October 13, 2012

It's always 1980 for Republicans

When I was young, it was always 1932 for the Democrats. They were always running against Herbert Hoover. It was fun for Democrats and brought back warm memories. Finally, an ex-FDR Democrat, Ronald Reagan, fully exploited his opponents' frozen-in-time aspect, convincing the Democrats after Mondale's big loss that they had to modernize. 

Not surprisingly, it's always 1980 for the Republicans. Mansized Target notes:
Romney’s W-Esque Foreign Policy 
Romney gave a big foreign policy speech at VMI.  In it, he shows he has basically been living in a cave since 1980.   Bottom line for him:  America must be strong and America must lead. ... 
He wants to be the next Reagan, but his written-by-others foreign policy neglects to remember that Reagan was a creature of time and place:  a diminished economy, much like what we face today, but also a world where American faced a sui generis and aggressive foreign policy threat in the form of the Soviet Union. Likewise, Reagan inherited a demoralized military gutted by the post-Vietnam malaise of the 1970s.  Today we have a strong and capable, if small, military, that is state of the art in every way.  Whereas in 1980 out-in-front leadership and universal engagement made sense, today we are in a period of forced austerity, overcommitment, and failed nation-building.

Boosting military spending in the 1980s turned out to be colossally successful. The Red Army gave up without a fight. But because there's no more Red Army, the upside of more defense spending is small. What's the best that can happen now?

Historically successful policies can't help but run into diminishing returns.

87 comments:

Matthew said...

Or they propose cutting tax rates on the wealthy as Reagan did, and believe a flood of new investment will follow. When Reagan cut taxes, top cap gains rates were ~35%. Today the top marginal rate on cap gains is 15%. When George W. Bush took office top rates were ~20% when he cut them to today's levels. He even (briefly) eliminated the "death tax." The net result? Economic growth during the '00s far slower than that during the 80s and 90s, and that doesn't even factor in 2010-12. 2010's growth rate, coming out of a recession, was 3.0%; in 2011 it was 1.7%; last quarter it was 1.3%. It's entirely possible that that GDP growth in this decade won't even average 1.5%, and even that will be after the government continues to juice growth via trillion dollar annual deficits and immigration rates which are still insanely high. Per capita GDP growth may be next to non-existent. Since Obama took office the median family income - during a "recovery" - has fallen from $54,000 to $50,000.

We. Are. Screwed.

When Reagan became president in 1981, the Baby Boom generation was still a rising one, 35 at the oldest, and America was still a very white, very well-educated country. Today the Baby Boom generation is a retiring one, 66 at the oldest, and is being replaced by folks named Jorge and Deshawn'ta.

Jorge? You can thank Reagan for us having so many people with names like that.

Anonymous said...

Who cares? The military is basically a lower and middle class jobs program, makes the country look strong, advances science and technology, and is one of the few programs actually mandated by the Constitution.

Conatus said...

The US is the biggest spender on wars in the world. We spend 41% of the total world's expenditures on military stuff. That is 4.7% of our GDP every year. No other major player even comes close. Russia spends 3.9% of its GDP on the military and that is a mere 4.1% of the world's expenditures on military equipment.

Its all in Wikipedia, Military Expenditures by country
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

Am I missing something? Are we at risk for invasion? Did the Atlantic and Pacific dry up? Sure ex-Colonels need employment and so do EYE-TEE people but how does spending an inordinate amount of our GDP to keep the sea lanes safe for commerce, for travel of Chinese(an other low wage countries) help overall in our employment picture? The Colonels in DC have jobs but the manufacturing workers(our former middle class) in Ohio do not.
So our middle class gets taxed to lose their jobs?
Sounds like sound public policy(it sounds good to the people who pay attention)

Anonymous said...

Reagan was a complete and utter arse.
A man of his severely limited intellectual powers - and lack of serious credentials should never, ever have become president.
it's a well known fact that Reagan (a washed-up former B-movie actor, TV host for general Electric, hence a man good at impersonating a leader rather than being a leader), was merely the chosen stooge for a syndicate of rich Californian businessmen (Bloomingdale of the Vicky Price sex scandal - she was subsequently myseriously murdered - was the synicate leader), who wanted the pro-host elected as a means of lowering their tax bills - yes really, thatwas all there was to it.
Anyway, the current financial smash-up is the delayed legacy of Reagan's assinine right-wing free market dogma.
Carter was a muh better and more intelligent man - a highly intelligent former nuclear sub. officer. Carter epitomised the more cerebral Vermont (though he was from Georgia)SWPL type strain in American public life, a type that admires Scandinavian style social democracy, and was broadly paternalistic in the bset way.
In cotrast Reagan was a uneducated nincompoop who just barked out any script his rabid-dog handlers gave him. The man was a complete arse. A second-rate vaudeville act that got lucky, giving it a political song and dance act, telling the rubes what they want to hear, whilst doing his handlers' dirty work for them.
Nothing else needs to be said about this tragic fool, why dignify him with praise?
As a matter of fact he had Alzheimers whilst in office.

Mallarde said...

We also are frozen in time with respect to Middle East foreign policy. There is no democracy versus communism battle for influence. why do we care if Egyptians get to vote if it endangers us? Or Libyans or Syrians?

Anonymous said...

“Boosting military”…

“When Reagan cut taxes, top cap gains rates were ~35%. Today the top marginal rate on cap gains is 15%”

Romney does not propose boosting military spending as a share of GDP. His plan is for now:
“reversing Obama-era defense cuts and return to the budget baseline established by Secretary Robert Gates in 2010”

Nor does Romney propose cutting the capital gains tax for the wealthy. He is opposed to Obamas, who calls the 15% rate a “loophole” and argues for taxing capital gains as normal income (even thought this is income which has already been taxed at the corporate level once). Obama’s 2013 budget proposes a capital gains tax of 44.8%. Even if he doesn’t raise it that much the Buffet rule requires it to be at least 30%.

If Reagan cutting the capital gains tax from 35% was good, why is it bad to oppose raising it back to 44.8%?

It seems to me you guys are fighting a GWB strawman created by liberals. It's not 2006 anymore.

Anonymous said...

The Reagan tax-flattening reform has since been eroded with deductions and exceptions, around half the tax base is gone. To get back to Reagans tax-rates you need new flattening, it’s not enough to do it once in 1980 and forget about taxes forever. Flattening and deductions creeping back in are a never-ending cycle.

