Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How much does "security" cost?

One of the things that frustrates me about the current presidential elections is that with the exception of Ron Paul, no one is saying what I find to be unbelievably obvious. US Military spending is exploiting the poor in the US as well as shooting the economy (and the national debt) in the foot. I'm not saying we don't need a military in the US, or that they should be hampered in the work that they do. I am saying that we need to look at the numbers and be honest...for all the money spent are we really any safer? That's why I liked this article...and the link at the end.

We need to think.

Recently I met with a congressional office to deliver postcards from Mennonites calling for cuts to the military budget. The staffer listened politely and then said, “Well, you know that’s not exactly how people up here [on Capitol Hill] see things.”

There are plenty of practical reasons why the military budget can and should be cut, which analysts across the political spectrum now point out. Over the past decade, the Pentagon’s base budget — not counting war spending — has nearly doubled, taking valuable resources away from other priorities. There are vast amounts of wasteful spending at the Pentagon, which cannot even pass an audit. Weapons systems regularly overrun their budgeted cost, sometimes by billions of dollars. A University of Massachusetts study showed that federal spending on education, health care and clean energy all produce more jobs per dollar than does military spending.

Behind the facts and figures lie some challenging questions that are rarely addressed. How much spending on “security” is ever going to be enough? Do weapons keep us safe or sometimes put us in greater danger? What about the impact on others around the world? Are they safer because of U.S. military might?
Read the whole article here.

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