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Title: Germany’s Typhoon problem: Only four fighters can be made combat ready [also tanks, ships, subs, copters]
Source: ArsTechnica
URL Source: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy ... at-ready/?comments=1&start=120
Published: May 15, 2018
Author: Sean Gallagher
Post Date: 2018-05-16 02:50:28 by Tooconservative
Keywords: None
Views: 431
Comments: 81

If you thought the US Department of Defense's procurement adventures with the F-35 and other big-budget weapons systems are bad, you might want to check out what's going on in Europe, where defense procurement battles have left most of the German Luftwaffe grounded for lack of parts.

Last week, at the annual Charlemagne Prize ceremony in Aachen, Germany—in which French President Emmanuel Macron was recognized for his efforts on behalf of European unity—German Prime Minister Angela Merkel pronounced that Europe could no longer depend on the United States for its protection. "Europe has to take its destiny into its own hands," Merkel said. "That is the task of the future."

Merkel has given this message before. But if Europe is to take its destiny into its own hands any time soon, Germany has a lot of work to do—the Bundeswehr, Germany's defense ministry, is suffering from multiple readiness crises in a culmination of years of cost-shaving and poor management decisions. And the latest symptom to emerge of that crisis is the dwindling number of actually functional fighter jets that the Luftwaffe, Germany's air force, can actually call combat ready. For the Eurofighter Typhoon, Germany's main fighter aircraft, that number is four—out of a total of 128.

According to a report in Der Spiegel, the Bundeswehr has claimed in an official report to the Bundestag (Germany's legislature) that 39 Typhoon fighters were designated as ready for missions last year. But that report named any aircraft that was capable of flying as being "ready." In fact, only 10 aircraft currently have all their systems functioning, because of a problem that has plagued the defensive aid subsystem (DASS) of Germany's version of the Typhoon.

One component of the DASS is a wing pod that contains the aircraft's electronic countermeasures (ECM) equipment—its gear for jamming the radar of incoming missiles—and parts of the aircraft's electronic support measure systems, which include radar lock warning and target identification.

During the development of the Typhoon, Germany decided to break off from the Eurofighter consortium and fund the development of a domestically built DASS by Daimler Aerospace (DASA). Eventually Germany re-entered the fold, and DASA was absorbed into the European defense conglomerate EADS. But the money-saving maneuvering has continued, as the Bundestag strove to reduce stock in repair parts and opt for "just-in-time" ordering.

Unfortunately, the DASS pods on Germany's Typhoons have been failing because of coolant leaks. And the supplier for the part needed to repair the leak is no longer in business. As the rest of Eurofighters' customers are upgrading their DASS systems to the Praetorian DASS from the Italian defense company Leonardo, the factory for the part was sold—and Germany, which did not opt for the upgrade, is now left without a supplier.

Cost-cutting procurement strategies have caused problems elsewhere over the past year for the Bundeswehr:

  • The German Navy has had to refuse delivery of the first of its new class of frigates after the ship failed sea trials, and only five of the Navy's existing 13 frigates were capable of being deployed.
  • The last available German submarine was pulled out of service for repairs, as all the other submarines in the fleet sit in drydock or sit idle due to lack of replacement parts. (One of those submarines may now be back in service.)
  • The German Army was found to lack enough tanks and armored personnel carriers, or even enough basic equipment for soldiers, to fulfill its commitment to NATO's Very High Readiness Task Force at the beginning of 2019. While 105 out of 244 Leopard 2 tanks were called "ready for use," only nine could be fully armed for the VHRF.
  • Only 12 of 62 Tiger attack helicopters and 16 of Germany's 72 CH-53 cargo helicopters were available for exercises and operations last year; the rest were grounded for maintenance.
  • At any time over the last year, only three of the Bundeswehr Airbus A400M transport aircraft were ready to fly.

The only saving grace for the Bundeswehr is that with the wind-down of NATO support in Afghanistan, there's no immediate combat mission for the German military. And as Der Spiegel's Matthias Gebauer was told by a Bundeswehr source, "We can say with a good conscience that large parts of the [German armed forces] are mission ready, because there is currently no mission."

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#1. To: Tooconservative (#0)

Germany doesn't need an army at all. France, England and the United States have nuclear weapons, and the Russians don't have the armed strength to get across Poland against US, Polish and NATO resistance.