Regarding growth:

Growth mostly depends on technology, demographics, and global trends. Taxes influence growth only up to a point. This is especially when we are talking marginal difference between 20%, 28% and 15%.

The fact that taxes were 15% during the 00s and we had lower growth than the 1980s or 1990s when taxes were 20-28% does not prove capital gains taxes have no effect, unless you think the capital gains tax deterministically drives growth (typically capital gains are around 3% of GDP).

On average over long periods when other trends are cancelled out you may be able to detect a relationship between taxes and growth (which we indeed can, taxes have some negative effect on growth).

Anonymous said...

"Who cares? The military is basically a lower and middle class jobs program, makes the country look strong, advances science and technology, and is one of the few programs actually mandated by the Constitution."

The framers of the Constitution and hangers-on at the time left volumes' worth of written warnings of the dangers to liberty of standing armies, which, with the starting with the Militia Act of 1903 and continuing through the erosion of doctrine of Posse Comitatus, Patriot Act and NDAA are burningly topical.

The only perpetually existant military authorised in the Constitution are the navy and the militia. This quote therefrom "To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years[emphasis added]" implies that armies (plural) should be disbanded when the purpose they were raised for is fulfilled.

Chicago said...

None of the politicians mention the elephant in the room, that being the dramatic demographic changes within the country and the continuation of the Afro-Asiatic-third world population expansion within the US, transforming the country into something else entirely. The very nature of the country has changed right before our eyes, within our own lifetime. Political discourse has become increasingly fragmented and antagonistic. The inevitability of a Colombian-style period of "La Violencia" sometime in the future is increasingly being hinted at by more and more people. Once they have the critical mass to do so the third-world type residents will feel their strength and turn on the rest to simply appropriate what they have, through the ballot box or by intimidation and coercion.
Prattling on about capital gains or inheritance tax policy is just rearranging chairs on the Titanic. Having a huge military means being outwardly strong but at the same time we are becoming inwardly weak; a few hard knocks and there it all goes. No patchwork quilt of disparate people with nothing to tie them together will fight for anything besides a paycheck, as long as it's not too risky. The real question is what sort of country do we want to live in.

Cail Corishev said...

Generally a solid piece. I'd only quibble with one bit: in 1980, people thought they were in a period of forced austerity too. It turned out they weren't, really; they just needed government to get off their backs somewhat.

That's not the same situation today; as Matthew points out, there aren't easy pickings of high tax rates on investors that can be lowered to spur productivity. And we've transferred so many jobs to foreigners -- both inside or outside our borders -- that we don't have the same productive sector waiting to break out and drive a recovery.

But there are things a less intrusive government could do to benefit the economy. Cut regulations and taxes on employment, so businessmen don't feel like they're getting punished every time they employ someone new. Reduce immigration and deport as many illegals as possible, so the number of jobs can catch up with the number of Americans looking for one. Cut spending, so young Americans can again feel like there will be a country around for them to grow old in. Raise tariffs and drop "free trade" agreements that benefit other countries at the expense of our own people, so owners and workers feel like the government is on their side.

There's plenty that can be done. Obama will do none of that; in fact, every bit of it goes against everything he believes in. Romney probably won't do much of it either, but there's a chance that he'd nibble around the edges of some (like cutting regulations), and at least if we get a Congress that does some of it, he won't oppose them like Obama would.

Anonymous said...

http://bigthink.com/e-pur-si-muove/modern-day-galileo-j-philippe-rushton-1943-2012

Anonymous said...

After Kennedy, it was always 1963 for libs.

Anonymous said...

And 1939 for neocons!

Anonymous said...

Actually what the military hated about Carter was he imposed rational weapons systems like the A-10 on them. In particular the Air Force was offended by the A-10 which required them to fly missions in support of the Army at slow speeds and fire only at things they could see.

Even worse he enforced civilian salary and benefits levels.

Reagan on the other hand threw all possible support behind the Air Farce's favorite weapon the expensive, fast, useless, obsolete before it was built B-1 (dumb) bomber.

Supporting the B-1 was an irrational act of faith back then, sort of like believing in the divine conception.

Carter rationalized the US military. Reagan created a government jobs program. Like all jobs programs, after a generation it became an entitlement program. Needless to say people who get stuff from the gov like it and feel good about it. High morale as they say.

Peter said...

One could argue that Islam has replaced Communism as the main military threat to America, but clearly it would call for a very different type of military response than what Reagan used against the USSR.

elvisd said...

How many of our pre-2001 foreign bases have closed since Obama became president? Anybody know?

Anonymous said...

Romney also has a Reagan-esque open borders immigration policy.

NOTA said...

The rhetoric from the war on terror under the Bush administration was also heavily drawn from cold war rhetoric. Unlike terrorists, the Soviet Union really did pose s threat to the continued existence of the US. Unlike the massively chaotic and disorganized Muslim world, the Soviet Bloc was unified top-down, and had scarily effective spies and a tough military. And so a lot of the rhetoric has that flavor, even now.

Alexei Sadeski said...

> and is one of the few programs actually mandated by the Constitution.

A standing army for defensive purposes is permitted by the Constitution, not mandated.

Matra said...

The question we don't know the answer to is does Romney really intend to govern as a warmongering neocon or is he just saying this stuff due to please and motivate the Conservative Movement? After all he's got his work cut out for him fighting the MSM and their candidate so he doesn't need to get into disputes with the conservative media and its readers along with the influential lobbies that believe in a hawkish foreign policy. The average Middle American voter may not be interested in American world domination but since they, unlike the neocons, are only active in politics on election day and few will base their vote on foreign policy they can pretty much be ignored on such matters.

Anonymous said...

A few points:

1) Steve, in the year 2012 with her wits about her, what would Maggie Thatcher do?

2) All pols have to say things to contrast themselves with their opponent, esp. when the opponent's policies are suspect/weak (not saying it's an excuse, just a reality)

3) Yes, the poster was right about much of the military being a jobs' program

4)And the alternate to "peace through strength" is?

It sure ain't "we're gonna make them like us" by speaking well of them and apologizing for our past behavior."

Anonymous said...

