Citigroup hasn’t paid taxes in 4 years, got $2.5 trillion from feds

Citigroup hasn’t paid taxes in 4 years, got $2.5 trillion from feds
http://americablog.com/2013/02/citigroup-taxes-jack-lew.html
Quote:
In 2010, Bank of America set up more than 200 subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands (which has a corporate tax rate of 0.0 percent) to avoid paying U.S. taxes. It worked. Not only did Bank of America pay nothing in federal income taxes, but it received a rebate from the IRS worth $1.9 billion that year. They are not alone. In 2010, JP Morgan Chase operated 83 subsidiaries incorporated in offshore tax havens to avoid paying some $4.9 billion in U.S. taxes. That same year Goldman Sachs operated 39 subsidiaries in offshore tax havens to avoid an estimated $3.3 billion in U.S. taxes. Citigroup has paid no federal income taxes for the last four years after receiving a total of $2.5 trillion in financial assistance from the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis.On and on it goes. Wall Street banks and large companies love America when they need corporate welfare. But when it comes to paying American taxes or American wages, they want nothing to do with this country. That has got to change.

Here are the lyrics to "Take Me Out to the Tax Game":

Take me out to the tax game.
Bail me out with the banks.
Buy me a bonus and tax rebates.
Never pay nuthin’ not fed’ral or state.
So it’s shoot, shoot, shoot for the loopholes.
It’s law, so you can’t complain.
For its one, two, three-trillion you’re out,
Since we rigged the game!
Take me out to the tax game.
Flip the bird to the crowd.
Losers pay taxes, we take rebates.
‘cuz we make the rules for the corporate state.
And it's wham, bam, slam through the loopholes.
We always win, what a game!
We’re the one, yes, the one percent,
And we have no shame!

Facts about Congressman Paul Ryan’s Budget
http://www.strengthensocialsecurity.org/quick-facts-about-congressman-ry...
Quote:
Congressman Ryan would raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 over 12 years beginning in 2023 for people born in 1958 – devastating new generations of seniors. This would increase out-of-pocket health care costs for everyone, and force more people near retirement to live without even basic health insurance. It would represent an indirect Social Security cut of as much as 45 percent.
The Ryan Budget once again ends Medicare as we know it and replaces it with a voucher system. This system will increase out-of-pocket health care costs for seniors – directly taking money out of their pockets. As the health care costs exceed the value of the vouchers over time, seniors who are not wealthy will be forced to forego the care they need – and the dignity that they deserve.
Congressman Ryan’s budget would expand tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, while pulling away critical Medicare and Social Security protections from the middle class.
By ending Medicare “as we know it,” Congressman Ryan’s plan would increase health care costs and undermine the economic security of seniors.
Social Security should not be part of any budget deliberations, and should only be changed through legislation that goes through “regular order,” that is, the full congressional review and debate as has been the case since 1935. The law makes Social Security separate from the budget – and Social Security is projected to have a $100 billion surplus in 2013. Including it in the budget is wrong. When it is reformed through regular order, Congress should follow the will of those they are elected to represent, who overwhelmingly oppose all benefit cuts and overwhelmingly support requiring the wealthiest to pay their fair share.

No votes yet

I love how the article's author mentions Mitt Romney several times. Romney isn't running the show. Citigroup hasn't paid taxes in 4 years.....who has been in charge for the last 4 years?

"We're all riding on the Hindenburg, no sense fighting over the window seats"-Richard Jenni

Vanity Fair
Where the Money Lives
http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/2012/08/investigating-mitt-romney-off...
Quote:
For all Mitt Romney’s touting of his business record, when it comes to his own money the Republican nominee is remarkably shy about disclosing numbers and investments. Nicholas Shaxson delves into the murky world of offshore finance, revealing loopholes that allow the very wealthy to skirt tax laws, and investigating just how much of Romney’s fortune (with $30 million in Bain Capital funds in the Cayman Islands alone?) looks pretty strange for a presidential candidate.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

I mean, after all -- YOUR hero, bo-bo the fellow traveler, has been in charge for more 4 years. [Jeepmaker asked the obvious question.] But somehow you come up with anything BO did - or failed to do - was Romney and Paul Ryan's fault? Give us a massive break, here.

