Okay, this is really about neoceons, as you probably guessed by the title.
My question is a simple one: Why are the people who most strongly support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan not willing to pay for them? The same people who want a giant defense budget and wars in every country (Syria, North Korea, etc) also want to cut taxes.
I understand those who are against welfare complaining about spending (at least a little, since they are not advocating the welfare state and then refusing to pay for it); however, it is inexplicable why there is such a bewildering silence about the debt by those who advocate for a profligate surveillance state and war economy.
cuz there is too much money involved right now..lots of power would be lost.....too many jobs on the line....too many deals have been made...and lots of kick backs for sure...welfare is peanuts compared to the money made through defense/war..............my 2 cents.......
Maybe....because we know that there's a thousand programs and carp that could be cut instead of focusing on cutting the military budget and welfare programs.
Maybe...'cause we're mad that liberals use those necessary programs as a bribe and a distraction from the fact that our economic "experts" could be cutting the programs like research into the mating habits of iguanas and groups funded to teach school children about gay sex positions and whatever else they decide is interesting.
Why would you not volunteer to pay more taxes to pay for the war effort, if you think every single thing the government does must be immediately paid for?
iguanas or koalas or chimps or whatever; they're all funded and promoted as though they were more important than starving children in America.
So you are arguing we should feed everyone before we go off into highly removed scientific questions?
I'm saying our Government spends huge sums of money to fund everything from Obama's special "groups" that keep campaigning for his agenda, to things like this---------check this site out-------
http://endoftheamericandream.com/archiv … g-money-on
and all the while whining about how much debt we're in and wanting to dip into citizens' pockets all the time.
I already recognize some of them as urban legends and most are entirely useful, ie. Tattoo removal is essential, for example in certain areas when someone leaves a gang still having their tattoos is enough to get them killed but tattoo removal is expensive, if we want to tackle gangs it's an important step.
http://endoftheamericandream.com/archiv … g-money-on = Nothing but a bunch of conservative BS.
Why is it that so many people who want to raise taxes are unwilling to have serious spending cuts? I am a conservative. I would be willing to cut our military as long as we cut other programs that are bleeding our country dry. The problem is that the POTUS wants to raise taxes and then have extremely modest cuts. It's not a balanced approach, and it will result in additional decades of further debt. Just today, Nancy Pelosi said that we need to spend decades balancing our budget. Try that one in a business, and see how long you last.
As I pointed out in a previous thread: fiscal conservatism is incompatible with a large military, as it aids and incentivises the growth of the state. Any conservatives de-crying socialism need to start talking about cutting military spending as it is the most destructive socialist program the world has ever seen.
I keep meaning to ask you and forgetting. Are you in favor of a standing army? I'm open to being against it, but I haven't read much on the matter.
I'm not in favour. I believe a society's protection should be subject to consumer demand and competition like every other service. In matters of 'how would an anarchist system work for social problem X', I refer to Rothbard:
If you don't have time to read it, here's the argument against the main objection to the private defense market:
"Of course, some of the private defense agencies will become criminal, just as some people become criminal now. But the point is that in a stateless society there would be no regular, legalized channel for crime and aggression, no government apparatus the control of which provides a secure monopoly for invasion of person and property."
P.S. the reason I go on about Murray Rothbard so much is he has probably the best deductive reasoning I've ever seen and explains everything in a manner that the intelligent lay-person can understand. Severely underrated historian and economist, irrespective of ideology.
So eliminate the government's monopoly on violence.
What about courts?
These would be handled by the market too, but without the state they would be restricted to dispute resolution, that can often be solved by insurance policies or simply between the parties involved in the dispute.
By the way, a while back you said you'd get back to me on how exactly you'd go about restricting corporate power without expansion of government. Have any thoughts on that?
Corporate existence is a legal concept. Corporations were originally charted by governments, but then eventually came to be a norm. Our courts could simply stop recognizing their right to exist. This would force businesses to reorganize themselves on a fairer basis.