I think a good foreign policy debate has to include a discussion of not just our economy, but Europe's. How in the world can anyone ignore that the economic upheaval on that continent is headed for situations that will require foresight and defense. I can see an Irish Republican Army sort of attack coming from any number of socialists agitators. I wouldn't be surprised to find bombs appearing in the mail boxes of Germany, the US, etc. The defense to that doesn't take tanks, it takes some pre-planning and thought that evidently the participants of the EU didn't foresee. Shame on them.

I'll be interested in seeing if the US and Germany can form some kind of economic alliance.

Sparks said...

Most confounding to me are the Republicans who say, "The government can't create jobs!" and then say that we can't cut defense spending because it would...cost jobs.

Anonymous said...

Most of the improvement in the military that was evidence in the 80's and 90's (the revolution in military affairs as it is sometimes called) was due to technology decisions and investments made under Carter and undersecretary of defense William Perry. These include precision-guided munitions, stealth technology, and command-control-communications systems.

Anonymous said...

I think Romney would benefit from an "Only Nixon could go to China" about face on foreign policy adventurism. The GOP base would still stick with him, particularly if the election looks winnable like it does now, and he would be able to sway some independent voters wary of both parties addiction to bombing foreigners. Alas, at least rhetorically it is not to be, the GOP is trying to run to the right of Obama although not by a lot by complaining we are ending the War in Afghanistan too soon. I suspect Ryan maybe more skeptical of massive military spending but he has to follow his bosses' lead.

sane_voter said...

We are near historic lows in terms of defense spending as a % of the overall federal budget. Our problem is not defense spending, it's entitlement spending.

1968: 46%, peak of Vietnam war
1979: 22%, Carter's last year
1985: 28%, peak Reagan year
2001: 16%, W Bush 1st year, Clinton "peace" dividend in full flower
2008: 21% Bush last year with War on Terror spending.

pat said...

You can't really predict the future but you can explore possibilities.

There's an excellent chance that the new Republican/conservative hero for the coming decades will be Mitt Romney. Reagan may very well be swept aside or be consigned to a role as a pre-Romney figure.

In TV they someting called sit-coms - situational comedies. The characters don't make the comedy, the situational set-up does. Similarly in world history we have sit-heroes - a situation which is ripe for a hero to emerge. Most recently Churchill emerged to save Europe from Hitler. Scipio Africanus likewise emerged to save Rome from Hanibal. They were the right person at the right time. At any other time or place and they never would have made it into the history book. Romney is now positioned to save the US and indeed the whole world economically. Romney emerges.

Almost all of America's recent economic wounds have been self inflicted. It doesn't really take a lot of tricky policy manuvering to reverse our present troubles. All we have to do is stop doing stupid things. That's the classic advice about what to do if you find yourself in a hole - you should stop digging.

Most US states are in big trouble but several have turned around. The common factor - a Republican governor. It can't be too hard if so many can manage it. Romney at the federal level just does likewise and bingo - national savior.

The recession was kicked off by the policy of forcing lenders to lend to the credit unworthy. This was a stupidity of our own doing. Just stop it and never do it again. Problem solved.

The case is particularly clear on energy policy. In the classic film Giant Jett Rink strikes oil and then runs around screaming "I'm a rich 'un". Striking oil is like hitting the lottery. But why didn't Jett go for solar power? Why didn't he build a wind mill? There was plenty of sunshine and wind out there on the parched Texas plain.

No one ever struck it rich by developing low density power sources. Such power sources typically suck up wealth from other sectors in the form of government subsidies. Wind mills make you poor. Oils wells make you rich. Easy enough?

Most environmentalists want America to be poorer, so you shouldn't be surprised when after following their advice you get more poverty. Steven Chu advocated higher gas prices. Obama made him Energy Secretary and now we have higher gas prices. Clear enough?

All Romney has to do is reverse course. Appoint people who favor wealth and 90% of our problems are immediately solved. It's not difficult. In fact it's quite simple. If Romney is elected he is almost guaranteed to be seen as an economic miracle worker.

Albertosaurus

Get Off My Lawn! said...

Sure ex-Colonels need employment and so do EYE-TEE people but how does spending an inordinate amount of our GDP to keep the sea lanes safe for commerce, for travel of Chinese(an other low wage countries) help overall in our employment picture? The Colonels in DC have jobs but the manufacturing workers(our former middle class) in Ohio do not.
So our middle class gets taxed to lose their jobs?


Manufacturing workers are not middle class. They're working class. The idea that everyone who isn't rich or poor is part of a vast "middle class," all in the same boat, papers over the differences between those without college degrees and those with (among other class markers).

This approach best serves the interests of the elite. By lumping almost everyone into one class, they dilute the impact of immigration and the loss of manufacturing jobs. After all, people who are truly middle class - people with at least four years of college and salaries above the national mean (by definition less than 50% of the population) - are doing fairly well. This inhibits the development of meaningful opposition to the current economic regime by preventing those most victimized by it from seeing themselves as such.

Anyway, Anonymous 3:39 has a point: Military spending provides direct government funding for a variety of jobs- and technology-producing industries, not to mention providing one of the few sources of secure jobs for working class men we have left.*

I'd rather the government took some of that money and spent it on infrastructure improvement, but even that wouldn't provide the level of employment and technology that the military does.

*And spending on health care does the same thing - encouraging the development of technology and providing an almost inexhaustible source of employment for working class women and a smaller (but well paid) group of middle class men and women.

Anonymous said...

Any risk of my name being associated with you if I donate? I'd like to support you, but...

Anonymous said...

Fantastic analysis steve. I had never been able to articulate what you said, but it was always there waiting to be described. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Though GOP foreign policy is pretty stupid--it's essentially a shill for Zionist globalism(what do you expect when neocons rule the roost and the likes of Sheldon Adelson pumps 100 million into GOP coffers?--, it may be wise to have a powerful military.

In a way, the future could be more dangerous than the Cold War. As dangerous as the Cold War was, the nature of--and the demarcations of the conflict--were pretty simple. It was East vs West. There was the communist side and the free side. There were our sons of bitches and Soviet's sons of bitches.
So, most nations were either OVER THERE or OVER HERE. Few went from right to left or left to right, but, as they say, 'fences make good neighbors', and the Cold War maintained the fences between the enemies. The most dangerous time was when the fences were breached in Cuba, but that problem was resolved too. And though America fretted about Vietnam, even if the domino theory were true and all of Southeast Asia had fallen to communism, it would have posed no real threat to the West.