I liked the article, because the banksters are shysters - but to get from that article to "it's all Romney's fault" is flat out goofy. If Obama had any actual economic smarts and/or honesty, he would have gone after the banksters - held them accountable. Don't you think the poor and working class in Detroit and Toledo might be wondering WHY he didn't -- and isn't?

Well, because he "wuvs" these guys. he said so on "The View" - I heard him. Generally, I flip past that program really quickly, but occasionally stop for 5 seconds or so to see what they are discussing. And I heard your guy (Obama) discussing briefly the shyster big bank that made that big boo boo recently -- JP Morgan Chase. The guy you voted for, BO, said as clearly as day: "I like Jamie Dimon", and proceeded to defend these shyster bank guys - at which point I changed the channel to Price Is Right.

Drew Carey understands high finance better than the great pretender.

Here's the wikipedia blurb on Jamie Dimon (even prominently shows him in his french cuffs). It even includes the "View" appearance. Of course he likes Dimon - Dimon is a Dem party big MONEY contributor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Dimon

Ma & Pa Kettle discussing this: "Gollee, Ma, do you think the president way out there in Washington D.C. might be protecting the big bankers, instead of helping us honest but poor folks?" "Well, Pa, we still don't have a new chicken coop, something don't sit right. I sure thought we were gonna get that new chicken coop."

I've spoke of Obama. Written letters to the Blade in Feb 2012 http://www.toledoblade.com/Letters-to-the-Editor/2012/02/03/Editorial-is... about Obama's NDAA. Now we have Rand Paul doing a great filibuster over this type of crap. So yes we know that Washington is run for the wealthy by the wealthy but Obama is stopping some of the most radical attacks from these plutocrats. Is he perfect? No, but Romney would have thrown all of us under the bus while increasing his wealthy tax breaks.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

I looked up the word apologist in my dictionary and there is a picture of Wolfman

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

Why are there references to Ryan's budget? Ryan doesn't pass a budget alone, he makes suggestions that's it. Since 2008 Obama has been in charge. If Citigroup hasn't paid taxes it's perhaps due to laws put into place by previous congresses and administrations, and a cozy relationship between this President and Citigroup.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

Congress somewhere below cockroaches, traffic jams, and Nickelback in Americans' esteem
http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2013/01/congress-somewhere-below...
Quote:
Our newest national poll finds that Congress only has a 9% favorability rating with 85% of voters viewing it in a negative light. We've seen poll after poll after poll over the last year talking about how unpopular Congress is but really, what's the difference between an 11% or a 9% or a 7% favorability rating? So we decided to take a different approach and test Congress' popularity against 26 different things. And what we found is that Congress is less popular than cockroaches, traffic jams, and even Nickelback.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

President Obama has picked former Citigroup executive Jacob Lew to replace Citigroup minion Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary.

“Tim seemed to view his job as protecting Citigroup,” said then-FDIC Chair Sheila Bair.

At Obama's Treasury, the “change you can believe in” is apparent only from the difference in roles played by Lew and Geithner with respect to Citigroup: Lew personally benefited from the corporate welfare lavished on Citigroup in the bailouts that began in 2008, whereas Geithner orchestrated the welfare on Citigroup’s behalf.

For 2008, Lew received an enormous bonus--$944,578--shortly after Citigroup posted a loss of $27 billion that year. Despite the unprecedented size of the loss, Citigroup was able to pay Lew’s bonus because it received $45 billion from the TARP program.

In fairness to the much-maligned TARP bailout, it is unclear whether Citigroup paid Lew’s bonus directly out of the $45,000,000,000.00 check it received from the Treasury as part of that program. That’s because Citigroup also received $2.5 trillion in loans from the Federal Reserve—where Tim Geithner worked when the loans began.

