Tom Toles by Tom Toles

Tom Toles

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  1. Robert Landers

    Robert Landers said, almost 3 years ago

    Then, just perhaps we do not need a military that is larger than the next 8 militaries of the world combined, and costs accordingly? Just perhaps, we do not need to be the world’s policeman? Perhaps, we could have the wealthy of these other countries actually defend themselves instead of competing with us for jobs because they can, as we already protect them?

    How about not getting involved in expensive wars as they cost vast amounts logistically on the far side of the Earth. In which the logistics literally costs hundreds of thousands of dollars for each soldier we have in these unnecessary wars with fanatically religious people? All told, our bloated military could easily be cut by enough to give every man, woman, and child in this country decent health care.

    And all of this without compromising our own safety in the slightest, and in fact being far less hated in the rest of the world. Heck, we could even revive such great ideas as JFK’s Peach Corps. And even use what military we have to actually help people in trouble throughout the world, like we recently did in the Philippine Islands. Good Grief, such acts might even bring back the respect that we once enjoyed in the greater world!!

    Or am I asking for too much logic here?

  2. Robert Landers

    Robert Landers said, almost 3 years ago

    @Robert Landers

    And FYI, these ideas are not Republican Conservative nor liberal Democrat, they are actually Libertarian such as Ron Paul SR. expressed, and got totally dissed by the Republican Party for his troubles!!

  3. Doughfoot

    Doughfoot said, almost 3 years ago

    @Robert Landers

    Unfortunately, Libertarian proposals that actually help ordinary people are never taken up by the so-called libertarians in the GOP, and they have succeeded in relabeling a certain brand of conservatism as libertarian when it is nothing of the kind, but simply apathy concerning (if not contempt for) the fate of those who are not as clever and competitive as themselves.

    Then again, many libertarians are pie-in-the-sky idealists who are more like the anarchists of an earlier generation, or loonies who think no one should have to obey a law he personally disagrees with. I’ve talked to many of that sort.

    But this country would benefit from a pragmatic libertarian party that was not in pocket of rich men whose “love liberty, and hate equality” and who think that the golden rule is “those who have the gold make the rules.”

    Personally, I can’t think of anything more liberating to people as a whole than knowing that they won’t starve if they lose their jobs, or go bankrupt or untreated if they get sick. To me, those are the essential measures of a “civilized” nation, if any are, along with things like knowing they won’t be persecuted or arrested for their religious practices (or lack thereof), or for their opinions or words.

  4. mikefive

    mikefive said, almost 3 years ago

    @Robert Landers

    ’’…we do not need a military that is larger than the next 8 militaries of the world combined, …"

    That sentence is very misleading and a gross exaggeration. We have the second largest active military behind China and are eighth overall.

  5. Robert Landers

    Robert Landers said, almost 3 years ago


    You are not entirely incorrect. China does have more active duty troops that does the US. But that is not a true measure of actual military power. The US has far more ability to project that power anywhere in the world at any time, and China is basically a land locked military nation that does not have the power to project its millions of men anywhere it wants to. The US Navy alone has some twelve aircraft carrier groups with capabilities that no other military in the world can even come close to. Of course, this costs the US a whole lot of money. The US spends just about 1/3 of all of the money spent on all of the world’s militaries combined. Just about $660 billion compared to about $1.8 trillion for the entire planet. We could cut that budget by about $200 billion, and still spend some 3 times as much as China does.

    What is truly funny to me at least is that I have heard some on these comment boards state that China is planning on some day attacking the US. The Chinese are NOT that stupid! We are far and away the largest customer for consumer goods that China deals with in trade. You do NOT cut off the very hand that feeds you!!

    Besides which, even with increased efforts China is not going to catch up to even the Japanese, (or even Taiwan for that matter) in the Western Pacific. And they certainly are never going to be able to even come close to matching the US Navy in the Pacific. And without a superior Navy all the Chinese in the world are never going to swim the Pacific Ocean. Heck, without a great Navy even the Japanese would never have been a threat to the US in WWII in the Pacific either!!

    What I am in essence saying is that this country does not need the largest standing army in the world to keep the US and its interests safe in the world.

    By the way, when you consider that the US only has about 20% of the population of China, even our standing army is far larger to our population than is that of China to its population!

  6. piobaire

    piobaire said, almost 3 years ago

    In some respects I agree with you. However, police have to be accountable to a civil authority, or there is a risk that the police are used to advance the interests of those who can make profits. To whom is America accountable?
    Second, police get paid. Who is paying us to be the world’s police? The cost of keeping the peace has to be shared, and not just by the working class and the middle class of America. Neither should the cost be borne by all the classes of America. America bears a disproportionate burden.
    America should be proud of its role in World War II. America fought, helped other countries fight, and helped even the former Axis powers recover from the war. Some of what we’ve done since then, as a nation, is open to criticism.

