5.25.2008

Budget Hero

I just got done playing this federal budget game. It's preety cool, check it out.



You can sum up my budget priorities this way:
Priority #1 - A balanced budget and a good economy (Go Republicans)
Priotiry #2 - Taking care of those in need... wisely. (Go Democrats)

Here is my theological grid. Sustainability, and justice for all, including future generations. This is Biblical. The profits this creates can be used to help those truly in need. (including the unborn) Socialism goes wrong by making care of people the first priority of the federal government. A sinking ship can't save people, now or in the future. Nor is it the federal governments job entirely. (it has and should have a very big role to play)

In contrast, capitalism goes wrong when it makes "security", money and ease the final priority. Greed is always a challenge, however we saw it pushed to the breaking point in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. (think child labor and rich barrons) These sins ushered in the "New Deal". Unfortunately we have seen it again in the past few years. (with a "born again" Christian in charge) Some have gotten wealthy while many have languished.

What is not high on my list of priorities is military spending. Why? I have a number of reasons, but mainly because no one is really threatening to take away our freedom... militarily. Judicially and economically, now that's a different story. Much of defense spending is wasted in a vast "military industrial complex", which doesn't actually keep us safe from that vast hoard of nations on the very brink of invading us. (wait a second...)

It's been said before, "when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." I think the age of set piece battles and one nation invading another is coming to an end. That doesn't mean there aren't very real threats. What I'm saying is that how we prepare to fight these threats, under what circumstances, and with what preferred end in mind, has or needs to radically shift.

We are largely engaging Iraq in the same way we engaged Germany and Japan. Our army beat there's and then we set up house keeping for a while.

In a world dominated by free people competing economically, economics and information will be the weapons of choice. Any nation that steps out of line (N. Korea, Iran, or to a lesser extent, Russia, China vs Tawain, or India vs Pakistan) can be punished with special forces operations, economic penalties, naval blockades, stealth bombers, cruise missiles, or some combination of these. All you have to do is economically punish the aggressor. While the rest of us get rich, living at peace and trading with one another.

Who says you have to invade and overthrow? I understand that ground troops win wars... if taking ground is your defination of win. But who decided that?

3 comments:

David Baxley said...

Big picture and long term has not shown so far with nations that show a desire to threat that simple economicical war will do it or throwing some missles for a short time. When the Governement does not care for thier people thretening the poor does not help. You really think it is that simple? Not that there is a simple but I am not about to say there is one way that will work and one that will not.

David Best said...

It is complected. And if I was president, I would definitely ask my generals to help me decide how we are going to spend what ever they are alloted in a wise and strategic way. Mainly I simply want smaller. Take care of the troops, give them what they need, but do it on a smaller scale.

Having said that, my primary question is, what is our preferred end. What are we trying to accomplish? (in Iraq or else ware) What are our values? (remember that honesty thing we talked about, doing what we say we believe, spending as we say we believe)

No nation can begin to compete with us militarily, and as they have discovered in Iraq and Vietnam, then don't have to. Nazi Germany, and Imperial Japan could have completely dominated the whole world. But what nation can do that today? We spend more on our military than the next five nations combined. For what end? Money, I believe.

Excluding social security and Medicare, we spend 2/3 of our general budget on "Defense". From whom? Terrorism is a threat, N. Korea, Iran. Answer this question: What other realistic things might happen? If the afore mentioned countries did step out of line, what would we want to do about it? What would we have to do about it?

Here is where I think it is simple. If your driving a foreign army out of another nation, (iraq out of kuwait) that is relatively easy. The people actually want your there and assist you.

As we have seen, going into another nation, not easy, even if the leader is abusing their people. I would only do that if there was a true international consensus. One illustrated with actual commitments of money and blood.

Just answer this question. Why do we do what we do, spend what we do, and does it reflect what we say we believe? What do you think is a bigger threat to us, economic manipulation (opec-oil, happening right now) or someone doing some big thing in a big military way?

David Baxley said...

I have to say I don't think people know what they beleive and I don't think we really understand what our future holds. In a sociaty that can't seem to define what they beleive then how can out governement reflect. They do what they think is right with no real accountabiltiy because there is nothing that is allowed to be used to be accountable to. That sums up what our sociaty beleives.

If I could see one thing occur it would be to see the evironmentals loose their manipulitive control as a minority and allow the exploration of true energy independence. The few are dictating to the leaders of the many and the many have no voice. People are being told what to beleive instead of being able to live or at least decided what they beleive