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Author: salaryguru Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 1966977  
Subject: Re: Sequestration again Date: 12/13/2012 1:56 AM
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Everyone must have a "shared sacrifice" on spending - defense and entitlements. Agreed?

Maybe. . . But that isn't obvious to me. Sure, the GOP has done everything they could do to starve government revenue and give away the Clinton surplus to the wealthiest Americans . . . to the point that things look fairly bleak right now. We need to find a way to make our entitlement programs sustainable and that may require some short term cuts to them.

But have you noticed that we spend more money on defense than the next 15 highest defense spenders in the world?
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_e...)

I'm all for looking at ways to make Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid sustainable, but I also believe that we have to start by reducing our absurd obsession with starting wars and building more weapons than the rest of the world put together.

I don't think Americans should accept that we are incapable of spending as much on social spending as most of the other industrialized countries of the world. But we don't. We're ninth from the bottom of the OECD's 34 listed countries in social spending as a share of the economy.

(http://www.businessinsider.com/countries-most-entitlement-sp...)

So maybe the first question we need to be asking is why we in the US have valued war over spending to promote the welfare of our own citizens so much more than any other nation on earth.

If you use the data from the two links above and calculate a ratio of Military to Social spending by nation, the US ratio is more than double any other nation. Greece comes closest to us in the balance between Military and Social spending. Our ratio is only 2.7 times more than them. Our Military/Social ratio is 3.6 times that of France, 5.2 times that of Germany, 8.5 times that of Austria.

Social = Social Spending as % of GDP
Military = Military Spending as % of GDP
Ratio = Ratio Military to Social
Multiplier = Multiplier of US to other country ratio

Country.........Social....Military....Ratio....Multiplier
US--------------16.2------4.7---------0.2901---1.0
Greece----------21.3------2.3---------0.1080---2.7
Portugal--------22.5------2.1---------0.0933---3.1
France----------28.4------2.3---------0.0810---3.6
Norway----------20.8------1.5---------0.0721---4.0
Italy-----------24.9------1.7---------0.0683---4.2
Finland---------24.9------1.5---------0.0602---4.8
Germany---------25.2------1.4---------0.0556---5.2
Denmark---------26.1------1.4---------0.0536---5.4
Hungary---------23.1------1.1---------0.0476---6.1
Spain-----------21.6------1.0---------0.0463---6.3
Belgium---------26.3------1.2---------0.0456---6.4
Sweden----------27.3------1.2---------0.0440---6.6
Austria---------26.4------0.9---------0.0341---8.5
Luxembourg------20.6------0.6---------0.0291---10.0

I think we can do better. I believe that, long-term, the US should be able to support the welfare of our own citizens at least as much as the average industrialized nations on this planet.
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