Friday, March 02, 2012

The Best Defense Is a Good Offense ... If You Can Afford It

As Congress casts its covetous eyes across the federal budget, seeking politically safe things to cut so as to bring spending more into line with income, one of the few semi-sacred cows appears to be the defense budget. Republicans pride themselves on appearing to be strong, stalwart defenders of the realm, while Democrats are afraid to not appear to be strong, stalwart defenders of the realm. Another reason it will be difficult to cut the defense budget is that so many other parts of the economy depend upon it: all the small businesses and housing markets around military bases that cater to soldiers, sailors, and airmen; the gigantic military-industrial complex that provides tens of thousands of jobs building weapons (or parts of weapons) in key Congressional districts; and the simple fact that no other country can project power, for good or ill, the way we can.

Yes, there's an enormously powerful, multi-faceted lobby that defends defense, and there aren't any really obvious things to cut from the budget.

Which brings me to a defense program the GOP and the Democrats could probably agree on, at least for simple political advantage: build a Death Star ...

There would be a number of advantages to this, even though it would be a ... gasp! ... government spending program, according to this article: How Much Would a Death Star Cost?

1. It would require about 1.08 x 1015 tons of steel, giving a major boost to America's long-moribund steel industry, with all the attendant jobs. That much steel would require a very great deal of iron ore. This is, happily, available in sufficient quantity at the earth's core, which would give a major boost to the mining industry for millenia.

2. The steel industry would need, at current rates of production, about 833,000 years to make that much steel, ensuring long-term employment for very large numbers of steel workers.

3. And think of all the construction workers who would find certain employment for hundreds of thousands of years! And all the other people who would support them: the people driving the food trucks (or food space shuttles, or whatever), the electricians, the metal fabricators, the lawyers to handle all the inevitable lawsuits over workplace safety, etc, etc.

Yes, Dear Readers, if we really want to give the economy a major shot in the arm, we should ignore the small thinking of people like Newt Gingrich, skip the little stuff like building moon colonies, and build the Death Star. Not only would we have full employment over the vastly long term, but just think of how easy it would have been to get rid of a Saddam Hussein or an Osama bin Laden with one shot! Of course, that shot would eliminate the rest of the world, too, but hey - if you're going to insist on a strong defense, there's no such thing as too strong.

Write to your Congressional reprehensives today. Insist on the Death Star - the ultimate stimulus package.

Tell them Darth Bilbo sent you.

Have a good day. See you here tomorrow for Cartoon Saturday.

More thoughts then.



John said...

Bilbo for Emperor of the Universe!

eViL pOp TaRt said...

But will we ultimately be locked in a Death Star race with the Chinese or the Martians?

Mike said...

Ditto! Bilbo for Emperor of the Universe!

Big Sky Heidi said...

Yes!!! Make Bilbo Emperor! And Nessa First Dog!

Bilbo said...

John, Mike, & Heidi - "Emperor" does have a nice ring to it, even better than "Illustrious Potentate," which I toyed with a few years back.

Angelique - It's entirely possible, although the Chinese would have to steal the plans from us first...I'd be more worried about the Martians.

Nessa said...

Hey, thanks Heidi! You can take me for a walk any time!