Spending too much

07 May
US Joint Chiefs of Staff Jul 1983


CNN’s Fareed Zakaria published a blog post where he summarized a narrative written by two top-ranking members of Admiral Mike Mullen‘s team, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Captain Wayne Porter and Colonel Mark Mykleby. This narrative discussed our government’s continuing obsession with throwing truckloads of cash into our military. To read the full summary or complete narrative click here.

Here’s a couple of gems.

We have overreacted to Islamic extremism.

We are underinvesting in the real sources of national power – our youth, our infrastructure and our economy. The United States sees the world through the lens of threats, while failing to understand the influence, competitiveness and innovation are the key to advancing American interests in the modern world. Above all we must invest in our children. Only by educating them properly will we ensure our ability to compete in the future.

The article points out that our military spending is based on an outdated policy that put an emphasis on military might to deter the Soviets. Definitely an interesting read, even more interesting when considering the source.


Posted by on May 7, 2011 in Political Crap


2 responses to “Spending too much

  1. Pat Reagin

    May 7, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    I can’t stay silent on this one. We are over-reacting to Muslim extremism? The guy who wrote the blog is a Muslim, that’s like a pro-life zealot saying we over-react when an abortion doctor gets whacked.

    I don’t think anyone would disagree that we spend too much money on our military. I would argue that we also spend too much on foreign aid, Social Security, MediCare and just about any other social program you could name, including education. Investing in our children does not mean spending more money per student, but investing that money more wisely. Right now public schools spent upwards of $10K per student in 2009 ( and what do we get? A bunch of idiotic kids who think the world owes them a living, but are barely qualified to run a register at McDonalds after they “earn” a high school diploma or even a college degree. I would propose a 10% cut across the board for all social programs, a 15% cut in military spending and a 50% cut in foreign aid and our “membership dues” to the U.N.. A total revamp of the education system, starting with holding parents and teachers responsible for kids’ education and an emphasis on science and math.

    That’s a rough outline of a conservative’s point of view.

    • Nick

      May 8, 2011 at 7:43 PM

      Couple of things, yes, we are overreacting to Muslim extremism, its brought us to the point that we’ve begun stereotyping all Muslims as extremists by wrongfully assuming that the Islamic faith actually condones their actions. Have a look at one of my older entries here: Secondly, while Fareed Zakaria is Muslim and wrote the blog, he was summarizing the narrative written by two higher-ups in the military. Therefore, the analogy you used to express the irony is invalid. In this particular case Fareed is acting as nothing more than a messenger passing along a message.

      No arguing necessary, I believe we spend too much on those programs as well. But the problem doesn’t lie with the dollar amount, it lies with mismanagement, waste, and abuse. These programs have a real value and there exists numerous people who need and benefit from them. However, instead of fixing the problem, our current leaders seem to think just chopping some zeros off these programs budgets will fix all the problems. Yeah, that may fix your current budget crisis, but its gonna screw a lot of honest people that need those programs. What needs to happen is an overhaul, reassess the systems, determine the waste, close the loopholes that have allowed abuse and clean management house. Then, as a result they may find that the program is being underfunded and pulling that money could be done without hurting anyone.

      $10,000 per student seems like a lot, but the study doesn’t indicate what all is included in that tally, I mean, are they distributing electricity usage, water usage, and other incidentals into that value. If so, cutting the budget going to those students is not fair to them or our country’s future. Obviously those incidentals will remain the same. Where’s the only place that money can be cut from in a school’s budget? Teaching materials, teacher’s salary (I know, you think they’re all overpaid and lazy anyhow), and facilities. This is the last place budget cuts should be occurring after the waste, mismanagement and abuse are remedied. We’re doing this backwards, assuming that waste, mismanagement, and abuse will be taken care of simply by taking away money from these programs, no, what happens is poor decisions are made in a hurry to get their budget to be in line with how much they are being given and the only ones that suffer are those that the system was intended to help. Think of it like this, say you’re looking at your personal budget, and you say to yourself, “dang, I’m paying way too much in credit card interest charges.” Would you then decide to pay less to the credit card companies? No, cause it would cause some problems with your credit rating among other things. Or would you rather find a card with a lower interest rate to transfer your balances to. Fix problems first, then cut budgets if its truly necessary.

      “…idiotic kids who think the world owes them a living, but are barely qualified to run a register at McDonalds after they ‘earn’ a high school diploma or even a college degree.” I know you weren’t suggesting that all kids from public schools turn out this way? Don’t your children go to public schools? But come on, I’ve met plenty of children that don’t think or behave this way, work very hard in school, and “earn” every bit of their education, going on to do way more than working a register at McDonalds. Regardless, these instances you speak of, of children thinking the world owes them a living, blame the children’s parents, not the education system. I think more often than not, when you find a child who behaves like this, you’ll find one or two parents that have raised them this way, spoiling them rotten and not making them earn or work for anything.

      While I can’t say much for cutting of social programs, at least not without fixing internal issues first. I can agree with your assessment for cutting military (although I would suggest more) and foreign aid. And there we go, revamp the education system, I like that, fix the problems first, then cut funding as opportunities arise, let’s make these systems lean and efficient. I’m all for holding parents and teachers responsible for the education, unfortunately, some parents have no interest in that responsibility, which is really sad.


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