Our Pentagon is at it again – spending more money and getting far less value than cost-conscious China.
And to pay for the current $916 billion annual maybe-war-to-come budget, the elite politicians want to cut your Social Security benefits. Articles are already floating the idea in the Washington Post by scoundrels like Russian-born Max Boot (not “Das Boot“).
Social Security for American retirees is $700.3 billion a year:
- $644.2 billion directly to 43 million retired workers
- $30.5 billion to the 3.1 million spouses of retired workers
- $5.6 billion to the 600,000 younger children of retired workers
In short, we spend 31% (almost $215 billion) more to prepare for a possible war, than we do on the pensions of nearly 47 million seniors.
The average United States retirement benefit is $16,956 a year, compared to the current poverty level of $16,460 for a couple. That’s the average benefit, not the mean benefit, which is not reported. You can bet that most retirees receive far less than the poverty level.
While we fork over much more than any other nation – on paper – for the military, we are near the bottom in benefits to our seniors, based on the percentage of prior earnings.
Don’t be misled. Countries like Japan, Ireland, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and New Zealand have both pension plans and guaranteed retirement income for everyone. Considering that, only Chile and Mexico earn less when they retire. It’s our national disgrace, along with $188,000-a-year average nursing home charges for a couple.
Meanwhile, why do we get so little for our defense dollar? Bribery, price-fixing, payoffs to politicians, crooked accounting and corrupt contractors may be some of the causes. Incompetent engineering and project supervision are also factors.
By contrast, China is a socialist state with a dictator-for-life, and if you pay bribes for military contracts, it’s called treason, and your fate will probably be a firing squad – not a fine without admitting guilt.
It’s the difference between a society that extols public interest (though at the point of a gun), versus increasing profits, regardless of product cost or negative public impact.
“The purchase price of a military weapon (in China) is 5 per cent bigger than the real cost,” said military observer Zhou Chenming. Compare that with the insanity here to charge $12 million for an Air Force One refrigerator probably worth $6,000 on the open market.-
Nothing is a better example of wasting our money than the planned Penetrating Counter Air Jet (PCA). Known also as the F-X, it will be designed to compete with China’s current J-20 stealth fighter.
Their plane now costs about $40 million to build. Ours will cost $300 million each (total production $124 billion), according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) – and that’s without the usual overruns, plus extra charges from redesigns that can double a weapon’s cost.
Chinese experts say the J-20 may lower its production cost to $30 million each – one tenth what we plan to pay for our plane.
While the common wisdom is that China is a relatively poor country with too many citizens to afford much military expansion, real facts are alarming.
In American dollars, China spent $175 billion this past year, and with a ten-to-one advantage, that’s equal to a defense budget here of $1.75 trillion, or almost twice the Pentagon total.
Our proposed 414 PCAs will replace older planes that still pack enough punch for current warfare. It surely doesn’t take much to bomb opium farms in Afghanistan, especially when the enemy has no air force. Two four-seater Cessnas could do the trick.
The CBO warns that the PCA jet may become so expensive, “the Air Force could decide that the PCA aircraft’s cutting-edge design is not affordable and instead opt to purchase more F-35As.” Alternately, the Air Force could choose to modernize the F-22 air-frame with newer F-35 electronics, as Lockheed Martin has proposed doing for Japan.