This isn't a perfect solution though, so I'm still thinking it through, but the fact about corporate charters is historical and could be done away with.
Oh right, well I took it as a given, as the modern corporation is a product of the state, that they would disappear under a stateless society. Courts are not going to provide unfair special market privileges, etc. voluntarily. However, you're not going to be able to stop people from acquiring large amounts of wealth and investing it in businesses, that may indeed get quite large. If you see this as a bad thing, I was wondering how you would curb it non-violently.
Violent restructuring of entire society doesn't produce lasting results. It also puts massive amounts of power in the hands of a few, which is currently the problem.
If people come to believe money is meaningless, and they simply contribute what they can and enjoy the contribution itself, along with partaking in the products everyone works together to make, there wouldn't be any rational reason to accumulate stuff to begin with.
However, if I were a capitalist, but also feared concentrated power, I would make sure barriers to market entry were incredibly low, and patents didn't last more than a year or two.
This is all just rough approximation though.
Waiting for you to be called out for heresy, innersmiff.
How DARE you equate our military with the "s" word?
True fiscal conservatives can absolutely believe in a strong military as long as it can be sustained without massive taxation or debt. Conservatives do believe in government, just in a limited form. Most of those limitations are expressed in a limitation of social programs and spending. Eisenhower was a fairly good example. He knew the value of a strong military but spoke out against allowing the military expenditures to get out of control. It's all about balance, not elimination of a strong military.
With this particular point I am addressing the conservatives that claim to be 'small government' yet balk at the suggestion of so much as a dime cut from the military as it currently stands: excessive and aggressive. This comes from a conflation of 'strong' and 'large'. How strong is too strong? Apparently nothing, according to this form of neocon. With this mindset, spending rises and the government gets bigger. The state thrives on war.
If you're not one of these people, good for you. However, there is inherent inconsistency in calling oneself a capitalist whilst supporting socialised military.
Must take you to task there. Socialism promotes internationalism and therefore requires much smaller military forces.
It is unfettered capitalism that spends a lot on the military.
Where an industry is monopolised by the government, this is socialistic behaviour. It may not be your idea of an ideal socialism, but this is fact. Explicitly socialist and communist countries haven't been as imperialistic as large state-capitalist countries in the past, but they haven't exactly been beacons of peace either. I don't think there is a significant correlation. The military is a purely statist phenomenon, and would not exist if countries took capitalism seriously.
So in the whole history of the world there have never been any private armies!
I don't think that is correct.
The modern state-military is what causes most war in the world, and is inherently un-capitalistic.
You can't get any more capitalist than power and money.
Wait a minute. The definition of capitalism is the private ownership of the means of production, and where goods and services are exchanged voluntarily. The Western military powers are controlled by governments - they are not subject to market forces. This can hardly be called capitalism unless you call any system where people profit from certain actions, capitalism. If that's the case, every economic system in the world is capitalism.
And where do the military powers source all their equipment?
Correct me if I'm wrong but I think you'll find the means of production are privately owned.
I don't make a distinction between the labels that you attach to the institutions that literally produce the goods that are monopolised through the violence of the government. A private company that has a government-sanctioned monopoly over an industry is little different to a direct government monopoly over an industry. Either way, they are both anti-capitalist.
True free-market capitalism is when the market is free from coercive power.
And where does this wonderful place occur? And how long would it remain immune to the robber barons?
I do notice however that you've stopped insisting that military might = socialism, well done.
The practicality of true capitalism is not the topic of this thread so I shall hold off on that point, for the moment.
A state military is socialistic. It may indeed buy weapons and equipment from private companies, but the service that the military provides is monopolised and run by the government.
No, a state military is a state military. Saying it is socialistic is abusing both terms.
And since when was monopoly social? Try telling Bill Gates that he's a Socialist running a socialist organisation!
So a government-run healthcare and education system is socialistic, but a military isn't? OK, good for you I guess.
