In a recent NYTimes article entitled “Climate of Change” Paul Krugman wrote:
Elections have consequences. President Obama’s new budget represents a huge break, not just with the policies of the past eight years, but with policy trends over the past 30 years. If he can get anything like the plan he announced on Thursday through Congress, he will set America on a fundamentally new course.
Baloney. from a recent news report:
Obama Budget to Boost Military Spending $20.4B
President Barack Obama wants to increase spending on the U.S. military by $20.4 billion in 2010. . .
The president unveiled a federal budget for 2010 that would increase defense spending to $533.7 billion. This year the military is receiving $513.3. The difference is a 4 percent increase, the White House said Feb. 26.
The $533.7 billion does not include money for fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or about $20 billion that is to be spent on nuclear weapons and other military items outside the Defense Department.
Obama wants $130 billion for the wars – down from $144 billion being spent this year.
The three elements combined – the “base” budget, war funding and nuclear weapons – would push 2010 spending to about $683.7 billion. Spending for 2009 is about $681 billion.
Robert Gates, the Secretary of “Defense”, George’s Bush’s war czar who was retained by Barack Obama, is happy with that:
“I’m confident that this funding level will allow the department to meet its long-term institutional priorities of taking care of the troops and their families, rebalancing our capabilities for conventional and irregular warfare, completing the growth of the Army and Marine Corps and preserving essential modernization programs,” Gates told Pentagon reporters at a news conference here today.
Gates added that the $75.5 billion left from the fiscal 2009 war cost is enough for the Pentagon to continue supporting efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan through the year.
“We will be making tough choices to ensure that this department’s budget priorities best position our military to deal with the most pressing threats and security challenges facing America today and tomorrow,” he said.
What the heck, the US can afford it, right? It isn’t like the government can’t borrow the money. from the NYTimes:
Having inherited an economy in recession and reeling from interrelated credit and housing crises, Mr. Obama starts off from a stunning deficit for 2009 that is projected to reach $1.75 trillion when the fiscal year ends Sept. 30, or nearly four times last year’s shortfall. That would represent 12.3 percent of the gross domestic product, a deficit level that is larger than any since the end of World War II.
By the last year of his term, in the 2013 fiscal year, Mr. Obama projects a deficit of $533 billion, or 3 percent of the overall economy, a level that economists consider sustainable. Even so, he foresees the level of the nation’s debt held by the public rising from 58.7 percent in the current year to 67.2 percent in a decade, a level not seen since 1951.
How about that, “a stunning deficit for 2009 that is projected to reach $1.75 trillion” The US has never had a deficit of over $500 billion, and now $1.75 trillion, and that’s probably understated. Less than two months ago the Congressional Budget Office predicted that the federal deficit would balloon to $1.2 trillion this year. That’s a $550 billion increase in two months!
In the meantime the Pentagon honey pot continues to spend money we don’t have. On February 26th it was announced that the Air Force is awarding a firm fixed price contract to General Atomics Aeronautical Systems of San Diego, Calif., for $168,372,886. This action will provide all program management, urgent repairs and services, logistics support, configuration management, technical manual and software maintenance, engineering technical services, contractor inventory control point and spares management, depot repair, flight operations support, reliability/maintenance enhancements, data collection/entry and numbered periodic depot maintenance for the Predator/Reaper Unmanned Aircraft System program.
Over $168 million for the Predators which are the Pakistani-killers which have created the US’s major terrorist threat, which exists in the UK according to the CIA. So it’s a self-perpetuating war racket.
In other news, four US soldiers died Feb. 24 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle. Killed were: Capt. Brian M. Bunting, 29, of Potomac, Md., Sgt. Schuyler B. Patch, 25, of Owasso Okla.,
Sgt. Scott B. Stream, 39, of Mattoon, Ill. and Sgt. Daniel J. Thompson, 24, of Madison, Wis.
Don Bacon is a retired army oficer who founded the Smedley Butler Society several years ago because, as General Butler said, war is a racket.