And given that nuclear weapons mean that Russia can't attack Germany (or vice versa) anyway, why throw all that money down a rathole? Abolish the military and be done with it. What good does the German army do for anybody? It's an expensive white elephant.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-05-16   9:50:48 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Vicomte13 (#1) (Edited)

What good does the German army do for anybody? It's an expensive white elephant.

It allows the Germans in general,and the German political leadership (?) specifically to pretend they really ARE an independent nation and in charge of their own destiny,

Take it away and they would have to quit pretending and admit they are nothing more than a cog in the Borg.

In the entire history of the world,the only nations that had to build walls to keep their own citizens from leaving were those with leftist governments.

sneakypete  posted on  2018-05-16   10:21:03 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: Vicomte13 (#1)

Germany doesn't need an army at all. France, England and the United States have nuclear weapons, and the Russians don't have the armed strength to get across Poland against US, Polish and NATO resistance.

Then we need no armies at all, do we? Navies? Piffle. We'll just nuke everybody as a standard response to anything.

What if we're not willing to nuke humanity and civilization when some nuclear-armed aggressor like Iran or North Korea starts carving up Europe or Asia or the Mideast?

The Soviets were never all that afraid of our nukes, you know. The Soviet archives reveal that they took nuclear exchanges as a given in a war with America. Other hardnosed opponents will do the same.

We can threaten all we want but don't be so sure we're willing to ignite a world holocaust just because Russia takes Finland. Or Sweden and Norway. Or the Baltics. Or all of them.

Tooconservative  posted on  2018-05-16   11:16:42 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Vicomte13 (#1)

I heard the Pope asking the other day, “How many divisions does Germany have?”

misterwhite  posted on  2018-05-16   11:25:51 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Tooconservative (#3)

Then we need no armies at all, do we?

I didn't say WE didn't need armies. WE are Rome, the world empire. WE need conventional forces to protect and expand that empire. GERMANY doesn't need an army, and if I were German, I'd be clamoring to save all of that money and pay off the national debt.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-05-16   13:25:38 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: misterwhite, A K A Stone (#4)

I heard the Pope asking the other day, “How many divisions does Germany have?”

Okay, that's genuinely witty. Best I've seen on LF in some time. You win. What exactly, I don't know.

Tooconservative  posted on  2018-05-16   13:31:16 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: Tooconservative (#6)

Okay, that's genuinely witty.

Thank you. Thank you. I'm here all week.

misterwhite  posted on  2018-05-16   13:46:06 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: Vicomte13, misterwhite, sneakypete (#5) (Edited)

I didn't say WE didn't need armies. WE are Rome, the world empire. WE need conventional forces to protect and expand that empire. GERMANY doesn't need an army, and if I were German, I'd be clamoring to save all of that money and pay off the national debt.

And the payoff for the American working class who will have to fight and die for the privilege of defending the EU and other lazy cowardly countries that pretend to be our allies?

Why should any of us agree to that?

Carnegie Europe: NATO’s European Allies Won’t Fight for Article 5

Between April 6 and May 15, 2015, the Pew Research Center carried out a survey of 11,116 respondents in eight NATO countries as well as in Russia and Ukraine. The NATO countries were Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The respondents from these countries were asked about Ukraine and Russia. Few surprises here. Across all eight nations, a median of 70 percent supported sending economic aid to Ukraine, and 57 percent backed Ukraine joining NATO—although Germany and Italy came out strongly against, with respectively only 36 percent and 35 percent of respondents in favor. On average, 41 percent of all those surveyed supported sending arms to Ukraine, and 50 percent favored Ukraine joining the EU.

But when it came to committing to upholding Article 5—the alliance’s sacred cow, which requires NATO members to defend an ally if it is attacked—the results were devastating. The Pew poll showed that among Europeans, a median of 49 percent of respondents thought their country should not defend an ally, a response that exposes a lack of commitment to collective defense. Not only that: the majority of Europeans (67 percent), with the surprising exception of the Poles (49 percent), believed the United States would come to the defense of its allies.

