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Sun Oct 20, 2019, 01:35 AM

Researchers Detail How Slashing Pentagon Budget Could Pay for Medicare for All

Researchers Detail How Slashing Pentagon Budget Could Pay for Medicare for All While Creating Progressive Foreign Policy Americans Want

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/10/17/researchers-detail-how-slashing-pentagon-budget-could-pay-medicare-all-while?amp

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Koshgarian outlined a multitude of areas in which the U.S. government could shift more than $300 billion per year, currently used for military spending, to pay for a government-run healthcare program. Closing just half of U.S. military bases, for example, would immediately free up $90 billion.

"What are we doing with that base in Aruba, anyway?" Koshgarian asked.

Other areas where IPS identified savings include:

cancellation of current plans to develop more nuclear weapons, saving $20 billion
a total nuclear weapons ban, saving $43 billion
ending military partnerships with private contractors, saving $364 billion
production cuts for the F-35—a military plane with 900 performance deficiencies, according to the Government Accountability Office—saving $17.7 billion
a shift of $33 billion per year, currently used to provide medical care to veterans, servicemembers, and their families, to Medicare for All's annual budget.

"This item takes us well past our goal of saving $300 billion," Koshgarian wrote of the last item.

As Koshgarian published her op-ed in the Times, progressive think tank Data for Progress released its own report showing that a majority of Americans support a "progressive foreign policy" far less focused on decades-long on-the-ground wars, establishing military bases around the world, drone strikes, and arms sales.


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The Defense budget is an ever-increasing black hole.


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Response to alwaysinasnit (Original post)

Sun Oct 20, 2019, 01:48 AM

1. Yet another horrible misrepresentation of the facts

You don't have to cut any other programs to "pay for medicare for all." Just raise taxes to pay for it. The increase in taxes will be less than what people and companies will save by not having to pay private insurance premiums. The stickler, of course, is to start making american oligarchs pay taxes, but that's a problem with or without "medicare for all" as is military spending.

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Response to PSPS (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 20, 2019, 02:15 AM

2. You have valid points, yet there is something to be said for reining in out-of-control defense

spending.

https://www.thenation.com/article/pentagon-audit-budget-fraud/

On November 15, Ernst & Young and other private firms that were hired to audit the Pentagon announced that they could not complete the job. Congress had ordered an independent audit of the Department of Defense, the government’s largest discretionary cost center—the Pentagon receives 54 cents out of every dollar in federal appropriations—after the Pentagon failed for decades to audit itself. The firms concluded, however, that the DoD’s financial records were riddled with so many bookkeeping deficiencies, irregularities, and errors that a reliable audit was simply impossible.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan tried to put the best face on things, telling reporters, “We failed the audit, but we never expected to pass it.” Shanahan suggested that the DoD should get credit for attempting an audit, saying, “It was an audit on a $2.7 trillion organization, so the fact that we did the audit is substantial.” The truth, though, is that the DoD was dragged kicking and screaming to this audit by bipartisan frustration in Congress, and the result, had this been a major corporation, likely would have been a crashed stock.

As Republican Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, a frequent critic of the DoD’s financial practices, said on the Senate floor in September 2017, the Pentagon’s long-standing failure to conduct a proper audit reflects “twenty-six years of hard-core foot-dragging” on the part of the DoD, where “internal resistance to auditing the books runs deep.” In 1990, Congress passed the Chief Financial Officers Act, which required all departments and agencies of the federal government to develop auditable accounting systems and submit to annual audits. Since then, every department and agency has come into compliance—except the Pentagon.

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Response to alwaysinasnit (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 20, 2019, 02:27 AM

3. Conflating the two works against progress

Planting the idea that "something has to go" to "pay for medicare for all" is counterproductive because it is not true and starts the conversation from a false premise. Military spending and financing universal health coverage have nothing to do with each other.

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Response to PSPS (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 20, 2019, 02:34 AM

4. I don't believe that I am conflating the two because you can still work to rein in defense spending

regardless of whether Medicare for all is passed. This article just suggests an alternate way of funding the program.

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Response to PSPS (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 20, 2019, 03:22 AM

6. so what is wrong with reining in our wasteful, bloated military budget?

do we really need more fighter planes with 900 problems? do we really need a military base in places like aruba? we can find plenty of places that the government wastes money and there is absolutely nothing wrong with pointing those out, stopping the waste, and using that money for universal health care. then we wouldn't have to raise taxes, Americans would have more money in our pockets instead of paying insurance companies. having more money, we will spend more and be able to save more, spending more, the economy grows. saving more, more people will actually be able to retire and live decently.
so what is wrong with reining in wasteful spending?

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Response to stevesinpa (Reply #6)

Sun Oct 20, 2019, 03:46 AM

7. I agree. Cut wasteful military spending AND roll back tax cuts on the wealthy and corporations.

 

That right there should be more than enough to cover medicare for all. And corporations will save by not having to pay for private insurance. I'm not sure what the numbers would look like, but either way, they should pay their fair share in order to keep our nation in line with other first world countries.

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Response to stevesinpa (Reply #6)

Sun Oct 20, 2019, 04:10 AM

10. This is an Idea Whose Time has Come

This is an idea whose time has come. Our people are without health care, homeless, families on the margins, higher education too expensive. It is past time for us to take the toys away from the boys and cut our military budget. We are spending the bulk of our taxes to destroy civilizations around the world and feed the greed of the few.

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Response to alwaysinasnit (Original post)

Sun Oct 20, 2019, 03:21 AM

5. The sacred cow of the Pentagon has needed examination for decades. Regardless

of what happens with health care, the overbloated MIC budget has to be examined. Imagine what could be available for mental health and drug treatment, education, and job training.

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Response to alwaysinasnit (Original post)

Sun Oct 20, 2019, 03:47 AM

8. OMG this is straight out of Tulsi's book!

So it must be a terrible idea.








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Response to alwaysinasnit (Original post)

Sun Oct 20, 2019, 03:59 AM

9. In the long run the budget for M4A

Will become the target from Republicans to find money to balance the budget. Probably not that long.

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