Friday, January 11, 2013

Government Creates Jobs

The Republicans are fond of saying "government doesn't create jobs, the private sector does".

Wal-Mart and McDonald's are two of America's largest "job creators", but the U.S. government is #1, and always has been since WWII.

Annie Lowrey

New York Times reporter Annie Lowrey appeared on MSNBC this morning to discuss an article she wrote titled Washington’s Economic Boom, Financed by You, about D.C.'s boom during the Great Recession.

She writes that "since 2007, the regional economy has expanded about three times as much as the overall country’s. By some measures, the Washington area has become the richest region in the country. It is now home to the three highest-income counties in the United States, and seven out of the Top 10."

About 40 percent of our nation's capital regional economy relies on federal spending. Annie Lowrey attributes this boom to increased government spending (federal employees, government contractors, and the military).

Annie Lowrey's piece reminded me of all the military bases we have throughout the world. It's not just Washington D.C.'s economy we're funding, we also fund foreign economies with our taxpayer dollars as well.

Every year billions of American tax dollars are pouring into to the paychecks of American military (and civilian) personnel overseas -- and their money is being spent in foreign economies and funding foreign tax revenues.

These tax dollars are spent on everything from goods and services such as sight-seeing, restaurants, wines, and electronics -- to drugs and brothels.

The U.S. maintains the largest collection of foreign bases in world history with more than 1,000 military installations outside the U.S. in 150 foreign countries.

The United States currently spends an estimated $250 billion annually maintaining military bases and troops overseas.

I lived in Germany when I was a kid (my dad was in the Air Force) and most of our money was spent in the local economy (rent, food, entertainment, etc.) and not on the base in the PX or commissary (except where some items were cheaper, such as cigarettes, because there is no federal tax.)

American citizens living abroad who are paid by our government such as civilian contractors, diplomats, and soldiers (and even Social Security retirees) are pumping lots of American dollars into foreign countries (even in countries who don't like us very much); and many also receive foreign aid and military grants from us.

Despite what the Tea Party anarchists say, our government creates lots of jobs, both here and abroad.

But if you really want to get into the nitty-gritty of our excessive and bloated military spending, read my post : Defense Spending, Bogus Parts, Transnational Mergers, Outsourcing & Budget Cuts

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