Despite war-weariness in the United States and Canada, these are the two countries that are willing to use force if Russia attacks a NATO ally. That was the view of 56 percent of Americans and 53 percent of Canadians. The United States is also proposing to store heavy weapons and equipment for up to 5,000 troops in Eastern Europe. What a commitment to NATO and to Europe.

Of the Europeans polled, the Brits were the most in favor of the use of force to defend their allies (49 percent). As for the Poles, of whom a whopping 70 percent saw Russia as a major military threat to neighboring countries, only 48 percent of those surveyed supported military action in case of an attack.

. . .

That aside, the biggest response against using force against Russia came from Germany. Only 38 percent of Germans, the lowest score among the eight NATO allies polled, would use force to defend an ally.

This seems to jar with Germany’s decision to become involved in training exercises in Poland. Germany has joined NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, a spearhead force created in September 2014 that is to be deployed to Eastern Europe. Berlin intends to send 1,000 troops to a 5,000-strong brigade. Prior to its agreement to participate in this operation, Germany had opposed NATO deploying permanent bases in Eastern Europe. Maybe this is a compensation gesture.

And to complete this farce, the Germans -- who citizens do not intend to fight for any other NATO countries -- is ready to lead the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force next year, an exercise in futility comparable to selecting Iran to lead the UN's human rights council. Germany is about the least prepared NATO country, despite having the strongest industrial base and greatest wealth in the EU.

So it is the job of American boys to die for Europe with possibly some Canucks thrown in to help a little, mostly if England is under threat.

We don't have allies. We have military dependents. They're almost entirely worthless.

We need to cut them loose if they will not accept and fulfill their treaty obligations. If they don't want defense, there is no rational reason why we should foot the bill for defending them. Let them deal with Russia on their own. Let them deal with Turkey, another alleged NATO ally, deliberately unleashing waves of Third Worlders to live off EU social welfare and establish lawless ghettos and pockets of totalitarian sympathies throughout the rotten EU domain.

But don't you dare ask us to clean up their EU mess when it all turns to shite. Again.

Tooconservative  posted on  2018-05-17   1:58:23 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: Tooconservative (#8)

So it is the job of American boys to die for Europe

This is where your argument collapses.

Nobody is dying for Europe. Nobody has died for Europe since 1949 when the Werewolves were finally defeated.

Russia has no forces capable of seriously threatening Europe, and there are two nuclear powers in Europe that are fully capable of destroying Russia, if need be.

Europe is under zero credible external military threat, and hasn't been since the fall of the USSR three decades ago.

Americans are not dying to protect Europe. At all. There is no risk of that

This is all about preening, perception, defense contracts and the politics of who is boss. It is NOT actually about any real threat to American or European lives. There is none that requires US forces there. We WANT to be there because of the political power it gives us, and because of the defense contracts that flow from it. THAT is the game.

Dying for Europe? Nobody is at any real risk of doing that. At all.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-05-17   7:03:22 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: Vicomte13 (#9)

Dying for Europe? Nobody is at any real risk of doing that. At all.

Then get rid of NATO entirely. It is an unfunded liability for America.

Tooconservative  posted on  2018-05-17   8:16:45 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: Tooconservative (#10)

Then get rid of NATO entirely. It is an unfunded liability for America.

It's not really a liability. It's a tremendous political and economic asset.

Yes, sure, we spend money putting forces there. Truth is, that money we spend goes to defense contractors, which boosts employment and the economy. Military jobs are decent wage jobs with benefits. They boost employment. Maintaining a big heavy military footprint all over the world keep employment numbers high, improves the education statistics of the nation, reduces crime at home in a couple of ways, prepares a lot of kids for the workforce and pumps up tax revenues and the science and engineering economy as all of those hundreds of billions flow into US defense contracts.

Slash the military as much as I have talked about, and you'll end up shrinking the US GDP and increasing the welfare payments to the unemployed by more than you actually save in tax dollars, and you'll have a lower-educated workforce and a lot more crime: idle hands are the Devil's workshop.

Also, NATO places America in supreme command over Europe. The Europeans will accept that. They WON'T accept some other European - a domestic political rival within the EU - in command over them. And non-EU countries such as Norway will ally with the US, for security reasons, but they won't join the EU, for sovereignty reasons.

