Thursday, January 27, 2011

High 5

Did Obama do his 5-year plan SOTU speech? I didn't listen. State of the Union speeches are always how far we've come and how much further we have to go. Does that 5-year plan sound like the Soviets or what...

On a "progressive" site I saw a comment on Obama's spending freeze that said "... but no freeze for the Pentagon ... sez it all." Well, no, it does not really say anything. Anyone with any connection to the military knows the DoD has cut spending, downsized, etc.

Remember though, DoD does not cut much from worthless projects or bloated defense contractors. First cuts are the benefits to those lower on their food chain. Even the neocon we loved to hate, Donald Rumsfeld, wanted a military that could do more with less (leaner, meaner military).

Reportedly the 2011 Pentagon budget is $708 billion, including wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. What I find curious is that Jimmy Carter's 1980 Pentagon budget was $303 billion - but, with inflation calculation that's $781 billion in 2010 dollars. And the US was not at war anywhere. The 1962 Kennedy defense budget was $364 billion, equivalent today to $2.5 trillion. And we had yet to ramp up massive involvement in Vietnam.

Looking at the above figures, seems to me machismo costs less today than under any previous progressive heroes.

God, remember 1962. Bread was 10 cents a loaf. My mom and I took a road trip that year and gas was 28 cents a gallon. A studio apartment in Chicago was $135 a month. A Saturday matinee was 20 cents. Today, bread doesn't taste any better, gas doesn't go any further, and I haven't seen a movie yet worth more than 20 cents.

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