My latest video, recorded Friday evening:
Can’t squeeze blood from a turnip…
1.) The Pentagon budget and military spending is a controversial topic littered with countless conflicting claims, making it nearly impossible to pin down reliable data, but here are some of the claims influencing my thinking on the matter:
Some people point to military spending being only 4-5% of GDP, which I have seen cited in reputable publications and is comparable to the percentage of GDP designated for both Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security separately. However, the 51% claim I make in the video pertains to percentage of federal discretionary spending, though that particular figure is nearly a decade old now.
“In 2011 military spending accounted for more than 58 percent of all federal discretionary spending and even more if the interest on the federal debt that is related to military spending were added.”: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-morris/military-spending-_b_894656.html
One example of how portions of defense-related spending wind up obscured: http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/22/on-drones-keeping-the-public-in-the-dark/
We’re hemorrhaging money all across the globe, and who knows how accurate the audit information is when it comes to covert overseas training? Here’s some of what we do know about: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2013/04/15/us-boosts-foreign-military-aid-to-promote-global-clout.html
2.) Now, moving on to student debt concerns.
Student Loan Debt Statistics: http://www.asa.org/policy/resources/stats/
High Hopes, Big Debts: http://www.ticas.org/files/pub/High_Hopes_Big_Debts_2008.pdf
The Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan that I’m signed up with: http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/understand/plans/income-based (a big incentive for me to remain relatively poor)
3.) Corporate Welfare vs. Social Welfare.
See pages 3-8 specifically in this report: http://www.ctj.org/corporatetaxdodgers/CorporateTaxDodgersReport.pdf
A notable quote from the above report (pg. 4):
Thirty corporations paid less than nothing in aggregate federal
income taxes over the entire 2008-10 period. These companies, whose pretax U.S. profits totaled $160 billion over the three years, included: Pepco Holdings (–57.6% tax rate), General Electric (–45.3%), DuPont (–3.4%), Verizon (–2.9%), Boeing (–1.8%), Wells Fargo (–1.4%) and Honeywell (–0.7%).
A word from Ron Paul on the subject: http://www.theburningplatform.com/2012/10/09/corporate-welfare-social-welfare-collapse/