Myths About Defense Spending

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Revmitchell, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. Revmitchell

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  2. JustChristian

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    In 2008, the U.S. will spend slightly less than the rest of the WORLD on defense (48% vs. 52% for the rest of the world).

    http://www.globalissues.org/Geopolitics/ArmsTrade/Spending.asp#WorldMilitarySpending

    Maybe you consider that appropriate for a nation that proclaims itself to be a Christian nation but I don't. I suppose it is the right number for a country that wants to rule the world which was the Neocons stated objective.
     
  3. Revmitchell

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    :laugh: :laugh:
     
  4. billreber

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    I am reminded about a series of magazine articles (I think it was TIME or NEWSWEEK, but cannot remember which for sure) in the late 1970s.

    One week, the cover and the main story was about the "outrageous military pay rates" over the previous 10 years. The military had received about 200 percent raise over that time!

    The next week, in the same magazine, the cover and the main article was about how inflation had risen in the previous 10 years - about 230 percent!

    (Disclaimer notice! I DO NOT remember the exact figures given. My point is that inflation EXCEEDED what military pay had risen.) This same kind of thing is happening now. My annual "cost of living" pay raise with my current civilian job does not pay for the extra gas cost to get me to work!

    I see the same kind of argument in the websites listed (by both sides, BTW). We do not know the correct information, mainly because NOBODY wants us to know the truth. They only want to tell their side of the matter, hoping to influence us one way or another.

    As a retired USAF enlisted man, I can say for a fact that my retirement pay is NOT very much. It pays my house payment, but not enough to pay for a tank of gas after that! And yet I have been told that "military retirement pay is exorbitant" by some people! I also remember that, as a young airman in the early 1970s, I could NOT qualify for low-income housing, because I did not make enough salary!

    Hopefully, everyone who reads this will begin to question BOTH sides about spending levels, not just for the military, but also for everything else our governments (at all levels) want to spend.

    Bill:godisgood:
     
  5. billwald

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    Most of the defense budget should be renamed "offense budget."
     
  6. JustChristian

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    World Defense Spending

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/spending.htm

    World$1100 billion 2004 est. [see Note 4]
    Rest-of-World [all but USA]$500 billion 2004 est. [see Note 4]
    United States $623 billion FY08 budget [see Note 6]
    China $65.0 billion 2004 [see Note 1]
    Russia $50.0 billion [see Note 5] France $45.0 billion 2005
    United Kingdom $42.8 billion 2005 est.
    Japan $41.75 billion 2007
    Germany $35.1 billion 2003
    Italy $28.2 billion 2003
    South Korea $21.1 billion 2003 est.
    India $19.0 billion 2005 est.

    Military budget of the United States
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States

    The United States military budget is that portion of the United States discretionary federal budget that is allocated to the Department of Defense. This military budget pays the salaries, training, and healthcare of uniformed and civilian personnel, maintains arms, equipment and facilities, funds operations, and develops and buys new equipment. The budget funds all branches of the U.S. military: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

    For 2007, the budget rose to US$439.3 billion.[1] This does not include many military-related items that are outside of the Defense Department budget, such as nuclear weapons research, maintenance and production (~$9.3 billion, which is in the Department of Energy budget), Veterans Affairs (~$33.2 billion) or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (which are largely funded through extra-budgetary supplements, ~$170 billion in 2007).[2] Conversely, the military budget does allocate money for dual-use items, such as the development of infrastructure surrounding U.S. military bases. Altogether, military-related expenses totaled approximately $626.1 billion.[3]
    Comparison with other countries

    Military spending as a percentage of GDP
    The 2005 U.S. military budget is almost as much as the rest of the world's defense spending combined [7] and is over eight times larger than the official military budget of China. (Note that this comparison is done in nominal value US dollars and thus is not adjusted for purchasing power parity.) The United States and its close allies are responsible for about two-thirds of the world's military spending (of which, in turn, the U.S. is responsible for the majority).
    Military discretionary spending accounts for more than half of the U.S. federal discretionary spending, which is all of the U.S. federal government budget that is not appropriated for mandatory spending.[8]

    In 2003, the United States spent about 47% of the world's total military spending of US$910.6 billion, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

    The United States spends 3.7% of its GDP on its military, more than France's 2.6% and less than Saudi Arabia's 10%.[9] This is historically low for the United States since it peaked in 1944 at 37.8% of GDP (it reached the lowest point of 3.0% in 1999-2001). Even during the peak of the Vietnam War the percentage reached a high of 9.4% in 1968.[10]

    Because the U.S. GDP has risen over time, the military budget can rise in absolute terms while shrinking as a percentage of the GDP. For example, according to the Center for Defense Information, the US outlays for defense as a percentage of federal discretionary spending, has from Fiscal Year 2003 consumed more than half (50.5%) of all such funding and has risen steadily.[11] Discretionary spending accounts for approximately 1/3 of all federal outlays.[12] Therefore, comparing nominal dollar values of military spending over the course of decades fails to account for the impact of inflationary forces, for which military spending as a percentage of GDP does account.

