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Thread: A (Recent) History Lesson for My Conservative Friends

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    A (Recent) History Lesson for My Conservative Friends

    [B][SIZE="4"]How US is deferring war costs[/SIZE][/B]

    By Ron Scherer, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor / January 16, 2007

    NEW YORK
    To pay for World War II, Americans bought savings bonds and put extra notches in their belts. President Harry Truman raised taxes and cut nonmilitary spending to pay for the Korean conflict. During Vietnam, the US raised taxes but still watched deficits soar.

    But to pay for the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US has used its credit card, counting on the Chinese and other foreign buyers of its debt to pay the bills.

    Now, as President Bush is promising to boost the number of troops in Iraq, there is increased scrutiny over how the US is going to pay for it all.

    The US is spending about $10 billion a month on Iraq and Afghanistan. By the end of this year, the total funds appropriated will be nearly $600 billion approaching the amount spent on the Vietnam or Korean wars, when adjusted for inflation.

    However, the actual impact of the war on the economy is different than in the past, largely because the US economy is so much bigger now. During World War II, some analysts calculate that the US spent as much as 30 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on the war effort. The Korean War, at its spending peak in 1953, represented 14 percent of GDP; Vietnam was about 9 percent. The current war, however, is less than 1 percent of America's annual $13 trillion GDP.

    Payment due: in the future
    The US can certainly afford the war, says budget analyst Stan Collender, a managing director of Qorvis Communications in Washington. But the spending is taking resources from other areas, he notes. Because the US is borrowing to finance the war, the cost will be borne by future generations. "And it's still going to be one of the most expensive wars we have ever fought," he says.

    Unlike in previous major wars, the United States has cut taxes at the same time it has increased military spending. "It's fair to say all of the money spent on the war has been borrowed," says Richard Kogan, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a think tank in Washington. "But eventually everything has to be paid for."

    Congressional questioning
    Congress hopes to hold hearings on the financial implications of the war before the president releases his budget proposal for fiscal year 2008 on Feb. 5. Democrats, now in the majority, plan to ask a wide range of questions, from the future costs of the war to how those costs should be budgeted.

    "We won't balance the budget in one year. The best we can expect is five years," says Rep. John Spratt (D) of South Carolina, the new chairman of the House Budget Committee, in a phone interview. "But we need to know: What is the bar we need to reach?"

    Estimating the budget deficit has become more difficult in recent years because the White House has funded much of the war through emergency supplemental bills, which are not included in the federal budget. According to a Congressional Research Service report, it is a practice that other administrations have employed since the Korean War. This year, the White House is expected to ask for another $100 billion in supplemental war funds, but Representative Spratt says he would like to get the war back on the budget since it can be argued the war is no longer an emergency.

    "Calling it an emergency means the spending does not get the scrutiny," he adds, because then the spending is reviewed by only one committee House Appropriations. In addition, he says, emergency spending is exempt from caps on discretionary spending. This has prompted the military to include in the bill items that are not directly related to the war. Making the spending a part of the budget would end the practice of some members placing pet projects on a bill that must be passed, he says.

    A war-by-war cost comparison
    Numbers are fuzzy on how much has been spent so far on the global war on terror. According to the House Appropriations Committee, some $471 billion has been committed so far. Spratt says it's closer to $507 billion. By the end of this year, on a cash basis, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be closing in on the costs of the Vietnam War ($650 billion in today's dollars) and the Korean War ($691 billion).

    Some analysts believe the cost of the war is much higher than Congress estimates. In a study last January and updated in October, Harvard Prof. Linda Bilmes and Columbia Prof. Joseph Stiglitz estimated the budgetary and economic cost of the war at $2 trillion.

    Ms. Bilmes, in a phone interview, says Congress looks only at its cash outlays, not at the war's future costs. For example, she says, an estimated 42,000 light trucks are in use in Iraq. Although it costs something to run them, the major cost will be replacing them. "That's not factored into the cost of the war," she says.

    The same is true of the cost of taking care of injured veterans in the future. "After our study came out, what surprised us is that the VFW, the Vietnam Vets, and others said, 'Thanks for shining the spotlight on this issue, but your numbers are too low,' " Bilmes says. After working with the vets, she concluded that the future costs of caring for the wounded were much higher than she had estimated.