Without the Cold War, everything is up in the air. Instead of us vs them, it's us in a world without sure allies and sure enemies. Things are shifting all the time, and formerly backward nations are rising.
There was a time when many nations around the world sided with the US out of the fear of USSR or communism. Today, without such fear, alliances are a less certain thing.

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but last December you wrote about the Popguns of Singapore in Bank of America's $335 million settlement with the Department of Justice involving discriminatory lending to Blacks and Hispanics:

http://isteve.blogspot.com/2011/12/obamas-popguns-of-singapore.html

Most people don't get a tax deduction for parking tickets, and street crimminals don't either for returning ill-gotten money, but it turns out that 35% of the settlement is being claimed as a deductible corporate expense. Bank of America will save $117 million on its next tax bill:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-hidden-cost-of-government-settlements/2012/10/12/ff53be08-096c-11e2-858a-5311df86ab04_story.html

It's a win-win for everyone!

Anonymous said...

From cold war to gold war?

Whiskey said...

The US has a highway right straight direct to its landmass. Its called the Oceans. Steve your policy was enacted by Washington and Jefferson. By the War of 1812, British absolute military dominance on the Oceans led to the burning and occupation of Washington DC.

Periodically people talk of the "end of history" and no more need to have a strong defense. That's basically a utopian, post-Christian heresy and a Calvinistic view of global progress towards utopia matching universal spiritual salvation. There is nothing in history or human nature of the quality and quantity of the threats we face to suggest that is wise.

China spends a lot, off the books, to challenge the US control of the Pacific. If the US does not control the Pacific, the Chinese will, to our detriment since we import lots of things from the Pacific, and Chinese control means dominance of the West Coast by China. It means in effect that China can do to us what Europeans did to China during the late Imperial period, set up concessions, and the like.

The best way to deter a fight is to be so strong no one picks a fight with you.

This means likely a big navy (our navy is now smaller than in 1916) and air force, not so much an army.

David said...

The Pentagon, military contractors, the whole "military-industrial complex" that Uncle Ike warned us about, has always been responsible for a remarkable amount of the economic production in America. Military spending is sort of an industrial policy. We have a socialist country; it just rubs us wrong to say it.

Anonymous said...

Am I missing something?

A whole lot of money flows into research that way.

Internet[1], AI[2], FMEA[3], rockets (those rockets that fly into space), operating systems[4] were invented or researched with DoD support.

[1] ARPANET
[2] Strategic Computing Initiative
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Failure_mode_and_effects_analysis
[4] Multics

- from Germany via internet

Jorge said...

Yes, Reagan was a good man.

Eric said...

The sad fact is we do need to increase military spending if we're not going to scale back on the commitments we've made. Right now the military we've had is stretched pretty thin.

What worries me is it looks like we're going to maintain or even expand our commitments and cut the defense budget at the same time. That seems like a recipe for serious problems.

David Davenport said...

Sure ex-Colonels need employment and so do EYE-TEE people but how does spending an inordinate amount of our GDP to keep the sea lanes safe for commerce, for travel of Chinese(an other low wage countries) help overall in our employment picture?

You don't understamd how much of the American economy depends on the mil-ind. complex. American unemployment will will become like that of Greece or Spain if the closet Muslim occupying the throne in Washington cuts the military budget as much as he has announced.

The Colonels in DC have jobs but the manufacturing workers(our former middle class) in Ohio do not.

Let's see, M1 tank factory at Lima, Ohio. There are rpobably some smaLLER FIRMS MAKING aBRAMS PERTS In Ohio. Also, Wright-Patterson AFB in OH. NASA's Glenn Research center ( which is mostly concerned with aircraft, not space ) in Cleveland.

http://www.npr.org/2012/07/25/157256332/>plant-pleads-to-stay-afloat-but-army-says-no-tanks

Plant Pleads To Stay Afloat, But Army Says 'No Tanks'
by BRIAN BULL

General Dynamics Land Systems

M1 Abrams tanks sit on the assembly line at a plant in Lima, Ohio, the only place where the tanks are manufactured. Plant and local officials fear the plant won't survive if the military temporarily halts new tank orders.

July 25, 2012 from WCPN

M1 Abrams battle tanks are the rock stars of military armor. They're made in only one place: Lima, Ohio. The Army says it's done ordering them, but Congress appears intent on spending millions for more, arguing that cutting production is bad for the economy and national security.

The Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima is a government-owned site run by General Dynamics. Product Manager Cliff Barber weaves past robotic arms, laser cutters, and cranes to reach a row of rusty orange hulks, some of the first Abrams tanks to be produced. They're waiting to be restored and upgraded, at a cost of $6 million each.

"These particular shells that you see here were old M1A1s built in the late '80s," Barber says. "They're now going to become ... the latest U.S. configuration of tanks."

There are 800 workers at the plant, down from 1,250 three years ago. Back then the plant rolled out two Abrams tanks a day. Now it's one every two days. The Army says ceasing production will save billions as it develops a new line of tank to be unveiled in 2017. Plant Manager Keith Deters says idling production for three years doesn't make sense.


EnlargeBrian Bull/WCPN

( sad photo :0{ ! )

The rusted hull of an old M1A1 tank waits to be restored at the General Dynamics Land Systems plant in Lima, Ohio.

"The cost to shut it down, which there is significant cost there, [and] the cost to bring it up far outweigh the cost just to keep a steady state of minimum amount of tanks to flow through here," Deters says.

Some Lima officials are troubled.

"We don't believe that it's possible ... to keep in place the human resources, organizational resources [and] supply chain resources that can ultimately make restarting the plant possible," says Lima Mayor David Berger. "A temporary shutdown is actually a permanent shutdown."

...
Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown also backs the spending, even if the Army says it doesn't need the tanks. "We can make cuts to the Defense Department and we need to, but it's not just jobs for Ohio. It also contributes to our national defense in a long-term, industrial base, kind of way," Brown says.

...


By the way, these EYE-TEE people -- Who dey? Extra terrestrials who need not a paycheck?

Matthew said...

OT, I found this article on the Carmona v. Flake Senate race in Arizona to be rather interesting. IMHO, here's the money quote: "So far, Carmona's posture appears to be helping him among Latino voters. He has a 75-12 percent lead among Arizona Latino voters..."

