With “taxmageddon”scheduled to go into effect on January 1, it is time to consider spending cuts. This is what House Speaker John Boehner has insisted there must be.
There are automatic cuts scheduled as a result of the last debate over the debt ceiling. I think these will be overridden by Congress. So, I think there will be a recession, caused by tax hikes, leading to a deficit worse than $1.3 trillion.
What about the Defense Department? Supposedly, we won in Iraq. Anyway, we hear nothing about Iraq, other than the car bombs.
There is a massive build-up of ships in the Persian Gulf. This gets little publicity.
Drone bases are spreading across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Drones are the weapons of the future. These will become ever-more important to the military at home and abroad.
There are daily air strikes in Yemen. These get no publicity. There are 20 Special Forces units on the ground in Yemen. These get no publicity.
There are 100 Green Berets in Central Africa. They are looking for Joseph Kony’s Lords Resistance Army.
These are secret wars. Congress ignores them.
In Pakistan, the government plans to charge the U.S. $1,500 to $1,800 for every military truck that crosses into Afghanistan. Estimated cost: $1,000,000 a day.
No one notices.
The national security budget for 2013 will be almost $ trillion.
The Pentagon officially will cost $530 billion. But that’s for openers. Add to this war funding: $83 billion.
Nuclear weapons add another $11.5 billion. But who is the target?
Disposal of nuclear waste: $6.4 billion.
Homeland security costs money The DHS will cost $35.5 billion. There is an additional $13.5 billion hor homeland security in other departments. .
Then there is “international security assistance to other nations: $14 billion. Add $ billion for peacekeeping operations.
Veterans programs will cost $138 billion.
Retirement benefits for non-veteran military retirees: $55 billion. Add another $20 billion for civilians who worked for Defense.
Add “defense-related activities: $8 billion.
Total: about $930 billion
Just one more thing to add in, a miscellaneous defense account that’s separate from the defense base budget. It’s called “defense-related activities,” and it’s got $8 billion in it for 2013.
That brings our grand total to an astonishing $931 billion.
This about 25% of all money spent by Uncle Sam.
Yet the House recently passed legislation to spare the defense budget from cuts, arguing that the automatic spending reductions scheduled for January 2013 would compromise national security. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has said such automatic cuts, which would total around $55 billion in 2013, would be “disastrous” for the defense budget.