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Old 12-13-2009, 05:29 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by vanir View Post
The US is economically far stronger than the USSR was. What you are feeling now is the economic pinch of frivolous defence expenditure throughout the Cold War, which destroyed the Soviet Union as a political powerbase (it is still a major world power and a formiddable one under the umbrella of the CIS and Supreme Soviet controlled strategic capability).
Actually, what the US is feeling the pinch of is not "frivolous defense spending from the Cold War", but horrible mismanagement of entitlement programs and their expenses. Tearing down the "firewall" between SS and the general fund over 40 years ago has resulted in Congress going on a spending spree with no aim other than re-election. No attempt was made during that time to make sure there'd be money available when the baby boomers started dipping into SS. Defense spending in the US has typically been ~6 to 8% of GDP/GNP, while for the Russians it was 3-4 times higher. Had the US spent that kind of a % of its GDP on defense, the Cold War might have ended a lot sooner, assuming it didn't wreck American finances in that timeframe.

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