Leading among Hispanics 75-12? No group apt to give a Democratic candidate that large a margin was ever likely to be a Republican constituency, ever. And they've nearly managed to put Arizona - once the home of Barry Goldwater - into the swing state column.

Anonymous said...

Why must America lead? Why? Who asked for American "leadership"? What does it benefit us? Countries like Switzerland don't worry about "having to lead" other countries. They just have a peaceful and prosperous society. Does Washington get some kind of trophy for leadership?

Anonymous said...

In military terms, this is known as always fighting the last war.

Anonymous said...

http://www.amren.com/news/2012/10/ann-coulter-speaks-up-for-whites/

Anonymous said...

Sorry to go OT, Steve, but have you seen this? A Florida school board sets race-based goals:

http://tampa.cbslocal.com/2012/10/12/florida-passes-plan-for-racially-based-academic-goals/

Anonymous said...

"Am I missing something? Are we at risk for invasion? Did the Atlantic and Pacific dry up? Sure ex-Colonels need employment and so do EYE-TEE people but how does spending an inordinate amount of our GDP to keep the sea lanes safe for commerce, for travel of Chinese(an other low wage countries) help overall in our employment picture?" - Well see its like this, we practice free trade, so we need to be able to defend all that "free" trade. We must have many more cruisers and battleships than the other guy to keep them from being able to exercise a stranglehold on our economy - from 5000 miles away.

Likewise this soaks up the population of young men who would not be able to find jobs in our economy,because those jobs are now increasingly done by foreign born adults, thanks to our immigration program.

Lastly, republicans and democrats are both basically cargo cultists who wish to preserve the above two policies no matter the cost, so it will always be 1980, or 1930, or whatever worked for each group.

Anonymous said...

Mitt vs Mutt.

Joseph Goldstein said...

I don't believe that Reagan was ever anything more than a puppet of his times. Heck, even German's attempt to conquer the world was predicted by prognosticators long before Hitler's name was known outisde of a couple of beer halls and prison chambers. But Reagan The God orf Reagan The Puppet, the fact is that America started it's downward spiral on his watch. The turning point in American history came while Ronald McDonald sat at the helm.

Things were good until the mid 80s and things have been getting progressively worse since.

REAGAN WAS A DISASTER.

Hunsdon said...

I like the way the more interventionist among us get to paint anyone who thinks the US defense spending levels are too high as some hippy isolationist pacifist.

Anonydroid at 8:47 am asked,inter alia, And the alternate to "peace through strength" is?

Hunsdon replies: Maybe peace through strength, instead of frittering away the best of our youth on pointless occupation duty?

Whiskey said, "The best way to deter a fight is to be so strong no one picks a fight with you."

Hunsdon replies: Yes, and one of the best ways to be that strong is to not get into every crappy little scuffle that comes along.

Anonymous said...

Trouble in Paradise

Academic in fighting ... but relevant to race realism.

NOTA said...

Oh, God, Whiskey, that's just beautiful. Yes, we have a highway straight to our landmass, known as the ocean. And wherever you go, there you are.

Brilliant.

Anonymous said...

I don't get your sarcasm NOTA Whiskey's is a very sound point. In fact, Jefferson our most anti-standing army president embraced naval forces because the navy couldn't march in land and overthrow the government. I bet Rome wishes they could have dug up some more pirates to keep Caesar occupied. At this point in time Fortress America, or whatever Charles Beardinbergh (no Chesterbloc I'll admit) called it is a far more laughable concept than intelligent design.

Anonymous said...

I found this article on the Carmona v. Flake Senate race in Arizona to be rather interesting. IMHO, here's the money quote: "So far, Carmona's posture appears to be helping him among Latino voters. He has a 75-12 percent lead among Arizona Latino voters..."


Flake, of course, is an open borders libertarian, so there's something delightfully right about the nitwit losing to a Hispanic lefty.

"Ceteris paribus", my ass.

fnn said...

Reduce immigration and deport as many illegals as possible, so the number of jobs can catch up with the number of Americans looking for one. Cut spending, so young Americans can again feel like there will be a country around for them to grow old in. Raise tariffs and drop "free trade" agreements that benefit other countries at the expense of our own people, so owners and workers feel like the government is on their side.

If people wanted that stuff they could have voted for Pat Buchanan in 1992, 1996 or 2000. They didn't because they were told not to by the MSM. See, for example, "Edward Bernays."

Severn said...

it's a well known fact that Reagan (a washed-up former B-movie actor, TV host for general Electric, hence a man good at impersonating a leader rather than being a leader), was merely the chosen stooge for a syndicate of rich Californian businessmen


Just a few more weeks, and all these Kossacks will crawl back under whatever rock they came from ...

Hunsdon said...

Anonydroid at 4:34 pm said: Whiskey's is a very sound point.

Hunsdon replied: We have a navy. We've got boomers, we've got hunter/killer subs, we've got the four acre floating targets. Of course, they're mostly in the Med, the Gulf (and no, not the "of Mexico" Gulf), and the South China Sea, so they're not really blocking those "highways" are they?

Anonymous said...

For the Republicans and National Review, its always 1948.

In 1948, Israel really was threatened by powerful neighbors.

In 1948, Russia really was our #1 geopolitical threat.

In 1948, the top income tax rate really was too high (91%)

In 1948, real live socialists like Henry Wallace were influential in American politics.

In 1948, mass immigration was not a major problem.

In 1948, the New Left did not exist.

Goldwater was already behing the times when he ran as a foe of the Old Left in 1964.

Reagan wisely included social conservatism in his 1980 platform, not just tax cuts and a hawkish foreign policy.

Romney's platform is grotesque. He ignores immigration restriction and social conservatism, and instead flails away at the half-century old corpse of the Old Left.

Ex Submarine Officer said...


This means likely a big navy (our navy is now smaller than in 1916) and air force, not so much an army.


Idiotic comparison. Our Navy today would sink the entire Navy of 1916 without a single casualty. Heck, a single ship of today's Navy could sink the entire U.S. Navy of 1916, assuming it had enough provisions on board.

snapperhead soup said...

America must lead, good.
America must bleed, bad.

Also, I say politicians should make their own kids serve in the military.

Anonymous said...

Obama's Libyan War. Leading from behind.