    Just the cash costs alone have mushroomed over the past two years, says Steve Kosiak, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a think tank in Washington. He estimates that Congress has appropriated nearly $300 billion during that period. "Perhaps some of the additional cost is for repairing the equipment," he says. "But it's fair to say it's partly a mystery why it's up so much."

    Polls show people are concerned about the war, says Dennis Jacobe, chief economist at the Gallup Organization in Washington. But, he adds, "they are not concerned about the cost."

    This is partly because of the way the war is funded through the supplemental budget process, Mr. Jacobe says. But it's also because the war has not disrupted the economy the same way past wars have. "It's really had no significant impact except for the deficit spending," he says.

    [url]http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0116/p....html/(page)/2[/url]

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    Its funny; I don't remember Dick Armey and his corporate friends organizing a "grass roots" protest movement about wasteful spending then. I tried to remember if I saw the costumes and flags and chants of wasteful spending. Was wasteful spending a constant topic on Fox & Friends, Hannity, O' Reilly Factor etc, etc,???? :confused:

    Today I listen to conservative politicians and their surrogates tell the public that our deficit is mostly the fault of the current administration. They even do it with a straight face which is pretty impressive. What is even more impressive is how only months after the spending in this article took place, the same party, with many of the same politicians, [B]ran on fiscal responsibility[/B] to get elected-and it worked!

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    TLDR:

    1. The Left will never cut Govt. spending to pay for the War.

    2. The Right will never raise taxes to pay for the War.

    3. Neither will actually end the War in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

    /querry answered.

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    The party of "I stand for the opposite of you" is in its final death throes.


    Sent from my Double-Wide using Semaphore...

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    Hey IJF,
    It's interestking that you quote Rep. John Spratt in your post. The people of South Carolina were wise enough to throw this moron out of office a couple of years ago. Total hack.

    As far as cost of wars. The cost as a % of GDP is, of course, going down. Relative cost always goes down as a percentage of effort. WWII was a serious effort. Since then we have been namby pamby about war.

    It's social prgrams that are crippling us, not war. That plus outrageous salaries to civil service folks. You might be considered in that lot.

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    [QUOTE=palmetto defender;4504269]Hey IJF,
    It's interestking that you quote Rep. John Spratt in your post. The people of South Carolina were wise enough to throw this moron out of office a couple of years ago. Total hack.

    As far as cost of wars. The cost as a % of GDP is, of course, going down. Relative cost always goes down as a percentage of effort. WWII was a serious effort. Since then we have been namby pamby about war.

    It's social prgrams that are crippling us, not war. That plus outrageous salaries to civil service folks. You might be considered in that lot.[/QUOTE]

    2011 DOD budget was $687 BILLION

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    [QUOTE=palmetto defender;4504269]Hey IJF,
    It's interestking that you quote Rep. John Spratt in your post. The people of South Carolina were wise enough to throw this moron out of office a couple of years ago. Total hack.

    As far as cost of wars. The cost as a % of GDP is, of course, going down. Relative cost always goes down as a percentage of effort. WWII was a serious effort. Since then we have been namby pamby about war.

    [B]It's social prgrams that are crippling us, not war.[/B] That plus outrageous salaries to civil service folks. You might be considered in that lot.[/QUOTE]

    There is ample evidence to show its [B]both[/B]. When you are factoring in cost consider defense as a whole. As an example, no-bid contracts given to build infrastructure in foreign countries that we have defeated.

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    [QUOTE=cr726;4504292]2011 DOD budget was $687 BILLION[/QUOTE]

    Ahhh, but a large portion of that money went to make other countries better. Which is a much more worthy cause than helping people here in this country.


    Sent from my Double-Wide using Semaphore...

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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;4504302]Ahhh, but a large portion of that money went to make other countries better. Which is a much more worthy cause than helping people here in this country.


    Sent from my Double-Wide using Semaphore...[/QUOTE]

    LOL, and the same politicians that are claiming we don't have money to make our country better (rebuilding infrastructure as an example) vote to send our tax money to rebuild those foreign countries.

