Monday, November 28, 2011

In which the Occupy Wall Street movement starts to get a clue

I've had a glorious time ridiculing the Occupy Wall Street movement for the last few months.  They have no idea what they want, no idea about the root cause of their complaints, and their problem with homeless people mooching the food that was donated to THEM ONLY, well, that makes me wake up in the middle of the night with fits of The Giggles. 

But now they're getting somewhere.  See the chart below.  Bear in mind, this is only the "discretionary" spending. 

We're responsible for more than 40% of the world's military expenditures.  We have 6% of the world's population.  We have a massive % of the world's debt. 

Isn't it time for this sacred cow to get slaughtered?  Or at least put on a reasonable diet?

Where the hell did the Peace Movement go?  Are we going to have to elect a Republican before we hear from those people again?  Where's the freakin' outrage over Libya and Pakistan?   

p.s. - We really shouldn't spend this much on the other stuff either. 

2 comments:

CenTexTim said...

Without going into detail (mainly because I don't have the time to look up the numbers), I suggest the "military" budget be further broken down into:

(1) current DOD expenditures (which can and should be reviewed for opportunities to reduce);

(2) VA expenditures (which, much like Social Security, Medicare, etc. are prior commitments - I would argue that we have a moral obligation to not violate a per-existing contract, but that going forward there is ample opportunity for revision); and

(3) DHS - FWIW, I don't consider DHS part of the military.

Bottom line - let's make sure we differentiate between all the various cows. Some of then should be slaughtered, while others should just be put on a diet.

Nick Rowe said...

A lot of the expenditures administered by those other agencies are nondiscretionary, and that is where are problems are.

For example, the USDA administers ethanol subsidies and food stamps.

The military and security are public goods, something we all consume in equal quantities. The other departments dispense mostly private goods where individuals receive benefits. Those other agencies often shuffle resources around. For example, money taken from taxpayers for the Department of Education and the Department of Transportation are plowed back into state and local projects. Why was the money taken from the states to begin with? Certainly states can't be forced to repair interstate highways, but wheelchair ramps in cities?