LA Times 7/15/10 (“U.S. plans to increase nuclear spending”, http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-nuke-report-20100715,0,1912167.story)
Reporting from Washington —Even as it touts U.S. efforts to sharply reduce its number of nuclear warheads, the Obama administration plans to increase spending on the aging nuclear weapons infrastructure to levels reminiscent of the Cold War, a new budget document shows. A 20-year spending plan from the agency that manages the nuclear arsenal shows that the administration wants to hike nuclear weapons spending to an average of more than $8 billion a year, compared with recent spending levels of $6 billion to $7 billion a year.
Republicans are voting for more defense spending
Booman Tribune 7/15/10 (“Your Income Taxes Fund More Defense Spending Than the Next 15 Countries Combined”, http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2010/07/15/your-income-taxes-fund-more-defense-spending-than-the-next-15-countries-combined/)
However you slice it, your income taxes fund more defense spending than the next 15 countries in the world combined (and yes, that includes China and Russia). Which means of course that as a Responsible Republican you can only propose that we must extend the Bush tax cuts, cut off unemployment benefits and raise the the retirement age to 70 for Social Security. A few of them also want to repeal Health Care Reform. What would be the effect on the deficit if the Republicans get their way on repealing the Bush tax cuts? Well we know that in 2005 alone those tax cuts helped add add $539 BILLION to the deficit. Here’s what the CBO said at the time regarding the Bush tax cuts: In 2005, the cost of tax cuts enacted over the past four years will be over three times the cost of all domestic program increases enacted over this period.The new CBO data show that changes in law enacted since January 2001 increased the deficit by $539 billion in 2005. In the absence of such legislation, the nation would have a surplus this year. Tax cuts account for nearly half — 48 percent — of this $539 billion in increased costs.  Increases in program spending make up the other 52 percent and have been primarily concentrated in defense, homeland security, and international affairs. Got that? By 2005, Bush’s tax cuts and uncreased defense spending (much of it for his unnecessary war in Iraq) was responsible for turning what would have beebn a Federal Budget surplus into a $539 Billion deficit. Now the Republicans want to make those tax cuts which are about to expire permanent. And here’s what the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget are saying about the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts. Between the years 2011 and 2018, extending the the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 would add $3.28 TRILLION DOLLARS to the Federal deficit. That is simply a staggering amount of money that republicans are willing to forego while voting for more Defense spending and refusing to extend unemployment benefits to people like this woman: Yet, Republican Senator John Kyl said that deficits be damned, these tax cuts are too important to not extend them regardless of their effect on the deficit. Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) backed Kyl up by making the statement that cutting taxes increases tax revenues, despite all the evidence in the Bush years that they had no such effect. Rachel Maddow last night pointed out that even George Bush’s economic team never made the claim that tax cuts increase tax revenues. Indeed, here is what Greg Mankiw, Chair of the Bush Administration’s Council on Economic Advisers recently stated regarding the revenue generating fantasy of the Bush tax cuts:
U.S. military spending is on the rise
Global Issues 7/7/10 (“World Military Spending”, http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending#USMilitarySpending)
The United States has unquestionably been the most formidable military power in recent years. Its spending levels, as noted earlier, is the principle determinant of world military spending and is therefore worth looking at further. Generally, US military spending has been on the rise. Recent increases are attributed to the so-called War on Terror and the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions, but it had also been rising before that. For example, Christopher Hellman, an expert on military budget analysis notes in The Runaway Military Budget: An Analysis , (Friends Committee on National Legislation, March 2006, no. 705, p. 3) that military spending had been rising since at least 1998, if not earlier. Travis Sharp, from the Center for Arms Control provides spending figures from 2000 to the requested figures for 2010 shown here:The decline seen in recent years above are due to a number of factors: Iraq war reduction and redeployment to Afghanistan 2011 figures are preliminary as of writing, not including nuclear weapons programs Why are the numbers quoted above for US spending so much higher than what has been announced as the budget for the Department of Defense? Unfortunately, the budget numbers can be a bit confusing. For example, the Fiscal Year budget requests for US military spending do not include combat figures (which are supplemental requests that Congress approves separately). The budget for nuclear weapons falls under the Department of Energy, and for the 2010 request, was about $25 billion. The cost of war (Iraq and Afghanistan) has been very significant during George Bush’s presidency. Christopher Hellman and Travis Sharp also discuss the US fiscal year 2009 Pentagon spending request and note that “Congress has already approved nearly $700 billion in supplemental funding for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and an additional $126 billion in FY'08 war funding is still pending before the House and Senate.” Furthermore, other costs such as care for veterans, health care, military training/aid, secret operations, may fall under other departments or be counted separately.