NATO gives the Europeans a multilateral agency besides the EU to push off of. Eastern Europe, for example, balks at EU immigration policy. And they still fear Russia. They view the EU as perhaps helping their economic future, but they don't trust the French and Germans who run it. They view the US as the guarantor of their national security, and they DO trust the United States to be there much more than they trust Berlin or Paris or London to act in their interests.

Remember, the US has no seat at the table in the EU, but the whole Greek situation was substantially moderated, with the US in the role of blowing cold wind on the German fire to EXTRACT things from Greece. Because Greece could always bolt the EU and get money by letting the Russians use bases there. Greece (or Turkey) could really mess up the European strategic picture, but people with poor strategic reasoning skills like the Germans are perfectly willing to reduce Mediterranean security in order to extract Euros out of deadbeats. The USA had a firm behind the scenes hand on making sure that the other Europeans remember that their national security is more important than preventing German bankers and taxpayers from taking some losses.

In a similar vein, when the British Parliament was twisting with outrage over Iceland's effective cancellation of British bank debt, ominously rumbling about retaliation against Iceland, the fact that Iceland is a fundamental link in NATO defense didn't matter to British bankers, but it DID matter to American policymakers.

Having the huge defense presence over there puts American military and intelligence in the heart of every European capital, and gives us a great deal of fine internal control over what goes on.

Truth is, the Europeans, grosso modo, don't want us to leave, and it's not in our economic or security interests to do so.

A Europe that does not rely on us for its defense and for the defense of its supply lines is a Europe that can act against our interests in dealing with Israel or China or Iran.

Right now we see the utility of these things. The Europeans WANT to maintain the cushy deals with Iran. But the USA says so, and so Europe has to adjust. Has to. That's because we're over there in force, and that gives us tremendous power over European decision making.

The Empire, gross modo, has made the USA stronger, richer and more dominant - to our benefit, not our detriment.

Although I have mused in the past about cutting it and returning home like an isolationist of old, I've thought it through again and again and realized that dog don't hunt.

The NATO Alliance is the crown jewel of our world empire. It keeps the peace, and it keeps us in charge of Europe and its littoral. That ends up being worth a lot more to us in GDP, taxes, employment , and peace dividend, than any dollars we'd save by pulling out our forces.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-05-17   8:45:26 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: Vicomte13 (#11)

Hooey. None of that is true.

Tooconservative  posted on  2018-05-17   8:49:29 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: Vicomte13 (#5)

WE need conventional forces to protect and expand that empire.

We need conventional forces so we don't have to use them. Cheaper to project a credible threat than to actually fight a war.

misterwhite  posted on  2018-05-17   8:59:36 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: Tooconservative (#12)

Hooey. None of that is true.

It's completely true. Isolationism is why we had to lose three quarters of a million American lives and half of Europe in World War II. We pretended that we are not our brother's keeper. We were as wrong as Cain on that score.

The Paleo-Conservative wants to retreat into isolation again. Failed the first time. Would fail again, if we ever were foolish enough to go that way. But we're not.

FDR, Truman, Ike, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, W, Obama and Trump were all very different men, with very different concepts of governance, but they ALL agreed that America needs to first and foremost a military superpower, very present in the world, containing evil and protecting the free.

Paleo-Conservatives like you don't agree with Realists like me on this subject at all.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-05-17   9:34:20 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: Vicomte13 (#14)

FDR, Truman, Ike, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, W, Obama and Trump were all very different men, with very different concepts of governance, but they ALL agreed that America needs to first and foremost a military superpower, very present in the world, containing evil and protecting the free.

Ike sensibly opposed any expansion of NATO and wanted to withdraw from Europe entirely.

Tooconservative  posted on  2018-05-17   9:53:25 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#16. To: Tooconservative (#15)

Ike sensibly opposed any expansion of NATO and wanted to withdraw from Europe entirely.

He didn't think that with strong enough conviction to actually DO it, because he saw full well what would happen if we withdrew from Europe.

Sure, it would be great if we could just come back home and save all of that money. I've thought that myself for years, and Ike was coming from most of a lifetime in which the American desire was very much to not be "over there". We were dragged into World War II against our will.

Remember, please, the Russia tried to join NATO in 1954, to be part of the efforts to preserve the peace in Europe. Instead, we admitted West Germany, in 1955, which promptly triggered Russia to form the Warsaw Pact.

