Which is more important? Less spending or saving lives? - U2 Feedback

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Old 01-29-2002, 09:40 PM   #1
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Which is more important? Less spending or saving lives?

I'm writing this in the middle of Bush's State of the Union Address, because I want to ask the first rhetorical question:

Bush's budget will increase military spending to produce more high-tech weapons in order to save civilian lives.

A few of you bemoan Bush's proposals that increase military spending, because of the deficits it may produce. A few of the same object to unnecessary civilian casualties.

Well, here it is. Fiscal responsiblity or civilian lives.

What's it gonna be?
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Old 01-29-2002, 10:38 PM   #2
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which civilian casualties are we referring to? do you mean we need more precise bombs? do you think we can make those daisy cutters a little less precise (like maybe not use them)? if we spend more money does that mean less bombs falling on civillians and their homes? or will we only push things further and always have these problems? or do you mean we should spend more money on weapons of defense (ie, space programs)?

I think, regardless of how much money is spent, as long as the weapons are used in war, there will be deaths, some intended, some unintended (or negligent). This seems to be the price of the life many of us enjoy, so I am not saying it's wrong to spend money on the military, but let's be honest here. Yes we should spend money towards the military, but I don't believe that a larger military spending budget will lead to any less civilian casualties.

I think your question is misguided and dangerous, you don't have to "blow up" the budget to reduce civilian casualties. Stop presenting ultimatums that polarize the issue and hope to capitalize on a calculated visceral reaction in the polls.
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Old 01-29-2002, 10:47 PM   #3
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by suggesting you can increase spending and save lives in turn, you are qualifying the spending made on items as useless as the star wars defence program.
i think we've all seen an example of an easy way to get around such a system(if it were currently in existence), and we've been terrified by many more.

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Old 01-30-2002, 01:47 AM   #4
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that uselees money spending piss me of, and not of the reasons you think.


I saw a tv programme about callcentre`s.
The American callcentre are moving to india because of the low wages. And in india they can speak good english. All the American employees been left behind without a job.

Maybe there is a way to spend the money more usefull.

Hmm, a little of topic, sorry.
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Old 01-30-2002, 02:00 AM   #5
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What people here don't seem to know or understand is the reduction of civilian losses by improved military technology since World War II. In World War II, it often took nearly a thousand strikes to destroy a single target from the air with unguided bombs. This produced massive civilian losses. In Vietnam, the ratio was was about 100 strikes to destroy a single target on average. The Gulf War was an average of 2 strikes to destroy a target from the air.
Today its getting closer to one to one which has definitely reduced civilian losses. People here do not want to know losses that would have been suffered in Afghanistan if we had been using World War II technology.
Increased military Technology most importantly saves the lives of the men and women who are serving us. Technology played a huge role in keeping the USA's military losses so small in the Gulf War as well as other military conflicts since that time.
Bottom line, spending on the military means less blood and sweat when its time to go to war. It really is about saving lives. It translates into being more successful on the battlefield and there by ending the conflict faster which saves lives of everyone involved. Not only because of technology but even more importantly training, which is very expensive as well. Plus, the men and women of are military are really underpaid considering the sacrifices they make. Pay needs to be significantly increased!
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Old 01-30-2002, 02:49 AM   #6
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Well said, Sting.

And Bush agrees with you: the men and women in uniform need bigger paychecks.
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Old 01-30-2002, 03:06 AM   #7
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this has nothing to do with the salaries of the men and women in the military; and so then we compare the technology of today to the technology of WWII... ?
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Old 01-30-2002, 04:53 AM   #8
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I agree with the spirit of what Wanderer says.

I also do not think it is as simple as you and the President are trying to make it, Bubba.

"Fiscal responsiblity or civilian lives". I dont even think Bush is saying it is that simple of a choice.

I do not believe any more money needs to go into military technology (aside from the missle defense system I kind of am ok with if it works and weve already pumped TONS of $$$ into it). Aside from salary increases and benefits for military families, I dont think there should be much of an increase in spending on any other military costs, especially the "building a better bomb" type of spending.