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    [QUOTE=cr726;4504292]2011 DOD budget was $687 BILLION[/QUOTE]


    That's nice. According to the gov:

    Military 19%
    SS 21%
    Medicare 14%
    Haelth 10% That will be skyrocketing
    income security 13% That's for those that won't work
    interest 9% T hat will be skyrocketing also due to Professor Obama (he of the great business background)


    Defense is a lot but social?

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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;4504302]Ahhh, but a large portion of that money went to make other countries better. Which is a much more worthy cause than helping people here in this country.


    Sent from my Double-Wide using Semaphore...[/QUOTE]


    Here is where we may agree. Giving money to our enemies is brilliant.
    Egypt. Their new pres wants the release of the blind sheik. Send him back in a box.
    Pakistan? Fine fellows.
    Cut off every country not an ally. A close ally that demonstrates it.

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    [QUOTE=palmetto defender;4504323]That's nice. According to the gov:

    Military 19%
    SS 21%
    Medicare 14%
    Haelth 10% That will be skyrocketing
    income security 13% That's for those that won't work
    interest 9% T hat will be skyrocketing also due to Professor Obama (he of the great business background)


    [B]Defense is a lot[/B] but social?[/QUOTE]

    So its both, agreed. So why are the supposed fiscal conservatives only focusing on social spending and not defense?

    [IMG]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-v3fcEkBr_Zw/TxWMgV-wjVI/AAAAAAAAAXo/d0uaS3Iq6g8/s1600/Pocket+politician.gif[/IMG]

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    [QUOTE=intelligentjetsfan;4504337]So its both, agreed. So why are the supposed fiscal conservatives only focusing on social spending and not defense?

    [IMG]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-v3fcEkBr_Zw/TxWMgV-wjVI/AAAAAAAAAXo/d0uaS3Iq6g8/s1600/Pocket+politician.gif[/IMG][/QUOTE]




    Because the "Give me free money" concept is not palatable. It has the feel of laziness. Too many free handouts going on. And I (and obviously lots of others) have to pay for illegals, welfare queens, druggies needing help (that works), food stamps (that's not abused), education when misused (a host of majors where money is provided as loans and wasted).
    Now military. I agree that there is waste. And I blame our Congress and the military. Congress for protecting pet projects and the military for being lazy and subverted. I'm talking generals and admirals here. Weapons we do not need. Contractors we do not need. Equipment we do not need.

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    [QUOTE=palmetto defender;4504349]Because the "Give me free money" concept is not palatable. It has the feel of laziness. Too many free handouts going on. And I (and obviously lots of others) have to pay for illegals, welfare queens, druggies needing help (that works), food stamps (that's not abused), education when misused (a host of majors where money is provided as loans and wasted).
    Now military. I agree that there is waste. And I blame our Congress and the military. Congress for protecting pet projects and the military for being lazy and subverted. I'm talking generals and admirals here. Weapons we do not need. Contractors we do not need. Equipment we do not need.[/QUOTE]

    SS and the DOD budget are 40% of the budget...

    Cut em both, Palmetto. Raise the SS age for people under 40. Cut military spending in half. We spend about 9x China does, the next highest spender in the world. I bet we can get by at 4.5x.

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    [QUOTE=palmetto defender;4504327]
    Cut off every country not an ally. A close ally that demonstrates it.[/QUOTE]

    Cut them ALL off :yes:


    F*ck em.

    How many of our "allies" are sending help to Colorado? How many sent help to NO after Katrina? Or to the midwest when a tornado outbreak occurs?

    We wouldn't be discussing 1/2 of the fiscal stuff we do here if we had kept the trillions and trillions of dollars we spend on foreign "aid" here in the States....

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    [QUOTE=SafetyBlitz;4504366]SS and the DOD budget are 40% of the budget...

    Cut em both, Palmetto. Raise the SS age for people under 40. Cut military spending in half. We spend about 9x China does, the next highest spender in the world. I bet we can get by at 4.5x.[/QUOTE]


    Safety - we need to do anything we do "by evolution, not revolution".
    SS and Medicare: age 70 for people born after say 1975. Both programs need to go up in age.
    Medicare: It's $100/month. Should be $150 minimum.

