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ringringlingling

Why don't democrats invest in the Defense Industry?

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Republicans have no problem giving trillion dollar pork barrel projects to the likes of lockheed-martin in exchange for lobbying money, and when they are finished we are often lucky if they can lift up off the ground. Democrats could build weapons and war machines as well, and I bet you they could do it for a lot cheaper. (They might actually work, too!)

 

As much as we bitch about military spending, we are notoriously understaffed as well. Our military consists of an all volunteer army, we do not have enough personel to maintain our territorial holdings, much less wage war on foreign soil. There are plenty of bases at home that are understaffed, overequipped, and thoroughly unprepared to fight a war should there be one.

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How do you know democrats "don't invest in the defense industry"? Unlike members of congress, civilians are not required to reveal their investments. So, at least we can get an idea of congressional democratic investment.

 

Although the article is almost 8 years old, it shows that democratic lawmakers are not adverse to investing in in the Military Industrial Complex. Elected officials of any party should not be allowed to engage in such a blatant conflict of interest, which could be a major factor in taking us to unnecessary war. Dick Cheney's involvement with Halliburton was especially egregious.

 

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/04/strategic-assets/

April 03, 2008 | When Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. military officer in Iraq, comes to Capitol Hill next week to brief Congress, he will be addressing lawmakers who have more than just a political stake in the five-year war. Along with their colleagues in the House and Senate, the politicians who will get a status report from the general and the U.S. ambassador to Iraq have as much as $196 million of their own money invested in companies doing business with the Department of Defense, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics has calculated. From aircraft and weapons manufacturers to producers of medical supplies and soft drinks, the investment portfolios of more than a quarter of Congress—and of countless constituents—include holdings in companies paid billions of dollars each month to support America’s military in Iraq and elsewhere.

 

The Investors: Lawmakers with the most money invested in companies with Department of Defense contracts

Member of Congress Minimum Value of Investment Maximum Value of Investment
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass)
$28,872,067
$38,209,020
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)
$12,081,050
$49,140,000
Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC)
$9,232,037
$37,105,000
Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis)
$5,207,668
$7,612,653
Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif)
$2,684,050
$6,260,000
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich)
$2,469,029
$8,360,000
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WVa)
$2,000,002
$2,000,002
Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis)
$1,365,004
$5,800,000
Rep. Kenny Ewell Marchant (R-Texas)
$1,163,231
$1,163,231
Rep. John Carter (R-Texas)
$1,000,001
$5,000,000

 

 

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As much as we bitch about military spending, we are notoriously understaffed as well. Our military consists of an all volunteer army, we do not have enough personel to maintain our territorial holdings, much less wage war on foreign soil.

 

Many of our territorial holdings in the Pacific are relics of WWII. We do not need more than a dozen bases around the world. Instead we have hundreds and that's where the waste lies.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_military_bases

Support the Troops:--- Bring 'em home NOW.

 

We need to break our unhealthy addiction to endless war, the real purpose of which is to widen the wealth gap at home and does us no good internationally.

 

I served in the conscription army of the 1960s. From that experience, I favor a draft so that troops of varying political views can be represented instead of the docile conservative, compliance of the all volunteer, zombie army we have now.

 

 

There are plenty of bases at home that are understaffed, overequipped, and thoroughly unprepared to fight a war should there be one.

 

I was unaware of the immanent threat of a land invasion. The proper use of our armed forces should be purely in defense of the United States. We could use some of the funds saved from a downscaling of the military for a beefed up Homeland Security, to help prevent terrorism which is a threat right now. If we refrain from bullying and throwing our weight around in the third world, asymmetrical warfare, in all its forms, will recede.

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An empire is like an organism, it is either expanding or receding, growing or aging. We expanded our spheres of influence into Western Europe in the 50's, establishing military bases throughout Germany, England, and many other places. Withdrawing our troops from overseas only puts us at a disadvantage, it leaves those western democracies easy pickings for soviet and chinese influence peddlers.

 

I believe in the nuclear policy of non-retaliation, I still believe in it, but I still think we should fight tooth and nail against leaving any of our territories under the sway of communist nations, especially now that the Chinese control more of the worlds economy than we do. When it comes right down to it, America can and the IMF can loan all the currency they want, but they are just moving numbers around, the chinese control the capital and the labor.

 

If we left europe, I have no doubt that they would begin fighting again. Before I had personally visited the UK, I had assumed that the progressivism of the European Union had united them, but the truth is that there are still underlying tensions between western european nations, they remember slights that happened hundreds of years ago. They simply can not be counted on to stand together against any sort of socialist incursion. Much like the Irish trying to unsuccessfully succeed from the UK, they do not realize that by propping up their own national identities they are encouraging the balkanization of their union into thousands of tiny microfactions, all of whom are easy pickings for a large, predatory system run by despots and tyrants.

 

Without NATO, western europe would fall apart. It is patronizing, but it is true. Without the United States, the european union would likely dissolve, as would the U.N. Already it may be falling appart, as it has incorporated too many unstable countries with ailing socialist economies. There are over 30 nations in the EU, and it continues to grow. They have become heavilty reliant on gas and oil reserves from socialist countries, and the resentment among western nations towards countries that used to be part of the soviet bloc as they are incorporated into the EU is palpable.

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As for my original point, US lawmakers control the purse-strings, its what they do. They must decide on a military budget and determine which projects get funded and which do not. That is there job. If you want to make some sort of point about money in politics, that seems to me like a serperate issue, but the reality (to me at least) is that the democrats do not spend enough time courting military contractors and are allowing republicans to make pork barrel projects like the X-35 fighter jet possible, which tallies up to nearly 1.5 trillion in investment by the US government, and to wit there are less than 300 planes in production and less than a 150 that have actually been fielded.

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you didn't answer Bludog's question... how come?

 

I don't have a good economic graph here to show, but spending on defense goes up no matter who's in power. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/01/07/everything-chuck-hagel-needs-to-know-about-the-defense-budget-in-charts/

 

This WAPO article shows continued spending upwards no matter which party is in power. It does show a big increase during the Reagan years and some decrease starting with Bush I, and then in the Clinton years, but overall, every year it increases. Now it's up. Thing is, it's always been on the increase. Mind you, I just pulled this off the internet, and it is from the WAPO which was never known to be a reliable source for good economic data, most especially after Jeff Bezo's bought the damn thing.

 

Peace!

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