Thursday, January 28, 2010

If Obama's not serious about freezing or cutting "defense" spending ...


... then he's not serious about freezing or cutting spending.

Glenn Greenwald elaborates on just how friggin' big and bloated the US "defense" budget is over at Salon. My shorter version:

The US spends almost as much as the rest of the world combined on "defense." It spends six times as much as the next-largest "defense" spender (China), and 29 times as much as the six top "rogue states" (Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria) combined.

And let's be truthful here: US "defense" spending is mostly just a gigantic corporate welfare program -- a way of redistributing wealth from the taxpayer to the politicians' corporate cronies (and if a few hundred thousand people have to die every few years to keep the gravy train running, no problem as long as most of those people are evil, swarthy furriners). The actual national defense requirements of the US come to a small fraction of the amount spent under that label. Politicians and corporate welfare queens like the label because they can call anyone who objects to spending under it "unpatriotic."

If Obama was serious about a discretionary spending "freeze," he'd include the Department of Defense in that freeze. If he was serious about balancing the budget, he wouldn't stop there, either. He'd propose a 25% cut to DoD over the three-year "freeze" period, and ask for a much larger cut over a longer time period.

So, now we know Obama isn't serious.

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