Saturday, May 14, 2022

Facts should matter. Social Security and Federal welfare programs combined equal 41% of Federal spending; National defense is 11%.

by Rod Williams, May 14, 2022- Last night I was at a family function and the discussion ranged widely and was most enjoyable. At one point we were talking about the unbelievable rise in housing costs in Nashville and how homeownership was increasingly out of reach of young adults.  This led to more discussion along the lines of how things did not look good for the younger generation and how in the past the next generation could be expected to have it better than the previous generation but that was no longer the case. 

As an example of how things were looking grim for the younger generation, I mentioned that the Social Security Trust fund would be depleted in the mid-2030's and some difficult choices would have to be made which would further burden the younger generation. We also talked about the impact of inflation and the rising national debt.

At this time one of my family spoke up and said, something along these lines: "If we would quit wasting money on the military we wouldn't have a problem. I read some report that said China at 400 new warships so we needed 400 new warships. If we would just fucking learn to get along with other people we wouldn't need to spend all of this money on the military and we could solve our other problems. And, we are doing nothing to save the planet from global warming, which is the biggest problem we face." It continued until she took a breath.

Her voice was showing emotion and her rant was a stream of consciousness. This person has a heart of gold and is a good person, but she is super woke and a snowflake.  You cannot have a rational conversation with her. She is too emotional and so certain of the righteousness of her cause that she cannot consider that issues are complex and nuanced and someone with a different point of view may have something to offer. I knew it was time to let it drop. The subject was changed and we had a most pleasant rest of the evening sharing stories and discussing non-controversial topics.

Reflecting back on the exchange, what can you even say to someone who thinks we can live in a world without national defense. What do you say to someone who thinks we do not need to be concerned about the Chinese threat and that we need to learn to get along? I would like to ask, was Hitler someone we should have ignored and we should have learned to get along with? Do people who say these things really think we would not be living in a society that looks a lot like the former Soviet Union or East Germany of current North Korea, if not for our engagement in the cold war? How can one even think like that? How divorced from reality do you have to be to hold that opinion? 

There is no point in trying to talk with someone so irrational and so emotional,  Also, I know that people like this are not going to have their minds changed by facts but facts should matter. 

  • We currently spend 3.7% of GDP on the military. 
  • We spend 4.8% of GDP on Social Security.  
  • Social Security spending is 17% of federal spending.
  • Spending on the military is 11% of federal spending.
  • Spending on other income security programs such as food stamps, unemployment and housing assistance is 24% of Federal spending.
  • Social Security and Federal welfare programs combined equal 41% of Federal spending,

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