The Federal Reserve concealed the loans until a GAO audit forced their disclosure in 2011.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

These links you are posting are all years old already Wolfman. Romney lost the election, Ryan is not V.P. Obama and the people on his staff from Wall St. are in charge, have been for four years. Face the fact that this guy is not what you expected him to be other than the first Black President, and he's not even that since his mother is white.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

Then when will you attack Wall Street as the main culprit behind all this? You seen the indisputable Wealth Inequality in America video. Why do you dwell on the small potatoes, blaming the poor and minorities? Damn the video shows that you have more in common with the homeless than the 1%.

When I first posted this video a week ago it had under 100,000 hits now its over 4 million!

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

Once again you prove your ignorance. It's a habit with you isn't it? Both Dock Treece and I have spoken out against Wall St. bailouts and the influence of Wall St. on Democrats and Republicans. I am against any govt. bailout of anyone including auto companies, banks, etc etc.
As for your ignorant "wealth equality" graph I've already shown it's bogus bullshit. Take a minute and read the stories of the most successful people at the top of the list Wolfman. You'll find very few if any giving credit to the big union bosses for making them successful, in fact most if not all started with very little and became successes through hard work and ambition. You won't find any of them in the videos I post.
You try to pretend really hard that you are somehow not a Dem but a progressive thinker and part of the 99%. Well I got news for you pal, most of the 99% don't own property like you or have a retirement plan like you do. And in order for them to have it they'd have to take it from you.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

The only one on this site I've seen who supports bailouts is wolfman.

MikeyA

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

Flies usually hover around piles of shit, if we're the flies that makes you ................

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

And no rebuttal was given from wolfman.

MikeyA

What just because I don't listen to everything you and Doc say I'm now ignorant? Give me a break I've heard you two talk out of both sides of your mouths on any given day. The facts are the Republican party has historically been the party of the wealthy. The Democratic party was at one time totally for the average Joe but now dips into the Republican well for cash as union ranks and cash have diminished. Most of everything you see today is being funded by this small group of elites to screw you and I. Union "bosses" are no different from other CEOs but they, as a percentage, make far fewer dollars than you constantly allude to. Are their bad apples? Sure! But I bet the number and money absconded is much smaller than what happens in the Walnut board rooms across America. http://www.verisi.com/resources/us-ceo-compensation.htm

Yes I own property which makes me a moderate who votes moderate but as the video shows what little I've scraped together from hard work is nothing compared to the HUGE concentrations at the top. In fact, as I've stated before, we have more in common with the homeless guy then the top 5%. The risks are great with such concentrations. Human nature will exploit us even further as the dichotomy grows further. You see this in our political discussion defined by big money. You see the effects of state by state tax shift schemes to dump the burden on you and me while the wealthy demand more tax cuts with little justification for it other than the command and control of their well funded message..
The 1% Captures Most Growth From Recovery
http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2012/03/06/the-1-captures-most-growth-from-r...
Quote:
A new report, however, shows that the two recoveries may be even further apart than we thought. A study by Emmanuel Saez shows that in 2009 and 2010, the first year of the current “recovery” the one percent captured 93% of the income growth. That’s right, 93%.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

They used to call Reagan the "teflon president" because nothing seemed to stick to him.
If that's true, then 0bama must be the "stoneware" president because no matter how badly he screws things up, the liberals and most of the main stream media never attribute any of it to him.

Someone posted the following on Facebook and it summed it up pretty good; "Oh, 0bama inherited a mess eh? Well firemen inherit messes all the time, ever see one throw gasoline on it?"

"We're all riding on the Hindenburg, no sense fighting over the window seats"-Richard Jenni

Once again, Wall Street only has power since you middle class morons keep giving it your money.

Boycott Wall Street and make it stick. Only then will you actually correct our collapse into plutocracy.

