So yes, Defense and Welfare are both in the Constitution, and the fact is that we as a society will not fund yet another nuclear sub or carrier or 1000 more F35s if we have people literally dying in the line to get into the emergency room...at the local VA.
In the time of the Founders they had private charity. Today they have private charity. I think the "public charity" functions of the modern Federal government are chiefly market distorters and have come to be the tail that wags the dog. Remember even back to the Pilgrims - the colony was failing till they finally said "He who does not work will not eat!" It's one thing for charity, in whatever form, to pick someone up who has fallen down, another to carry him through the rest of his life.
I am sympa to the anti-corn syrup theories, but in fact look at the crap (or was it?) the Pilgrims, the pioneers, the Founders ate just for breakfast - read accounts of their groaning tables. I personally think the difference is in our lack of exercise - and also the modern emphasis on low-fat and high-carb. But again we are not here to talk diet...
I agree wholeheartedly that today it's all about the butter, not the guns. We may not, deliberately, hollow out the armed forces, anymore than they were, deliberately, hollowed out after Vietnam. For a long time I have been preaching cost-cutting for the military, which can take many forms - PGMs are great but the prices have got to come down, is one hobbyhorse I like to ride. And I do think that SLEPs are the name of the game.
Why not? How much would a nexxt-gen B-52 cost? Why did we throw away the plans and the tooling for B-52 and so many other successful aircraft like the A-10? Rockwell at least canned the B-1 line so we could make more of those. I think that should be part of every program, complete with the ability to modularize and mobilize production so that if, say, Boeing's Renton plant is nuked, they can order a suitable pod of machine tools from some repository and open up the production of, say, 737s in Wichita, or in Arizona or Brooklyn or wherever a suitable site can be found. We don't take that sort of thing seriously, of course, for many reasons including MIC greed if you like, but IMHO chiefly because "we're not at war anymore."
I had assumed - Reactive disagrees - that the VA subs had been designed not to have their nuc plants renewed - I figure this largely means they are built in, e.g., there is no hatchway capable of removing the core and the vessel will have to be cut up to get at it. That saved a few mil per sub, I guess, but we'll pay for it and a half when time comes and we say, Gee, those hulls still got a lot of life left on 'em...
Gotta let you go for now. At least next time I'm phoning it in it will be from my new Evo, hooray.
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