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Old 03-12-2019, 11:32 AM
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Trump wants $750 billion for defense, will Democrats stop it?


The Atlantic noted a year ago that Democrats put up feeble - if not in fact, all but nonexistent - resistance when Republicans put forth large defense budgets. Even Trump himself said that U.S. defense spending had gotten "crazy," but yet now Trump is proposing a $750 billion budget for next year.

The House is now in Democratic hands but this might not make much of a difference - previous defense budgets sailed through both houses of Congress by overwhelming majorities and unless someone like Ocasio-Cortez decides to pick a fight on the issue, it doesn't seem likely that Congressional Democrats are going to oppose it except perhaps by coming up with their own alternative budget with a lower sum.
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:44 AM
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If past experience is any guide, the two parties will end up agreeing on a figure of $775 billion. The Democrats get the spending increases that they want and the Republicans get the spending increases that they want, and the debt goes up. That's the way it almost always works. For a short time the Tea Party candidates held the upper hand among the Republicans and spending decreased by a very small amount for a couple year, but that's a thing of the past now. (Chart)

Ocasio-Cortez is one Representative. There are 434 others. She's good at getting attention on Twitter, but she cannot stop any legislation by herself.
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:49 AM
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You can count on Democrats to give up the chance to make themselves the new party of fiscal responsibility. They will agree to $750 million or more and the GOP will say they are the ones sending the deficit out of control. And it will stick, they're already wearing the label and if they don't take the opportunity to tear it off they deserve it.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:39 PM
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If past experience is any guide, the two parties will end up agreeing on a figure of $775 billion. The Democrats get the spending increases that they want and the Republicans get the spending increases that they want, and the debt goes up. That's the way it almost always works.
Agree 100%. Well, not on the $775 figure, I think it will probably be $750, but complete agreement on the logic here.
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Old 03-12-2019, 01:53 PM
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Our idolization of the military is out of control. I'm convinced that if Trump proposed a five bajillion dollar budget for the military, the Democrats would insist on six bajillion.
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Old 03-12-2019, 02:24 PM
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Is there any official justification for this? Maybe someone would like to say a few words about what military threats we face, and how that stacks up to a Vietnam War's worth of deaths every year from ODs in this country, plus poverty, poor education, lack of access to health care, and the looming crisis of climate change?
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Old 03-12-2019, 02:45 PM
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To play devil's advocate, there's an argument that the U.S. spent nearly 20 years focusing on adversaries who hide out in remote mountains who are armed with AK-47 and underwear bombs; and not on Russia and China who are busy making weapons that can sink our ships and drink our milkshake on the battlefield. With China basically stealing islands from other countries with nobody really complaining, and Russia invading and annexing part of a neighbor without any provocation, we are faced with the questions of whether our allies can count on us at all. The fact that Trump is President only accelerates those questions. So, the next best thing to getting a new President is to beef up our military capabilities so our friends think that the next President may actually help defend them.

Of course, there's many on the left and a few on the right who generally want the U.S. to walk away from our allies, or they just don't like the military, so I fully understand that this argument would have little currency with them.

Personally, I think we'd be just fine if we kept the defense budget we have today, make some adjustments for inflation, and just focus on getting more bang for our buck. That isn't a crazy idea at all. In fact, it's probably a superb idea.
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:00 PM
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How I wish for a Democratic Party that will tell the America-hating fuckstick "You don't have the faintest idea of what you're talking about, or what the defense needs of the country actually are. Here's your defense budget. Now sign it and shut the fuck up."

And a pony. I also wish for a pony.

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Old 03-12-2019, 03:00 PM
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The question is whether or not Trump and McConnell will stop the Democrats' counter-proposals - probably so.

But how will they reconcile their differences? It seems that Trump is already threatening another shutdown.
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:02 PM
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How I wish for a Democratic Party that will tell the America-hating fuckstick "You don't have the faintest idea of what you're talking about, or what the defense needs of the country actually are. Here's your defense budget. Now sign it and shut the fuck up."
I wish a majority of Americans actually had an education when it comes to basic civics and economics.

And a pony. I wish for a pony.
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:52 PM
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Presidential budgets have been dead on arrival since, what, the Clinton years?

The House should pass a balanced budget that's consistent with Democratic goals. Not a decrease in the rate of growth, not simply on the path to being balanced, not balanced until the budget projection ends, but structurally balanced until tomorrow's baby finishes collecting its Social Security retirement.

