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Uncompromising Honor Snippet #13 (really this time)

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Re: Uncompromising Honor Snippet #13 (really this time)
Post by kzt   » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:43 pm

kzt
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Joat42 wrote:
kzt wrote:The imminent collapse of the SL government was not obvious to me. They really hasn’t spent that much money on the war, had they? They bought lots of missiles, but they essentially shut down BF, but no big procurement to replace losses as far as I knew.

I don't understand how you can have missed it? It was the whole point of Lacoon 1 & 2, force the SL to the negotiation table by strangling the income to the SL federal government.

I tend to doubt the SL lives paycheck to paycheck. And the SLN was stated to receive a tiny fraction of the entire SL budget. I bribe that it was implied. That much more was stolen as graft. Things like the assorted minor fees they collect for various purposes, when spread over a few trillion people, add up.
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Re: Uncompromising Honor Snippet #13 (really this time)
Post by saber964   » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:46 pm

saber964
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Theemile wrote:
Kael Posavatz wrote:
Why would the same limitations apply?

Using the same rationale the US hasn't been in a 'war' since WWII. And yet, a state that is close enough in resemblance to war has existed at multiple points in time since that pretty much everyone calls them 'wars.' There has probably been one person since Truman has in all seriousness referred to Korea as a 'police action,' but I would not want to wager on there being two.

As a practical matter, whatever limitations exist, exist only so long as a political entity either A) holds itself to whatever standards it has set, or B) finds it convenient to do so.

Manticore is a case of the former (I'm sure that Elizabeth would have found it enormously 'convenient' to ignore parliament's dithering over the initial declaration of war against the People's Republic of Haven). The Mandarins and League Navy are a case of the latter (not SL as a whole, the distinction, I think, is rather important).

I don't have ART in front of me, but I recall a discussion about a legal article that allows the SLN to commit combat forces in face of 'imminent threat' or something similar without obtaining a declaration of war owing to League's size, travel times, need for commanders to be able to defend themselves, etc.



In the US, the President has the ability to use the US armed forces for 90 days in a conflict, before he has to ask Congress for a declaration of war.

But, he can only deploy what the armed forces already has or has the money to purchase. He cannot hire more than the previously allotted # of soldiers, he can't buy new tanks, he cannot buy more gas or bullets. He cannot call up any reserves, or State guards forces not already assigned to federal work.

This is what a declaration of war means: $, recruitment, procurement, and power to pull up reserves and regional guard forces.

Without it, you have your normal ops budget, and your normal forces. Small issues you can deal with and react to. Large ones, you can start the wheels moving, then you need the declaration to do more.



Actually no, the POTUS federalized. Multiple NG units long before the start of the U.S.involvement in WWII. IIRC in the summer of 1940 the U.S. Military activated from the NG the 28th 29th 36th 37th 42nd 45th 47th 76th and 77th infantry divisions. They were IIRC from the NG's of PA VA TX OH CA AZ NM OK CA NY and MA. In the summer of 1941 they again activated 8 divisions from the NG.
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Re: Uncompromising Honor Snippet #13 (really this time)
Post by Joat42   » Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:54 pm

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kzt wrote:The imminent collapse of the SL government was not obvious to me. They really hasn’t spent that much money on the war, had they? They bought lots of missiles, but they essentially shut down BF, but no big procurement to replace losses as far as I knew.
Joat42 wrote:I don't understand how you can have missed it? It was the whole point of Lacoon 1 & 2, force the SL to the negotiation table by strangling the income to the SL federal government.
kzt wrote:I tend to doubt the SL lives paycheck to paycheck. And the SLN was stated to receive a tiny fraction of the entire SL budget. I bribe that it was implied. That much more was stolen as graft. Things like the assorted minor fees they collect for various purposes, when spread over a few trillion people, add up.
They don't live paycheck to paycheck, but the sole income they have is from taxes and tariffs on trade which took a considerable dive when Lacoon 1 & 2 was implemented.