    Military: In half can not be done. 10% reduction - probably. We actually pay our troops. Plus they have benefits. Our equipment is the best in the world. BUT, we have too many toys that are unnecessary. We have allowed our suppliers to way overcharge. There are no cost controls on suppliers - hence no pressure on them to perform.
    We are way too heavy in higher ranking people that do zip. They are hanging around for their 30 year pensions. The least perfofrming people should be let go each year - I'm talking about higher ranking officers who have no committment by contract. Which is none BTW.

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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;4504381]Cut them ALL off :yes:


    F*ck em.

    How many of our "allies" are sending help to Colorado? How many sent help to NO after Katrina? Or to the midwest when a tornado outbreak occurs?

    We wouldn't be discussing 1/2 of the fiscal stuff we do here if we had kept the trillions and trillions of dollars we spend on foreign "aid" here in the States....[/QUOTE]



    Couple points. Before I responded to you on this I checked two sites on yahoo.
    1. Lots of countries did help with Katrina.
    2. Foreign aid. Check the top 25 listed on yahoo under U.S. foreign aid. I got sick. Israel I can see. Not one other country. Russia gets foreign aid. Kenya is #10. Hmmmm.
    Egypt "Give us the blind sheik" is #5.

    Top 25 Recipient Countries of U.S. Foreign Aid FY 2010 Reported in $US millions, Obligations [7]

    Tried to copy here but format is bad. Perhaps you know how. Check it. Very sad.

  18. #18
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    [QUOTE=PlumberKhan;4504381]Cut them ALL off :yes:


    F*ck em.

    How many of our "allies" are sending help to Colorado? How many sent help to NO after Katrina? Or to the midwest when a tornado outbreak occurs?

    We wouldn't be discussing 1/2 of the fiscal stuff we do here if we had kept the trillions and trillions of dollars we spend on foreign "aid" here in the States....[/QUOTE]

    I'm with PK on this one.

    Not a ****ing penny unless there is somethign truly concrete in it for us or they're our best and most loyal allies in a time of severe need.

    Otherwise, as PK says, **** um. Giving, for example, Egypt even a penny offends me on a fundamental level. Even if that penny was wasted on domestic entitlements for the unneedy and unworthy, it's a better use of that penny than giving it to ****ing Egypt.

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    [QUOTE=palmetto defender;4504390]Safety - we need to do anything we do "by evolution, not revolution".
    SS and Medicare: age 70 for people born after say 1975. Both programs need to go up in age.
    Medicare: It's $100/month. Should be $150 minimum.[/QUOTE]

    I think it's a must change for SS, those increases to medicare eligibility I'm not as wild about - but I'd make that compromise.

    [QUOTE=palmetto defender;4504390]Military: In half can not be done. 10% reduction - probably. We actually pay our troops. Plus they have benefits. Our equipment is the best in the world. BUT, we have too many toys that are unnecessary. We have allowed our suppliers to way overcharge. There are no cost controls on suppliers - hence no pressure on them to perform.
    We are way too heavy in higher ranking people that do zip. They are hanging around for their 30 year pensions. The least perfofrming people should be let go each year - I'm talking about higher ranking officers who have no committment by contract. Which is none BTW.[/QUOTE]

    With about 1,000 bases around the world and the largest nuclear arsenal, I think we can close 1/3 of our bases. We've gotten to the point where we expect every advantage in all things military, that we spend like crazy and are too quick to enter into hot spots around the globe.

    We should be focused on special forces/drone programs for anti-terror and maintaining US Naval dominance for defense.

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    [QUOTE=SafetyBlitz;4504409]I think it's a must change for SS, those increases to medicare eligibility I'm not as wild about - but I'd make that compromise.



    With about 1,000 bases around the world and the largest nuclear arsenal, I think we can close 1/3 of our bases. We've gotten to the point where we expect every advantage in all things military, that we spend like crazy and are too quick to enter into hot spots around the globe.

    We should be focused on special forces/drone programs for anti-terror and maintaining US Naval dominance for defense.[/QUOTE]

    I agree with some base closings. A third - I don't know. Need a listing. The recent one by Obama in australia is stupid. I am sure Bush had stupid ones also.
    Special forces and naval are fine. Strategic air is necessary.
    We need to maintain some tactical ground forces which are traditional. Drones are a nice assassination device but of little use in a real conflict.
    Special Forces are nice too, but have little staying power in a real conflict.

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