Government-sanctioned monopoly is the coercive, and socialistic type I am drawing attention to. The government defines itself by it's monopoly of legal aggression over a certain land-mass, and certain industries. When an industry is completely run by the government, it is said to be 'nationalised' or 'socialised'. The terms don't matter as much as the description: when an industry is systematically coercive rather than voluntary.
Why should we pay more money when so much is squandered by the government?
Let me clarify.
The welfare state isn't going anywhere anytime soon, and if you are a true debt hawk, then you have to take the political realities as they are, not as you wish them to be. You are claiming that the wars and the spying by the government are indispensable, necessary to the security of the United States; so, this type of activity for you, a neocon, is non-negotiable.
Hence, if you want a giant police state, you must take into account that there will still be entitlement spending; there will be NASA and other scientific research. There is no escaping this, so the only alternative is to raise taxes on the wealthy or yourself (which is easier than cutting spending) to pay for your wars and surveillance, which you think you cannot live without.
Yes, I can see how this doesn't really relate to me. For the record, I am adamantly opposed to the government's spying activities and drone usage against American citizens. I do not want a giant police state. I want a nation that can live within its means. I want freedom from worrying about my own government going broke or spying on me. Yes, I can see how this doesn't really relate to me.
I don't think that's an unreasonable demand. Liberals aren't arguing that the debt is nothing.
Aside from medical spending—which could be drastically reduced with a universal system where the government can negotiate prices—once the economy recovers, revenues are going to naturally increase on their own. If we trim the military to 1990 levels, drastically reduce the budget for homeland security, and completely eliminate SS and Medicare for the wealthy, I don't think we will be on bad footing at all.
However, medical spending is going to eventually destroy us, because the inflation is so rapid. The only alternative to a universal system is to drastically cut Medicare and Medicaid, which means dooming vast swaths of the population to permanent illness and premature death.
Socialized health care will bankrupt America. Entitlements must be cut too. Foreign aid must be cut. Worthless studies must be cut. Do we really need to spend money determining how goldfish get along? These cuts need to occur too. It shouldn't simply be cuts to the military. There needs to be balance and prioritization. I'm willing to cut the military as long as cuts occur in many, many other areas too.
By your reasoning we will go bankrupt as a nation. "You have to take the political realities as they are, not as you wish them to be", and this is true.
So we have to have a giant military, feed half the nation off the efforts of the other half, support NASA and other research. That's the political reality. One that says we refuse to control spending by cutting anything at all.
If you're right, and those things are untouchable (as is the military) then the country is doomed. Not a prospect we can afford to allow.
I think he may be trying to say that at times you have to be pragmatic when creating policy.
You can't just cut spending to cut spending. It has to be done in a way that won't create other nasty consequences.
Realistic policy for sure. If I were in Congress, I wouldn't propose cutting the military down to 1990 levels; it would have to be less. But, that would be my ultimate goal.
Ideally, I'd like it to be much lower than that, but I know it would never be possible to do such a thing.
I remember Thatcher in the early 1980s made savage cuts to public spending and actually forced public spending up as a result!
"Pragmatic", yes. The problem is that one person's pragmatic is another's doomsday. Everything we spend is absolutely necessary if you ask the right people.
So the answer is to examine everything. Military, entitlements, pork, congressional salaries, and road construction. Everywhere we spend a dime, and not automatically exclude anything from potential cuts.
*shrug* - it isn't going to happen. Every politician has their pet projects that must be protected at all costs, whether actually beneficial to the country or not. It's the political reality of the situation, and until it changes and politicians care more about the country than their constituency or their job nothing will change.
That's for neocons.
The military can easily be cut, as can all the spies and many of the TSA agents.
So can the entitlement programs. Just slash 40% across the board.
Cutting is easy; predicting the results is not. No matter what you cut you will find someone predicting dire consequences. You obviously feel that drastic cuts to military spending will have beneficial results; others will predict unpalatable results.
That's my point; no matter what you cut it's going to hurt someone, somewhere and there will be people predicting terrible results. How do you decide just what to cut, then? Use your predictions? Mine? The "experts", no two of which can agree?
