PST

    A measure to increase Alameda County's transportation sales tax was defeated after a partial recount failed to reverse its razor-thin loss at the November polls.

    The Alameda County Transportation Commission announced Wednesday it was conceding defeat of Measure B1, which would have doubled the sales tax to 1 cent.

    The tax increase would have raised $7.8 billion over three decades for roads, freeways, transit and trails. It would have restored public service transit cuts, funded a backlog of road repairs and contributed $400 million for a BART rail extension to Livermore, among other projects.

    The measure was supported by 65.53 percent of the votes, falling less than 800 votes shy of reaching the 66.67 percent needed to pass.

    The final tally: 350,899 yes votes, and 176,504 no votes.

    "We wanted to leave no stone unturned. We now see no value in continuing the recount," said Art Dao, executive director of the agency that oversees the transportation sales tax. "We are encouraged that 66.53 percent of the voters supported the measure."

    Dao said his agency commissioned the county registrar of voters to recount ballots in many Berkeley precincts, but the results on Tuesday netted an increase of only seven "yes" votes -- not enough to justify a full recount.


    Snip...

    More here;

    http://www.contracostatimes.com/brea...-after-recount

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