It is interesting to note how China came to the aid in investing in U.S. bonds at a time when our staggering debt and troubled economy needed a boost.
In that the issue of "healthcare not warfare"- has become such a vital topic in today's progressive circles much can be learned from evaluating what China spends on its military compared to U.S. expenditures.
Retired Air Force Colonel Chet Richards wrote in the January 1, 2009 issue of The Washington Spectator:
"The new administration will take office in January 2009, inheriting a budget for the Department of Defense that will exceed $600 billion per year, roughly equal to the rest of the world. Because we are not facing the possibility of armed conflict with the rest of the world put together, it's clear that some adjustment is appropriate."-
The figure expands from that substantial base. The Office of Management and Budget's calculation of "total defense spending"- for fiscal 2009 also includes the U.S. Department of Energy, the budget of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and defense-related interest on the national debt.
When all of the above categories are included along with the initial $600 billion figure the total reaches $863.7 billion.
Yet alas, there is more! The last figure does not include a realistic account of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the $70 billion supplemental appropriation Congress approved in 2008 will only keep "American boots on the ground"- for three to four months.
According to Colonel Richards' calculations an additional $100 billion will be required even if President Obama begins drawing down troop levels in Iraq.
What kind of ultimate figure results? Something on the scale of around $1 trillion.
What about China, the nation from which we received the shot in the arm through bond investment? China spends $122 billion on defense.
How about Russia. What was once the leading cog in what President Ronald Reagan referred to as "The Evil Empire"- has an even lower figure. Russia spends $70 billion on defense.
The comparative figure study leads us back to the first draft of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Farewell Address of January 17, 1961, in which the following statement was made by a two term outgoing Republican chief executive who served as Supreme Allied Commander in World War Two in a previous role as General Eisenhower:
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial-congressional complex."-
After editing the word "congressional"- was removed. How interesting!
President Obama, please take note of this trend. Let us begin trimming defense expenditures unneeded on the current global stage.
Invest the money saved on a comprehensive health care package, preferably a single payer approach, that covers all Americans along with transferring excessive weapons purchasing into green technology.
(This article also appears on the Political Cortex website.)