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America Being Driven Over the Fiscal Cliff by the Monumental Cost of the Military

By       Message Michael Payne     Permalink
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What exactly is going on here? The last time that any U.S. fighter jet was involved in any kind of dogfight with some other foreign aircraft was back in 1981 when two American F-14s shot down two Soviet jets flown by Libyan pilots over the Mediterranean's Gulf of Sidra. At a time when a growing number of military analysts are predicting the eventual demise of aircraft carriers due to their extreme vulnerability to deadly, highly sophisticated missiles, we have the U.S. spending hundreds of billions on thousands more fighter jets?


I'm certainly not saying that the military should not develop new jet fighter planes to defend this country. But what we are seeing happen with the U.S. military machine is complete overkill, a bloated budget, policies and programs that simply defy logic and reason.

These insightful generals also said: "Sadly, defense spending is driven by political interests, not necessity. In his 1986 book The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, Paul Kennedy argues that great powers fall by bankrupting themselves to rule extensive empires." These military leaders are obviously students of history as it is a fact that every empire in the history of the world has collapsed at some point and the primary cause is that they have destroyed their financial foundations. America is now on the road to that same fate.

What we don't need in America is a military war machine that has over 1000 bases in 130 countries. We don't need a hubristic agenda that has turned the Department of Defense into the Department of War. We don't need to have thousands upon thousands of troops stationed in Germany, the U.K., Spain, Italy, Korea, Japan, and numerous other nations.

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We don't need and cannot afford to wastefully spend $1 trillion annually on the budgets of the Pentagon, Homeland Security and other associated agencies. In contrast, the next 14 top military spending nations in the world have a combined total of $711 billion. China and Russia, who may pose the greatest threat to America at some time in the future, together total $215 billion. That is astounding, simply beyond comprehension but that's reality.  


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It is the height of irresponsibility for our politicians, bureaucrats and facilitators of perpetual war to continue to condone and protect the monumental size and waste involved with this mega-military and, at the same time, call for spending cuts in this nation's most important social programs. What we have here is a very well-crafted plan to provide a continue stream of taxpayer dollars into the coffers of the many defense industry corporations that thrive and prosper on war and empire.


The American people have, in effect, been taken hostage by the Military-Industrial Complex which is pushing this country over the financial cliff and into eventual financial insolvency if we don't put a stop to the waste. To keep spending $1 trillion annually with money that is being created out of the air by the Treasury Department's printing presses and borrowing from China is ludicrous. This article by Chris Hellman and Mattea Kramer provides an excellent analysis of the spending for the military and associated agencies.


The American people should be incensed by this horrendous waste of their money but they remain silent and passive and afraid that if they speak out that they will be labeled as unpatriotic and even traitors. That's a result of many years of being exposed to mind conditioning by the government and the media to blindly support the military no matter what it does.


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This entire discussion and debate about going over the fiscal cliff seems to be devoid of rational thinking. The lame arguments go back and forth, over and over again, with the same monotonous positions being taken by the opposing sides. While it has been said time and time again that Social Security has nothing to do with the national deficits because it functions on its own and is administered outside the government budgets, the Republicans keep bringing it up in the discussions.


One of the most troubling aspects of these fiscal cliff discussions has been the performance of President Obama. He has the people of America solidly behind him, he holds the winning hand, and has Boehner and the GOP against the ropes. But, as we have seen so often, he is again waffling and giving up ground. Just today he made another concession whereby he is offering up cuts to Social Security and Medicare. His fellow Democrats in Congress, if they have any spine left, should make it very clear that they will not support his latest cave-in to the Republicans.

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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)

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