Starship Troopers–Part 3

The US president is still pushing for a new Space Force or would it be Space Marines or Starship Troopers……the big story is just how this new force, this new branch of the military be financed?

The budget battle looms large……

There are no estimates yet for what it will cost to stand up a Space Force as a separate military service. The Pentagon will request funds in next year’s budget to get the process started but Congress will want to know the full costs.

Some proponents of the Space Force have argued that if portions of the Air Force or the intelligence community are carved out to form a new service that there should be no significant added costs. But that would be a fantasy, said Gen. Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Somehow there is a misconception out there that “this is going to be absolutely resource neutral,” he said on Friday at a Mitchell Institute event on Capitol Hill.

https://spacenews.com/as-the-pentagon-moves-to-stand-up-a-space-force-budget-fight-looms/

The big problem is that the population does not see the need for yet another branch of the military…..

President Donald Trump’s enthusiasm for a new military branch focused on space is apparently not widely shared. Two polls released today show that a majority—and in one poll, a plurality—of respondents said that the Space Force is a bad idea.

The Trump administration plans to cleave Space Force from the Air Force and have it largely in place by 2020. The first step would be to create US Space Command—a joint command within the Pentagon similar to the Joint Special Operations Command and US Cyber Command that would oversee space operations of all the services—by the end of 2018. The Pentagon will also create a Space Development Agency that will pull military space research, development, and procurement out of the Defense Department’s current acquisition system. The agency’s goal would be accelerating the development of new space stuff.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/08/polls-america-is-meh-about-space-force/

This is a waste of time and money….and apparently the people see it for what it is…..

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Was That With A “T”?

I have written many times about the waste and the out right loss of funds budgeted for the Pentagon…..the latest article just makes my case for me…..

Twenty-one trillion dollars.

The Pentagon’s own numbers show that it can’t account for $21 trillion. Yes, I mean trillion with a “T.” And this could change everything.

But I’ll get back to that in a moment.

There are certain things the human mind is not meant to do. Our complex brains cannot view the world in infrared, cannot spell words backward during orgasm and cannot really grasp numbers over a few thousand. A few thousand, we can feel and conceptualize. We’ve all been in stadiums with several thousand people. We have an idea of what that looks like (and how sticky the floor gets).

(Read On……)

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-pentagon-cant-account-for-21-trillion/

You realize that amount is greater than the GDP of Australia?  We could fund a whole other country on the missing funds from the Pentagon

Isn’t our Pentagon a wonderful department…..that is my money, your money, the taxpayers money that no one can account for….time to a change.

Voodoo Economics Returns

Roll us over and do it again!

Our Congress is once again on a break (is there ever a time when this isn’t so?)  They have tried health issues and failed…..they are talking abut some sort of gun regulations…..and since nothing is sticking to the wall then they will go to the ever popular tax reform.

And since the GOP is in control then we will try their fix for the economy…..supply-side solutions.

This solution has not been a answer for 30+ years….hey, why not try it again?

Our president has decided the “voodoo economics” will solve all the ills of our economy….

Billionaire US President Donald Trump wants to reform the US tax system, like others before him. But his plan looks more like tax cuts for America’s wealthiest and some of the world’s biggest corporations.

Although it’s yet to be fleshed out, it’s based on the idea that the cuts will pay for themselves, with the economic growth they generate in years to come. Yet, that’s never happened in the history of US tax cuts.

In economics jargon: this is a classic supply-side response to a demand-side problem. But why help companies and investors if workers are the ones in trouble?

It’s been done before and George HW Bush famously called it “voodoo economics” to discredit the notion that cutting tax rates will increase revenues.

Source: Donald Trump’s ‘voodoo economics’ | USA | Al Jazeera

An IST factoid:  Tax cuts have NEVER paid of themselves!

But you will be asked to buy into the dream anyway…..you cannot drain the swamp and keep the crap in place.

I have written on this subject before and pointed to the fallacy……..

Source: It Is Always Supply Side Economics – In Saner Thought

Source: The Humor That Is Trickle Down Economics – In Saner Thought

Source: Let’s End The Illusion Now! – In Saner Thought

A laughable solution that the population falls for almost every time.

Ever Heard Of USIP?

USIP is a program that was passed during the Reagan years.

The United States Institute of Peace is an independent national institute, founded by Congress and dedicated to the proposition that a world without violent conflict is possible, practical, and essential for U.S. and global security. USIP pursues this vision on the ground in conflict zones, working with local partners to prevent conflicts from turning to bloodshed and to end it when they do. The Institute provides training, analysis, and other resources to people, organizations, and governments working to build peace.

Our generals will be the first to tell you it’s cheaper to prevent a war than fight one. Lawmakers should keep this in mind as they face an unusually complex budgetary environment this year.

As Congress navigates budget caps and a White House determined to slash spending, it also must consider the turmoil and violence rocking the world.

Source: Give a Reagan-era peace institute a chance | TheHill

I know our new president is all about fighting wars but we have only so much cash to do what he wants and now he purposes even more tax cuts meaning less money yet again.