Make Republicans increase taxes for any changes they want. Trump's economy is great, so let's eliminate the deficit now. Apply the "Borrow and Spend Republicans" label liberally.

Also, I wish for a unicorn because rainbows are easier to clean up than pony shit.
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:58 PM
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Considering how easily the defense budget passes, I'm surprised Republicans haven't tried to tuck a lot more things into it each time - i.e., funding for border wall, pork, pet projects. Of course, if they had done so, though, maybe Democrats would have fought it.
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive View Post
Is there any official justification for this? Maybe someone would like to say a few words about what military threats we face, and how that stacks up to a Vietnam War's worth of deaths every year from ODs in this country, plus poverty, poor education, lack of access to health care, and the looming crisis of climate change?
One factor is that America has far less stomach for casualties than other nations, especially adversary nations. If you want to win a battle in such a way that you suffer very few lives lost, it's going to be expensive.


All this defense spending isn't for nothing in that sense, though. See the Battle of Khasham in February 2018 as an example. Approximately 40 American troops faced off against a combined Russian+Syrian force of over 600 troops plus artillery, tanks and vehicles. The heavily outnumbered Americans had airpower and better technology on their side, and crushed the Russians and Syrians decisively, inflicting 200 or more casualties in the process while not suffering a single U.S. casualty of their own.

So yes it technically does pay dividends.
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Old 03-12-2019, 05:58 PM
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What makes you think a divided Congress will pass any type of budget? Isn't it almost certain that it'll just be CRs for the next 2 years?
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Old 03-12-2019, 06:06 PM
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What makes you think a divided Congress will pass any type of budget? Isn't it almost certain that it'll just be CRs for the next 2 years?
Bingo we have a winner! With maybe a shutdown thrown in now and then if Trump feels he's being ignored too much.

Last edited by Buck Godot; 03-12-2019 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:25 PM
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What makes you think a divided Congress will pass any type of budget? Isn't it almost certain that it'll just be CRs for the next 2 years?
A divided Congress passed appropriation bills to end the shutdown, just like six weeks ago.
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:34 PM
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Is there any official justification for this? Maybe someone would like to say a few words about what military threats we face, and how that stacks up to a Vietnam War's worth of deaths every year from ODs in this country, plus poverty, poor education, lack of access to health care, and the looming crisis of climate change?
In the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (aka DOD's budget for the FY17) Congress mandated the creation of a non-partisan commission, the National Defense Strategy Commission. They conducted a year long review of US strategy. They consulted military and civilian leaders from DOD. They consulted experts in other US government departments that are related to national strategy. They consulted allied diplomatic and military sources. They consulted non-governmental security experts. They had access to classified information. The commission published it's report in November of 2018 after about a year long process. (Full pdf of the entire report) While not every finding in the report received unanimous support from every commission member the report describes everything included as being a broad consensus.

The commission has more than a few words about the current state of US strategy and our ability to implement it. It's worth reading at least the ten pages of the executive summary because their finding fall well outside common knowledge about the state of US defense strategy and ability.

One paragraph from the summary that provides a good start for those that can't bother with reading ten pages.
Quote:
The convergence of these trends has created a crisis of national security for the United States—what some leading voices in the U.S. national security community have termed an emergency. Across Eurasia, grayzone aggression is steadily undermining the security of U.S. allies and partners and eroding American influence. Regional military balances in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the Western Pacific have shifted in decidedly adverse ways. These trends are undermining deterrence of U.S. adversaries and the confidence of American allies, thus increasing the likelihood of military conflict. The U.S. military could suffer unacceptably high casualties and loss of major capital assets in its next conflict. It might struggle to win, or perhaps lose, a war against China or Russia. The United States is particularly at risk of being overwhelmed should its military be forced to fight on two or more fronts simultaneously. Additionally, it would be unwise and irresponsible not to expect adversaries to attempt debilitating kinetic, cyber, or other types of attacks against Americans at home while they seek to defeat our military abroad. U.S. military superiority is no longer assured and the implications for American interests and American security are severe.
Some other quotes, not in order, from throughout the report.:
Quote:
Doubts about America’s ability to deter and, if necessary, defeat opponents and honor its global commitments have proliferated. Previous congressionally mandated reports, such as the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel and the 2014 National Defense Panel, warned that this crisis was coming. The crisis has now arrived, with potentially dire effects not just for U.S. global influence, but also for the security and welfare of America itself.

