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On Thu, 13 Apr 1995, Don Steehler wrote:
 
> >>                                                        ...Many of
> >> the economists and political scientists I've spoken with here at Michigan
> >> feel that there would be no deficit if it weren't for the military
> >> buildup sponsored by Reagan and ok'd by the Democratic House in the
> >> 80's...
> >>                                                       ...the
> >> U.S. and NATO spend %80 of the world's military budget collectively.
> >> Japan is our closest spending rival at $40 billion.
 
             In fact, it appears that the U-S spends more on defense than
             all other nations combined (although much international
             arms trading is conducted off the books, and it's almost
             impossible to get a handle on the total).  But bear in mind
             that U-S defense spending has been cut by $50B or more
             in real terms since the big build-up of the 1980's.
             Accordingly, defense spending as a proportion of the total
             budget has been declining.
 
             With all due respect, I disagree that military spending by
             itself caused the ballooning national debt, even though the
             military buildup of the 80's seriously contributed to it.
             If you look at the numbers, you'll find that total tax revenues
             grew substantially, along with the economy, but total spending
             grew even faster.  A sizable portion of that growth was in
             entitlements and other domestic programs.  These too, and
             not just defense, will have to be included in any plan to
             get the deficits under control.  We're rapidly approaching
             the point where there would be a deficit even if all defense
             spending were eliminated.
 
                                             --Andy Potter
 
 Clinton's latest
> >> budget requests $246 billion. What is the threat we are spending to defend
> >> ourselves from? I support a reasonble defense budget, but times have
> >> changed and so must the Pentagon.
> >
> >I'm a *little bit behind* in reading and responding to this, please
> >excuse; but YOU'VE HIT THE NAIL SQUARELY ON THE HEAD!  This is destroying
> >the republic, AND the environment.  It has been shown in history that
> >nations which over funded militarily ended in disintegration.  The stock
> >holders of the Federal Reserve and the defense companies are the
> >principal beneficiaries.  Why is the there virtually no discussion of the
> >military budget regarding spending cuts?
> >
> >
>
> Your remarks (both of you) remind me of Joesph Tainter's book _The Collapse
> of Complex Societies_.  If you have time to read Tainter's book, you may
> appreciate his reasoning.
>