Maybe if he or his advisors like Tillerson would spend a little time doing some research then they might find that the Reagan idea does have value.

Okay I know that I am not one of Reagan’s biggest fans but he did have some ideas that deserve another look see.

That is unless continuous war is the main goal of the Trump cabal.

And it is looking more and more like it is…..to the point that trump is trying to establish a new world order.

That Donald Trump is a grand disruptor when it comes to international affairs is now a commonplace observation in the establishment media. By snubbing NATO and withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, we’ve been told, President Trump is dismantling the liberal world order created by Franklin D. Roosevelt at the end of World War II. “Present at the Destruction” is the way Foreign Affairs magazine, the flagship publication of the Council on Foreign Relations, put it on its latest cover. Similar headlines can be found on the editorial pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post. But these prophecies of impending global disorder miss a crucial point: in his own quixotic way, Donald Trump is not only trying to obliterate the existing world order, but also attempting to lay the foundations for a new one, a world in which fossil-fuel powers will contend for supremacy with post-carbon, green-energy states.

Source: Is Trump launching a new world order? , by Michael T Klare (Le Monde diplomatique – English edition, June 2017)

Continuous war is looking more and more like the future for the US….that is unless someone steps up and takes a stand.

Will USIP survive in the Trump era?

Blueprint For A Banana Republic

Back in March, which seems like a lifetime ago, Pres. Trump released his fist budget…..and it was a doozey….but instead of sounding like a plan it reads more like the ideas of a banana republic.

President Trump has released a budget blueprint outlining increased military spending and cuts across other agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department. Congress will still have to draft a formal budget, but the plan released Thursday by the White House indicates the president’s priorities. Read the full document below. Read more about the specific proposals and their implications here.

But if you do not like others analysis of the budget then take the time a read the damn thing for yourself and see what is being done to this country.

Source: Full Text Of President Trump’s 2018 Budget Blueprint : NPR

If you read and are capable of understanding what you have read then you will see that this budget is turning our country into a banana republic style military dictatorship….and if you remember any history at all then you will recall that this will lead to NOTHING good.

A combination of spending cuts that will escalate domestic poverty while simultaneously increasing investments in militarism.

The Trump administration has officially unveiled its proposed budget to “Make America Great Again,” and by all accounts it’s a total flop. Most news outlets are ignoring the greater implications of what is proposed in the budget itself—the society America would become if the Trump budget became official.

Source: Trump’s Budget Is a Blueprint for a Banana Republic-Style Military Dictatorship | Alternet

The only saving grace is that this budget seems to have very little support from either side of the aisle.  It may well be dead before it arrives…..

We can hope that calmer more reasonable minds will prevail…..but I am not holding my breath.

The Budget Of The Century

The new federal budget is making news these days…..and boy is it a whopper of a budget……and as one would think since the GOP is ruling the roost the social programs will be hit and hit hard…..

A rundown of thoughts of the new federal budget……pending budget.

President Trump’s first budget proposal was officially unveiled Thursday morning—and it delivers exactly what he promised. The proposal—titled “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again”—contains cuts that the Washington Post says could be the biggest reduction in federal programs since the post-World War II drawdown. The Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department are the hardest-hit agencies according to budget previews, with cuts of around 30%. Military spending would be beefed up by $54 billion under the proposal, $1.5 billion is earmarked for a border wall, and Homeland Security would get a 6.8% funding increase. A roundup of coverage about the $1.15 trillion spending plan:

  • The document is here.
  • Politico reports that the budget is “red meat” for Trump’s base, with deep cuts to their most disliked government agencies and programs, though it is also what’s known as a “skinny budget” because it is so short on details. A more detailed budget will be out in May.
  • The AP lists winners and losers. The latter group includes the departments of Energy, Labor, and Transportation, along with after-school programs and many independent agencies supported by tax dollars.
  • White House budget director Mick Mulvaney acknowledged that the cuts would lead to job losses, Reuters reports. “You can’t drain the swamp and leave all the people in it,” he said during a budget preview Wednesday. He said that White House officials had looked at Trump’s campaign speeches, and “turned those policies into numbers.”
  • The New York Times reports that congressional Republicans have already declared parts of the plan dead on arrival. “The administration’s budget isn’t going to be the budget,” Sen. Marco Rubio told reporters. “We do the budget here. The administration makes recommendations, but Congress does budgets.”
  • The Hill notes that such proposals tend to be “little more than guidance” for lawmakers—and that the Senate shot down Obama’s 2015 budget 98 to 1.
  • The AP reports that the budget funds Trump’s boost for the Pentagon, the biggest since Ronald Reagan’s, with cuts to conservative targets including the National Endowment for the Arts, legal aid for the poor, and the AmeriCorps national service program.
  • NBC notes that Trump’s proposal, which makes cuts to 12 out of 15 Cabinet agencies, only covers the “discretionary” quarter of the $4 trillion budget for the fiscal year that starts in October. The portion dealing with issues including taxation, Social Security, and Medicare is due in mid-May.
  • The Washington Post reports that the budget proposal’s elimination of funding for public broadcasting means that Big Bird’s doom has been predicted once again, though public broadcasting has survived previous “zero funding” proposals all the way back to Richard Nixon.

