Why Defense Spending is Bloated

POLITICIANS: You want more tanks!

MILITARY: Nah, we’re good…

POLITICIANS: You want more tanks!

MILITARY: We don’t need anymore. Thank you.

POLITICIANS: YOU WANT MORE TANKS!!!

MILITARY: No, WE DO NOT…

POLITICIANS: YOU WANT MORE TANKS!!!!
Oh, and please cut your budget by $500 billions.

http://news.yahoo.com/army-says-no-more-tanks-congress-insists-115422396.html

***

So why this insanity, where politicians force the military to buy equipment they do not need or want?

I believe this article highlights the answer. 560 different sub-contractors.  40 of which are in Pennsylvania.  Okay, so it seems like Pennsylvania is to blame. But wait 560/50 states = 56 each. So actually, Pennsylvania may not even have it’s full share of the blame.

So what gives?  It’s the “economy stupid”.  We have evolved the military machine into a jobs machine.  And what better way to keep a program from getting cancelled than to make sure every politician benefits.

If the entire production of the M1 Abram was done in Pennsylvania. It’s cancellation at the request of the military would only cause “job losses” in Pennsylvania.  But by dividing production across multiple states, even though it greatly raises inefficiencies, we can prevent a program from being killed.

Now it’s not just Pennsylvanians losing jobs, its dozens of other states. This is also a large part of what has made the F-35 probably the most abysmal acquisition failure in the history of the United States military.  A jet fighter to support the more capable F-22, as a more budget friendly fighter.  Except its total cost per plane after development and procurement costs will now exceed the F-22 by millions. Ooops.

First off, I believe we don’t need to have as big of a military force as we do.  And I feel localized development where you have a few locations capable of manufacturing equipment of a given type.  But localized within a state. While slow downs hurt. It allows those reductions to be done politically.

And why is this important? Because I believe the defense of this nation is jeopardized by such projects. We’re spending a trillion dollars on the F-35. When the #1 threat to America is a sailboat coming into a U.S. port from West Africa or Indonesia with a WMD.  And might I inquire where is all the new equipment for the U.S. Coast Guard. Who now has to address drug dealers smuggling in submarines.

Do we need more super-carriers to police the whole world? Or safer borders to protect our own cities. Answer that question and you see how screwed up military/defense spending in the U.S. is at the moment.

We’re focused on the wrong weapons development.  It’s like history repeating itself. We’re building battleships when aircraft carriers are the future. Now we’re building aircraft carriers, when fast nimble border guarding equipment is priority.

And yes, I fear another “Pearl Harbor/9-11” type incident because of this…one that would be far far worse.

 

 

Advertisements

Why we need PAC money…sadly

Dear CNN

Why is it always “Right-wing extremists dangerous as Al-Quaeda?”, seriously? We’ve had numerous incidents of left-wing terrorism. But for whatever reason, CNN, you simply are incapable of speaking against your own leanings.

That’s cowardly. And I believe Thomas Paine would be ashamed to call CNN.com a part of the press.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/07/opinion/bergen-terrorism-wisconsin/index.html?hpt=hp_c3

I often hear people complain of corporate PAC money, but we need it. We need it because of entities like CNN.com, MSNBC (now NBC News once again). These monstrous medial conglomerates that essentially spend every day campaigning for certain candidates with rarely an opinion from the opposing side ever voice.

I am of the opinion that CNN should be required to register itself as a PAC.

Published in: on August 8, 2012 at 1:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

And then there was “ONE”

Rick Santorum has announced his bid to suspend his campaign. While I did not want Santorum to be our nominee. I am once against greatly disturbed by the fact thay I do not ever get a chance to vote in Presidential primaries.

I believe the system is seriously seriously BROKEN. And I question whether we can look at this system and call it effective for Presidential elections. I do not believe it to be so. I do still believe our system works reasonably well for local state based elections. But the presidential primary election is to me, merely a fraud.

The presidential primary has been structured to prevent opportunity to vote. The primary should be established on a single day. The entire country should vote. And any primary held before that date is not counted.

Plain. Simple. Honest (Something lacking in politics.)

***

To be honest, I believe I will be leaving the Republican party after this election.  And I believe this continued disenfranchisement of voters will kill the Republican Party over the next few more election cycles.

Published in: on April 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Is Romney really THIS stupid?

“‘You know, I think it’s about envy. I think it’s about class warfare,’ the leading Republican presidential candidate said Wednesday on The Today Show.” (See Article)

While there is class warfarism, and it is played heavily in politics. I think the Republican candidates need to quit with the universal deniability.

When Hermain Cain said “they just need to go out and get a job”. He demonstrated how far he was from reality. Romney is doing the same here. When McDonald’s had their “hiring spree” last year, they hired 62,000 new employees (probably at $8/hr). But the scary part was that they received something around 980,000 applications. That means nearly a million people were unable to get a job even at the largest fast food chain.

The stark reality is that most of those 900,000+ individuals need a job that pays better than an entry level fast food wage in order to survive and provide for their families. Could you live on $20,000 a year? And that’s assuming a $10/hr wage with a 40 hour week. I can bet you most of those 60,000 new hires did not see that. Most probably received an $8-$9/hr and were probably allocated part time hours scattered every which way of the week.

Meanwhile, the middle class and the working class have seen their places greatly eroded. The role of company man, working 30+ years and retiring with a pension is gone, and has been gone for a while. We were sold the 401K/IRA retirement funds.

Many saw those savings decimated, especially those close to retirement. Most of us never saw the promised gains. I started my retirement fund immediately after the dot com stock crash. I bought low, and should have seen good growth over the decade before the next downward cycle. But it never materialized. And for many, what little growth they had in the retirement savings was cashed out during prolonged periods of unemployment, leaving many individuals with a meager present and a bleak future.

Meanwhile, we reportedly see CEOs of failing & bailed out companies receiving huge bonuses. We see banks adding fees and engaging in unscrupilous practices. The truth is that the deck is stacked against the workers. And people are frustrated that their retirement funds have been decimated, their home values deciminated, their net worth, incomes, savings all decimated. While the elite are earning higher profits than ever.

THINGS NEED TO CHANGE

I am all for capitalism, but I am also for stiff protections against fraud, theft, and unscrupolous practices. I believe that is the only true role of government in commerce.

So no Mr. Romney, this isn’t just about envy. It’s about frustration. it’s about a deck that is pretty well stacked in your favor, and the favor of other uber-elites.

A simple example. Take the Social Security tax (and that’s what it is, a tax and nothing more). All the elite get to stop paying at $250,000. Why? Why do we have a tax that ends when you make enough money?

For Mr. Romney to be so out of touch with the average working American, shows an inability on his part to perform the role of President of the United States.

We can admit that there are serious flaws in our system without blaming it on capitalism. But we can’t laud capitalism and blame the current problems that exist in our system merely on envy. If you can’t even see the problems Mr. Romney, how can you fix them?

How can we tell people to just quit being lazy and get a job, if a hundreds of thousands of people couldn’t even get a job at McDonald’s?

Published in: on January 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , , ,