It’s time to rein in our outrageous defense budget

August 8, 2016
Jim Duenow

Jim Duenow

OPINION by JIM DUENOW

The conventions and literally hundreds of speeches are now over. None of the speeches, including those by the nominees, mentioned the gorilla in the room. Namely our ridiculously swollen defense budget.

We spend more than 50 percent of our federal budget on defense annually. As Rand Paul pointed out, we spend more on the military than the next eight industrial nations combined.

In addition, we are the world’s supplier of arms and armaments.

We are in the thrall of the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about. We are not likely to get out since politicians can’t seem to talk of this for fear of being labeled “soft on defense.”

Meanwhile, millions of our citizens wallow in poverty with inadequate education, healthcare and crumbling infrastructure.

We must find a way to reverse this or some sort of fascism may be around the corner.

Jim Duenow has lived in San Luis Obispo County for 50 years. He is a civil trial lawyer, now semi-retired, who has served on multiple San Luis Obispo City commissions and committees.


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Pelican1

Keep drinking the Putin Kool-Aid that`s been laced with Kim Jong-un tea, Li Keqiang herbs, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi brew..


TWEEKSBALMER

I think the figures are wrong, but Id rather spend it on defense than give away social programs.


tomjones

LOL, the military is our biggest give away social program of all. And yeah, who wants to spend money on hungry children in this country, they’re all from loser welfare families anyway. Let’s spend ten times that amount making our military even bigger, cuz darnit, a military 6 to 8 times bigger than the rest of the world, combined, just isn’t enough to kill ISIS and stuff, you know what I mean…


CentralcoastRN

I’ll be sure to let all the Veterans know that their service is welfare. I’ll be sure to let the Boston Marathon victims, the 9/11 victims, the San Bernadino victims know that they can chill out now, because we have spent too much money on security and we are sure to be safe now.


I personally consider military spending like safety insurance. I pay for health insurance, auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance, malpractice insurance, etc…. I am happy to pay for the insurance that the likelihood I will be abducted from the streets and beheaded, or that my children won’t be killed by land mines on the playground, or shopping in a local farmer’s market. THAT is what the military does for the most part.


We can look at what we pay our “subcontractors” in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan and cut there possibly. Perhaps we can quit some spending. However, being the country with the best technology and “best” trained soldiers is a kind of security I’m quite pleased with.


Rambunctious

Anyone that thinks this is a good time to lessen our defenses is just not paying attention to world events. I’m constantly amazed to watch otherwise intelligent people pretend as if we are not still at war. If you want to cut something you can start with our bloated corrupt life stifling cradle to grave welfare system. The first job of government is to defend the nation not educate feed and clothe it.


mbfog

PLEASE get your facts straight- when you are so blatently incorrect w your numbers, it discredits your entire opinion piece:


The budget for this year wil be about 3.34 trillion dollars. The spending on defense is nowhere near 50% of that. I know what we are spending on defense, but I’ll leave it to you to look it up and clarify. Maybe you meant spending of discretionary dollars? If so, that’s what you should have said. But leave it to an attorney to select his facts to support the argument, regardless of propriety.


Jorge Estrada

The real hypocrisy is the constant challenge against the our 2nd amendment while at the same time we build fire arms and sell them to other countries.


kayaknut

“mentioned the gorilla in the room”, I think you picked the wrong gorilla, try looking at the personnel budget of the government, salaries, benefits and pensions, try starting the cutting there.


tomsquawk

let’s see; guns or butter?


Rich in MB

We made that decision and numbers say Butter, despite myths and rumors to the contrary.


Rich in MB

With all due respect Jim, fascism is already hear and it come in part because of our failed ability to see and acknowledge facts that we either don’t support our beliefs or that don’t further our chosen agenda. For example, lets look for a moment critically at some of Jim’s claims.


Assertion No 1:

You state that we spend more than 50% of our Federal Budget on Defense annually.


Truth Alert:

According to the multiple web searches I was able to find within minutes or seeing the above falsehood it’s pretty clear that the % of the Federal Budget spent on Defense is about 16%.

24% goes to the Ponzi Scheme known as Social Security

25% goes to Obamacare, Medicare, etc.

http://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-budget/policy-basics-where-do-our-federal-tax-dollars-go


Assertion No 2:

The implication is clearly given that if we only spend more money on Education then it would be improved.


Truth Alert:

However it’s clear from looking at the facts and data that the USA is close to the tops in Educational spending when compared to other Countries in the world.

http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cmd.asp


I would argue that the USA isn’t being driven towards fascism due to lack of Social spending as the left would like us to believe. The USA is on a fast track to fascism because Americans are making a conscious decision to believe and parrot talking points and propaganda over taking the time to do a little research and get to the truth. With less than 10 minutes on a Google Search, for example, I was able to find the truth that our Opinion writer seemed to miss while being trapped in the prison of his own biased beliefs. A Jail break is what’s needed, not a further building of the walls of ignorance.


Mr. Holly

Freedom has a price!


tomsquawk

not at the price of a $10,000 crescent wrench.


Rich in MB

Of the Sham Education Industrial Complex:


“In 2012, the United States spent $11,700 per full-time-equivalent student on elementary/secondary education, which was 31 percent higher than the OECD average of $9,000. At the postsecondary level, the United States spent $26,600 per FTE student, which was 79 percent higher than the OECD average of $14,800.”


Facts are stubborn things:

http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cmd.asp#sthash.JitYc5N5.dpuf


TWEEKSBALMER

You really don’t know the real facts but the industry has done a poor job defending themselves.


Rich in MB

We are waiting to hear all about those Teacher Pensions and Administration perks…


whatdouno

Mr. Holly, do you still live under the impression that we are living in Freedom? Our rights are being stolen away by a corrupt, thankless government. The military industrial complex wastes money like used toilet paper on over priced private companies and ridiculously priced weapons, etc. I don’t believe Mr. Duenow was saying cut the funding for the sake of minimizing; but the sake of cleaning out a lot a waste and corruption.

And of this large military output what is being done to provide a livable income for our lowest ranking military members or the veterans who return home wounded, disabled and suffering from PTSD. Been out on the streets lately to see how many homeless veterans there are pushed aside and forgotten about after their service.


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