I'd love to find out where Wolfman keeps his money. I bet it's in Wall Street, like nearly every other Boomer idiot has done. Total hypocrisy.

Cannot disclose, top secret. Too many trolls. Can say the U.S. investment system has been compromised for the average consumer to consume without taking on too much risk. Gone are the blissful days of minimal risk investment. The real change came in 2000 with globalization. Now anyone country big or small, free or communist, industrialized or third world, regulated and unregulated, can upset the applecart. Good or bad, we are all intertwined. Only two ways to play this market.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

“Our Democracy has been hacked and the GDP measure of growth is insane, but I’m still optimistic about our future”.

"DTOM" {1776} " We The People" {1791}

Stolen from The Progressivel, a Liberal website like MoveOn.org or ThinkProgress. The kind of place Wolfie is spoon-fed his "original thoughts" from.

Citigroup, along with Warren Buffett, owns this empty suit Golfer-In-Chief commie pinko taking up space in the Oval Office.

http://www.progressive.org/obama_soft_on_citi.html

Obama’s SEC Lets Citigroup Off with a Slap on the Wrist
8By Matthew Rothschild, October 20, 2011

The Obama Administration has once again gone easy on Wall Street, despite the protests that continue to escalate.

This time, the object of Obama’s lack of desire was Citigroup, which had swindled people into buying some mortgage-related investments from Citigroup, which the bank then bet against, and the investments went bust.

The SEC filed a civil suit against Citigroup, and just settled that suit for a measly $285 million.

That’s a pittance for Citigroup, which earned ten times that in profits in the last quarter alone, according to the New York Times.

This is the same Citigroup, remember, that got $45 billion in bailout money, along with a $220 billion backstop from the Fed for any losses it incurred—get this—on its mortgage-backed investments.

With the SEC settlement, Citigroup didn’t have to admit any “intentional or reckless” misconduct, much less criminal activity.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a
socialist.

Why didn't wolfman post this?

http://www.ibtimes.com/ge-pfizer-microsoft-apple-other-major-us-corporat...

A bunch of Obama supporting companies are avoiding taxes by parking their money in offshore accounts. Leading the way is GE with $108 Bah-illion dollars.

MikeyA

Exactly and these shills in congress want to go after our Social Security and Medicare.
How about this clown?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5k-QiQ5dA3U

Then the truth.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

wolfman do you have grandchildren?

If so, give them a big hug and a kiss. And then thank them for your social security and medicare. After all, they're the ones paying for it, not you. And raising taxes even to 100% won't even do it. And that, is the truth.

Are you man enough to thank a child for you to live off your retirement and still collect social security? I'm at least fully willing to give mine up. I'll do my own retirement planning I don't need a gov't or union to do it for me.

MikeyA

America's most generous public pension
http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2010/08/pension_funding
Quote:
But it's also noteworthy that one of the most generous defined-benefits public-employee pension plans in the country isn't being mentioned in this discussion. There is a branch of the federal government that lets you retire after 20 years on the job, even if you're under age 40, and guarantees immediate benefits of 50% of your final salary for the rest of your life. That branch is the military. If you joined the army at age 18, and retired in 2011 at age 38 as a $55,000-a-year sergeant (pay grade E-8) after an unexceptional career, you would be entitled to $26,000 per year for the rest of your life, plus cost-of-living adjustments. The average 40-ish retiring sergeant would put the taxpayers on the hook for over $1m in lifetime retirement pay. That's not counting a lifetime of free medical care from the VA. And the military doesn't have a pension fund; the Pentagon budget's $18 billion in retiree pay this year will be paid directly by taxpayers.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

Ah wolfman, so naive to trust a blog as a credible source of information.

First, if one fully retires under the scenario you cite they'd be fine, however if they are married with two children, they are at the poverty line. So the retiree would still have to work, in most cases at least until the age of 55.

"That's not counting a lifetime of free medical care from the VA. And the military doesn't have a pension fund" Factually inaccurate.

