Monday, January 28, 2008

Military spending

While shuttling my daughter around today I heard an unbelievable news story. I think it was on NPR or maybe ESPN. Here is the gist of it. Aside from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, it costs 500 billion dollars a year to maintain our military. A half trillion. The news reporter went on about how much money that it...something about more than all this other spending, blah, blah. But get this, the military is going to request several separate spending appropriations to fund the two wars, another 250 billion (in 3-4 separate requests). Why? because a 750 billion dollar request would choke even Washington (not to mention the American people).

Okay, now, how much money is 3/4 trillion? The size is astronomical. There were 76 million people born in the baby boom. We all are fearful of the strain those boomers are going to put on our economy when they retire, which they have begun to do. Okay, let's imagine that all 76 million (dead and alive) retire tomorrow. Each averages $1000 in social security benies per month. That is 7.6 billion a month, or about 91 billion a year. It would take 8 years of that kind of pay out to match the single year of military spending.

Is this rational at all? Another claim made by the reporter is that we spend in a single year more on military spending than the rest of the world combined. and for all that, we are being threatened by terrorists with improvised exposive devices.

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