The security and wellbeing of the United States are at greater risk than at any time in decades. America’s military superiority—the hard-power backbone of its global influence and national security—has eroded to a dangerous degree.

Today, however, our margin of superiority is profoundly diminished in key areas.

The Commission argues that America confronts a grave crisis of national security and national defense, as U.S. military advantages erode and the strategic landscape becomes steadily more threatening.

Today, changes at home and abroad are diminishing U.S. military advantages and threatening vital U.S. interests.

As regional military balances have deteriorated, America’s advantage across a range of operational challenges has diminished. Because of our recent focus on counter-terrorism and counterinsurgency, and because our enemies have developed new ways of defeating U.S. forces, America is losing its advantage in key warfighting areas such as power projection, air and missile defense, cyber and space operations, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, long-range ground-based fires, and electronic warfare.

Meanwhile, because of foreign and domestic factors, America’s longstanding military advantages have diminished. The country’s strategic margin for error has become distressingly small.

In some cases, we are behind, or falling behind, in critical technologies. U.S. competitors are making enormous investments in hypersonic delivery vehicles, artificial intelligence (AI), and other advanced technologies. With respect to hypersonics in particular, the United States finds itself trailing China and perhaps Russia as well.

The U.S. military could suffer unacceptably high casualties and loss of major capital assets in its next conflict. It might struggle to win, or perhaps lose, a war against China or Russia. The United States is particularly at risk of being overwhelmed should its military be forced to fight on two or more fronts simultaneously.

If the United States had to fight Russia in a Baltic contingency or China in a war over Taiwan (see Vignette 1), Americans could face a decisive military defeat.

The United States could well lose the competitions and conflicts in which it is engaged today absent more cohesive, fully-resourced responses that reach across the various U.S. government departments and agencies, and across the many elements of American power: diplomacy, intelligence, economic statecraft, information warfare, and others.

Should war occur, American forces will face harder fights and greater losses than at any time in decades.

While the NDS properly focuses on winning high-intensity conflicts and closing near-term capability gaps vis--vis China and Russia, DOD leaders had difficulty articulating how the U.S. military would defeat major-power adversaries should deterrence fail.

Indeed, given the presence of five serious adversaries, three with nuclear weapons, the United States must prepare—and resource—for multiple, near-simultaneous contingencies. Today, however, DOD is neither prepared nor resourced for such a scenario.

Put bluntly, the U.S. military could lose the next state-versus-state war it fights.
The commission pointed out several issues with strategy that aren't funding related. They recognized that budget constraints will prevent merely spending our way out of the crisis. They highlight some of the challenges of coming up with more defense funding in a way that includes a holistic look at the entire budget for cuts and tax increases. They still recommended that we increase defense spending by 3-5% per year during the six year long Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) and possibly beyond to address the crisis.

The FY20 budget request shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that's been paying attention. It's about a 5% increase in nominal, not inflation adjusted, terms. That's entirely in keeping with the commission's recommendations for increasing funding. DOD had already published information under the FYDP telegraphing this request.

Personally I would have been surprised if we didn't see a budget request that looked like this. I'm also pleasantly surprised. Given Trump's predisposition to undercut the post-WWII international order, as highlighted in Mattis' resignation, I was fearing he'd not recommend the increased spending necessary to maintain that order.

Last edited by DinoR; 03-12-2019 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:42 PM
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In the "Main" window, when this thread is at the top of the forum its title appears only as "Trump wants $750 billion for ...", which is how I first saw it. So I had to come and look at the full title, knowing that whatever it was that Trump was lobbying for a vast amount of new money for, it would be something incredibly stupid. And so it has proved.

Conversely, if he's slashing budgets like a madman gone berserk with a scythe, you know it must be something worthwhile. Like he just proposed a 70% reduction to the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, slashing its budget from $2.3 billion to $700 million, effectively decimating the agency in the continuing war on clean energy and renewables, so that hopefully everyone can start burning coal again.
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:00 PM
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A divided Congress passed appropriation bills to end the shutdown, just like six weeks ago.
The bill that ended the shutdown (and funded the government for just a few weeks) was a CR. Did they actually pass an appropriations bill after that?
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:24 PM
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Of course, there's many on the left and a few on the right who generally want the U.S. to walk away from our allies
Exsqueeze me, who has been bitch slapping our allies, threatening NATO, prevaricating on support, coddling up to our enemies, cancelling war game exercises in Korea for nothing in return, ad nauseum.

