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US spy spending revealed for first time, tops $80 billion (Jezzuz)
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US spy spending revealed for first time, tops $80 billion (Jezzuz) - October 29, 2010, 08:47 AM

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US spy spending revealed for first time, tops $80 billion - CNN.com

US spy spending revealed for first time, tops $80 billion


Washington (CNN) -- The United States spent $80 billion on spy activities in 2010, the first time the government has officially announced the total tab for intelligence spending.

The amount included $53.1 billion on non-military intelligence programs, a 6 percent boost from the previous year, according to a statement released Thursday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
The military spent an additional $27 billion on its intelligence apparatus, said Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan.

No further details were released.

The government is required by law to reveal the total amount of money spent to spy on other nations, terrorists and other groups by the CIA, the National Security Agency and the other agencies and offices that make up the 16-member intelligence community.

While the total intelligence spending has never formally been announced, this is the fourth year the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has released the national intelligence budget figure for non-military activities. The intelligence community had resisted efforts to reveal the number, arguing that enemies of the United States could learn valuable information by watching trends in spending.

The amount designated for military battlefield intelligence had remained classified. Last year, however then-Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair revealed to reporters the total cost for all intelligence gathering was $75 billion, and indicated the amount spent on strictly military intelligence was approximately $25 billion.

At the urging of the commission set up to investigate the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Congress passed a law in 2007 mandating public disclosure of the non-military spending number at the end of each fiscal year. Specific details on how much each agency spends and on what remain classified.
The current director of national intelligence, James Clapper, had said at his confirmation hearings this past summer that the budgets for both strategic intelligence and military spying should be officially made public.
The head of the Senate Intelligence committee said it is time to pare down non-military intelligence spending, which has doubled since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

"Given the nation's financial situation, it is my view that the intelligence budget needs to be carefully reviewed and that cuts will be necessary," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat.

The senator indicated there is waste and duplication within the budget and added, "It is clear that the overall spending on intelligence has blossomed to an unacceptable level in the past decade."

Approximately 100,000 people work on national intelligence, with the majority of employees serving at the big four intelligence agencies: the National Security Agency, the CIA, the National Reconnaissance Office and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

The United States spent $49.8 billion on its national intelligence programs in 2009, $47.5 billion in 2008 and $43.5 billion in 2007, according to the previous reports.


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October 29, 2010, 09:39 AM

$80 Billion! Gazooks! I knew we spent a lot, but not this much.
I was thinking more in the $30 Billion range. This number blew my projection out the water.

I wonder how much of that the NSA is getting. They're even shadier than the CIA.

Oh, and $80B and we can't find Osama?



“Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good. Hence a Prince who wants to keep his authority must learn how not to be good, and use that knowledge, or refrain from using it, as necessity requires”.

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October 29, 2010, 10:03 AM

I hate Feinstein...she thinks $80b for intel is too much and needs to be looked at for redundancy and trimming? WTF, sure, that 2.5% of the federal budget is on her shit list because it's not wealth redistributing, but the 20x greater amount we spend on our virtually criminal ponzi-scheme entitlements is untouchable.

You want to know what $80b buys? No major terrorist attacks on US soil in over 9 years. I love how people judge intel (which is by definition pro-active) not by the absence of events (which is appropriate) but by the lack of perceived action--which cannot be countered without compromising the methods by which the lack of events has been obtained.

Remember, $80b is what the govt spends in less than 10 days, and virtually all of that goes into US companies, personnel, and thus directly into the economy! The recent failure of the "stimulus" to inject meaningful $ into the US economy and create jobs, is due to (according to the pres) "lack of shovel ready" projects. You want shovel ready? You want to dump $ into the economy rapidly and to US companies (to hire people) and employees? We have the best system in place already--the military and intel communities. How rapidly do you think the $787billion stimulus could have been moved into the economy had they simply said "okay IC and DOD, fully fund everything that has already been decided"--damn fast, and the $ flow to suppliers and workers would have been fast.

Better yet, the "stimulus" spending over the past 18-24 months roughly equals HALF of the total tax revenue--how fast do you think investment, jobs, etc would have progressed if (not that I support deficit spending) the govt simply said "for the next 18 months, ALL taxes will be halved"--instantly everyone would have more money to spend, companies would be able to cut expenses by at least 3-4% (payroll tax halved), and used that money to hire and capitalize--probably would have been much more effective, and not required a massive growth in public sector federal workers who add zip to GDP.

Gah!


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October 29, 2010, 10:14 AM

Agree with birdman. People have a problem with 80 billion on intel, but not all the other garbage the .gov spends money on.


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October 29, 2010, 10:28 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by birdman View Post
I hate Feinstein...she thinks $80b for intel is too much and needs to be looked at for redundancy and trimming? WTF, sure, that 2.5% of the federal budget is on her shit list because it's not wealth redistributing, but the 20x greater amount we spend on our virtually criminal ponzi-scheme entitlements is untouchable.

Better yet, the "stimulus" spending over the past 18-24 months roughly equals HALF of the total tax revenue--how fast do you think investment, jobs, etc would have progressed if (not that I support deficit spending) the govt simply said "for the next 18 months, ALL taxes will be halved"--instantly everyone would have more money to spend, companies would be able to cut expenses by at least 3-4% (payroll tax halved), and used that money to hire and capitalize--probably would have been much more effective, and not required a massive growth in public sector federal workers who add zip to GDP. Gah!