Military retirees do not use the VA. This is the biggest misconception out there on the military. http://comptroller.defense.gov/cfs/fy2012/13_Military_Retirement_Fund/Fi... The VA only pays for disabilities and military widows and widowers receive the VA's Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC) which augments their compensation from the rilitary retirement system. Military retirees get their healthcare from Tricare 4 Life, an offshoot of the military Tricare system, like all other healthcare you pay for it. Current cost is $520 and going up, and it's not the big bad Health Insurance companies who want to raise that premium, it's the current administration.

The military pension, like social security and medicare, is known as mandatory spending. http://useconomy.about.com/od/fiscalpolicy/p/Budget_Spending.htm It is not part of the Pentagon's discretionary budget but still falls under the Pentagon's management and oversight, and yes, they do control how it is appropriated with approval from Congress.

Now here's where you are REALLY misguided. Mandatory spending makes up over 60% of the 3 TRILLION of the Federal Budget. Of that military pensions make up just over 100 billion (.4% of the mandatory spending, and .2% of the total budget). Not too bad for the country's biggest employer (1.8 million). The whole US auto industry employs about 700K yet just GM's pension is valued at $134 Billion. http://www.forbes.com/sites/joannmuller/2013/01/31/fords-leaky-pension-b...

We actually spend more in interest to the national debt every year than we do in military pensions. Social security alone accounts for 22% of the federal budget and it's growing at an exponential rate.

Oh yeah, that sweet sweet military pension. Why is it so low? Because the average military retiree lives at about the same life expectancy of a NFL football player 59 years on the top end, due to stress on the body, higher risk factors, chances of being exposted to harmful materials.

Please feel free to fact check my post ZC. This is how it's done.

MikeyA

The attacks upon our military personnel and the incentives built into their remuneration are especially upsetting to me. Too many liberals do this while concurrently defending all other common workers, both in and out of government.

To me, this is part of the "divide and conquer" strategy of the corporate elite. They pit us common folks against each other, and have us fight over the crumbs they leave on the ground after they have fully feasted at the government trough themselves. For example, what per cent of the military budget now goes to private corporations for "security" personnel in combat areas? My understanding is that the pay and fringe benefits for these private security people is more than twice as costly as it is for comparable military personnel.

To me, it's like two chihuahuas being in a pissing contest. As the level of liquid gets higher and higher, they fail to comprehend that the moisture raining down upon them is not rain at all, but the urination of a bull mastiff. Us common folks are drowning together. It's the corporate elite who are winning big time!

I don't begrudge any of our military their pensions or benefits. I appreciate their sacrifices. Nor do I begrudge non-military common folks their Social Security and Medicare. If the Republicans are really serious about cutting the budget, where in their plan do they pull giant corporations away from the government teat?

The fact of the matter is both the Democrats and the Republicans have engaged in destroying the Glass Steagall Act with their so called bank connection friends which helped crash our global financial economy. So no matter how we argue concerning both political parties, republcans and democrats mostly progressive in both parties the independents will win this argument regarding ongoing federal government corruption involving corrupt political officials and their very well connected corporate bankers who want to buy our federal government and destroy us, which is happening, there is no more allegiance, its all about money and power, and what suffers because of it a transformation of the Constitution inorder to maintain that power and greed.
Does this make sense,, the sequestration that we see today is the making of bank corporation lobbyists so their chosen politicians can win and control our federal government.

"DTOM" {1776} " We The People" {1791}

influence -- even control -- of our government, and with elected officials in both political parties. The only thing with which I disagree, is that these elitists are out to "destroy us." I would phrase it as their wanting to destroy the upward mobility of the families of common folks in order to perpetuate control, power, and wealth of the families of the elitists, for untold generations, long into the future.