If George Bush wants to send the budget spiraling into deficit, spend it on finetuning our INTELLIGENCE, CIA type of stuff so we KNOW what kind of things are being planned by terrorists and can avoid them. Spend more money on securing buildings, airports and airplanes is totally fine with me. I wont weep one bit. But dont spend it on more bombs, planes and helicopters.

And why not spend some money on non-washington consultants/experts on creating efficiency and increasing productivity in the workplace and put them to work at the NSA, CIA, FBI. Have lay offs in Washington D.C. of non-essential personnel, the rest of the country has been hit with economic hardships and job losses due to the poor economy and yet its business as usual in the bueacracy that is Washington. It is time for streamlining in the Government itself. The Federal Government is light years behind corporate America in terms of efficiency and productivity and it is time that Washington tighten ship as well in order to reduce WASTEFUL spending. Spend money on cross training, eliminate beauacracy and increase productivity. The big businesses that paid for this Administration to get elected have been doing it for years, now its time for Wahsington to do the same.

And no new tax breaks, no more tax relief. Obviously, we want the government to protect us but we sure do whine when it comes out of our pocket in the form of taxes. Funny how after the 9/11 tragedy people were all looking to the government to do something but God forbid it affect your income taxes
(or the other irony, its ok to spend our taxes on bombs but not on making social security solid or feeding the poor or educational programs or).
So I think the effort should be on saving lives AND less spending. I think this can be achieved through restructuring in Washington.


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Old 01-30-2002, 08:35 AM   #9
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I'm just going to put in a thought about the deficit issue that is being brought up with his plans..... In the ten year projection put out by an independent organization, there is actually supposed to be a SURPLUS in 2011... But there will be deficits for the first few years....
Before Nine eleven. . that surplus was projected to be something like four trillion... but now... after 9/11 and the disastrous effects that has had on our economy it is only going to be a 1.6 trillion surplus.....

BUT IT IS STILL A SURPLUS! A projected 4.6 trillion surplus is ri-cock-u-lous.. That just means we're being taxed up the ass huge amounts more than we need... SOOO It's time to give some of that back.. Hence the tax cuts..

At this present moment the reason why we're gonna be in deficit's is cuz of the Terrorist Economy.. The tax cuts have only used like 60 billion I think... so far...

Blame it on the Terrorists.
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Old 01-30-2002, 08:51 AM   #10
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Old 01-30-2002, 08:58 AM   #11
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Oh, yes, Ivan.

Bush got applause because of "Soviet-style" bullying and blackmail. In fact, the side of the room that didn't applaud every time will quietly and discretely disappear.

<sigh>

Comments like that are ridiculous. As is usually the case, the opposition party refused to applaud on issues they disagree with - because they are free to do so.

Likewise, those who applauded did so freely, either out of genuine agreement or the belief that doing so would benefit them politically.

Surprise, surprise, there is no Stalinist bullying the U.S. government.

And I can't believe I actually have to explain that.
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Old 01-30-2002, 11:31 AM   #12
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* With this huge increase in spending, his tax breaks look even more irresponsible. That is my main objection.

* Perhaps it is time for a revampment of military technology. However, Republicans never know when enough is enough, and will consistently spend us into oblivion on military toys if you let them. I hope Congress is allowed to see what Bush intends to spend, rather than this secretive crap he likes to pull. This isn't Nazi Germany, and Bush isn't the dictator. While I still see a missile shield as highly expensive to create and maintain, not to mention potentially unfeasible and likely to spark another global arms race, some other things could use an improvement. War is inevitable, unfortunately, and if we can do it more efficiently with fewer troops and more precision, then perhaps it is worth it.

* What does bother me is that we haven't put this same emphasis on domestic improvements. Republicans can sure break the bank when it comes to tax cuts and military expenditures (not just Dubya, look at Reagan and Bush I), but where is our "war on poverty"? Why do we still allow 45 million people to be without health insurance? Why aren't we trying to rebuild our cities, which have languished in urban decay for decades, while looking pathetic when compared to European cities? And all Republicans have ever worried about is tax cuts and military spending. What is the Republican plan to emerge out of a recession? Tax cuts. A trained monkey can do that.