#1 Trimming is needed everywhere, and chances are that similar if not better results could be achieved for less than 80bil annually. The Defense budget also needs to be reeled in if we ever expect to balance the budget without significant tax increases.

#2 I feel it is incorrect to say that this money is not "wealth redistributing". The government, and especially the defense/intel portions outsource most everything. It feels like most everyone in the greater Washington area works for a defense contractor. The bottom line is this type of spending makes a lot of select people very wealthy. The overabundance of Government contracting to private entities is just a modern form of mercantilism.

#3 I know you said you don't support deficit spending but the argument of unfunded tax cuts as a form of stimulus is closet Keynes.


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October 29, 2010, 10:47 AM

+1 For the Birdman!
No body likes spending... but no body like planes being flown into towers and shit blowing up either. I'm sure it can be trimmed, but it's a dro inthe bucket and it keeps us safe. Let's not forget that 911 was a direct result of spending cut backs.


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October 29, 2010, 11:01 AM

I don't necessarily have a problem with the net number. We easily borrow-spend close to a billion a day on the War effort, but I would like to see Osama in an orange jumpsuit and a living in Club Fed being fed a steady diet of pulled pork sandwiches and only being allowed to watch gay porn for the remainder of his days.

Give me that and all will be well in Heist's world.



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October 29, 2010, 01:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desmo

#1 Trimming is needed everywhere, and chances are that similar if not better results could be achieved for less than 80bil annually. The Defense budget also needs to be reeled in if we ever expect to balance the budget without significant tax increases.

#2 I feel it is incorrect to say that this money is not "wealth redistributing". The government, and especially the defense/intel portions outsource most everything. It feels like most everyone in the greater Washington area works for a defense contractor. The bottom line is this type of spending makes a lot of select people very wealthy. The overabundance of Government contracting to private entities is just a modern form of mercantilism.

#3 I know you said you don't support deficit spending but the argument of unfunded tax cuts as a form of stimulus is closet Keynes.
#3 I know. I was making an argument that if you are going to go all keyensian, might as well do it fast and effective. Since deficit spending is inflationary, it's defacto taxation anyway. I don't think we should have spent (or additionally cut) anything, as what we did will be worse in the long run. It's the early 30's all over again...so many people fail to note that the massive unemployment in the 30's didn't START until the government started messing with things (1932), and had actually been trending downward 1929-1932. However, while other governments are leaning down, we are bulking up and spending our way into oblivion.

As for borrowing to support a war, money is fungible, you could (just as accurately) say we are borrowing to support Medicare.

In any case, I think defense is something the government SHOULD do, and is allowed to explicitly in the constitution. All this other crap is what is getting us in trouble.

As for defense and intel spending being redistributive, I guess you can make the argument that way, but it's wrong--in the case of that spending you are paying people or companies TO DO SOMETHING as opposed to other truly redistributive efforts which in effect pay people to NOT do something (earn money)

One more poke at things. Did you know that if you reduced the bottom two tax brackets by 90%, and the top bracket by 1%, it would still be (in media terms) a tax cut "for the 'rich'" since the bottom two brackets don't pay anything anyway, the only actual tax cut would be for the 'rich'--that's why the media loves the term, you can never create a tax cut "for the poor" without refundable credits (de facto welfare as they are getting more refunded than put in)...so it ALWAYS looks like tax cuts for the 'rich'. Yet one more way words are twisted:
Refundable credits = welfare (wealth redistribution)
Tax cuts for the 'rich' = tax cuts across board. Remember, the "bush" tax cuts reduced the lower tax rates by WAY more than the upper (15 to 10% for the lowest, 39 to 36% for the highest, or a 67% reduction vs a ~10% reduction...and still it was a tax cut "for the 'rich'")


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October 29, 2010, 02:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by birdman View Post
In any case, I think defense is something the government SHOULD do, and is allowed to explicitly in the constitution. All this other crap is what is getting us in trouble.


I agree, but the current level of defense spending is unsustainable. The US needs to find a happy medium where it is effectively prepared to protect itself without playing world police and violating the doctrines set forth by G. Washington, T. Jefferson and R. Taft. Blowback is very real, and it will be some time before we see the full consequences of our current actions, but I fear they will be extremely grave.

Quote:
Originally Posted by birdman View Post
As for defense and intel spending being redistributive, I guess you can make the argument that way, but it's wrong--in the case of that spending you are paying people or companies TO DO SOMETHING as opposed to other truly redistributive efforts which in effect pay people to NOT do something (earn money)


I can tell you that as a bean counter, there are so many instances of waste, fraud and abuse in government defense contracting that it would make the whole financial sector blush. The only problem is that every time an ADA violation is fully uncovered, it always seems to be that the perpetrator has either retired or died. That aside, what I fear we are doing is drawing industry out of producing goods and services for consumers and into producing goods and services for the government, and like all things in the government the contract rarely goes to those who provide the best value for money, and normally goes to those who are the most politically connected. Crony capitalism is the rule at the DOD, not the exception. Add to this the natural lack of efficiency inherent in government, where tasks are performed that add no value, but are required none the less and the end result is taking from the most productive and giving to the less productive.

Then again I'm a wacky Austrian, but I'm always open to ideas


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October 29, 2010, 02:47 PM

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October 29, 2010, 03:17 PM

Quote:
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Communism ACORN atheists pinko nambla pambie libruls
Fixed


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