The idea behind entitlements is noble, even if you disagree with the way they are administered. It could be a good intentions gone bad sort of thing. But military spending dwarfs everything but medical spending (and medicine is a special case because of the rapid inflation, which happens nowhere else in the economy).
Invasions of privacy and a surveillance state are not about good intentions. Their only goal is to increase the power of the state and stifle dissent. Warrants used to be required for wiretaps. No more. The law did not codify in definite detention. Now it does.
State power cannot extend to every single aspect of our lives.
The primary, number one duty of government is to protect the country: military spending should be larger than nearly anything else. After that comes other things that benefit the country as a whole, things such as the interstate highway or educational systems.
Quite a ways down the list comes protection for individuals (police, fire, etc.) and even lower is support for individual citizens - the entitlement costs that are soaking up so much of our earnings. You're right - it's noble, it's moral, and we all agree that it's extremely desirable but it's way out of control and to the point that it will bankrupt the country if we don't learn that we can't have everything we want.
Military spending isn't the same as the police state. I'm not against having a military or weapons. What I am against is the massive amount of spending we do on weapons and overseas adventures because there is oil and we want to control the governments of other countries.
Don't misunderstand - I fully agree with this. While I do think that advanced weaponry is very important the use we put those weapons to very often is not.
I don't see it as wanting oil OR control of other governments as much as a desire to impress our morals and way of life on others. Oil is a convenient whipping boy - it's necessary to maintain our country - but also has little to do with our current wars in the middle east. We aren't at war with any of the major suppliers of that commodity. Nor is actual control an issue - it's nice to have friendly countries, but control demands occupation and we don't do that.
We very much DO need to reign in the idea that we are the police of the world, that our way of life is best for everyone, and that everyone needs to conform to our social structure. We also need to reign in our own internal police state; the ongoing actions to exert ever more control over our own citizens needs to be reversed.
Doing those things isn't going to make a huge impact on the military budget, though. Sure, we spend on the weapons being expended, we spend some fuel and lose some planes, etc., but they are the smaller part of total military budget.
I recently read a book about the Berlin Wall, Berlin being, as you well know, in Germany, not America but in several pictures of Check Point Charlie can clearly be seen signs saying "You are now leaving the American zone". what is that if not occupation?
Thank your lucky stars we were there to "occupy" at the time - the UK might not exist today if the Americans weren't around then.
It's not always a bad thing - we "occupied" Kuwait for a while, too.
That's not the sense in which I meant the word, though. What I referred to may be more "colonialization"; to occupy with general population, not soldiers, to enforce American laws, politics and society onto the natives, etc. To become a part of the US.
Although that was attempted in Kuwait, and there is a continual battle around Israel over who owns what, and although the UK, France and Spain commonly "occupied" in the past, it just isn't done much any more. The world won't tolerate it.
Few would refute the fact that Eisenhower was a military genius and a conservative. We definitely need to have a strong military, one that can handle any potential threat. We need to have the strongest military, but our expenditures are out of control. Eisenhower was president during part of the Cold War, a time when military expenditures needed to be significant. Our military expenditures, in inflation-adjusted dollars, are the greatest since before Eisenhower was president. Are our threats greater now than any time during the Cold War? We can still have the greatest military in the world by spending at Eisenhower levels.
I'm willing to cut military spending, something I hate doing, down to somewhere near Eisenhower levels, based on percent of GDP, but I want deep cuts in social spending and entitlements; I want cuts in spending such that we have a balanced budget in years, not decades. I want Obamacare abolished, as it will be America's financial death nail. Let's get serious about cutting expenditures. If not now, then when?
It's really hard for those in Washington to focus on monumental thinking when they have scheduled 239 days off for 2013.
Wow, that's pretty bad. Great point.
And yet they get paid more than the people who actually do, you know, work (construction workers, brick layers, warehouse distribution haulers, etc.)...
Something's rotten in the state of Denma--er, America.
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