He does the same thing with politics. He allows his minions in the media to drop all the dirty bombs while he stays back and acts like he's above that petty political stuff.

David Davenport said...

I'll be interested in seeing if the US and Germany can form some kind of economic alliance.

Here's your German-American economic alliance: a big big military helicopter, 32 metric tons payload in the cabin. The design of the helicopter would be a much enlarged Boeing Chinook, with Franco-German worksharing and investment.

You know the stock market adage about the Federal Reserve Bank? "Don't try to fight the [ interest rate policies of ] the Fed."? The same is true about military Keynesianism: don't try to fight it, it's an inexorable trend.

Why? Because the civilian sector by itself cannot generate enough worthwhile jobs in USA or in the Olde Worlde.

Coming Competitions Spell Changes For Rotorcraft Industry
By Amy Butler
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology


October 01, 2012
Amy Butler Berlin and Washington

Major players in the rotorcraft market are teaming—some as odd bedfellows—as defense customers in the U.S. and Europe eye purchases.


...

These potential programs, on both sides of the Atlantic, are a welcome change of pace for the industry heavy-hitters who have been working mostly on existing production and upgrade projects after a relative drought of R&D dollars.

Now, the industry teams are shaping up to allow the major players to potentially share risk and—if they win the work—the rewards. Boeing and EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company), bitter global rivals in the civil aircraft market, have formalized a relationship to jointly explore rotorcraft opportunities globally. The companies signed a memorandum of understanding to this effect in 2009 with a renewal last October. It was later followed with a more specific agreement to examine options for the potential heavy-lift rotorcraft program in Europe, which will be the first practical application of the collaboration.

Boeing Military Aircraft President Chris Chadwick says he is open to unconventional partnerships to explore risk-sharing and, potentially, penetrate new markets. The team, while codified through the agreement, is far from firm, as questions linger about the heavy-lift project's viability.

...

German and French officials are keen on transporting large pieces of equipment internally instead of relying on external slings. And the size of some of this equipment is driving a need for a larger cabin, raising the question of whether Europe is willing to go to a new design rather than off-the-shelf models.

Germany's head of army aviation, Brig. Gen. Reinhard Wolski, says this requirement was derived from lessons learned in Afghanistan. “Low flying at night, at high speed, is some kind of life insurance,” he told a heavy-lift helicopter transport panel at the ILA Berlin Air Show. ...


Note the lessons some Europeans are drawing from Afghanistan. I suppose they should read "The Man Who Would be King," or some other literary works Mr. Steve might recommend.

...


To keep their options on the table, Boeing and Eurocopter intend to continue work on their large tandem rotor-lifter concept, on view at the Berlin show as a beefed-up Chinook.

Boeing would bring its tandem-rotor technology to the project, while Eurocopter has extensive contacts in the French and German militaries, and could handle some parts and composites work.


...

CH-47images

David Davenport said...

... Calvinistic view of global progress towards utopia matching universal spiritual salvation.

You have a rather tenuous grasp of Calvinism, Mr. Scots-Irishman.

Anonymous said...

That's because they don't have to be physically in those highways. It's called a "fleet in being." I don't think that Mahan qualifies as a neo-con and I am sure he isn't Jewish so you might just glance through it.

I agree and it seems to me that Whiskey agrees that we shouldn't be garrisoning cold war hot spots. But Whisky is absolutely right. The middle class dream that iSteve and apparently Everclear champion floats on cheap oil. Look at the crap North Korea gets away with and then imagine Iran with that kind of power. Yes, of course Iran (most probably who really knows) won't launch a nuclear weapon at Washington. MAD takes care of that I agree. But what happens when Iran starts assassinating American ambassadors, kidnapping Saudi princes, and fomenting revolution against the House of Saud. Again, North Korea sunk a South Korean warship and nothing happened.

And let's face it as odious as the House of Saud is they are basically the one ally, other than Britain, that went to the mat for us when they turned the spigots on and drove oil prices downward to deliver the coup de grace to the Soviet Union. The money and blood to benefit ratio of the Houses of Saud and Pahlavi were the two best investments America made in the 20th century.

Matthew said...

"Actually what the military hated about Carter was he imposed rational weapons systems like the A-10 on them."

The more I read about Carter the less ridiculous he seems on defense, but the A-10, F-16 and F-18 were all Nixon/Ford-era programs, all of them being approved ca. 1974-76. Carter did cut the B-1, which Reagan brought back, but whose to say the B-1 wasn't critical in demonstrating superiority over the Soviets and thus winning the Cold War?

Additionally, stealth research was already under way during the Carter Administration. He merely continued that research, he didn't initiate it.

"We are near historic lows in terms of defense spending as a % of the overall federal budget."

Not because defense spending is low, but because overall spending has skyrocketed, especially as a result of welfare.

"Flake, of course, is an open borders libertarian, so there's something delightfully right about the nitwit losing to a Hispanic lefty."

Flake has suspended his support for open borders for the time being. If he wins - and ultimately I think he will - it's an open question whether he will be serious about enforcement, since Latinos so staunchly opposed him, or will engage in 6 years of deadly, pointless Hispandering.

Matthew said...

What the fuck is Whiskey talking about vis-a-vis the Chinese Navy? Is their invading army going to arrive in subs? Because slow-moving surface ships carrying hundreds of thousands of soldiers make nice, fat targets for fast-moving cruise missiles and F-18s.

Of course there is an invasion taking place this very minute, and it is happening across our southern border, and just about anyone with any real power is 100% in favor of it. Our newborns have gone from being over 85% white to less than 50% white in the space of two lousy generations.

Today's invaders know our weaknesses, and they know that to win they don't need to invest a goddamned dime in carriers or tanks. Mitt Romney talks about taking on China eocnomically while throwing open the door even wider to Chinese immigration, promising unlimited visas to foreign STEM grads.

Anonymous said...

Supporting the B-1 was an irrational act of faith back then, sort of like believing in the divine conception.

Or the Religious Right. Come to think of it, wan't the RR one of the biggest backers of the B-1 bomber?

Anonymous said...


Of course there is an invasion taking place this very minute, and it is happening across our southern border, and just about anyone with any real power is 100% in favor of it. Our newborns have gone from being over 85% white to less than 50% white in the space of two lousy generations.


