military spending

  • Octavio: Here's my budget, please help, my people are dying.
  • Power $300
  • Food $500
  • Military Spending $150
  • Giant Robot Bling $200000
  • Callie: Spend less on robot bling
  • Octavio: No
  • US liberal media: Trump is a dangerous autocrat with spurious ties to Russia who'll make the world a more dangerous place with military spending and foreign interventions
  • also the US liberal media: Go Team America, Trump is defending the Syrian people by dropping hundreds of bombs on their country without Congressional approval
reuters.com
U.S. Army fudged its accounts by trillions of dollars, auditor finds
The United States Army’s finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of dollars of improper accounting adjustments to create an illusion that its books are balanced.

The United States Army’s finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of dollars of improper accounting adjustments to create an illusion that its books are balanced.

The Defense Department’s Inspector General, in a June report, said the Army made $2.8 trillion in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5 trillion for the year. Yet the Army lacked receipts and invoices to support those numbers or simply made them up.

As a result, the Army’s financial statements for 2015 were “materially misstated,” the report concluded. The “forced” adjustments rendered the statements useless because “DoD and Army managers could not rely on the data in their accounting systems when making management and resource decisions.”

Disclosure of the Army’s manipulation of numbers is the latest example of the severe accounting problems plaguing the Defense Department for decades.

The report affirms a 2013 Reuters series revealing how the Defense Department falsified accounting on a large scale as it scrambled to close its books. As a result, there has been no way to know how the Defense Department – far and away the biggest chunk of Congress’ annual budget – spends the public’s money.

The new report focused on the Army’s General Fund, the bigger of its two main accounts, with assets of $282.6 billion in 2015. The Army lost or didn’t keep required data, and much of the data it had was inaccurate, the IG said.

“Where is the money going? Nobody knows,” said Franklin Spinney, a retired military analyst for the Pentagon and critic of Defense Department planning.

The significance of the accounting problem goes beyond mere concern for balancing books, Spinney said. Both presidential candidates have called for increasing defense spending amid current global tension.

An accurate accounting could reveal deeper problems in how the Defense Department spends its money. Its 2016 budget is $573 billion, more than half of the annual budget appropriated by Congress.

The Army account’s errors will likely carry consequences for the entire Defense Department.

Congress set a September 30, 2017 deadline for the department to be prepared to undergo an audit. The Army accounting problems raise doubts about whether it can meet the deadline – a black mark for Defense, as every other federal agency undergoes an audit annually.

For years, the Inspector General – the Defense Department’s official auditor – has inserted a disclaimer on all military annual reports. The accounting is so unreliable that “the basic financial statements may have undetected misstatements that are both material and pervasive.”

In an e-mailed statement, a spokesman said the Army “remains committed to asserting audit readiness” by the deadline and is taking steps to root out the problems.

The spokesman downplayed the significance of the improper changes, which he said net out to $62.4 billion. “Though there is a high number of adjustments, we believe the financial statement information is more accurate than implied in this report,” he said…

Some employees of the Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS), which handles a wide range of Defense Department accounting services, referred sardonically to preparation of the Army’s year-end statements as “the grand plug,” Armstrong said. “Plug” is accounting jargon for inserting made-up numbers.

At first glance adjustments totaling trillions may seem impossible. The amounts dwarf the Defense Department’s entire budget. Making changes to one account also require making changes to multiple levels of sub-accounts, however. That created a domino effect where, essentially, falsifications kept falling down the line. In many instances this daisy-chain was repeated multiple times for the same accounting item.

The IG report also blamed DFAS, saying it too made unjustified changes to numbers. For example, two DFAS computer systems showed different values of supplies for missiles and ammunition, the report noted – but rather than solving the disparity, DFAS personnel inserted a false “correction” to make the numbers match.

DFAS also could not make accurate year-end Army financial statements because more than 16,000 financial data files had vanished from its computer system. Faulty computer programming and employees’ inability to detect the flaw were at fault, the IG said.

DFAS is studying the report “and has no comment at this time,” a spokesman said.

We already spend more on defense than the next seven countries combined. The U.S. Military spends $610 billion a year and is not subject to audits or has to prove how or why they’re spending the money.