---
Jack of all trades and destructive tinkerer.


Anyone who have simple solutions for complex problems is a fool.
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Re: Uncompromising Honor Snippet #13 (really this time)
Post by Weird Harold   » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:36 pm

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kzt wrote:I tend to doubt the SL lives paycheck to paycheck. And the SLN was stated to receive a tiny fraction of the entire SL budget.


The League didn't live paycheck to paycheck, but the SLN did more so than the rest of the league government. The problem was more a cash flow problem than a total budget problem. Lacoon cut of the cash-flow and the increased deployment and materiel costs quickly depleted the contingency fund for such.

The Mandarins probably could have redirected what cash flow there was to the Navy at the cost of interfering with theirs and everyone else's graft payments. :roll: Of course, such drastic measures were not needed against upstart neobarbs like Manticore or the GA.
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.
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just find the right questions.)
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Re: Uncompromising Honor Snippet #13 (really this time)
Post by kzt   » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:04 pm

kzt
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Sorry, the doctor walked in as I was doing that last post.

What I meant to say was that it is implied far more than the SLN budget gets stolen by corrupt officials every year. And the SLN was said to be a small fraction of the SL budget. And the SLN isn't shown to be spending vast amounts of money. They are not building dozens of ultramodern new shipyards, building vast R&D sites like WW2's Oak Ridge and Los Alamos, or thousands of new ships or even deploying tens of millions of system defense missiles in all their major systems.

They are shown as buying COTS products from their usual vendors. Who are kind of in the situation of J. Paul Getty's bank whose customer owes them 100 million dollars.

I agree they are somewhat innovative products, but they were created by the vendor. Is the money all being stolen? Didn't they shut down battle fleet, which should free up a bunch of funds?

(And consider this: if the SLN had sent the same number of SDs to Hypatia vs BCs, what would the outcome have been?)

There just hasn't been enough time to run the government out of money. Heck, they haven't even organized the mass arrests of the wreckers, profiteers and saboteurs, much less the show trials. As Venezuela shows, there is a lot of ruin in even small nation.
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Re: Uncompromising Honor Snippet #13 (really this time)
Post by ncwolf   » Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:14 pm

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Nice logic error correction made in this portion.

(It seems spoiler-ish to point it out, but that's my being ridiculous.)
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Re: Uncompromising Honor Snippet #13 (really this time)
Post by runsforcelery   » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:21 pm

runsforcelery
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kzt wrote:Sorry, the doctor walked in as I was doing that last post.

What I meant to say was that it is implied far more than the SLN budget gets stolen by corrupt officials every year. And the SLN was said to be a small fraction of the SL budget. And the SLN isn't shown to be spending vast amounts of money. They are not building dozens of ultramodern new shipyards, building vast R&D sites like WW2's Oak Ridge and Los Alamos, or thousands of new ships or even deploying tens of millions of system defense missiles in all their major systems.

They are shown as buying COTS products from their usual vendors. Who are kind of in the situation of J. Paul Getty's bank whose customer owes them 100 million dollars.

I agree they are somewhat innovative products, but they were created by the vendor. Is the money all being stolen? Didn't they shut down battle fleet, which should free up a bunch of funds?

(And consider this: if the SLN had sent the same number of SDs to Hypatia vs BCs, what would the outcome have been?)

There just hasn't been enough time to run the government out of money. Heck, they haven't even organized the mass arrests of the wreckers, profiteers and saboteurs, much less the show trials. As Venezuela shows, there is a lot of ruin in even small nation.