* It's only ironic that Republicans wanted a Balanced Budget Amendment. If they had gotten their way, Bush wouldn't have been allowed to run at a deficit like he is now.

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Old 01-30-2002, 12:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
* With this huge increase in spending, his tax breaks look even more irresponsible. That is my main objection.
yep, that issue has also been discussed over here
most econimics I've heard about it do think it's irresponsible

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Old 01-30-2002, 05:18 PM   #14
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Again, many people here do not seem to understand the requirments our military has and the need for advanced technology and more importantly better training. This saves lives and helps to bring conflicts to a quicker resolution. Even without 9/11 many of these increases in military spending would be needed. Just take a look at the US Army and you'll see how old the weaponsystems are that we are using.
The M1 Tank while an amazing tank and probably still the best in the world came out back in 1981. 21 years ago. The M2 Bradley infrantry fighting vehicle came out in 1983 almost 20 years ago. The M109 and M110 artillery pieces are close to 20 years old. Even the Apache is starting to age and the Marines are still using the Cobra from Vietnam.
To be fair much has been done to modernize and improve the above mentioned weapons platforms. But you can't do that forever and eventually they will have to be replaced with better platforms to meet the new threats of today and tomorrow.
The 1990s were a holiday in terms of military procurment and Research and Development and now we need to play catch which is going to require large increases in military spending in order to maintain and increase over all military strength. Few people here seem to understand the complexities and difficulties faced my our men and women in uniform, and more money for training(which is expensive) and spare parts to keep old weapons systems running is just a start.
I only touch on a few problems here but there are more. Yes, increased spending is needed to fix these problems. If you don't think its needed, then please name the weapon system or the training exercise you want to deny our troops of having before they are possibly deployed to Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, North Korea, Sudan or any other state that may have had connections with 9/11.
Oh and before you start talking about missile defense, realize that is only a small fraction of the 380 billion dollars that will be spent on defense next year. Believe it or not, most Procurment and Research and Development dollars are spent on conventional weapon systems. Also, nearly half the budget goes to pay and training although these area's are still underfunded.
Certainly intelligence needs to be improved and expanded, but what is really expensive and cost a lot is the training and weaponsystems that allow you to defend South Korea and Saudi Arabia from attack or allow you to go into places like Iraq, or Iran, and Afghanistan to accomplish political/military objectives. Running covert operations by the CIA and FBI is a fraction of running a full scale war like the 1991 Gulf War which cost 2 Billion dollars a day!
In order to be able to carry out the National Military Strategy of the USA, the increases in defense spending are needed. While defeating poverty in the richest country on the planet is important, the number 1 job of the US Federal government is National Security!
The increases in defense spending are not over blown and nor were they back in the 1980s. It was needed to accomplish all the missions and objectives the government sets out for its military. I do not want to think about the sad situation we would be in without the increases in defense spending in the 1980s 80% of which went to conventional defense spending. Were still living off those increases from the 1980s in 2002! Clinton used Reagans military while cutting it in many places around the globe in the 1990s. But we can't live off the improvements in the 1980s forever which is why the large increases are coming now in addition to added stress from 9/11.
As far as tax cuts go, I was against them until the economy went south. The main reason for the erosion of surpluses in the future is not the tax cut but economic recession. The tax cut only took 25% of the original 10 year surplus. Now that the economy is in recession, the tax cut is needed but will take time to bring stronger growth in the economy. It is a standard economic principal to cut taxes in a recession. Remaining passive or increasing taxes only makes the situation worse. Once Economic growth is restored and the nation is no longer at war or more secure, can debt reduction begin to be worked on again.
In normal times one would not increase spending and offer a tax cut at the same time, but these are not normal times with a war and a recession happening at the same time. Oh and despite the poverty that does exist in the USA, the USA was #6 in UNs latest list of the highest standards of living in the world, well ahead of many of the lovely European countries.
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Old 01-30-2002, 06:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2:
Yes, increased spending is needed to fix these problems. If you don't think its needed, then please name the weapon system or the training exercise you want to deny our troops of having before they are possibly deployed to Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, North Korea, Sudan or any other state that may have had connections with 9/11.
Of course the other option is not attacking those states to begin with.

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