    The recent invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan are largely funded through supplementary spending bills outside the Federal Budget, so they are not included in the military budget figures listed above.[13] In addition, the United States has black budget military spending which is not listed as Federal spending and is not included in published military spending figures. Other military-related items, like maintenance of the nuclear arsenal and the money spent by the Veterans Affairs Department, are not included in the official budget. Thus, the total amount spent by the United States on military spending is higher.
     
  7. NiteShift

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    Personnel costs are more than half of the defense budget.

    And of course, this is because we have an all-volunteer military.

    Edit. - OK, let me correct myself. The largest expenditure is operations and maintenance of equipment. After that is personnel cost.
     
    #7 NiteShift, Jul 15, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 15, 2008
  8. JustChristian

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    Why do we need so many personnel? Why can't we use diplomacy instead of war?
     
  9. carpro

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    Sometimes the conversation just kinda dries up. :tonofbricks:
     
  10. NiteShift

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    Well the military is about 40% smaller now than it was at time of the Gulf War in 1990. So that is one reason for using all those contractors that you spoke about in another thread.

    "If we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war"
    - George Washington


    lol...funny how that happens.
     
  11. Revmitchell

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    ............................
     
  12. Andre

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    You are, of course, correct. Such extensive expenditures on defense expose a strain of militarism that is inconsistent with the gospel. Projecting power in the world this way is not the way that Jesus would have us follow"

    Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43Not so with you
     
  13. Pastor Larry

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    So is it your contention that the gospel does not permit self-defense of either person or nation?
     
  14. Andre

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    No, I do not hold such a view.

    But when a nation literally bristles with military might, such as when a nation with about 5 % of the world's population spends 50 % of what the world spends on defence, the implicit message it sends to the world is one of exercizing and projecting power through military might. And that is the problem.

    The issues here are indeed subtle. I do not have the knowledge to make a case that the American military has power that far exceeds it legitimate need to defend itself. However, my gut tells me that this is indeed the case.

    I would politely ask American readers to consider the possibilty that they may be mixing up national values with gospel values. There may be a place for national or personal self-defence in the kingdom, but it really seems that the magnitude of present US military power, even if just as a looming threat, is a subtle way to exercise power in the world in a way that is out of step with teachings like Mark 10.
     
  15. Bro. Curtis

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    Andre has said David's Psalms for victory in war are sins, so one must put his arguments in that context, when engaged with him.

    I would politely ask him to go away.
     
  16. Andre

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    I am afraid that I will decline your kind invitation to go away - <edited by request-LE> I know that being presented with arguments to which you seem unwilling or incapable of mounting a scriptural defence may be personally frustrating for you, but so it goes.
     
    #16 Andre, Jul 17, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 17, 2008
  17. Pastor Larry

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    Why is that a problem? The best kind of defense is to scare other people. It keeps you from having to use your power.

    Funny thing ... This is exactly what saying in a previous thread and youre were vehemently rejecting.
     
  18. JustChristian

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    We put ourselves in a situation where we really needed to bring back the draft in order to successfully complete these wars but the president didn't have enough support to do that. Instead, he's made National Guard troops serve four times in the war zones. What do you suppose that does to moral?

    I support paying soldiers more but I think we should be more discriminating when starting wars.
     
  19. NiteShift

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    It sounds like you are making the case for bringing our armed forces back up to their previous size. We had much larger military in the 90's without needing a draft.

    Multiple tours are hard on servicemembers and their families. My son was deployed twice to Iraq, and I can't say he was thrilled about it, but did his job.
     
  20. NiteShift

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    A national characteristic in many societies for the last 60 years has been a distaste for all things military. Is it possible that you are mistaking one of your national values for gospel values?

    Zephaniah 3:17 "The Lord your God is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory."
     

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