Yep I'll agree to that. Trouble is we're being played for fools. This Democrat Republican distraction is fooling a lot of useful idiots. The plutocrats win and rake in all the wealth.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/about_hal/chronology.html

The military has grow exponentially since 2000. We spend more than the top 15 industrialized countries combined. Why do we need these unaffordable bases around the world. Seems we should charge these countries for their protection. Hell they take advantage of us, providing benefits to their people that we can't have because we have people like Mikey sitting around posting on websites instead of out there working at productive work like fixing our infrastructure. So our trading partners get the government subsidies like free healthcare and government support in manufacturing exports while we get to borrow from China to pay for it all. We need to drastically rearrange this unsustainable boondoggle.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

Mikey is NOT the problem. Halliburton is! You make negative assumptions about Mikey at his work.. To me, you are doing exactly what the corporate elitists want you to do. You stop focusing on the giant corporations and start blaming a tiny cog in the military machine. Maybe I missed the post where Mikey supported the privatization of military jobs.

Now, let me focus on the issue you properly raise. Too many American troops are stationed overseas in places where the local military is perfectly capable of doing the job. In addition, too many American troops, and private security forces, are stationed in places where our European allies have a more immediate interest. And they must take a greater role in these hot spots. You are absolutely correct that the American taxpayers are thereby subsidizing the economies of other industrialized nations. At least some of these subsidies are turned around and used to better compete against our own domestically-based industries. For America, this is a lose-lose situation.

So, one might wonder, why aren't more American companies up in arms about this and lobbying Congress and the Administration to change these harmful policies? They don't do so, because the giant corporations are so international in scope that many of their European subsidiaries benefit from these policies. Again I state, that most of America's corporate elitists are among the least patriotic Americans. They pledge allegiance, not to our flag and the republic for which it stands, but, instead their allegiance is to the bottom line of their financial reports -- period!

wolfman is ignorant DP. Haliburton is what he has? Really.

First, we have so many overseas bases because we are able to respond with anything within less than 24 hours. It's come in handy many times, not Benghazi of course, despite a Marine Corps MEU sized element permantently stationed in Djibouti.

It's called maritime prepositioning forces and sustainment.

I've been highly critical of military privatization. It significantly decreases our readiness and leaves us less flexibility. People talk about Haliburton but they ignore Dyncorp, General Dynamics, and FLUOR because it's not the cool thing to do. Do you know what it costs to feed 1 military member in a chow hall? $27 a plate. What did it cost your last event you planned? We used to have servicemembers do that job.

wolfman, since you're an expert on my work schedule I'd like you to answer this for me. How many nights last week did I get to put my son to bed?

MikeyA

I would question why the United States needs to station nearly 100,000 troops combined in Japan and Germany. Isn't the stationing of so many troops to the east and west of the former Soviet Union a deployment aimed at a Cold War which we won 20 years ago? Less forces in both places could save some money and redeploy some of the lowered forces to other strategic areas. And does South Korea, now one of the strongest economies in Asia, still require nearly 30,000 American troops to be stationed there? Shouldn't there, at least, be a thorough review to determine how much of a U.S. presence is still needed by this far from needy nation? I know that North Korea is run by a crazy regime, but are the South Koreans so weak that they can't defend themselves from one of the poorest nations in the world today? I mean, really!
As far as the Middle East is concerned, where are our European allies? Strategically, they are located a LOT closer to the Middle East than we are. If foreign troops play such a vital role there, shouldn't the European powers share more of the burden in an area even more vital to their interests than it is to ours?

I have no problem with troop overseas as long as I'm not paying for this. DP points out 30,000 American troops in South Korea when they are selling their cars here at artificially low prices. South Korea should pay our government for their own defense. I think that would balance our trade deficits exponentially. Two ways we benefit; first by receiving income for our services and two South Korea will have to spend their money on defense instead of flooding our markets with cheap cars. This is happening because of our for sale government officials kow towing to transnational corporations.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

To answer your question Dale.

Yes, Germany is a holdover from the Cold War and has Abosolutely no need for the ammount there. It should be moved from there to other areas like Tbilisi, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. I was in Kyrzygstan during a very restless period and they could have used more Americans to protect American interests.

