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Guest Article!

If there is one thing that Donald Trump ramped up tremendously in his time was spending on defense. My nephew Brayden, a soon-to-be-senior at Blomington North High School, agreed wholeheartedly that it was a good idea, and has some thoughts for us today. I’m personally quite proud of him for paying attention to things. Take it away young man:

A Case For Spending More Efficiently

When I was reading Kelly Johnson’s book “More than My Share of It All”, I was intrigued by the way he made the case for defense spending. Not necessarily more defense spending but spending in more efficient ways on projects that will help protect this nation for years to come. Now granted, the book is dated, written in 1985, and many of the things he advocates for in the book have been undertaken. However, there are several things that he mentions in the book that have either been underfunded or not been undertaken that would be incredibly beneficial to the defensive and offensive capabilities of our military. 

One example of utilizing defense spending to improve the capabilities of our military is making submarines “quieter” when it comes to being detected on sonar. Our country’s military elite know how to do it; the answer is to make or plate submarines in titanium. Yet we don’t do this, not because we refuse but because we don’t have the capability to do so – there isn’t a forge in this nation large enough to accomplish the feat of making or plating a submarine in titanium. In Russia however, they have several forges which are capable of such a feat, and they use those forges to their advantage. The submarines of Russian origin are quieter than ever and unless our sonar personnel really know what they are looking for, they are almost impossible to detect. One would wonder why the United States wouldn’t also invest in said forges.  While these types of forges are extremely expensive, in the long run it would make sense to spend said money as it would pay dividends down the line for us in defending our country. 

This got me thinking, why does the US not allocate more money for industry?  The argument that we don’t have money is simply untrue. The US Defense budget alone is 700 BILLION dollars. Even if one of those forges to create those submarines is 1 billion dollars (which it isn’t), you still have 699 billion dollars left. Now I understand that we have to purchase planes, ships, tanks, etc. I also understand that we have to pay people to fix those aforementioned items, but to say there is no money is absolutely wrong. Another thing is the titanium itself. We as a country and our military use titanium in a multitude of different things. Everything from jewelry, to phones, to Minuteman missiles use titanium. We purchase most of our titanium from different countries (mainly in Africa). We purchase titanium from other countries not because we don’t have any – the US has plentiful titanium reserves; however, it isn’t pure titanium. Unfortunately, it has to be refined which is a very difficult process and costs quite a bit of money. So we just go to those countries that have the titanium readily available. This, in the long run, however, can and will lead to problems with our ability to get titanium. Many of the nation’s we get our titanium from are starting to fall under the influence of our two main adversaries on the world stage, Russia and China. So, when those nations inevitably cut off our access to titanium, we will be up a creek without a paddle. It would make sense for the US Government to invest in titanium refineries and methods for mining titanium, and we have the money to do so. 

Now we could read those two examples and move on with our lives, or we could look at more examples of how not necessarily spending more money but allocating it in different ways can help our country immensely. A great example of this is infrastructure. Biden released a3.5 trillion-dollar infrastructure deal. “Where will all that money come from?” is the common refrain amongst many in government. We have the money to invest in infrastructure, we allocate money every year to repair our infrastructure, just not on this scale. Now, I’m not advocating to spend money blindly, that leads to budget deficits and other things that can and will lead to problems down the road for our nation. However, this nation needs new and improved infrastructure. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, “42% of all bridges are at least 50 years old” and “7.5% of the nation’s bridges are considered structurally deficient”. This is simply unacceptable; millions of people travel on those structurally deficient bridges and all it takes is one bridge to collapse and we have a tragedy that could’ve been avoided. The sheer apathy of the people in power to do anything about it is honestly mind boggling. 

All these examples have something in common; the first two about defense and the last about infrastructure. The thing that connects them all is how spending money in a more efficient way will perhaps not solve all our problems but will ease them to a point where we can in fact solve most issues.  Unfortunately, the US Government will only spend money when it feels like it, not when we need it, and frankly that is a shame. Therefore, we need every citizen of our great nation to advocate. Not necessarily for the things I mentioned above but for whatever you may believe in.  Overall, this country needs to not spend more money, but spend money smarter.

5 thoughts on “Guest Article!”

  1. Mom (also known as Grandma)

    Very proud of the young man who wrote the guest article of the week. Very thoughtful and well presented.

  2. Bill & Barbara Bunger

    Hmmmm . . . . . . . . I’ll just bet this intelligent young man also has a highly intellectual uncle to boot!!

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