Posted On: Thursday - March 23rd 2017 6:56AM MST
In Topics:   Immigration Stupidity  Economics
This is an addendum, if you will, to the previous post arguing how piddling the expense and effort to build a good southern border barrier for the US is compared to the US Feral Gov't yearly budget and the building of the Interstate Highway System, respectively.
Firstly, just to make clear where the simple round numbers came from, let me go through this some more. The US Government's spending habits, amount of borrowing and basically the degree of broke we are under have been discussed fairly thoroughly already on this blog, with plenty of more to come. Just a round number for the yearly spending amount is 4 trillion dollars, $4,000,000,000,000. The 1 1/2 hour per year of this spending that could pay for "The Wall" was obtained by simply dividing the CONSERVATIVE estimate of (2,000 miles x $1,000,000/mile) $2,000,000,000 - 2 billion dollars by the 4 trillion, giving .0005 - "The Wall" should be in the range of 0.05% of the annual budget. My number of 1.5 "hours of spending" was simply taking 365 hours x 8 hours/day = ~ 3,000 hrs. and multiplying by .0005 (.05%) to get 1.5 hours. OK, I could have used a 24 hours/day spending rate, as these guys don't normally stop spending money during lunch, dinner sleep, sex with congressional page-boys, etc., so then I'd get a higher number, 4.5 hours, but that'd just be out of a longer spending day, so it's all the same. The general point is that it is miniscule, and, in engineering terms, negligible.
OK, I have mentioned back under the General Financial Stupidity Topic Key, that most of the budget is transfer payment, in gov-speak, meaning really that this money has actually all been divied-out ahead of time for SS checks, medicare, VA benefits, welfare grants of all sort (that should not be US gov't's business). Deservedly or not-deservedly, this money is already spent. The rest is military, running the Fed-gov, interest on the 20 Trillion dollar debt (at a low, low rate!) and then what they call "discretionary" spending, like your extra money left after the mortgage, tuition, all the utility bills, and food. Now, much of the military budget could be considered discretionary, as it's not a "defense budget", but an "offense budget" the way I see it. If you were to state that only 20% of the budget was discretionary, OK, it takes 1 day out of 365 days of Fed-Gov controllable spending to build the wall - but only for that one year's budget, right? After that it's just maintenance needed. The question on whether some or a lot of the military budget is discretionary is how this post has a damn thing to do with Korea - glad you asked!
Let's say even with 1 24-hr, 2-manned, post every single mile of the border for 2,000 miles, a very conservative estimate, and my 1/2 million bucks a piece yearly for each (2 shifts x 2 guys @ $100,000 including overhead + $100,000 for vehicles/equipment), that's 1 billion bucks to run the show. OK, I gave that number last post - let's just talk personnel. 2 guys x 2 shifts x 2,000 posts x 1.25(to allow for vacation, sickness, affirmative-action-hard-to-fire-guys-that-don't-show-up) we get another nice round number (which I really like, you can see!) of 10,000 guys. Now, look, do you know we have had 25,000 or so soldiers based on the northern border of South Korea for 64 freakin' years? No, not the same guys, they do rotate every coupla' years ;-}
We have 25,000 soldiers defending the huge economy of S. Korea, whom we have a big trade deficit with (i.e. losing dollars daily) against one of the top psychopathic-run governments ever seen by man, but still full of the same people - Koreans! Who cares? I mean, why should Americans, who are deep in a financial hole, and getting creamed in the auto market by S. Korea, have 25,000 soldiers there defending them? They can handle it just fine themselves. Just 1/2 of these men could take care of defending the US Southern border with personnel to spare. Also, just to get this in, it must cost 3 times more to keep a soldier supported half-way around the world in S. Korea vs. in W. Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or California.
The stupid, it burns!
Addendum to the addendum: Just because Korea is mentioned, and many people probably don't even know why American soldiers were over there in the 1st place (it's been called "the forgotten war"), let me bring up a few things. Almost as many American men died in the Korean War - 1950-1953 as in Vietnam, on the order of 50,000. The first year of the war involved all of the strategic action, i.e. changes in territory, while the last 2 were just back-and-forth battles of unnamed hills, still with lots of casualties. You could watch M.A.S.H to get a little bit of history and a quite a bit of Alan Alda leftwing claptrap (the movie is MUCH better), but a good book I've read about it is "This Kind of War" by T. R. Fehrenbach.