I think you misunderstood at least part of what was being said. The SLN was a very large part of the federal budget. indeed, combined with OFS, it accounted for a clear majority of the budget. The budget, however, accounted for a miniscule portion of the total League's GDP. Now, a lot of the money that was in the budget for those items did disappear into graft and corruption, but they were also spending huge sums (as compared to peacetime spending) on new missiles and weapon systems (there is a hell of a lot of crash R&D going on in the course of this book), bringing existing BCs out of mothballs, laying down major new construction programs, etc., etc. I don't take you through all of this inch-by-inch or item by item, but the federal government's spending has gone up enormously at the very moment that the Manties have succeeded in chopping most of their legal income stream off at the knees. Without getting into spoilers, they do see a way to turn the revenue spigot back on in the course of this book, and it works just fine, except . . . well. . . .

The key point is that in terms of annual budget, the federal government , like many a government before it, was actually running a deficit (fairly modest in scope) before the situation with the Manties blew up. That meant that there weren't a huge amount of existing reserve funds that could be shifted around. Oh, the actual amounts that could be shifted were pretty spectacular in absolute terms, but not very impressive at all in the face of their new expenditures and their need to maintain essential programs which already existed. We only see them primarily in terms of their military commitments, but somehow they had to go on funding at least minimal levels for all their other essential programs . . . like all those OFS governorships and intervention battalions.

When the shooting started, they had to mobilize their naval forces (and they started out by de-mothballing a stack of SDs which then turned out to be pretty useless and got put back to bed). When they realized how useless their wallers were going to bem they tuned to their BCs and started moving FF units over to BF, which took time and cost money. They basically through out their entire missile inventory after what happened to Crandall --- Filaretta still had a bunch of conventional missiles in his capital ship magazines; nobody after him did --- which also cost a bunch of money. They had to commit to their new construction programs . . . which cost a bunch of money. And the financial markets knew what Lacoon was doing to the federal revenue stream, which is why the Treasury found its bond issues tanking and interest rates soaring.

Lacoon could not possibly have killed the SL's economy, but it didn't have to to kill the SL government because of the nature of its funding mechanism.

I should probably also point out that the feds never actually crashed (don't suppose that's much of a spoiler) although they were clearly in a fiscal death spiral. Indeed, much of the Mandarins' desperation was because they knew they were in a death spiral. And the real killer for them was that --- at least prior to certain events elsewhere --- they couldn't admit they were to the League at large. They couldn't directly tax the League's citizens without a constitutional amendment; they couldn't ask for a constitutional amendment without admitting what was going on; and they knew damned well that at least some of the member system governments would refuse to support any such amendment (thus killing it deader than dead, using their individual veto power) because they didn't want the Feds' fingers in their pockets and because whatever happened to the federal government, the individual systems knew they did not, in fact, face an existential threat. So the Mandarins were in the horrible position of knowing the SLN was at war but the Solarian League was at the mall and if they explained the situation to the elecotrate at large the wheels came off. They couldn't fix the problem the Manties had given them without admitting the problem existed and explaining the reasons it did to people who had no interest in paying a bunch of kleptocratic bureaucrats out of their own pockets if the Protectorates were no longer around to be squeezed.

All the money the Mandarins would ever need was right there, within easy reach, but they dared not ask for it. And they sure as heck dared not start any sort of ruthless, emergency program of arrests and prosecutions or confiscations within the League itself for two reasons. (1) They lacked the both the constitutional authority and the institutional structure to do anything of the sort. (2) If they did, all those sleeping member systems would wake up and realize Beowulf was telling the truth all along. And then, of course, there's the little matter of how Hypatia is likely to play.

Buccaneer is a huge mistake, embraced by 5 panicked bureaucrats after it was fed to them, in no small part, by agents of the MA, and they never really expected Hajdu to kill several million Solarian citizens in the process of executing it. Of course, that was partly because they never really thought it through, and the reason they didn't was because they saw the ship inevitably sinking out from under them and they were lashing out to try to stop something they secretly --- as in secret even from themselves --- knew was unstoppable.


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: Uncompromising Honor Snippet #13 (really this time)
Post by kzt   » Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:57 am

kzt
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I'll have to look to see where I got the impression that the SLN was not a big percentage of the SL government spending. That certainly changes things.

