Huge pensions for retired government workers can be found from small municipalities to national governments on both sides of the Atlantic. There is a reason. For elected officials, pensions are virtually the ideal thing to spend money on, politically speaking. Many kinds of spending of the taxpayers' money win votes from the recipients. But...
Oh but you are so wrong. They were gutting the military. They KNEW that Germany was going to attack our allies. They KNEW that Japan was on it's way to attack not only our allies but our own country yet they nearly scrapped the two planes that would have been able to defend us. The B-17 was nearly cancelled due to cost and the P-38 was castrated by cost cutting measures. Only complete redesigns after we were already at war brought them back to what they should have been to begin with and many many lives were lost unnecessarily due to the skimping of the military budget.
A nation's choice between spending on military defense and spending on civilian goods has often been posed as "guns versus butter." But understanding the choices of many nations' political leaders might be helped by examining the contrast between their runaway spending on pensions while skimping on military defense.
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