You can argue if this is good practice or not, but, it does seem ludicrous we’re going to give them more money, without even making them prove they’re using it efficiently, at the expense of social programs, the environment, healthcare, and education. Not to mention Flint, Michigan is STILL without water.

If we’re going to spend so much on defense we need to make sure the country we’re defending is a place worth defending.

An Orgy of Unnecessary Cruelty

The theme that unites all of Trump’s initiatives so far is their unnecessary cruelty.

1. His new budget comes down especially hard on the poor – imposing unprecedented cuts in low-income housing, job training, food assistance, legal services, help to distressed rural communities, nutrition for new mothers and their infants, funds to keep poor families warm, even “meals on wheels.”

These cuts come at a time when more American families are in poverty than ever before, including 1 in 5 children. 

Why is Trump doing this? To pay for the biggest hike in military spending since the 1980s. Yet the U.S. already spends more on its military than the next 7 biggest military budgets put together.

2. His plan to repeal and “replace” the Affordable Care Act will cause 14 million Americans to lose their health insurance next year, and 24 million by 2026.

Why is Trump doing this? To bestow $600 billion in tax breaks over the decade to wealthy Americans. This windfall comes at a time when the rich have accumulated more wealth than at any time in the nation’s history. 

The plan reduces the federal budget deficit by only $337 billion over the next ten years – a small fraction of the national debt, in exchange for an enormous amount of human hardship.

3. His ban on Syrian refugees and reduction by half in the total number of refugees admitted to the United States comes just when the world is experiencing the worst refugee crisis since World War II.

Why is Trump doing this? The ban does little or nothing to protect Americans from terrorism. No terrorist act in the United States has been perpetrated by a Syrian or by anyone from the six nations whose citizens are now banned from traveling to the United States. You have higher odds of being struck by lightening than dying from an immigrant terrorist attack.  

4. His dragnet roundup of undocumented immigrants is helter-skelter – including people who have been productive members of our society for decades, and young people who have been here since they were toddlers.

Why is Trump doing this? He has no compelling justification. Unemployment is down, crime is down, and we have fewer undocumented workers in the U.S. today than we did five years ago. 

Trump is embarking on an orgy of cruelty for absolutely no reason. This is morally repugnant. It violates every ideal this nation has ever cherished. We have a moral responsibility to stop it.

Why Teens Shouldn’t Run Revolutions

Hi guys. I’m going to piss off a lot of YA writers (and possibly readers) today, so hang onto your hats.

Mainly, if you’re in love with the idea of a high schooler with no strategic or combat experience heading up a revolution or war because they’re “so dedicated and determined,” don’t read this. Please, don’t. You’re not going to see anything you like. Go ahead and keep enjoying your guilty pleasure – that’s fine. I’m not going to own up to some of the guilty pleasures I love in fiction but don’t buy for a second in real life. That’s chill. Go for it, man.

But there are just things that I – and readers like me – are tired of seeing. If you’re sick of that trope, then keep reading. If you’re open to the idea of ditching that trope in your writing, then I really recommend reading.

This assessment/collection of tips on why teens shouldn’t run revolutions - and if you’re going to make them, how they CAN do it well - will include comparisons to history, other fiction (Unplugged), and Black Butler. Plus swearing and a range of incorrect capitalizations, because it’s fun.

On we go:

Keep reading

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people… . This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
— 

Dwight D. Eisenhower, in response to the death of Joseph Stalin. He was hoping, begging that the Soviet leadership that replaced Stalin would work with him to de-escalate the cold war.

They didn’t. He didn’t. During his administration, US military spending rose exponentially and has remained at unsustainably high levels even after the fall of the Soviet Union.

When you wonder why Americans are without healthcare, without good education, without adequate housing, with crumbling roads and bridges, remember that we’ve known for a very long time that these things are the price we’ve paid for our military dominance.

Ask yourself, America: is it a good deal? Was it worth it then? Does it continue to be worth it now? How long does this go on? How many generations do you want to curse with perpetual brinksmanship?

allamericankindofguy-actual  asked:

See the thing is though, even if you taxed the wealthiest 1% of Americans at 100% for a year, and cut military spending by 100% for 10 years, you still wouldn't be able to pay for everything he wants to do.

You are a Trump supporter and you are trying to tell me how unfeasible Bernie’s policies are? 

