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Fighter jets and the private economy

February 9, 2010 - Jim Anderson
I watched some of the Tea Party proceedings on C-Span. There was a lot of consternation about the deficit and government spending, but nary a word about military spending.

Par for the course in today’s America.

A caller to Rush Limbaugh’s program complained recently about President Obama’s rejection last year of the F-22 Raptor, which was a blow to Lockheed.

The president is out to destroy the private economy, the caller said.

Limbaugh found no flawed logic there.

Raptor or no, the president’s proposed defense budget for fiscal 2011 is a record $708 billion. This includes $159 billion mainly for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. (Indirect defense outlays, such as the VA, military pensions, and nuclear weapons research, pushes the spending total well past $1 trillion).

The U.S. is responsible for about 42 percent of the world’s total military spending. The next-highest is China, at about 6 percent.

I’m no pacifist, or peace radical, or Kumbaya singer. But I do wonder how, with less than five percent of the world’s population, we can keep this up.

As it stands, the Tea Partiers, and the president, and the Wall Street gurus on Fox News — all want to keep the military out of the deficit equation.

Spend, but don’t tax.

War has an economic cost? Who could have figured ...

If defense spending is 5 percent of Gross Domestic Product, and that's deemed reasonable, then why not a war tax? OK, sorry, I got a little carried away. Next thing you know, Washington would be putting its government hands on Medicare, too.


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