All the political "flap-doodling" we've heard lately (mostly from the Republicans) regarding a possible government shutdown, the debt, the budget deficit "crisis," whether on the national or state scenes, are pure hokum.
That's because the one fiscal item barely discussed that is THE primary reason this "crisis" even exists is of course the sacrosanct defense budget and the costs of our wars (the latter not included in the budget but paid for as a "supplement" approved by the Congress).
The defense budget (cost of wars included) dwarf all other expenditures in the budget including social security, Medicare and Medicaid. And what exactly do we get for our money?
1. Ballistic Missile Defense- Initiated 1961, Cost $135 billion w/ add'l cost of $40 billion over the next 3 fiscal yrs.
2. Littoral Combat System- Initiated 2003, Cost $30 billion when completed in 2015
3. Future Combat System- Initiated 2003, Cost $340 billion w/$248 billion in excess
4. Ford Class Supercarrier-Initiated 2007, Cost $120 billion for 10 carriers, to be completed by 2040
5. F-35 Lightning II, Initiated 2000, Cost $325 Billion for 2,457 fighters w/ $147 billion in overruns
6. Global Information Grid, Initiated 1991, Cost $300 billion
7. Mine Resistant Ambush Protection Vehicle, Initiated 1978, Cost $36 billion, upkeep $3.2 billion a yr.
8. Navy/Marine Corps Intranet, Initiated 2000, Cost $10 billion w/ $1 billion annual cost
None of these defense appropriations are necessary and missile defense has always proved unsuccessful in every test where simple decoys overwhelm a single test (even those tests conducted in perfect conditions). It can easily be overwhelmed by MIRV's (multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicles). Besides there are no enemy threats, imminent or otherwise that exist to rationally justify (the operative words) building and/or making them.
But reason doesn't enter the discussion of why we build them or need them.
They exist pretty much in a life on their own i.e. they provide jobs and are built in the districts of 44 out the 50 states and have the political backing of the Congressmen, Senators and state legislators who represent those districts and states. 
If reason was a part of the political discourse, the devastation and unnecessary deaths of thousands caused by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath in the summer of 2005 wouldn't have been so severe.
1 | 2