And the funny thing is, lots of Chinese are coming in via the southern border as well. They don't need no subs or slow surface ships.

Anonymous said...

The US has a highway right straight direct to its landmass. Its called the Oceans.

Only a military genius like Whiskey would see our large coastlines as liabilities. Even Bismarck once said that the Americans were lucky to be surrounded by fish and weaklings.

beowulf said...

"If the US does not control the Pacific, the Chinese will, to our detriment since we import lots of things from the Pacific".

The trouble with that theory is the Chinese could cut off those imports without actually leaving China.

Speaking of 1980, go see Ben Affleck's Iranian hostage movie Argo. Great flick.

Mac said...

"Flake, of course, is an open borders libertarian, so there's something delightfully right about the nitwit losing to a Hispanic lefty."

I've detested Flake ever since I read he supported a guest worker program a few years back.

"Hispanics lean Democrat, so to get more votes we must import more Hispanics!"

Republicans never learn....

Matthew said...

"Hispanics lean Democrat, so to get more votes we must import more Hispanics!"

The latest polls show Romney losing Arizona Hispanics 77-10, and Flake losing them 75-12. The latest polls show Obama ahead there 44-42, though ultimatewly I'm sure Romney will win. Nevertheless, no poll should show a race that close in Arizona in an economy like this. So far as I can tell, Arizona has 7 Hispanics in its 60 member House, 6 of whom are Democrats; 5 Hispanics in the Senate, all of whom are Democrats.

The 1986 immigration amnesty was introduced into the US Senate by Alan Simpson, a Republican senator from Wyoming. It was signed into law by Ronald Reagan, a Republican president. Yet it did not lead to any lasting benefit for Republicans among Hispanics.

You could dig up those stats for every state and for the US Congress as well, and they would all look pretty much the same. The only way for Republicans to do better with Hispanics is to hold down their numbers, and that means removing the illegal aliens and reducing amounts of legal immigration.

Anonymous said...

One of the big reasons rich liberals, SWPLs, and so many other Americans don't care too much about the costs of illegal/mass immigration is because they don't have to pay the price for it.

The federal budget deficit reflects not only the cost of federal programs, but of subsidies to state and local programs (like schools) which are especially hard-hit by immigration. If the budget were balanced and tax rates reflected the true costs of these policies, and if the feds stopped subsidizing the states, more SWPLs would conveniently discover their inner conservatives.

Republicans should take up Democrats on their demands to raise taxes (in exchange for budget cuts). Tax increases would drive home the point to Americans that all of these policies have costs, and budget cuts reducing the welfare state would reduce subsidies for poor immigrants.

Anonymous said...

And the funny thing is, lots of Chinese are coming in via the southern border as well. They don't need no subs or slow surface ships.

I knew it, from reading Illuminatus. Illegal Mexican workers are disguised Chinese commie spies!

Anonymous said...

Carter did cut the B-1, which Reagan brought back, but whose to say the B-1 wasn't critical in demonstrating superiority over the Soviets and thus winning the Cold War?

Carter cut the B-1 because he knew the F-117 and B-2 were in the pipeline and couldnt justify the expense. Reagan and amateur cold warriors outside the DoD wouldnt have known about that stuff.

cut 'em off said...

everything is up in the air

But it wouldn't be with immigration control.

Truth said...

"Not because defense spending is low, but because overall spending has skyrocketed, especially as a result of welfare."

Welfare is .7% of GDP.

David Davenport said...

Carter cut the B-1 because he knew the F-117 and B-2 were in the pipeline and couldnt justify the expense. Reagan and amateur cold warriors outside the DoD wouldnt have known about that stuff

Compare to:

Rockwell B-1 Lancer
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
B-1 Lancer

...


Designed by Rockwell International, the bomber's development was delayed multiple times over its history, as the theory of strategic balance changed from flexible response to massive retaliation and back again. This change in stance repeatedly demanded then ignored the need for manned bombers. The initial B-1A version was developed in the early 1970s, but its production was canceled, and only four prototypes were built. The need for a new platform once again surfaced in the early 1980s, and the aircraft resurfaced as the B-1B version with the focus on low-level penetration bombing. However by this point development of stealth technology was promising an aircraft of dramatically improved capability. Production went ahead as this version would be operational before the "Advanced Technology Bomber", during a period when the B-52 would be increasingly vulnerable. ( "Advanced Technology Bomber" = B-2 flying wing. ) The B-1B entered service in 1986 with the USAF Strategic Air Command as a nuclear bomber.

In the 1990s, the B-1B was converted to conventional bombing use. ...

During the 1980 presidential campaign, Ronald Reagan campaigned heavily on the platform that Carter was weak on defense, using the cancellation of the B-1 program as a prime example, a theme he continued using into the 1980s.[54] During this time Carter's defense secretary, Harold Brown, announced the stealth bomber project, apparently implying that this was the reason for the B-1 cancellation.[55]


On taking office, Reagan was faced with the same decision as Carter before: whether to continue with the B-1 for the short term, or to wait for the development of the ATB, a much more advanced aircraft.... (ATB = B2 )

In 1981, it was believed the B-1 could be in operation before the ATB,* covering the transitionary period between the B-52's increasing vulnerability and the ATB's introduction. Reagan decided the best solution was to procure both the B-1 and ATB, and on 2 October 1981 Reagan announced that 100 B-1s were to be ordered to fill the LRCA role.[35][58]

...


Rockwell B-1 Lancer

*In fact only twenty-one B-2's were built. The small B-2 fleet was not operational until the 1990's.

I can also point out that the F-117 was a shorter range, tactical aircraft which was not fungible with the much large and longer range B-1.

Anonymous said...

...North Korea sunk a South Korean warship and nothing happened.


WELL, that is, OR SHOULD BE, South Korea's PROBLEM, not America's.

Or it would be if America, like Canada and Mexico, didn't keep troops there babysitting a country well capable of looking after itself.

U.S. troops have been in Korea for over 62 years. How much longer do you want them to stay there?

Mac said...

"The only way for Republicans to do better with Hispanics is to hold down their numbers, and that means removing the illegal aliens and reducing amounts of legal immigration."

Oh I agree. The GOP's capacity for obtuseness is sickening.

Anonymous said...

The 1986 immigration amnesty was introduced into the US Senate by Alan Simpson, a Republican senator from Wyoming. It was signed into law by Ronald Reagan, a Republican president. Yet it did not lead to any lasting benefit for Republicans among Hispanics.


