Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Election 2012, Time for Some Bitter Medicine

By: Dr. J. P. Hubert

US Debt is Result of Excessive Military/Security Spending

The United States is smothering under a mountain of debt. By far the largest contributor to that negative ink is the cost of maintaining a veritable global empire.[1]  Rather than a so-called Defense Department, the US has developed a “War Department” or what might better be termed a military/security (M/S) complex which when all of the related and supporting expenses are included costs at least $1.2 trillion/year. At just short of 30% of the annual US budget, this sum represents the largest category by percent of total federal spending, exceeding the costs of Medicare and Social Security respectively.

US Military/Security Spending is Irrational

Moreover, US yearly defense spending alone exceeds the total of the next 17 largest military budgets in the world. By any reasonable metric, this degree of military spending is excessive. When American national security including intelligence spending are added to direct military spending the total surpasses the military/security budgets of all the developed nations on Earth combined. Such an outlay is completely irrational even if the main goal of the United States is to remain the pre-eminent global superpower.

Attempting to continue this degree of M/S spending can only result in total economic collapse of the United States, an outcome which is clearly incompatible with the desire to remain the supreme global hegemonic force. It is clear from a consideration of the mathematics involved that no amount of austerity with regard to Medicare, Medicaid or other entitlement programs + markedly increasing taxes[2] on the wealthy, and or elimination of corporate (welfare) tax subsidies will come close to reducing our national debt and budget deficit problems without a drastic reduction in M/S spending.[3]

Excessive M/S Spending Makes US Less Competitive Globally

It is crucial to recognize that money spent on the military/security complex is lost forever to the national economy in the aggregate. While individuals and corporations may benefit greatly as a result of M/S spending, the vast majority of Americans are poorer for it since money spent in this way is unavailable for improvements in infrastructure, education, transportation, technology, research and development etc., things that other nations with much lower expenses in M/S are able to surpass us in.

The question which begs to be asked then is why does this insanity continue? If doing so can only lead to economic collapse, why do we not change it? Surely it must be obvious to those in power that the status quo cannot continue. Does the corporate/governmental complex or conglomerate not realize that our current course will sooner rather than later end in default? Of course they do. But they can afford literally not to care.

Multinational Corporations Eschew Nation States

The reason is that the ruling elite, the new Plutocrats have become true global citizens who need no national boundaries, citizenship or localized base of operations. It matters little to them whether they live in the United States or somewhere else. Their companies are multi or inter-national, perhaps better termed supra-national and their markets are global. They roam the Earth in search of the cheapest labor forces possible while availing themselves of “free-markets” a euphemism for the privilege of not being charged a tax or tariff for selling their products to consumers many of whom lost their jobs to the slave labor the multinational corporations avail themselves of.[4]

These companies find the geographical locations which advertise the cheapest labor and the lowest corporate taxes where they manufacture their products and sell them worldwide; demanding unfettered that is, unregulated markets. They literally demand not to be penalized for assembling their goods utilizing immoral and (in the US) illegal labor practices.

Free-Trade is Rigged (Unjust) Trade

These so-called free-trader’s or marketeers are advocates of unfair or unjust trade in which they alone benefit while the vast majority of those to whom they sell their goods lose their jobs, experience a reduced standard of living and become unable to take advantage of the lower prices that allegedly occur as a result of off-shoring of production and out-sourcing of labor—the original argument utilized to justify the practice. It is a total sham, a rigged game which benefits only the select few Plutocrats who now control the United States and much of the West. What this really means is that the American Empire exists to make this unjust and immoral arrangement more palatable (whether through persuasion or threat of armed aggression) to those who would otherwise object.

Excessive Military/Security Spending Benefits Plutocracy[5]

Thus, we do not alter our insane M/S budget because it insures that our ruling Plutocrats will be able to continue for a bit longer solidifying their incredible wealth. When the United States finally implodes, they will simply move elsewhere with their foreign factories, work forces and non-US markets intact. By then, their business in Brazil, China, India, and elsewhere will have matured to the point that they will be able to survive nicely without those which once existed in America.

Britain serves as a case in point when a nation decides to dismantle its empire in a controlled fashion rather than allow it to completely implode. On the other hand imperial Rome demonstrates what happens when instead of ending its Militarism and gross over-reach, an empire continues with the status quo until it falls. It would be much better if we could emulate Great Britain rather than ancient Rome.

