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Posted by on Jul 10, 2015 in Budget, Military | 6 comments

A Conservative Criticizes Her Fellow Conservatives On Defense Spending

shutterstock_183291305Conservative A.J. Delgado  is critical of her fellow conservatives on defense spending.

Conservatives are fiscally responsible. We believe in smaller government, cutting government spending and reducing the national debt. So why do we support reckless, bloated, wasteful government spending on so-called “defense” — and even fight to increase it?

She then provides them with some hard numbers.

In the 2015 fiscal year, our defense spending will total approximately $600 billion. It is a staggering, sobering statistic. To put this in global perspective, when looking at a list of the top 10 defense-spending nations (a list we top), one sees we spend more than the next seven on that list combined. Yes, we outspend China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, the United Kingdom, India and Germany put together. China has a population almost five times the size of ours yet spends only about one-fifth of what we spend. And Russia, who, like China, is a militaristic culture engaged in steady conflict, with widely respected military might, manages to spend only about 12 percent of what we spend.

She points out that we have a 100,000 troops stationed at 800 basis around the world and asks if this is really necessary.  One thing she doesn’t mention is the lemon known as the F-35 which has been over budget and an under performer since day one but we continues to throw good money after bad.  These fighters have caught fire on take off and been grounded for months at a time.  Recently a 1970s F-16 was able to fly circles around an F-35.

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  • dduck12

    Yup, a double standard, or knowing which side your bread is buttered on.

  • tidbits

    The actual military budget, all in for 2015, is $744.9 billion, not counting black ops and their off-budget numbers. The $745 B is comprised of DoD base budget ($496.1 B), Overseas Contingency Ops ($79.4 B), and DoD related and support functions ($172.4 B) like Homeland Security, the Nuclear Security Agency of the Department of Energy, the VA and multiple other defense related functions.

    Only Social Security has a higher price tag, and if the military budget were to disappear the U.S. would be running a surplus of roughly a quarter of a trillion dollars a year.

    http://useconomy.about.com/od/usfederalbudget/p/military_budget.htm

    • $744.9 billion, not counting black ops and their off-budget numbers.

      And of course their being black, there’s no way to know the total cost of black programs. I doubt that any one individual, including POTUS and SecDef, knows that number. Having spent a fair chunk of my career in the Belly of the Beast, including “those” programs, I am quite certain that the amount is not insubstantial even when contrasted to the $¾ trillion non-secret military budget.

      However, it’s important to remember that this money is not only for defense; it’s also a massive corporate welfare program for destitute, struggling small corporations like Boeing, Lockheed, and IBM. Third, it’s a huge jobs program for workers whose meager jobs skills are in low-demand sectors like computers, electronics, and high-tech manufacturing. And finally, it’s a retirement program for high-ranking military officers and members of the government.

      • Of course you’re right Bob. The DOD is probably the biggest program of corporate welfare.

        • corporate welfare.

          Is there any other government agency that frequently turns down money that Congress allocates to it, and then is forced to take it?

  • DdW

    One thing she doesn’t mention is the lemon known as the F-35 which has been over budget and an under performer since day one but we continues to throw good money after bad. These fighters have caught fire on take off and been grounded for months at a time. Recently a 1970s F-16 was able to fly circles around an F-35.

    Don’t want to get in a “dogfight” about this, Ron, but the F-35 was designed to be 70% air-to-ground and 30% air-to-air.”

    To put the “Recently a 1970s F-16 was able to fly circles around an F-35.” into context, here are some excerpts from the authoritative Aviation Week:

    1,The key performance parameters set for the JSF do not call for the aircraft to be superior to the F-16 and F/A-18C/D in air-to-air combat, but they demand comparable performance in terms of sustained and instantaneous g and acceleration. However, Lockheed Martin executives and pilots have stated that when including sensor fusion, stealth and other attributes, the F-35 will be
    superior in air combat, by margins of 400-600%, to so-called “fourth-generation” fighters (a term coined by Lockheed Martin to denote both
    older U.S. fighters and current non-U.S designs).

    http://aviationweek.com/defense/controversy-flares-over-f-35-air-combat-report

    2. Although the F-35 is designed primarily for attack rather than air combat, U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin test pilots say the availability of potential margin for additional maneuverability is a testament to the aircraft’s recently proven overall handling qualities and basic flying performance. “The door is open to provide a little more maneuverability,” says Lockheed Martin F-35 site lead test pilot David “Doc” Nelson.

    http://aviationweek.com/defense/f-35-flies-against-f-16-basic-fighter-maneuvers

    Yes, an F-35 caught fire on takeoff at Eglin AFB more than a year ago and
    the Air Force grounded the F-35s for about a week, something the military routinely does following an accident or malfunction. There have been other accidents and perhaps groundings during the development and testing of this aircraft.

    As of January 2015, 131 aircraft (126 US/5 foreign) were operational, performing thousands of successful sorties.

    In March 2014, the F-35 reached the 14,000 flight hour mark and as of February 2015, F-35s have logged more than 26,000 cumulative flight hours.

    Yes there have been significant schedule and cost overruns and technical problems with the F-35, but let us look at technical and performance issues in context.

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