Yesterday I caught a little bit from CNN where the newscaster said Romney wants to make US military largest in the world, or strongest or something to that effect. The USA already has the largest military in the world. I don’t know what he expects to do to make it bigger than big. Based on expenditures, the USA has by far the largest military. If you go by simply numbers of personal in the military then North Korea has the largest with some 9 million persons in active or reserve service. In fact there are half a dozen countries with larger military enlistments, China, Vietnam, India, South Korea, and Iran all have more personal, is Romney proposing to increase the membership in the military to Korean levels? Do we really need a 10 million man military? It might help with the unemployment problem. Perhaps that is what he meant by creating jobs. But realistically does anyone think the Iranian or North Korean military machines are any match for the USA? Even China spends far less on its military, they are more useful as disaster aid workers than as a fighting force. The USA has close to 3 million in the military or reserves. China, has 4 million plus, and Russia our old nemesis has a little over 2 million. The US military is by far the best equipped, best trained, best supported military in the world. What exactly does Mr. Romney have in mind, besides simply rhetoric for a Memorial Day service?
Romney wants to come off as a pro-military hawk. Neither he not Obama served in the military. He is attempting to build a case claiming that Obama wants to weaken the military pointing to bipartisan cuts in military budget agreed upon by both Republicans and Democrats of some $487 million out of a budget of some $600 billion. Its a red herring. It is not a legitimate beef. He is just pandering to the flag wavers out there for whom there is never enough spent on the military.
Meanwhile the Congress has cut funding for the unemployed. People like me will find out soon that the 99 weeks of coverage is being phased out and in California with 11% official unemployment, the state is now telling us that there are no more benefits for residents in California, meaning some 750,000 of us will be cut off. This is a serious issue. I will not be able to afford to go to school without unemployment and with my benefits cut off I will no longer be able to sustain myself here at this location without another source of income. I am not alone in this, I at least have my SSDI but that is only enough to cover the rent and utilities, I could not feed myself on that or pay for my medical bills. Looks like the system has fucked us, no jobs and no support. Time for revolution. I am going to make the effort and call my congressperson, fat lot of help that will be.
From the EDD site.
That means the week ending May 12, 2012, will be the last week EDD can pay FED-ED benefits to eligible unemployed workers, even if someone has a remaining balance on their FED-ED extension. The EDD estimates about 93,000 people in California will be immediately impacted, including those collecting FED-ED benefits now and those who could qualify to file a new FED-ED extension up through May 6, 2012.
From the NY TIMES
U.S. Winds Down Longer Benefits for the Unemployed
By SHAILA DEWAN
Published: May 28, 2012
Hundreds of thousands of out-of-work Americans are receiving their final unemployment checks sooner than they expected, even though Congress renewed extended benefits until the end of the year.
The checks are stopping for the people who have the most difficulty finding work: the long-term unemployed. More than five million people have been out of work for longer than half a year. Federal benefit extensions, which supplemented state funds for payments up to 99 weeks, were intended to tide over the unemployed until the job market improved.
In February, when the program was set to expire, Congress renewed it, but also phased in a reduction of the number of weeks of extended aid and effectively made it more difficult for states to qualify for the maximum aid. Since then, the jobless in 23 states have lost up to five months’ worth of benefits.
Romney promises to maintain US military power
By STEVE PEOPLES, Associated Press – 19 hours ago
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, on the brink of clinching the Republican nomination, promised Monday to maintain an American military “with no comparable power anywhere in the world.”
Romney spoke a day before Texas voters were likely to give him enough delegates to formally clinch the Republican presidential nomination, a formality that cements his status as President Barack Obama’s general election opponent.
Earlier Monday Romney faced a San Diego crowd estimated at 5,000 in what was billed as a Memorial Day service paying tribute to the nation’s war dead, not a campaign rally.
Without naming his general election rival, Romney drew clear contrasts with Obama on the issue of defense.
The Democratic president has proposed reducing the size of the military following the end of the U.S. combat role in Iraq and plans to remove troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
“We have two courses we can follow: One is to follow in the pathway of Europe, to shrink our military smaller and smaller to pay for our social needs,” Romney said outside the Veterans Memorial Center and Museum. “The other is to commit to preserve America as the strongest military in the world, second to none, with no comparable power anywhere in the world.”
The White House and congressional Republicans have agreed to cut $487 billion in military spending over the next decade. Even with Obama’s proposed cuts in the military budget, the U.S. would remain by far the world’s dominant military power. The Pentagon’s budget this year exceeds $600 billion. Closest rival China said this year its defense budget will top $100 billion for the first time, although the U.S. claims China spends twice as much.
In San Diego, Romney was joined by McCain, a Vietnam veteran who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war. McCain said that Romney, “I believe, is fully qualified to be commander in chief.”
Romney noted that he visited Afghanistan and Iraq during his term as Massachusetts governor. But he has limited foreign policy experience.
Still, Romney has been critical of Obama’s plans to reduce the military, in addition to the administration’s policy toward Syria’s handling of the uprising against President Bashar Assad’s government.
In a written statement Sunday, Romney said Obama “can no longer ignore calls from congressional leaders in both parties to take more assertive steps in Syria.” Romney said the current approach has only given Syrian leaders more time to crackdown on protesters.
World leaders blame the Syrian government for the weekend killing of more than 100 people, including 49 children and 34 women, following peaceful protests.
“I wish I could tell you that the world is a safe place today. It is not,” Romney said Monday, ticking off a list of threats including Iran, Pakistan, China, Russia, Venezuela and Mexican drug cartels. He did not mention Syria.
Romney said Monday that America’s military might is needed “not so that we just win wars, but so we can prevent wars.”
“A strong America is the best deterrent to war that has ever been invented,” he said.
Romney on China, not a whole lot to say and what little said is more of the foot in mouth variety.