Now that we know what is being said about the new budget…..how about we look at the programs destined for the trash heap……

  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting ($445 million): Funds local public television and radio stations, including PBS and NPR.
  • National Endowment for the Arts ($148 million): Funds after-school programs, art shows, musical productions, and more as part of its goal of getting Americans involved in the arts, according to Quartz.
  • Northern Border Regional Commission ($8 million): An economic development agency for New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, according to USA Today.
  • Chemical Safety Board ($11 million): Investigates and makes safety recommendations following chemical accidents at federal facilities.
  • Legal Services Corporation ($385 million): Provides free legal advice to low-income Americans, funding more than 9,000 full-time legal staff.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities ($148 million): Provides scholarships in literature and culture.
  • United States Institute of Peace ($35 million): A federal think tank with 300 employees that focuses on conflict resolution.
  • United States Interagency Council on Homelessness ($4 million): Federal agency tasked with responding to and reducing homelessness.
  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars ($11 million): Provides scholarships in social sciences and humanities.
  • Denali Commission ($20 million): An economic development agency for Alaska.
  • Inter-American Foundation ($22 million): Promotes “citizen-led grassroots development” in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Delta Regional Authority ($25 million): An economic development agency for eight states in the Mississippi Delta region.
  • African Development Foundation ($30 million): Encourages economic development in Africa.
  • US Trade and Development Agency ($60 million): Promotes US transportation, energy, and telecommunications exports.
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation ($83 million): Promotes private investment from US in the developing world.
  • Appalachian Regional Commission ($146 million): Works to improve the economy in Appalachia, according to Politico.
  • Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation ($175 million): Also known as Neighborworks America, it helps affordable housing programs.
  • Institute for Museum and Library Services ($230 million): Funds 35,000 museums and 123,000 libraries around the country.

Corporation for National & Community Service ($1.1 billion): Also known as AmeriCorps, it coordinates and promotes community service around the country.

All the programs that have been hated by the GOP for decades…..but let’s say this budget passes (I do not think that it will)……how will it effect those people that supported Trump during his his to the tower?

As a candidate, President Donald Trump promised to focus on revitalizing predominantly rural and small-town industries across America, claiming that “[f]amily farms are the backbone of this country” and that “coal is coming back.” President Trump visited these small towns and rural areas promising voters he would “create massive numbers of jobs” and that he would “rebuild … your communities.” But the agenda that Trump is advancing—reflected in his “skinny budget” released today as well as in his reported past policy proposals and statements—reveals his bait and switch on voters in these very communities.

Source: 10 Ways President Trump’s Agenda Will Harm His Supporters in Rural and Small-Town America – Center for American Progress

This all leads me to thank all those members of the “Ignorati” that helped elect this person and they can oversee the destruction of the American society….Are You Satisfied? (to quote Wild Bill Hickcock)

Let me close with a quote from Press Sec Spicer…..”just because you get less money does mean it is a cut”…..I love these people….only the “Ignorati” could give us this collection of mental midgets.

Trump’s Government Overhaul

Does anyone besides me remember the promise by Donald Trump that if he was elected that he would overhaul the government….drain the swamp I believe was the term he used.  And the peasants cheered and danced.

Personally I did not bite on the loaded hook that he dangled……

The president has the right idea. But he forgot to include the people that can make it happen.

The executive order issued by President Donald Trump yesterday has a goal nearly every citizen and legislator would cheer: to “improve the efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of the executive branch.”

What’s not to like? The executive branch is an organizational basket case, and it sorely needs a re-think. For 238 years, citizen legislators and presidents have come to town with dreams of fixing public problems, hatching new agencies and programs to do it, many of which live long beyond the problem they were intended to solve. The slow aggregation of government initiatives has produced a $3.8 trillion per year government with at least 180 agencies. With each passing year, the government becomes more complex and incoherent — “kludgeocracy”, as political scientist Steven Teles termed it.

Source: Why Trump’s government overhaul won’t work

And then there is the budget……Trump being a Repub he will no doubt be in the mood for a skinny budget…..a budget that does wonders for the rich and screws the poor unmercifully….

So will Trump’s budget…..

The skinny budget should show how President Trump proposes to allocate these massive cuts. These details will help answer the following five questions about the Trump agenda in order to determine whether President Trump is trying to help ordinary Americans or using government to advance the narrow interests of powerful elites:

  • Does the budget protect basic living standards for American families?
  • Does the budget create good jobs?
  • Does the budget ensure a level playing field?
  • Does the budget launch partisan attacks on American democracy?
  • Does the budget make Americans safer?

Source: 5 Things to Watch in President Trump’s Skinny Budget – Center for American Progress

The answers my friend are blowing in the wind……