All of this happened under Eisenhower. So sure, "expansion" of NATO to include the USSR was nixed by Ike, but it was Ike who added West Germany to the mix, with the Warsaw Pact forming in reaction.

Ike may have wanted to be a Paleo-Conservative, but he wasn't stupid so he didn't ultimately act on those isolationist instincts. He did what was necessary, which was to keep the USA widely engaged in the world.

Yes, he bemoaned the dangers of the "military-industrial complex", and he was certainly correct about some of those dangers. The alternative was letting the Communists sweep most of the world, and eventually become dominant politically in America.

Should we have?

Paleos would assert that was not really the choice, but I think they are naive about that and wrong.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-05-17   10:49:42 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#17. To: Vicomte13 (#16)

Sure, it would be great if we could just come back home and save all of that money. I've thought that myself for years, and Ike was coming from most of a lifetime in which the American desire was very much to not be "over there". We were dragged into World War II against our will.

I wouldn't cut it all. However, the rising debt crisis makes that more and more inevitable and painful.

I think we should focus on naval and air power and we should mostly move our forces out of Europe. If they don't want to defend it, why should we?

And they can rely on France and Britain to nuke Russia if Vlad conquers the Baltics and the eastern half of Ukraine on some sunny afternoon, right?

Tooconservative  posted on  2018-05-17   11:08:29 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#18. To: Tooconservative, Vicomte13 (#8)

Let them deal with Russia on their own.

You see, French and Germans already paid their dues in 1812 and 1941 on the Eastern Front, they remember it well and painfully. It is time for the others to go there.

A Pole  posted on  2018-05-17   11:22:48 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#19. To: A Pole (#18)

It is time for the others to go there.

I nominate the Poles.

Tooconservative  posted on  2018-05-17   11:24:43 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#20. To: Tooconservative (#17)

I wouldn't cut it all. However, the rising debt crisis makes that more and more inevitable and painful.

I think we should focus on naval and air power and we should mostly move our forces out of Europe. If they don't want to defend it, why should we?

And they can rely on France and Britain to nuke Russia if Vlad conquers the Baltics and the eastern half of Ukraine on some sunny afternoon, right?

Sure.

To stop the debt crisis, simply raise the taxes on the rich so that they pay the same proportion of their gross wealth that the middle class do.

That's it.

That's all.

The middle class in America does not collapse under its tax burden. The rich would not either.

But the rich don't pay taxes anywhere near what the middle class do, as a proportion of their wealth. They should.

Most of the wealth of the middle class is held in their homes, cars, boats, some planes. And all of that is taxes annually. Also, the transfer of such things is taxed, and the energy to power those things is taxed. The middle class are taxed four times on their income: three federal taxes (social security, medicare, income) and by their states. Most of their wealth goes into housing.

The very rich hold most of their property as securities, which are not taxed. Houses, cars and boats are taxed, but securities are not.

Securities are only taxed when they give off dividends (which are taxed by one federal tax, at a much lower rate than the middle class income taxes), or when they are sold. Loans are not taxed, and the rich use "the trick" of pledging securities as collateral to get loans, which is untaxed income, while keeping ownership. And if they reinvest the loans in more securities, they deduct the interest on the loan from their income.

And then of course there are the private "charitable" foundations, that allow wealth to pass from generation to generation untaxed, subject only to extremely modest Potemkin-village style paperwork oversight.

If the tax system were restructured to tax the wealthy the same percentage of their overall wealth that the middle class pay every year, we would run a significant budget surplus at current rates of expenditure and be able to pay off the national debt within a reasonable number of years.

Of course, we COULD also decide to take much longer to pay down the national debt, adjust the middle class taxation downwards and the taxes of the wealthy upwards to meet.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-05-17   11:29:11 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#21. To: Tooconservative (#19)

I nominate the Poles.

I nominate the Chinese and the Altaic Turkics.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-05-17   11:30:01 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#22. To: Vicomte13 (#20)

The very rich hold most of their property as securities, which are not taxed. Houses, cars and boats are taxed, but securities are not.

Most of the hole in the federal budget is due to the cap on SS taxes. It should be at least 10 times higher than it is or perhaps just unlimited.

