military spending

i am led to understand that the backstory behind trump’s trans military ban is this: 

so congress is hashing out their military spending bill, and there was a divide between conservative/moderate republicans over whether the pentagon should fund trans surgeries. in an effort to render the issue moot and help the bill along, house republicans asked trump to simply issue an executive order on the topic. the idea being, if there’s an EO about funding trans surgeries, then congress doesn’t need to bother debating or writing it into the bill one way or the other and they can finally move on to other matters

but trump fucked up; instead of putting an order restricting the military funding of trans surgeries, he declared he was completely banning trans people from service. this is not what congress asked for and it has turned the whole situation into a boondoggle. one republican aide has likened it to trump being asked to light a candle and setting the table on fire instead. this move may in fact endanger the military budget bill, and mire it in further debate on whether to overturn trump’s overreaching EO. add in the fact that trump does not like being told he fucked up, and will certainly dig his heels in, raising tensions between him and congress

so while it’s absolutely a malicious move that will endanger trans service members and will certainly further poison public discourse about trans people in general, there’s at least the silver lining that the order has been administered so incompetently that it’s going to throw a wrench into the republican agenda

  • 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

Transgender Americans: Why can’t we serve in the military?

Trump Administration: Too disruptive to morale.

Current & Former Vets: I don’t care about anybody’s genitals as long as they have my back.

Trump Administration: Too many of em anyway.

Numbers: There are less than 7,000 trans military personnel out of a force of 1.3 million people.

Trump Administration: Too much “elective” surgery to pay for.

Statistics: The Rand Corp. study from 2016 estimates that there are only 25 to 130 gender reassignment surgeries annually among service members.

Trump Administration: Too much money having to pay for that though.

Receipts: Transition related healthcare costs range from $2.4 million to $8.4 million per year. The military spends $84 million a year just to treat erectile dysfunction.

Trump Administration: We don’t have any more fake reasons to offer y'all. Obviously we’re just pandering to the core of our bigoted base that hates everything if it isn’t straight, Christian, and white. Stop asking us for facts or valid reasons. This is just garden variety transphobia and ignorance.

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.

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?

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

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.

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

Don’t get me wrong, for fandom hijinks I dearly love gamer gremlin team kid sister D.Va.

But I’m also 110% here for fierce Hana Song, who at 16 had the dedication and discipline to become a worldwide eSports champion, who was called from a life of fame and product sponsorships to put her life on the line to protect her country.

18-19 year old Hana who streams her combat, tallies dead omnics like zergling waves, tracks her APM on the battlefield to make herself be the same merciless competitor she was in cyberspace. Hana who knows who she is, loves what she loves, and refused to let the hypermasculine culture of professional eSports or the grim reality of total war take that away from her. Who stubbornly clips a cell phone charm to her light gun and paints her face and MEKA bright pink, wearing her bunny rabbits and bubble gum as both metaphorical and literal armor.

Hana who takes to battle in a giant technological marvel, behind a couple of feet of armored metal, and when the situation calls for it will leap out and detonate it, darting around the field of combat in a bodysuit with a handgun while Widowmaker sneeringly calls her a child. Hana, whose intelligence, tactical prowess and reflexes were charged with replacing the most advanced AI drone system known to man and did it.

Clever, sassy Hana who spends her afternoons off playing with Tracer and Lúcio while weary military veteran Hana spends sleepless nights in the mess hall with Reinhardt and Morrison and a pot of black coffee, quiet stories of fallen comrades and bloody losses and the horrors that haunt all their dreams.

Give me cheeky gremlin D.Va in all her cheesy-powder-coated glory, but goddamn, give me Hana Song too.