Not only did the GOP not gain any benefit, it actually hurt the party among Hispanics. The GOP share of the Hispanic vote was lower in 1988 than in 1984.

Anonymous said...

Way to be completely obtuse and miss the point. The point wasn't that it should be our problem. The point is that there is no possible response from anyone because North Korea has nuclear weapons. Now imagine Iran sitting atop the world's most strategic body of water.

Eric said...

Carter cut the B-1 because he knew the F-117 and B-2 were in the pipeline and couldnt justify the expense. Reagan and amateur cold warriors outside the DoD wouldnt have known about that stuff.

Carter was a fool. As it turns out both the F-117 and B-2 programs were disastrous, the former because the damn thing just doesn't fly very well and the later because of cost overruns and the incorporation of too much unobtanium. You realize the B-2 has to be kept in temperature and humidity controlled hangars, right? And the aircraft skin has to be resurfaced after every flight? It's a hangar queen.

If we actually go to war with a competent adversary, meaning a country like China, Russia, or one of the old European powers, the B-1 will be the heavy bomber we rely on most heavily for a variety of reasons.

Otis McWrong said...

"Reagan was a complete and utter arse. A man of his severely limited intellectual powers...
Carter was a muh better and more intelligent man"

Hey Steve! Jimmy Carter not only reads your blog but comments on it, though oddly while masquerading as some agitated Limey.

I would agree though that Reagan was less than perfect. For example he continued to show commitment to the useless and arrogant Brits. Obama, for all his many flaws, has realized how little they have to offer us (or the world).

Anonymous said...

I wasn't being obtuse. I was pointing out the futility and costliness of American involvement in distant places like the Korean peninsula where we have no real strategic interests. I think what you mean by "no possible response" is no EASY or CHEAP military response. (IF the USA REALLY, REALLY wanted too, it could undoubtedly launch an all-out devasating first-strike nuclear assault on N.K. But what would be the point?) Numerous economic options are still available. All a nuclear bomb would do for Iran is raise the cost of it being attacked to an unacceptable level. Do you think America would have invaded Iraq if it had REALLY had WMD? Or dropped bombs on Serbia for 78 days if it had possessed nukes? It is thus essentially a defensive measure, since even the maddest of the mullahs would never be crazy enough to think of INITIATING a nuclear war, which would be Assured Destruction for Iran not even Mutually Assured Destruction. Btw, the Persian Gulf is not as "strategic" as you seem to think. America actually gets very little of its oil from the mideast. It is a big canard that America depends on Persian Gulf oil for its energy needs.

David Davenport said...

I wasn't being obtuse. I was pointing out the futility and costliness of American involvement in distant places like the Korean peninsula where we have no real strategic interests.

cuases of Krean War

As the United States drew down its military in the post war period, the American garrison [ in Korea ] of 40,000 quickly withered to a force of 472 officers and men who made up the Korean Military Advisory Group (KMAG). The Korean army, known as ROK, was given only light weapons. The North Korean Army, on the other hand, was heavily equipped with tanks and other armored vehicles. The communist victory in China, combined with the first Soviet nuclear tests in 1949, resulted in a new US policy of containment in Asia. The policy, called NSC 48/2, called for the containment to be primarily non-military, with economic and military aid given to non-communist regimes in Asia.

On January 5, 1950, Secretary of State Dean Acheson, speaking at the National Press Club, articulated the American policy. He spoke of those countries that the US would defend with force: Japan, the Rykus islands and the Philippine Islands. Korea was left out. The withdrawal of the last American forces from Korea, as well as North Korean Kim's conviction that the US would not intervene, convinced the North Koreans to attempt to unify the country by force. The Soviets, led by Stalin, and the Chinese, led by Mao, concurred with both Kim's judgement about the United States and his plans to unify the country by force. In June, he struck.

David Davenport said...

(IF the USA REALLY, REALLY wanted too, it could undoubtedly launch an all-out devasating first-strike nuclear assault on N.K. But what would be the point?) Numerous economic options are still available. All a nuclear bomb would do for Iran is raise the cost of it being attacked to an unacceptable level. Do you think America would have invaded Iraq if it had REALLY had WMD? Or dropped bombs on Serbia for 78 days if it had possessed nukes? It is thus essentially a defensive measure, since even the maddest of the mullahs would never be crazy enough to think of INITIATING a nuclear war, which would be Assured Destruction for Iran not even Mutually Assured Destruction.


The USA has options other than all-out nuclear attack to stop an Iranian or North Korean nuclear program. These options are a conventional bombing and cruise missile campaign, and/or the use of small tactical nukes to destroy hardened targets. A few small nuclear weapons would not kill everyone in Iran or NK. "Massive retaliation" is old school.

Btw, the Persian Gulf is not as "strategic" as you seem to think. America actually gets very little of its oil from the mideast. It is a big canard that America depends on Persian Gulf oil for its energy needs.

Wrong. The oil market is a world market. If the Persian Gulf were cut off, that would drive up the price of oil extracted elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Wrong. The oil market is a world market. If the Persian Gulf were cut off, that would drive up the price of oil extracted elsewhere.

And what about Israel?

Anonymous said...

To David Davenport:

I don't know what your points even are here. S.K. today is totally different from 1950. It has twice the population of the starving north and a GDP forty times bigger. It can look after itself. In any case S.K.'s defense should be ITS PROBLEM, not America's. America sustained about 140,000 casualties defending not very important South Korea. I'd say we have more then discharged our non-existent "duties" to this country.

Your plans to casually drop bombs and cruise missiles on Iran and N.K. are almost too assinine to deserve a reply comment. You think America should just be attacking countries on a whim? You think these countries won't mind if we attack them? Again neither Iran or N.K. are vital concerns for America (if left unburdened by its ethnic lobby groups). We should withdraw our troops from S.K., Afghanistan and Iraq. Then N.K. and Iran will be as "important" to us, as they are to Mexico.

America gets very little of its oil from the mideast, and has no need to fight a war with Iran which is no threat at all to us.

AND WHAT ABOUT ISRAEL?

WHAT ABOUT IT? Since I am neither Jewish, nor a neo-con, I am not concerned with a foreign country 5,000 miles away that has zero strategic value to my country.