I find it amusing watching a bankrupt country (America) discuss how many Billion it will spend overseas keeping the Middle East safe for Israel while simultaneously preventing China and Russia from gaining a footing in Arab oil. Exactly how many dollars does it take for America to defend itself?
Is it possible that the price is too high?
Not if you're a defense company whose bottom line depends on perpetual defense spending by U.S. politicians. Above is a graph of U.S. military spending as it compares to the rest of the world. As of 2010 the United States ranks first in the world for defense spending. In fact, the U.S. spends almost as much on defense as all other countries on the planet combined. The U.S. spends 43% of the planets military spending.
I once asked a friend of mine why the U.S. had to spend so much on defense. His response.... "freedom isn't free". Well what can you say to that?
I told him that sounded a lot like a bumper sticker.
Nothing about the Republican debate may have seemed odd to most listeners. That's because Americans have become accustomed to having their own national news superceded by that of happenings in the Middle East. Have you ever noticed how much of NPR News is devoted to talking about Israel and Arab nations? You'll probably find that more time is spent talking about those countries than the affairs of our own nation... and that's no coincidence.
I compare American government to myself - if I had a credit card with no limit.
Not only does my credit card not have a limit, I don't even have to pay the bill. Let's say that the people of Hattiesburg have to pay my bill. I spend incessantly while assuring citizens it's for their own good. And even when the money I tax from them each month isn't enough to make the minimum payment... why no problem, I just borrow money from the City of Petal. And the debt I owe the City of Petal... that too ends up being owed by the citizens of Hattiesburg.
Now there are some really smart people with a lot of education that will tell us how normal this situation is. After all everyone is doing it. In fact, they will claim that debt upon debt is the only way to build a prosperous society. We can all see how well this type of thinking would work in our personal financial lives. It wouldn't work at all and we know it. So why do we accept this type of garbage from our politicians? Perhaps it's because we all love a good fiction.
The bottom line is that much of our overseas spending is not only wasteful but unaffordable. Our ability to create debt and default on the bills won't last forever. How did we allow the United States, with its abundant natural resources, to become so dependent on foreign goods that we became their slaves? Our children might like to know.