Sunday, October 21, 2012

Math for Romney's Navy Spending Plan Doesn't Add Up

Here in Hampton Roads, Virginia where the military, especially the Navy, predominates pretty much everything else, talk of increases in spending on the U. S. Navy and increased ship construction always catches one's attention.  And, if you're Mitt Romney, you hope vague promises of more Navy ships will snare you more votes.  Frankly, Romney's statements on Navy ship construction are pretty transparent: he's out to get the votes of military personnel in this area and similar areas where the Navy is a predominate factor in the short term.  As for actually delivery on the promise - like so much else the man says - it is probably a far different story.  Why, because like everything else Romney id promising, the math just simply doesn't add up.  Meaning to me, that either Romney's lying yet again or he intends to have the nation's budget deficit utterly explode if he's elected.  The New York Times looks at the math versus Romney's statements on building more Navy  vessels (which would also translate into more Navy personnel):

GROTON, Conn. — Here in the Submarine Capital of the World, where the business of undersea warfare employs nearly 20,000 people, no one dismisses Mitt Romney’s plan to build three Virginia-class nuclear attack submarines a year instead of the two built each year under President Obama. 

But with each submarine costing more than $2 billion, there is skepticism about how to pay for them, even from Representative Joe Courtney, a Connecticut Democrat who in 2007 successfully pushed to have the Navy build two submarines a year instead of one and has been known ever since as “Two Subs Joe.” .  .  .  .  the Romney campaign’s math for how to do it, he argued, “is not realistic at all.”

Whoever is right, building more military ships is at the heart of Mr. Romney’s plan to gradually increase military spending to 4 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, a major increase from the Obama administration’s budget. 

[T]he nonpartisan Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, has calculated that even if a Romney administration slowly increases the military budget to 4 percent of the G.D.P. over two presidential terms, that would still amount to spending $7.5 trillion over the next decade — or $1.8 trillion more than the Obama administration plans for the Pentagon’s base budget in the same period. 

[Romney's] most specific proposals are to increase the reach and power of the Navy, which plays well in the critical battleground states of Florida and Virginia, both home to large naval installations. 
Ms. Flournoy’s central argument is that Mr. Romney’s plan to peg military spending to 4 percent of the G.D.P. is not based, she said, on a strategy, a threat assessment or what the Pentagon says it needs. “It’s simply ‘Let’s throw a figure against the wall and look tough on defense,’ ” she said in an interview. 
Since Mr. Romney is reluctant to put tax increases on the table to pay for the spending increase, she said, there would have to be “draconian” cuts to the rest of the federal budget, including entitlement programs. 

In Groton, the numbers that matter are people. About 10,000 sailors, other military personnel and civilians work on the Navy’s submarine base each day. Electric Boat, which shares the building of the two submarines a year with the Newport News Shipbuilding division of Huntington Ingalls, employs more than 8,000 people at its facilities in Groton and across the Thames River in New London. 

Still, there are reservations in Groton about ever more submarines.  “Look, of course we’d love three subs a year,” said Tony Sheridan, the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, who identified himself as a Democrat. “But we’re also responsible Americans, and we know that we have to deal with the deficit.” 

Romney never explains where the extra $1.8 billion for military spending would come from.  Hence my prediction:  If elected, Romney will break his promise for more ship building.  Meanwhile. voters  like those in Newport News, Virginia near the shipyard who have Romney signs in their yards will have been effectively played for suckers.  Which is exactly Romney's plan.  If Romney's lips are moving, odds are that he's lying. Oddly enough, near the shipyard, the owners of the wealthier homes seem to have figured this out: they for the most part have Obama signs in their yards.  It's the folks in the less expensive homes that have fallen for Romney's bullshit and lies.

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