Military Industrial Complex Invokes Emotional Plea for More Tax Dollars

By on February 28, 2013
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by Nicole Revels

A classic leftwing argument device that justifiably annoys conservatives is the blanket indictment of Republicans as being “heartless,” equating opposition to entitlement spending increases with taking perverse pleasure in the prospect of individuals freezing and starving on the streets. This tactic is meant to “guilt” the public into equating higher taxes and spending with being ‘good’, and opposition to handing over hard-earned money to big brother with being ‘bad’.

Amazingly, the military industrial complex Republicans seem to now be taking notes from the welfare state Democrats.

It appears that they have begun using the liberals’ appeal-to-emotion tactic with their latest campaign to shame Americans into calling for an expansion of military spending. Within the past 24 hours, I have received emails from Republican groups, read articles from NBC news, and even heard a personal appeal during my county Republican club meeting – all conveying a heartbreaking story of military members’ requests made to a nonprofit organization called TroopsDirect.

TroopsDirect is a civilian organization, described as “a nonprofit with one full-time employee and a small squadron of corporate backers,” which takes orders directly from military units for items that they would like to receive in order to make their service time in Afghanistan more comfortable, and the organization then works to supply the items directly to the units. In essence, a more effective means of “sending troop boxes.”

While the organization had generally been receiving requests for items such as socks, toothpaste, flea collars, etc., it was now said that TroopsDirect has been receiving requests instead for basic survival necessities – necessities that  the military should have been providing to the troops already.

NBC News reports, ”An Army unit slated to deploy to Afghanistan to clear roadside bombs has asked … for 30 special vests designed to carry armored plates because, according to the unit’s commanding officer, the Army will only outfit half of his 60 members with those vests.” The article goes on to maintain that cuts to the defense budget are preventing the military from supplying the troops with the protective vests.

A tear-jerking email received from the National Federation of Republican Women goes even further.  It states that, “Last month, TroopsDirect heard from the commander of an Army mortar unit outside of Kandahar, Afghanistan, who had been issued such worn-out ear protection that troops were having their eardrums blown out by weapons percussions and were bleeding from their ears. … Defense Department budget constraints are the reason cited for the failure to supply all troops with necessary equipment.

Though it is truly a sad story, these anecdotes do not move me to push for increases to the Department of Defense budget. Is it because I am a heartless human being who wants our military members to have their eardrums blown out & go into battle without basic protective gear? No. It’s because the US taxpayers cannot afford our already-overblown defense budget, and the Department of Defense has placed a higher priority on funding wasteful spending that has absolutely nothing to do with defense. After all, why cut other pet programs in order to buy equipment for troops in the field, when instead you can appeal to emotion in order to get increases in funding and not make any hard choices?

In a November 2012 report, Republican Senator Tom Coburn outlines billions of dollars being spent on wasteful or redundant projects coming out of the Department of Defense – projects which have little or nothing to do with the actual defense of the nation.

The report claims that over 67 billion dollars could be saved by the reduction recommendations outlined without cutting any Navy combat ships, Army brigade combat teams, or Air Force fighter squadrons. Here are a few examples of Department of Defense spending outlined in the report as being wasteful or redundant:

Even though “improving global health is not one of its core objectives,” the Pentagon will spend at least $580 million this year on global health activities, more than either the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the National Institutes of Health. … each year Congress redirects funding within the Pentagon budget for non-military specific research into the very same diseases already being studied by NIH.

the Navy recently funded research examining what the behavior of fish can teach us about democracy while also developing an app to alert iPhone users when the best time is to take a coffee break.

Both the Navy and the Air Force funded a study that concluded people in New York use different jargon on Twitter than those living in California.

The Department of Defense launched more than 100 renewable energy-related initiatives in 2010, more than any other federal agency including the Department of Energy. Many of these DOD renewable energy projects were so poorly planned, they failed to be cost effective or even produce power, wasting millions of national security dollars.

Coburn’s report asks the question that we should all now be considering, “As we borrow trillions of dollars from potentially hostile foreign governments and our nation faces a $16 trillion debt, why are these priorities being funded and other priorities being ignored?

Rather than allocating more tax dollars to the Department of Defense, we should direct that the DOD make cuts in other areas, in order to provide our military members with their basic survival necessities.

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5 Comments

  1. Dave Carter

    February 28, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    It’s worth mentioning that the pandering because of this is amazing. Maxine Waters (D-CA) is out to scare more to be against the budget cuts by telling all that the jobs that will be lost are over 170 million. This means that everyone in American will likely lose their job and some will have to be fired twice to hit that number.

  2. Jeff Austin

    February 28, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    I received an Honorable Discharge on 31 July 1988. I served five and one half years in the USCG and I’m proud of that service. Some of the reasons I did so were altruistic and some were more self centered in a quest to better myself. In the end, I can say I was successful in every way. I don’t say this to get “thank you’s” for my service or special recognition, it’s just part of who I am and why I am.
    I would bet, that the vast majority of those we have in uniform today are serving just as I did and they serve and will serve honorably. It will be up to them to harness that experience for their future.
    As someone who has been in “the field” with inadequate equipment or supplies, it pisses me off to high heaven when I am pandered to on such levels as the article refers to. I never experienced combat; but I have been in harms way a time or two, and to think that our political elites and command staff would willingly place the rank and file in a compromised position when not necessary and then try to benefit from the situation by using fear and smear tactics is not only criminal, but treasonous in my eyes. It would be one thing if we truly could not equip these troops, but the wasteful use of our treasure and dare I say the irresponsible policies that have caused these young men and women to be in harms way is not my burden to bare under the circumstances in which they are presented. I am unaffected by the pleas of fear-mongers, but not without compassion for my fellow countryman. If you wish to ask me for my contribution to the effort of their protection and security I will gladly time and what little monies I can to bringing them all home, where they belong. If you ask me to equip them, all the while, you waste extorted funds from my labors in order to cover your guilt, I will tell you to piss up a rope.
    To those in uniform who may read this post: I understand your situation, by no means am I belittling your service. I appreciate each of you, and wish you God’s speed and a safe return.

  3. Chuck Suter

    February 28, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Awesome job Nicole, we need more folks willing to stand up and bring the truth to the American people.

  4. Rocco

    February 28, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    The USA spends as much or more on it’s military than the rest of the world’s nations combined. The entire notion of “Defense” is a massive hoax. After WWII the National Security Act (1947) changed the name of the Dept of War to the Dept. of Defense to create the illusion that the USA was not in a perpetual state of war. http://history.state.gov/milestones/1945-1952/NationalSecurityAct

  5. Lydia Drish

    March 1, 2013 at 6:35 am

    Excellent, Nicole, I depend on you to keep me informed, you know? :) Thanks!

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