Trump wants to:

  • Lower taxes
  • increase infrastructure spending
  • Build a wall and have Mexico pay for it
  • Increase military spending

Even if you cut the rest of the government, there is no possible way to pay for those things without having a large deficit and increased debt. 

On the other hand, Bernie Sanders:

It sure seems like one had a well thought out plan for paying for all his proposals while the other was looking for voters like you

- @theliberaltony

youtube

TRUMP’S UNNECESSARY CRUELTY

The theme that unites all of Trump’s initiatives so far is their unnecessary cruelty.

1. His new budget comes down especially hard on the poor – imposing unprecedented cuts in low-income housing, job training, food assistance, legal services, help to distressed rural communities, nutrition for new mothers and their infants, funds to keep poor families warm, even “meals on wheels.”

These cuts come at a time when more American families are in poverty than ever before, including 1 in 5 children. So, why is Trump doing this? To pay for the biggest hike in military spending since the 1980s – at a time when the U.S. already spends more on its military than the next 7 biggest military budgets put together.

2. Trump and his enablers in the GOP are on the way to repealing the Affordable Care Act, and replacing it in a way that could cause 14 million Americans to lose their health insurance next year, and 24 million by 2026.

Why is Trump doing this? To give $600 billion in tax cuts over the decade mostly to wealthy Americans, when the rich have accumulated more wealth than at any time in the nation’s history.

The plan reduces the federal budget by only $337 billion over the next ten years – that is a small fraction of the national debt, in exchange for the largest redistribution from the poor and middle class to the wealthy in modern history.

3. Trump is banning Syrian refugees and slashing the total number of refugees this year by more than half. This comes just when the world is experiencing the worst refugee crisis since World War II.

So, why is he doing this? Your odds of dying by a lightening strike are higher than by an immigrant terrorist attack. No terrorist attacker inside the U.S. has come from Syria (nor, for that matter, from any of the 6 countries in Trump’s current travel ban.)

4. Trump is rounding up undocumented immigrants helter-skelter – including people who have been productive members of our society for decades, and young people who have been here since they were toddlers.

Why is Trump doing this? These actions come when unemployment is down, crime is down, and we have fewer undocumented workers in the U.S. today than we did ten years ago.

Trump is embarking on an orgy of cruelty for absolutely no reason. This is profoundly immoral. It is morally incumbent on all of us to stop it.

Norway overtakes Denmark to be crowned world's 'happiest country'

Norway has unseated Denmark as happiest country in the world. The Scandinavian nation beat the three-time winner of the title, having previously been ranked fourth.

Denmark dropped to second place as Norway was named the winner for the first time since the United Nations launched the global initiative in 2012.

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The World Happiness Report 2017 ranked countries on six criteria measuring happiness: GDP per capita, life expectancy, freedom, generosity, social support and an absence of corruption in government or the business sector.

“Happy countries are the ones that have a healthy balance of prosperity, as conventionally measured, and social capital, meaning a high degree of trust in a society, low inequality and confidence in government,"Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) that published the report, told Reuters.

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"What works in the Nordic countries is a sense of community and understanding in the common good,” Meik Wiking, chief executive of the Happiness Institute in Copenhagen, said.

Iceland, Switzerland and Finland were also ranked in the top five. The US was 14th on the list, while the UK came in 19th place. Sachs said the US had dropped one place due to rising inequality, distrust and corruption. He said that President Trump’s economic measures were “all aimed at increasing inequality – tax cuts at the top, throwing people off the healthcare rolls, cutting Meals on Wheels in order to raise military spending. I think everything that has been proposed goes in the wrong direction.”

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Syria, Yemen, Tanzania and Burundi are the least happy of the 155 countries listed in the fifth annual report by the SDSN.

The aim of the report is to provide governments with a tool to improve overall well-being in their country. “I want governments to measure this, discuss it, analyse it and understand when they have been off on the wrong direction,” Sachs said.

World Happiness Report 2017 rankings:

1. Norway
2. Denmark
3. Iceland
4. Switzerland
5. Finland
6. Netherlands
7. Canada
8. New Zealand
9. Australia
10. Sweden
11. Israel
12. Costa Rica
13. Austria
14. United States
15. Ireland
16. Germany
17. Belgium
18. Luxembourg
19. United Kingdom
20. Chile

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