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World Military Spending

Submitted by Roanman on Wed, 04/13/2011 - 07:35

From The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

As always, click on the graph below for the entire press release which contains links to the paper.


World military expenditure in 2010 is estimated to have been $1630 billion, an increase of 1.3 per cent in real terms.* The region with the largest increase in military spending was South America, with a 5.8 per cent increase, reaching a total of $63.3 billion, according to new data published today by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)


The United States still exceptional in military spending

Although the rate of increase in US military spending slowed in 2010—to 2.8 per cent compared to an annual average increase of 7.4 per cent between 2001 and 2009, the global increase in 2010 is almost entirely down to the United States, which accounted for $19.6 billion of the $20.6 billion global increase.

‘The USA has increased its military spending by 81 per cent since 2001, and now accounts for 43 per cent of the global total, six times its nearest rival China. At 4.8 per cent of GDP, US military spending in 2010 represents the largest economic burden outside the Middle East’, states Dr Sam Perlo-Freeman, Head of the SIPRI Military Expenditure Project.



Welfare State

Submitted by Roanman on Sat, 04/09/2011 - 07:13


Thanks to everyone who sent this story through, especially to Don D. who had the source, Trim Tabs Investment Research, which impressed us around here to no end.

As always, click on the photo.


Welfare State: Handouts Make Up One-Third of U.S. Wages

By: John Melloy Executive Producer, Fast Money




Government payouts—including Social Security,Medicare and unemployment insurance—make up more than a third of total wages and salaries of the U.S. population, a record figure that will only increase if action isn’t taken before the majority of Baby Boomers enter retirement.


So anyway, the above story reminded me about a Joni Mitchell interview Mary? had sent in a while back that I had been unable to find a place for.

It takes a couple minutes to get to the tie in, but she tells a good story, is still pretty easy to look at, and has a surprising take on the condition of American society.

Hang in there for it.



As an aside, Charlie Rose consistently does outstanding interviews with people from everywhere.


To quote Dan Amos

Submitted by Roanman on Fri, 03/25/2011 - 05:18


“The proposed budget cuts from the Obama administration and Congress are jokes.

They are woefully inadequate.

And polls this week revealed that even many self-identified Tea Party members have no desire to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits.

The weaker the political will to enact painful budget reforms, the faster the federal debt will grow.

The faster the debt grows, the more the Fed will be pressured to monetize, which boosts the money supply.

The further the money supply grows, the more urgency investors around the globe will feel to buy gold, silver, and other hard assets.”

Dan Amos, The Daily Reckoning, 03-11-11


Wild Horses on the Dole

Submitted by Roanman on Fri, 02/04/2011 - 15:58


From via The Quarter Horse News (they run real fast for a quarter mile or so).

As always click the photo to link to the entire story.


$66 Million Tax Dollars Spent Housing Wild Horses


Amy Lester, Oklahoma Impact Team 

PAWHUSKA, Oklahoma -- Wild horses are roaming on private ranches across the state and Oklahomans are footing the bill.

"The question is, where do we spend the best dollar, the wisest for the American people?" asked U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, (R) Oklahoma. "We're just throwing money away."

Senator Coburn is against the way the Bureau of Land Management, or BLM, manages the program. Right now, there are roughly 27,000 horses on long term pastures. They'll live there the rest of their lives. Oklahomans' tax dollars support them, at an average of $475 per horse, per year. That money goes directly to ranchers, including 13, this year in Oklahoma.

"There's not many things you can do in agriculture to change up your cash flow so this was a good program for that," said Ladd Drummond, a rancher in northeastern Oklahoma.

Drummond has 2,200 horses on his land. The government pays him $1.30 per horse, per day. That's $1.04 million a year. Drummond said less than 10 percent is profit, or close to $100,000. He has to dedicate seven acres to each horse. He gives them supplemental feedings in the winter and puts out salt and mineral in the summer.


20 Huge Spending Cuts Republicans Want To Make Right Now

Submitted by Roanman on Sat, 01/29/2011 - 14:37


Business Insider is on a roll this week with a second excellent slide show.

As always, click the photo to link to the entire piece.

Again, way double highly recommended.



I'll let the Department of Labor explain the Davis-Bacon Act  A.K.A. the "prevailing wage " law back there at the gear.

I'll admit it, I had to look it up.



The CBO Reveals 10 Cringeworthy Facts About U.S. Government Spending

Submitted by Roanman on Thu, 01/27/2011 - 18:42


From Business Insider, quick, easy and a revelation.

As alway, clicking on the photo will link you to the entire piece.

Way double highly recommended.



That's a very nice suit ..... seriously.


The Deficit Commission

Submitted by Roanman on Thu, 12/02/2010 - 06:08


The President's Deficit Commission released their recommendations yesterday, and they are as follows:


Would collapse today's five income tax rates into three brackets: 8 percent for the lowest incomes, 14 percent for middle incomes and 23 percent for the wealthiest.
Would lower the corporate tax rate to 26 percent from 35 percent today.
Would end $1.1 trillion in popular tax breaks to permit these low rates. Tax breaks to be eliminated range from the deduction of mortgage interest to receiving health insurance from employers on a pre-tax basis. Such moves would broaden the tax base and make virtually all Americans pay more in taxes.
Would tax capital gains and dividends as ordinary income rather than at today's 15 percent rate.
Would raise payroll taxes on the wealthy so that 90 percent of taxable wages would be subject to the payroll tax by 2050.
Would increase the federal gas tax by 15 cents a gallon to pay for transportation improvements.

Retirement benefits

Would raise the age Americans can get Social Security benefits from 62 to 68 by 2050 and to 69 by 2075. This reflects that Americans are living and working longer.
Would allow early retirement benefits for career manual laborers.
Would boost benefits for Americans aged 81 to 85.


Would cap spending on almost all government programs through 2020 except for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and some defense programs.
Would require the president to propose annual limits on war spending, a major change when America is fighting two wars without a tax increase to pay for them. That has never happened in U.S. history.
Federal pay, work force

Would impose a three-year freeze on congressional pay, which now increases annually.
Would freeze pay for civilian federal workers.
Would gradually reduce the government's civilian work force by 10 percent.
Got a problem with any of that?
Let's see what you can do.
Here's another chance to balance the budget with The New York Times budget puzzle.
Click on the chart below to play.



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