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OfflineEchoVortex
(hard) member
Registered: 02/06/02
Posts: 859
Last seen: 8 years, 7 months
$400 Billion FY 2003 US Defense Budget
    #1119190 - 12/07/02 03:07 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Here's the key quotation from the article reproduced below:

"For those keeping track, this year's $396 billion is more than three times the combined defense spending of Russia, China, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Cuba, Sudan and Syria. America outspends Russia, the second-biggest defense spender, by a factor of six. "

By the way, last year the OFFICIAL (this doesn't count all of the under the table deals) federal corporate welfare budget was 87 billion . see here

Compare that to 16.7 billion spent on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (i.e., "welfare")

Spending Ourselves To Death

Congress just passed the defense budget for 2003, and there are a few small pleasant surprises. According to an analysis by John Isaacs, executive director of the Council for a Livable World, our elected representatives:

* Insisted on substantial oversight over the National Missile Defense program, rejecting a White House request for a blank check. There will now be a one-time review of the costs, performance record, ability to keep to schedule and military utility of a missile defense system.

* Stopped speculation that missile defense might use nuclear weapon-tipped interceptors to shoot down incoming missiles. Defense Department officials had flirted with that idea earlier this year, and House Republicans had encouraged researching it. The Democratic Senate shot the idea down.

* Refused to permit work on low-yield nuclear weapons, and slowed - but did not stop - work on a nuclear "bunker buster." The administration is intrigued by the possibility of deploying "mini-nukes" in otherwise conventional war situations. Arms control groups counter that use of any nuclear weapon crosses a dangerous and unnecessary line.

* Sailed to the rescue of the Nunn-Lugar programs, which work to secure weapons of mass destruction, and related materials and knowledge, in the former Soviet Union. The Congress provided more than $1 billion in funding for those programs at the Energy Department, and freed up previously allocated money at the Defense Department for destroying Russian chemical weapons stocks.

* Refused to approve the Defense Department's request for exemption from seven environmental laws.

Collectively, it almost sounds like good news - a series of small victories for common sense.

But, very, very small victories, says Isaacs of the Council for a Livable World. "If you look at it, it's an almost $400 billion budget, and the president got pretty much everything he wanted," Isaacs says.

For those keeping track, this year's $396 billion is more than three times the combined defense spending of Russia, China, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Cuba, Sudan and Syria. America outspends Russia, the second-biggest defense spender, by a factor of six.

And for every "victory" for common sense, there's some backsliding in this bill. For example, it prohibits the Pentagon from encouraging military personnel to wear abayas while in Saudi Arabia - even as it bans abortions in overseas military hospitals.

Or consider missile defense. Donald Rumsfeld may have to endure a (gasp!) one-time review of the controversial program's work. But the fiscal 2003 Defense Authorization bill still includes $7.6 billion to play with. That's nearly five times more than is being spent to secure anthrax, sarin nerve gas, enriched uranium and other proliferation worries across the former Soviet Union - this for a highly hypothetical future system that, even if it did work as advertised, would be helpless before the al-Qaedas of the world.

This is why missile defense is low on the to-do list of most Americans. Asked in October to choose between missile defense or a prescription drug benefit, 51 percent chose the drug benefit and only 25 percent the missile shield. Americans also chose spending on homeland security over missile defense by 57 percent to 15 percent, and military training and pay by 55 percent to 17 percent.

The defense spending bill is also a slap in the face of some 500,000 disabled veterans. Such veterans are now barred from receiving both their military retirement pay and their veteran's disability benefits. A Senate amendment would have struck down this ban on "concurrent receipt." Instead, the defense bill was cunningly recrafted so that only certain veterans - those with 20-plus years of service and a Purple Heart - get help. Isaacs reported the compromise "left veterans' groups furious because only a small number of disabled veterans will benefit (about 33,000 out of 550,000)."

So goes the last hurrah of the Democratic-controlled Senate Armed Services Committee. Democrats this year got to draft the spending bills, leaving the Republicans to pick and choose their fights. Next year, Republicans will draw up the legislative agenda -- and leave Democrats scrambling to respond. If billions for missile defense, crumbs for veterans and ambivalence about 'bunker-buster' nukes is the best the Democrats could offer this year, one shudders at what the Republican New Year might bring.


Edited by EchoVortex (12/07/02 03:20 AM)


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InvisibleGabbaDj
BTH
 User Gallery

Registered: 04/08/01
Posts: 19,471
Loc: By The Lake
Re: $400 Billion FY 2003 US Defense Budget [Re: EchoVortex]
    #1119402 - 12/07/02 06:41 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

America also has the most money...


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GabbaDj

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Invisiblecarbonhoots
old hand

Registered: 09/11/01
Posts: 1,351
Loc: BC Canada
Re: $400 Billion FY 2003 US Defense Budget [Re: EchoVortex]
    #1119454 - 12/07/02 07:52 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

The American military machine is a wonder of the world. Never before in the history of man has there ever been such an assault force. Has any empire ever been more firmly entrenched (through sheer force) like USA?

Who couldn't fear it?

It brings some inspired words to my mind...'Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?' Rev. 13:4

The military is a bit of a beast, not near what it could be though. What happens if someone like Hitler becomes prez? A scary thought...

Carbonhoots to America...I don't think you need a 400 billion a year military. Overkill?

Hmm...very interesting phenomenon. How will this play out? Will the USA continue down this path? Trillion dollar military budgets coming soon?

USA-Military Nation




--------------------
  -I'd rather have a frontal lobotomy than a bottle in front of me

CANADIAN CENTER FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES


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Invisibledownforpot
Stranger
Male
Registered: 06/25/01
Posts: 5,715
Re: $400 Billion FY 2003 US Defense Budget [Re: carbonhoots]
    #1119581 - 12/07/02 11:32 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Rome


--------------------



http://www.myspace.com/4th25


"And I don't care if he was handcuffed
Then shot in his head
All I know is dead bodies
Can't fuck with me again"


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InvisibleXlea321
Stranger
Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: $400 Billion FY 2003 US Defense Budget [Re: EchoVortex]
    #1119585 - 12/07/02 11:33 AM (14 years, 5 months ago)

It's terrifying.

And then you hear silly bastards talking about how "we can't afford welfare".


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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Offlineehud
Rocket Scientist
Registered: 10/23/01
Posts: 217
Loc: Middle America
Last seen: 13 years, 10 months
Re: $400 Billion FY 2003 US Defense Budget [Re: carbonhoots]
    #1123262 - 12/08/02 11:50 PM (14 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

The American military machine is a wonder of the world. Never before in the history of man has there ever been such an assault force. Has any empire ever been more firmly entrenched (through sheer force) like USA?
 




that makes me feel good inside :laugh:  I think it is all a 'better us than them philosophy.'  I dont fear it.


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