Japan, is still needed. Japan's defense force is still in it's infancy. There is a plan to relocate to Guam but it's baby steps.

You'll see wolfman's respons about South Korea. He can't think past the "American" automobile's and rather than realize they could probably learn something from South Korea he'd rather take his isolationist standpoint which has proven to not work.

South Korea is a strong country militarily but our forces there are a deterrent. If N. Korea were to attack and kill Americans then we stand fully justified to fulfill the UN actions of 1950 and respond definitively, by that I mean even so far as nuclear if needed. Remember N.K. was militarily weaker when they were able to push as far as to Pusan in rather fast time.

I'd leave forces in the Korean Peninsula but relocate our forces slowly from Japan. Especially mainland Japan. Okinawa is still an important piece of ground for defense of the Sea of Japan if mainland Japan or Taiwan were ever attacked.

I'm glad we're putting more forces in Africa but I'd much rather we focus on Western Africa rather than just the Horn of Africa. We're getting there but again baby steps.

MikeyA

We are no longer the economic power we once were. We've been sold out long ago to the highest bidder. Until we realize that we are doomed by hubris. We cannot afford the luxury of this military. The rest of the world needs to realize we are not their Nanny. Get you own military. I am not willing to let the Paul Ryans of congress throw Americans into poverty because of some needs that other countries and corporations have.

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

I do take issue with two things you state. The first is with the Korean Peninsula. The Korean War is really ancient history. When North Korea pushed us back to the Pusan Perimeter in 1950, they were being fully supplied by the Soviet Union with full cooperation of Communist China. In addition, the South Korean army was small and poorly trained. Add to this that the people of the United States had just finished a most devastating war, and we were foolishly disarming at an alarming rate while foolishly ignoring the threat of Communism and Russian expansionism at the time. A U.S. force of a few to several thousand troops today would be enough to trigger our entrance into a war against North Korea. I would never say it is impossible that North Korea would strike at South Korea, but it is very likely that North Korea would be abandoned by China in such a scenario. Without full Chinese support, North Korea could not maintain a sustained war effort on their own in 2013 or the foreseeable future. And the military in South Korea has proved to be extremely well prepared to defend their country. South Korea sent thousands of troops to Viet Nam to aid the U.S. in the 1960s and 1970s. And South Korea is a much richer and stronger nation today than it was back in the Vietnam War era.

The second issue I have is with Japan. The Japanese are limited militarily because the United States simply would not trust the Japanese after the attack on Pearl Harbor. All we have to do is remove those limits and Japan, still one of the wealthiest nations in the world, could equip and train a significant military force within two years tops. We could have a phased withdrawal of most of our troops there coinciding with the buildup of the Japanese military. Both Russia and China have much better reasons to fear a resurrected Japanese military than does the United States.

The bottom line is that money could and should be saved. In addition, many of the troops could be deployed in more needy places than in Japan, Germany, and Korea! You named some. And we could and should also save money by increasing the number of soldiers in our military to replace all or most of the much more costly employees of giant corporations doing private security and providing ancillary services. As you pointed out, Mikey, the cost of meals via these profit-focused companies is outrageous!
I do NOT want a weakened American military force. I want a more efficient and more effective American military force!

wolfman does not know what exponentially means.

MikeyA

You don't know what it is, either.

US Troops Around the World
ABC OTUS News – Fri, Feb 22, 2013
http://news.yahoo.com/us-troops-around-world-204650650.html
Largest contingents of U.S. troops around the world include:

Afghanistan — 66,000

Japan — 50,937

Germany — 47,761

South Korea — 27,500

Kuwait — 16,012

Italy — 10,922

United Kingdom — 9,317

Kyrgyzstan — 3,628

Bahrain — 2,713

Spain — 1,727

Turkey — 1,505

Belgium — 1,174

Cuba — 996

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

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