You could argue for this better when inheritance taxes were insanely high but that hasn't been the case for decades.

You should browse through that Atlantic piece I put up. Very long but it has the appeal of being a comprehensive picture. And his argument is that the tycoons are only the targets of the Bernie bros and that the real inequality of wealth and use of lobbyists, education, home ownership accrue to people who are not the middle class but like to pretend they are. The top 10% has benefited far more overall than the tycoons have with their .1% of all wealth.

I smiled when I noticed that fencing was mentioned.     : )

Tooconservative  posted on  2018-05-17   12:05:23 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#23. To: Tooconservative (#19) (Edited)

I nominate the Poles.

I know, but spare them please. But they did it already TWICE, together with Napoleon in 1812. And on their own in 1612. It is turn for you.

1812

1611/1612

BTW, British ingrates allied with Ruskies in 1812/1814 and did this in Washington DC:

A Pole  posted on  2018-05-17   12:08:14 ET  (3 images) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#24. To: A Pole (#23)

Europe's history is too depressing to review. And all that crappy artwork you EUros keep around just reminds you of it all.

Tooconservative  posted on  2018-05-17   12:11:28 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#25. To: Tooconservative (#24)

Europe's history is too depressing to review. And all that crappy artwork you EUros

The last is American (Washington DC)

A Pole  posted on  2018-05-17   12:23:50 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#26. To: Tooconservative (#8)

And to complete this farce, the Germans -- who citizens do not intend to fight for any other NATO countries -

Let's be fair,here. The sad,sad truth is that there are damn few genetic Germans left. Most bled out in WW-1 or WW-2,leaving their women to be impregnated by Slavs,French,English,and American occupation forces.

Now they are even importing hordes of Muslims to take over,thinking they will do the menial work and pay the taxes to allow them to retire in comfort.

It's enough to make you think most post-WW-1 and WW-2 German women were impregnated by Frenchmen.

In the entire history of the world,the only nations that had to build walls to keep their own citizens from leaving were those with leftist governments.

sneakypete  posted on  2018-05-17   12:28:11 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#27. To: Vicomte13 (#9) (Edited)

We WANT to be there because of the political power it gives us, and because of the defense contracts that flow from it. THAT is the game.

BINGO! And it is the political power that provides the defense contract that provide the "Benjamins" that keep the uber wealthy in bodyguards and villas.

It's ALWAYS about the money.

ALWAYS.

In the entire history of the world,the only nations that had to build walls to keep their own citizens from leaving were those with leftist governments.

sneakypete  posted on  2018-05-17   12:30:33 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#28. To: Tooconservative (#12)

Hooey. None of that is true.

Right back atcha. It's ALL true to one degree or another.

You need to get over the thinking that tells you that anything you don't like is untrue. It just ain't so.

You also need to come to understand that NOTHING is either all good or all bad. There is good and bad in everything. The secret is to find the "Sweet spot" where the bad from YOUR POV is outweighed by the good from YOUR POV.

Yeah,sometimes you really have to look hard to find it. Nobody but lairs or fools ever said life would be easy.

In the entire history of the world,the only nations that had to build walls to keep their own citizens from leaving were those with leftist governments.

sneakypete  posted on  2018-05-17   12:37:40 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#29. To: sneakypete (#26) (Edited)

The sad,sad truth is that there are damn few genetic Germans left. Most bled out in WW-1 or WW-2

The last and only time when racial purity was preached in Poland was under German occupation.

A Pole  posted on  2018-05-17   12:41:07 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#30. To: Tooconservative (#17)

I think we should focus on naval and air power and we should mostly move our forces out of Europe. If they don't want to defend it, why should we?

The thing is the typical European never sees our Naval or Air Power,and when they do see it,it just doesn't register as being foreign because their native nations use our designs.

They DO see and register military bases and the soldiers and airmen wandering around in their towns when off-duty,though. Even if it is at a sub-conscious level to most of them,it has an impact.

In the entire history of the world,the only nations that had to build walls to keep their own citizens from leaving were those with leftist governments.

sneakypete  posted on  2018-05-17   12:41:58 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#31. To: A Pole (#18)

You see, French and Germans already paid their dues in 1812 and 1941 on the Eastern Front, they remember it well and painfully. It is time for the others to go there.

