Mitt Romney’s campaign is founded on a huge contradiction:

Out of one side of his mouth he claims he wants to balance the budget, and out of the other side of his mouth he claims he wants to vastly increase military spending:

Romney set himself apart on Friday, arguing that a weaker military and a smaller global footprint will compromise America’s leadership in the world.

“The United States should always retain military supremacy to deter would-be aggressors, and to defend our allies and ourselves,” he said.

Romney said he wants to increase the military budget, mentioning specific projects from naval shipbuilding to a missile defense system. It’s a traditional Republican view of defense that was music to this crowd’s ears.

Doesn’t he realise that military spending is already by far the largest component of non-discretionary spending?:

America is already the world’s greatest military spender:

In spite of this, America has struggled to defeat a bunch of Islamist lunatics and goatherders in Afghanistan — the same people that dragged down the Soviet Union. They too committed huge resources and capital to fighting absurd wars of imperial conquest (or should I say “proletarian liberation”) abroad, and subsequently their empire collapsed.

Americans make up less than 5% of the global population, but account for more than 50% of global military spending. America is already in massive debt, and the more America commits herself to policing the world, the bigger that debt seems to get. This situation is totally unsustainable. Cutting back on the imperialism will give America more manpower, brainpower, capital and resources to use at home to rebuild her domestic economy. The only Presidential candidate who talks about that fact — one which is in my opinion surely the most pressing of our time?

Ron Paul.

21 thoughts on “Romneythink

  1. The Afghans who fought the Soviets were supported by the US. The US (CIA) even provided funding for Jihadist litreature and setup ‘schools’ or madressas encouraging Muslim youth to fight the communist atheist infidel! It seems to me all of the western economies need warfare to maintain their hierarchical and unequal societies. If banking and its sister business warfare did not exist, money would circulate with equity and economic and political inequality would diminish, the elites would lose their power (its no good from their point of view to be one of many, it is better to be one of a few more privilige and power).

    They need enemies, wars banking to have power. Of course eventually their system will reach its inner contradictions which you highlight (debt etc.) and cause their societal implosion. Who will step to the plate and be a real leader who will make unpopular changes for the good of the nation as a whole? Can Democracy throw such a person up? Does the US democratic system allow such a person to act and bring in changes? No and No, they are doomed.

    • In fairness, with Santorum, Gingrich, Huntsman and Perry all toast, and Romney a very weak non-conservative frontrunner who has supported things like TARP, healthcare mandates, stimulus, Ben Bernanke, I think Ron Paul — the only other candidate besides Romney with the means to fight a national race — can quite possibly knock the shit out of him and take the nomination.

      If not, well that’s quite probably a disaster for America and the free world, and a decision Americans may well live to regret once Paul’s key prediction — a dollar crisis — finally materialises.

      • I’ll support Ron Paul until he does not get the nomination, then I’ll vote for Romney since nothing could make me want to support Obama based on what I have seen these 3 years. I think there will be enough fiscally conservative Republicans added to the House and the Senate, if Romney were to prevail, who will see that America can meet effectively all its national defense needs without any increases in the defense budget. This will place the needed restraints on a Romney Administration.

        My hope is that Paul has generated enough momentum that the direction he supports will continue to gain adherents.

  2. Check out what this ***** (because I know you do not like calling names) is saying: (from a Roubini tweet).

    “He added that the U.S. dollar will be “dramatically higher” by next year and said it will remain as the world’s reserve currency, saying it’s “idiocy” not to think so. He said the U.S. military superiority guarantees that dominance. “No one else comes close to the U.S. defense capability,” he said.”

    It looks like they’re increasingly painting themselves into a corner. The idea that the reserve currency is supported by military force is openly acknowledged.

    • To give Gartman the benefit of the doubt, he is right (on a metaphorical/general level) about the gold-bugs. The gold-bugs are usually people of the “anxious” type, the type of people that feel uneasy when presented with the plain hard facts of how the world currently operates (and/or are not afraid to seek the truth about what’s really going on); I assume Gartman is part of the “wishful thinking group”. I think informed people would rather be in the first group.

  3. Aziz, if Paul doesn’t win the nomination (after which I think the general election would be easy) I am contemplating closing my 401k, paying the penalty and income tax, and purchasing silver. Is this a crazy idea? is there any way we can avoid hyper-inflation or at least significant inflation, if we continue the current fiscal policies?

    • Silver is overpriced,

      buy lead. There will be huge demand for batteries to store solar power to run inverters.

      Good bye global oil supply.

      • Actually, many think that silver is the metal of the (bright) future (so you may have to wait a decade or so to get the most bang for your buck). It is said that silver has the most uses (when counting the number of the various products/domains for which it is employed) after oil (it is used even in the keyboard I type on right now, in very minute and irrecuperable amounts).

  4. The money that is spent on defense has been, for the most part, in steady decline for decades while the spending on “Human Resources” has been increasing at a rather steady (and alarming) rate:

    Yeah, defense is the largest non-discretionary spending in the budget but it is not what needs to be reined in. Take a look at the numbers and decide for yourself. What benefits have you received from the increase in Human Resource spending?

    The rest of the world does not operate like the west, it is about money and power. There is no document one is beholden to, it is only about the personalities.

    Richard, silver is going to be just as worthless as gold or the dollar if everything goes to hell. Buy guns, food, some warm blankets, a few knives and learn how to use them.

    • “Richard, silver is going to be just as worthless as gold or the dollar if everything goes to hell.”

      Roubini said something similar in one of his anti-gold-bug tweets (“I’d rather buy spam, because I can use it for barter”), but this is factually incorrect. If all goes to hell, and I certainly don’t want that, people will only exchange spam for gold coins (or silver) – like it happened during the 2nd World War; see this story:

      Also, gold (or silver) coins will be valid as an insurance policy not only in such extreme circumstances.

      • Andrei, what are you going to feed your kids, a gold coin or some spam? Barter will be the game for the civilized, usefulness of the commodity will determine its value. Gold, silver, paper money, etc. only has value because we believe it has value. In a world where the belief systems have been destroyed, if it cannot help you survive, it is worthless.

        • Just read that article; the idea is that even in the worst possible case, there will still be a need for a medium of exchange. And this role will be filled by those things that all people can trust (i.e. gold/silver coins). True, I can imagine such a level of societal collapse where we’ll live in trees and eat mushrooms (or each other) but I don’t think we should go that far.

        • PS: Of course, I’m not saying you should not have some spam reserves, but those coins will probably be more important for your longer-term survival in this scenario of collapse (but not a total, going back to pre-stone-age collapse).

        • I have read many tales of what constitutes barter during a societal collapse; the belief system is still the same. There is really no difference between a dollar and a silver coin–it is the trust and belief that it carries. While I would like to believe that any collapse would not go to this extreme, the possibility exists. I would even say, at this point, that it would be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

        • Indeed, it’s all a matter of trust; but you’d surely want to have the instrument that is most likely to be trusted by most of the people, across the most extensive area possible. This is even before considering that societal collapses are almost always accompanied by currency collapses.

        • It wouldn’t hurt to have some, probably; but my guess is that people in this situation will tend to cooperate more rather than inflict more damage upon themselves (also from some other readings of mine). Hence, in my apocalypse portfolio :P, I would underweight guns and overweight gold/silver.

  5. In reality, gold and silver coins primary use is as insurance against counter-party risk and dollar crises. They are much more useless in a full-on collapse-of-civilisation episode.

  6. Pingback: America’s Wilting Ambition « azizonomics

  7. Pingback: This Looks Like a Bubble « azizonomics

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s