How Small Is His...Er, Hand?

Trump to Seek $54 Billion Increase in Military Spending

This would be "...a huge rise even as the United States has wound down major wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and remains the world's strongest military power....The United States already has the world's most powerful fighting force and it spends far more than any other country on defense." [Source]

Right around one-sixth of federal spending goes to defense already, and it makes up almost half of all discretionary spending.

Source
[Source]

Now, my math skills aren't the best, but if Trump does succeed in getting Congress to cut $54 billion from nondefense spending and put it in defense - it looks to me like that would put the total to quite a bit more than half of all discretionary spending.

In 2015, according to Business Insider's analysis of the International Institute for Strategic Studies' World Military Balance report (which I can't afford to access for myself), "...that's more than the next 11 countries combined."

[Source]

That might be an exaggeration - a more conservative estimate is that the U.S. only spends more than the next seven countries combined.

Trump plans to get the money by slashing the State Department, EPA, and other agencies. Talk about short-sighted and unnecessary! Seriously, if he really wants to push for efficiency and still improve the military, he could start by making the Pentagon fix its $125 billion in waste.

Nancy Pelosi's response is spot-on. "'A $54 billion cut will do far-reaching and long-lasting damage to our ability to meet the needs of the American people and win the jobs of the future,' Pelosi said. 'The president is surrendering America’s leadership in innovation, education, science and clean energy.'" [Source] I mean, let's be honest - we don't have the money to throw willy-nilly into buying big, new, shiny military equipment. We need to be investing in infrastructure, education, healthcare, environmental protections, clean energy, humanities - things that will actually make life better for American citizens. Heck, I know what we should do with that $125 billion mentioned above... And, honestly, as quickly as Trump is pissing off allies - do we really want to slash the State Department's budget?

It seems to me to make far more sense to pursue peace - especially by maintaining it when we already have it - than to beef up an already bloated military-industrial complex and actively chase after ways to play with the shiny new toys. 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Well! On to other things.

For those of you who worry I might be snarkier on Internet paper than I am in the real world, here's a story for you. Today, we had a workplace meeting regarding changes to our insurances. A representative from Aflac was there to hawk his company's goods.

Please understand, I know nothing about Aflac, so I have no opinion about them as a company. The rep seemed nice enough. After his spiel, he brought out some stuffed duckies. Now, while I know nothing about the company and have no strong feelings one way or another about them or any desire their products, I wanted a stuffed ducky. The rep was tossing them out to those who correctly answered questions.

The second question was, "What does our Accident Insurance cover?" My immediate answer was, "Accidents." He gave me A LOOK. He also gave me the ducky, because I wasn't wrong. Success! Snark pays off, sometimes. (I did have to clarify, "All kinds of accidents?" - but, apparently, that was the right answer. Or, at least, close enough.)

Say hello to Affy!

Affy is a fan of ereaders.




Links!
  • Health, Science, & Technology
    • On Ivanka Trump and truly inspirational STEM "This past Monday, Ivanka Trump tweeted to her 3.3 million followers that she found my TED talk inspiring. It was a disorienting and unexpected turn of events. I was upset, confused, skeptical and on high alert. I didn’t understand how this person, who stands (perhaps symbolically) for things that are reprehensible to me, could find my talk to be inspiring. I reached out to my community and found that they were as appalled and dumbstruck as I was. Was I being used as a pawn in a larger game? I didn’t know, but the one thing I did know is that I needed to respond. A woman in a unique position of great influence, the first daughter of a sitting president, had mentioned me and my work by name. How could I not take the opportunity to respond?"
  • Randomnesses
    • Stop Fabricating Travel Security Advice "Recently travel to the US has become even more stressful as CBP have been more aggressively exercising their authority to examine digital devices. Their theory goes something like 'we can open a cargo container to check whats inside therefore we can open a digital device to check whats inside.' Along with the apparent increase in searching traveller’s laptops and phones, there has been a rise in amateur smuggling suggestions (seemingly by US citizens who aren’t exposed to any risk at the border.) This advice is terrible, dangerous and possibly endangers anyone reckless enough to follow it."
  • U.S. News  

Popular posts from this blog

Pi-Tastic!

Where Are We Going, And Why Are We In This Handbasket?