  7. piobaire

    piobaire said, almost 3 years ago

    Americans are indeed a generous and compassionate people. It’s too bad we are not always so to Americans. Patriotism should not alone be measured by service in war, or wearing a flag pin, but by investing in America, building infrastructure, creating lasting wealth through creating jobs in America. Then people could take care of themselves, and there would be fewer needing government help.

  8. The Wolf In Your Midst

    The Wolf In Your Midst said, almost 3 years ago

    So you admit that the military is a government jobs program? Maybe we could make one of those that doesn’t involve quite so much killing.

  9. The Wolf In Your Midst

    The Wolf In Your Midst said, almost 3 years ago

    Just be sure not to accidentally throw out the hard drive containing $4 million worth of Bitcoins like one poor sap did.

  10. lonecat

    lonecat said, almost 3 years ago

    ConGov says: “Nice fantasy Toles, but both of you know that the only way to lower the debt is to stop spending so &$/! much!”
    Actually, that’s not true. Another way is to get people employed again so that tax revenues increase.

  11. Doughfoot

    Doughfoot said, almost 3 years ago

    Actually, Con Gov, history demonstrates the opposite.

  12. Tod

    Tod GoComics PRO Member said, almost 3 years ago

    Where does ‘he’ buy ‘his’ bitcoins? Last I looked it would cost ‘him/us’ $200USD per coin.

  13. Doughfoot

    Doughfoot said, almost 3 years ago

    “Without our military Americans would all be dead and the Japs would be moving into Canada and Mexico and Germany would have taken over Europe and Russia.”

    Now that is a really silly argument for maintaining a large and expensive military. The Japanese and Germans were beaten in spite of the fact that America in 1939 (when the war began) had a small, weak, ill-supplied army. It was smaller than Portugal’s, half the size of Poland’s. From 1787 until 1939 America did not believe in maintaining a large professional army: it was too expensive. THE Navy was enlarged under the progressive Republican administration of Theodore Roosevelt, and we became a world military power under the Democratic administrations of FDR and Truman. We won World War II by drafting and training large numbers of civilians. We have never gone back to what had always, until FDR, been considered normal peacetime armed forces since 1939, or ever really “brought the boys home.” In the 1950s to the 1970s we had large military spread round the globe, but manned as necessary by draftees. Only since then have we had a large strictly professional military of all professional or semi-professional soldiers.

    So you really don’t know what you’re talking about there.

    Now you think wefare accomplished nothing. One thing I might point out is that there is no such program as “welfare”: there are several programs that are collectively referred to under that name: like those which prevent poor children from being malnourished, aid the disabled, and those too old to work, and also, it is true, provide temporary help to the unemployed. Only the last of those might be said to discourage people from going to work, though there is little statistical evidence that it does.

    Yet, if, as you say, the military builds character, provides jobs, and educate people, how about this idea: if you are an able-bodied adult and lose you job and don’t find another one within one month, you will be automatically drafted. If the army doesn’t want you, you can be sent to a camp and put to work on nature conservation projects, planting trees, building hiking trails, nice healthful work in the great outdoors. Maybe we could arrange it that your kids could go with you, maybe could take a few of your personal belongings too (you’d have to give up the rest of course). You would wear a uniform, sleep in a barracks, so it would be kind of like military service. Of course this would be very expensive to arrange and maintain, given the millions who are out of work. And that would mean millions more government employees.

    Actually I am not being entirely facetious. Drafting the unemployed might be a little harsh, rather like slave labor, but the volunteer CCC in the 1930s did a great deal of good; and providing people jobs is better than providing them cash. Alas, the CCC and other such programs were killed by conservatives who thought they were too expensive, and who then helped create the welfare you decry as a substitute.

  14. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe GoComics PRO Member said, almost 3 years ago


    That sentence is very misleading and a gross exaggeration. We have the second largest active military behind China and are eighth overall.

    You’re the one who is misleading. We saw exactly how useless a large, poorly equipped army is against a force with modern weaponry in Iraq. Twice! The number of soldiers is a poor measure of military power.

    The Chinese are actually following our lead by drastically reducing the size of their army & moving toward modern equipment. They are still far behind us & we still outspend them by a factor of 5 to 1.

    And it’s not like we are the only military challenge to China. Japan, Taiwan, South Korea & India have substantial military forces. And, the Chinese have far more concern over Russia than we do. Most of their capability is self-defensive, but they are developing the ability to project power regionally.

    In terms of ability to project military power on a global scale, there is no rival to the U.S. Russia is a distant second & the Chinese hope to join the club.

  15. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe GoComics PRO Member said, almost 3 years ago

    If there are seven nations with active militaries larger than America’s – a few of them, including the largest…China – are likely to be potential adversaries…

    Where is this list? Every source I can find says that we have the second largest number of active military in the world, behind China. In terms of actual capability, we outmatch any other nation by an absurd margin.

    We should embrace a leadership role in keeping the world safe, but the macho ‘go it alone’ attitude costs more than we can bear, & alienates potential allies.

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