Wednesday, January 09, 2013
A story in today's Washington (D.C.) Pile raises the prospect that as "defense" secretary, Chuck Hagel will be assigned to oversee massive Pentagon budget cuts.
With the war in Iraq over and the conflict in Afghanistan steadily winding down, Obama and Congress have ordered nearly $500 billion in reductions to the defense budget over the next decade. But with the country still confronting record deficits, many leaders at the Pentagon are resigned to the likelihood that further cuts are inevitable, followed by fresh rounds of infighting over money.
Why the writer buys into the thin fiction that these things which are foretold shall surely come to pass I can't say. The Pile is, after all, an establishment information source -- I think of it as Izvestia. That Charlie Hagel would administer cuts in the Pentagon budget of 20%, or even 1%, or would do anything as the Sod other than sit back and watch the Pentagon eat the half of the country that it hasn't eaten already is inconceivable.
Chuck talks crazy sometimes, but he's a 66-year-old caucasian gray-suit Republican from Nebraska who has voted in Congress and the Senate in favor of every single "defense" expenditure he ever saw.
Now that building new suburbias has crapped out as an economic activity, the only growth industry left is the Pentagon, which is totally dependent on government support and taxpayer money. And you're asking in all seriousness whether the federal gov will cut its budget?
Man, I just don't know how to respond to bs like this sometimes, except to say welcome to Rome, 3d century A.D., when bunches of spiky-crown tough cowboy guys came to the throne and were quickly killed off by the competition (rinse & repeat). Things look bad, I know, but there's still a party going on, and still plenty of money to be got, if you're connected and plugged in. If you want to steal a pile, you got to go where it is, and military spending is now the only game in Empire Town.
In fact, the Pentagon IS the country, which is now like its tail.
So let's have some more Trident submarines, with a side of money, ha ha.
Portait on coin: Claudius Gothicus, Emperor of the Romans, 268-270 CE.