WRONG! It is time for NO ONE to go there,and if it DOES have to be someone,it should be the locals that do the most fighting and dying.

We ain't your daddy,bubba!

In the entire history of the world,the only nations that had to build walls to keep their own citizens from leaving were those with leftist governments.

sneakypete  posted on  2018-05-17   12:43:55 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#32. To: Vicomte13 (#20)

Houses, cars and boats are taxed, but securities are not.

Yes,but at a MUCH lower rate if owned by a trust fund or corporation. They are even used to depreciate the taxable base of corporate assets.

In the entire history of the world,the only nations that had to build walls to keep their own citizens from leaving were those with leftist governments.

sneakypete  posted on  2018-05-17   12:46:08 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#33. To: A Pole (#29)

The last and only time when racial purity was preached in Poland was under German occupation.

There is no such thing as racial purity in reality. Maybe there was in China when it was a sealed off police state,but that's about it.

However,there IS such a thing as CULTURAL purity. Don't believe it's important or doesn't exist? Go to your local Mosque and inquire within.

In the entire history of the world,the only nations that had to build walls to keep their own citizens from leaving were those with leftist governments.

sneakypete  posted on  2018-05-17   12:56:11 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#34. To: sneakypete (#33) (Edited)

However,there IS such a thing as CULTURAL purity. Don't believe it's important or doesn't exist?

Nazis were also talking about cultural purity. They even divided science of physics into German and Jewish.

Problems that those who are so obsessed about purity, know little about genetics or physics. Perhaps they are mongrels? ;)

A Pole  posted on  2018-05-17   13:03:10 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#35. To: A Pole (#34)

Nazis were also talking about cultural purity.

So what?

They even divided science of physics into German and Jewish.

While conveniently ignoring the FACT that many Germans were also Jewish.

In the entire history of the world,the only nations that had to build walls to keep their own citizens from leaving were those with leftist governments.

sneakypete  posted on  2018-05-17   13:05:19 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#36. To: Tooconservative (#22)

Most of the hole in the federal budget is due to the cap on SS taxes. It should be at least 10 times higher than it is or perhaps just unlimited.

Yes. There should be no cap on Social Security taxes. They are a completely regressive tax on income alone.

The ideal tax code would be this: Scrap the social security tax completely, and scrap the Medicare tax, and scrap the AMT, and scrap the capital gains tax, and scrap the inheritance tax, scrap the dividends tax.

These are all alternative forms of the income tax. Social Security is a pure wage tax. So is the Medicare tax. The AMT is another form of income tax. Capital gains are simply another form of income. The dead should not pay taxes on their estates. The living who get the money should pay taxes on what they get from the dead, because that's INCOME, and it should be taxed like any other income. Ditto for gifts. Gifts are income, and they should be taxable to the recipient, not the giver. The forgiveness of debt is INCOME to the recipient, and is already taxed as such. That should not change.

Roll all of those things and make a graduated, progressive income tax, without specific deductions - no mortgage deductions, no state tax deductions, no interest deductions. Businesses are permitted to deduct the costs of operating from their taxes. Individuals should, likewise, be able to deduct the cost of living from theirs. We already have this in the form of standard deductions and personal exemptions. Individuals should get the deductions and exemptions on a per-capita basis, and it should be calibrated to do for individuals exactly the same thing that business deductions do for businesses.

So, sweep away the deductions and the exceptions, eliminate multiple forms of taxation, and have ONE income tax that captures all forms of income.

Corporation taxes are a special case.

That leaves property taxes and sales taxes.

All property should be taxed at a uniform low rate. Some property, such as houses, cars, planes, boats, securities and bank accounts are easily tracked and easily valued and taxed. And should be. Houses are taxed at about 1.75% nationwide. So, then, should all securities portfolios. If that rate is too high, then lower the property tax across the board to, say 1%. This is, effectively, a gross wealth tax because it taxes the value of most forms of property. Certain forms of wealth are harder to trace: jewelry, gold bullion, artwork. But they're not all THAT hard to trace, because people who have such things insure them. The value of property insurance should be taxed at the same rate as property (though that which is already covered should not be taxed twice). There should be an exemption for personalty - clothes, books, basic furniture - so that accounting for these things don't drive us mad.