Quick Summary:

1) Multinational Corporations are not limited to nation states, they are not interested in or for the most part affected by patriotic sentiments, geographical locations, fixed work forces, local customs, traditions or politics.

2) Multinational Corporations are larger than ever and now control the 6 largest industries in the United States including; Energy, Banking/Wall Street, Health Care/Pharmaceutical, Agriculture, Military/Security, Media/Entertainment.

3) Multinational Corporations now control the American political process including the Legislative and Executive branches due in part to the Citizens United case decided recently by the USSC in favor of unlimited corporate political donations without the need to provide complete transparency of contributions.

4) Because of number 1-3 above, the American constitutional representative democratic republic brought into being in 1789 has been replaced by a kind of Plutocracy which unites the largest multinational corporations and the government. It exists for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the many. It could legitimately be termed a Fascist state.


1) Reduce Defense/Security Spending by >50%.

2) End Clandestine Operations portion of CIA, DIA, and NSA etc. and return the CIA to its original purpose of providing only intelligence information gathering to be used by President and Cabinet. President Kennedy wanted to do this and in part was killed for it.

3) Immediately end all US wars including occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan, drone attacks in Pakistan and support of NATO in Libya and any other similar activities which do not represent legitimate defensive response to unjust offensive attacks by nation states. Handle foreign based terrorism as a police action and end the intellectually/factually baseless global war on terror. All of these will make the risk of serious terrorist attack on the United States much less likely. Eliminate the Department of Homeland Security as it will be unnecessary once we end the foreign wars and begin treating the Palestinians fairly.

4) Raise income taxes for those American's with an annual income of >$250K and place at least a 50% tax on all individual earned and unearned income exceeding $5 million dollars per annum.

5) End all unfair trade agreements which allow the goods manufactured by multinational corporations assembled by slave laborers to be imported to the US without punitive tariffs. Decrease the power of large corporations and increase necessary regulation of key banking, energy companies. End "to big to fail banks."

6) End the Federal Reserve and begin the practice of printing US legal tender directly thus avoiding the paying of interest to a private entity. Consider returning to a precious mineral based currency such as the gold standard eliminated by President Nixon.

7) End corporate welfare for well-established industries such as those based upon fossil fuels. Federally subsidize the creation of an alternative energy industry in the United States through use of natural gas and wind power as suggested by T. Boone Pickens.

8) Create a National Health Care System which guarantees affordable care to all Americans. End the health care monopoly that the private insurance industry currently enjoys. Strongly consider a single payer system in which monies are payed to actual providers of care not to needless "middlemen" and eliminate wasteful and unnecessary medico-legally related defensive medical practices through reform of medical malpractice laws.

9) Link Israeli foreign aid to their observing the internationally recognized 1967 boundaries as outlined by the UN. Insist that Israel ends its occupation of Arab Palestinian Land. This has the added effect of lessening the likelihood that the USA will be subjected to foreign terrorist attacks.

10) Replace anyone in Congress and the White House who does not accept the above. Strongly consider a third party Independent Ticket challenge to President Obama and the Republican nominee.


[1] At last count we have over 900 foreign military bases of various sizes that require ongoing support.
[2] A tax increase back to Clinton administration era levels for those Americans with an annual income >250K would help as would a special tax for multimillionaires and billionaires of >50% on all annual income exceeding $5 million including capital gains. It would not however, alone or in combination with cuts to Medicare and Social Security be sufficient to eliminate future budget deficits or end the national debt completely by a time certain e.g. 2030.
[3] The ridiculously small amount recommended by Defense Secretary Robert Gates of roughly $40 billion is ludicrous and fails to address the main issue which is that the US can no longer afford a global empire.
[4] While in isolation this behavior might see economically wise, it is morally repugnant and violates the first two principle of the Natural Moral Law; Do good/avoid evil and treat your neighbor fairly.
[5] In this context I mean a Regime controlled by the super-rich, a fascist amalgam of powerful corporations and government. In 20th century Germany it was termed National Socialism. This would be a variant.

1 comment:

Jeffery Nicholas said...

Very good. Mirrors many post that I've made recently on my blog. I like your solutions. http://www.nicholasmusings.com/Philosophical%20Musings/PhilosophicalMusings.html