Hmm, reviewing the books I have no I idea where I came up with that. It's fairly clearly stated, in various places, that they were under pretty severe pressure and the budget pressures on the SLN were fairly severe and got worse as the war went south. I didn't find a mention that the SLN was that much of the SL government budget, but I don't doubt it was there if you remember writing it. Oops.

Anyhow
Yes, it was indeed obvious that they were going to be having very serious financial problems in the future, but it wasn't obvious (to me anyhow) that there were already spending that much extra, or that the loss of funds was really that serious as the scale of the legitimate funding should be pretty astonishing.

It's fairly obvious that constructing the fleet they need to effectively fight was going to be horribly expensive, and even more when you do it as a crash program, but they hadn't apparently even reached the stage of a requirements study or a shipyard design, so they hadn't even started the sightly expensive part, much less the seriously expensive part.

That was pretty clearly part of what their "somewhat flawed" revenue fix was about. And I remember predicting that "fix".
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Re: Uncompromising Honor Snippet #13 (really this time)
Post by munroburton   » Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:50 am

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kzt wrote:I'll have to look to see where I got the impression that the SLN was not a big percentage of the SL government spending. That certainly changes things.

Hmm, reviewing the books I have no I idea where I came up with that. It's fairly clearly stated, in various places, that they were under pretty severe pressure and the budget pressures on the SLN were fairly severe and got worse as the war went south. I didn't find a mention that the SLN was that much of the SL government budget, but I don't doubt it was there if you remember writing it. Oops.

Anyhow
Yes, it was indeed obvious that they were going to be having very serious financial problems in the future, but it wasn't obvious (to me anyhow) that there were already spending that much extra, or that the loss of funds was really that serious as the scale of the legitimate funding should be pretty astonishing.

It's fairly obvious that constructing the fleet they need to effectively fight was going to be horribly expensive, and even more when you do it as a crash program, but they hadn't apparently even reached the stage of a requirements study or a shipyard design, so they hadn't even started the sightly expensive part, much less the seriously expensive part.

That was pretty clearly part of what their "somewhat flawed" revenue fix was about. And I remember predicting that "fix".



Missiles alone can be very expensive. From HoS:

While the reasons behind the move to the Majestic-class were many, the argument that the RMN could build a substantially less costly dreadnought class than the Gladiators was one of the primary drivers, and the class was sold to Parliament as having a per-platform cost seven percent less than a Gladiator.
<snip>
Ironically, though, while the Majestic had the virtue of being less expensive on a per-unit basis, the increased missile magazine size meant that the deployed cost of a fully equipped and armed Majestic dreadnought was nearly equal to the “more expensive” Gladiator it supplanted.


Stripping out all the old missiles in all active SLN ships and replacing them - along with all those pods - with Technodyne as exclusive supplier?

Must have cost trillions. I wonder how much Hadju's freighters alone cost to fill with pods.
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Re: Uncompromising Honor Snippet #13 (really this time)
Post by Bill Woods   » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:27 am

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runsforcelery wrote: They basically through out their entire missile inventory after what happened to Crandall --- Filaretta still had a bunch of conventional missiles in his capital ship magazines; nobody after him did --- which also cost a bunch of money. They had to commit to their new construction programs . . . which cost a bunch of money.
I have been a bit questioning of the Sollies having "literally millions of missiles" for each of their Buccaneer TFs so quickly. I get that the League is huge, but apparently the missiles are all (or mostly?) coming from one system. To get them designed, built (from the existing factories) and delivered to FF bases around the League in a few months seems like pushing it.
----
Imagined conversation:
Admiral [noting yet another Manty tech surprise]:
XO, what's the budget for the ONI?
Vice Admiral: I don't recall exactly, sir. Several billion quatloos.
Admiral: ... What do you suppose they did with all that money?
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