Finally, sales. If we are going to tax sales at all, then the tax should be consistent. We should not have all sorts of exceptions and exemptions. People should not be manipulated by the tax code. Right now, we do not tax the sales of securities, which are the largest transactions in our economy. If we're going to tax sales at all, we should tax those. If we tax the sales of securities at 1%, that will generate huge amounts of revenue, such that we can reduce the sales taxes of everything else down from the current 5 or 6 or 7% down to the 1% or so.

The one exception to the standard sales taxes should be on those particular substances that cause such tremendous health nightmares: tobacco, alcohol and, where legal, drugs.

There. That is a very clean system - all income of whatever sort: one tax. All property: one tax. All transactions: one tax.

The corporations tax is a special case we can explore further, if you're interested.

And the question of who is tax exempt is also of interest. Notably: should charities or churches be tax exempt? Should there be such a thing as "tax free municipal bonds"? Should private charities be tax exempt? Should there be tax deductions for charitable giving?

Note that what goes away with all of this are all of the tax credit schemes, all of the "incentive" schemes. A dollar is a dollar, and you pay the tax rate on that dollar. Dollars inherited, earned as wages, earned as dividends, won in the lottery, earned as capital gains on sale - they're all taxed the same.

Should the code be progressive? That's a political choice. The simplest would be no progressivity - everybody pays, say, 15%, but a per capita standard deduction of "x".

Sales tax is low, but covers the whole economy. Our economy is $19 trillion. The sales tax would bring in $190 billion a year at 1%. $380 billion a year at 2%. $1.12 billion at 3%

Property tax is low but universal. Note that property tax on homes is not a NET tax but a gross tax. So it should be on all property. Total gross private wealth per capita in the US in 2017 was $120 trillion. Giving everybody a $40,000 personal wealth exemption (for clothes, books, furniture), would mean $348,585 of taxable wealth per person. 1% tax would bring in $1.2 trillion. 2% tax would bring in $2.4 trillion

So, if we set the sales tax at 3% and the property tax at 2%, we're bringing in $3.52 trillion

Total federal, state and local expenditures in 2018 will be $7.1 trillion, so we need to bring in $3.48 trillion more in income tax (we are disregarding the corporation tax) to get to the $7.1 trillion current expenditures so that our budget is balanced (which would mean we gradually pay off debt.

US GDP is about $19 trillion. So, we need 49% of it - a 49% tax - to cover those expenses. Of course, that tax could be partially covered by corporations and churches and other organizations.

That is certainly painful. Defense spending is only 12% of that total (Health, at 22%, followed by Pensions, at 19%, then Education, at 15%, are the three larger portions. Truth is, if we cut defense to zero, we'd STILL have to have high taxes to get out of our hole.

And no, if we slash taxes to the bone, we're not going to get the sort of GDP growth that will let us get out from the accelerating debt curve due to increasing income payments.

Simply put: we have to tax more of the wealth of the wealthy. We ALREADY tax the wealth of the middle class to a very great extent. Consider my case. I pay 14.6% of my gross wealth each year in taxes. Based on what is known of him, Bill Gates pays less than 5%. For Bill Gates to be taxed the same as me, his taxes should triple.

And for us to not end up in a national debt crisis, both he and I, and everybody else, have to pay more than we're already paying.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-05-17   14:15:26 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#37. To: sneakypete (#35) (Edited)

While conveniently ignoring the FACT that many Germans were also Jewish.

Not exactly. They rejected relativity theory for that reason and were sympathetic to quantum mechanics.

But to comfort you, I also prefer quantum mechanics.

A Pole  posted on  2018-05-17   14:16:20 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#38. To: sneakypete (#26)

It's enough to make you think most post-WW-1 and WW-2 German women were impregnated by Frenchmen.

We have a checkered military record, but we're really, REALLY good at THAT.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-05-17   14:18:39 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#39. To: Vicomte13, sneakypete (#38)

We have a checkered military record, but we're really, REALLY good at THAT.

Here is how Germans were forming the image in Polish minds of coming Red Army soldiers. Still persists.

A Pole  posted on  2018-05-17   14:48:40 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#40. To: A Pole (#39)

Find some German propaganda about the French.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-05-17   14:50:04 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  



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