Stop with the trope "the left are weak on our allies and defence" thankyouverymuch.
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:51 PM
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Exsqueeze me, who has been bitch slapping our allies, threatening NATO, prevaricating on support, coddling up to our enemies, cancelling war game exercises in Korea for nothing in return, ad nauseum.
Not to mention pulling out of a huge trade deal that was supposed to help even the playing field against China, slapping tariffs on steel imports from allies saying that was a security risk, pulling out of a nuclear arms treaty thereby allowing Russia to develop more nuclear missiles that can hit our European allies, and pulling out of a worldwide treaty to try to reduce climate change, etc, etc...
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:18 AM
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Hmmm, maybe this is just the thing where the young Turks of the Justice Democrats can make their presence known.
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:33 AM
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The House should pass a balanced budget that's consistent with Democratic goals. Not a decrease in the rate of growth, not simply on the path to being balanced, not balanced until the budget projection ends, but structurally balanced until tomorrow's baby finishes collecting its Social Security retirement.
The Democrats have been the more fiscally responsible party since the 1980s, and I'd like to see them continue to be. However, I don't think a problem so long in the making can be corrected in a single year. I'd like to see the deficit be lower next year, and lower again the year after that, etc. It's like dieting or exercise; we'd all like a quick fix, but success comes from having sound habits and making good choices over years or even decades.
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:06 AM
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The bill that ended the shutdown (and funded the government for just a few weeks) was a CR. Did they actually pass an appropriations bill after that?
Yes -- Trump signed it into law the same day that he signed the bogus border emergency declaration.

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Exsqueeze me, who has been bitch slapping our allies, threatening NATO, prevaricating on support, coddling up to our enemies, cancelling war game exercises in Korea for nothing in return, ad nauseum.

Stop with the trope "the left are weak on our allies and defence" thankyouverymuch.
If you go back and re-read my post that caused this little snit, you'll see that I specifically mentioned Trump as being the major problem here.

It's a fringe position in the U.S. that we should move back from our overseas commitments. It just so happens that one of that fringe is in the Oval Office today, but you shouldn't kid yourself that the left doesn't have similar ideas. Jill Stein called NATO "gangster states" or some such bullshit, which isn't far off the mark from where Chomsky is. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Tulsi Gabbard had a roughly similar position.

it just so happens that some of the left's criticism of NATO -- which again is a position on the fringe -- appears to be moderated in order to make Trump look worse. (Or, to make Trump look as bad as he is, might be the better way to state it.)
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:25 AM
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The Democrats have been the more fiscally responsible party since the 1980s, and I'd like to see them continue to be. However, I don't think a problem so long in the making can be corrected in a single year. I'd like to see the deficit be lower next year, and lower again the year after that, etc. It's like dieting or exercise; we'd all like a quick fix, but success comes from having sound habits and making good choices over years or even decades.
You're right, of course; I am wishing for a unicorn, too.

It's time to call the Republicans' bluff; let them propose how to pay for their priorities. They need to be tarred as "Borrow and Spend Republicans" until they decide to become fiscally responsible.
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:35 PM
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Is there any official justification for this? Maybe someone would like to say a few words about what military threats we face, and how that stacks up to a Vietnam War's worth of deaths every year from ODs in this country, plus poverty, poor education, lack of access to health care, and the looming crisis of climate change?
You've nailed it -- climate change -- we will need a significant military capability to both cope with the effects of climate change on our military itself (logistically and operationally), as well as to prepare for the world-wide unrest and forced migration due to the wide ranging effects of climate change on the world.

It would be cheaper to spend money to prevent climate change, but if we aren't going to do that, then we will need a military prepared to defend our country against it.
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:49 PM
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Il Douche would send an armored division to Florida to defend against a hurricane. If its Puerto Rico, its thoughts and prayers.
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:43 PM
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It's a fringe position in the U.S. that we should move back from our overseas commitments. It just so happens that one of that fringe is in the Oval Office today, but you shouldn't kid yourself that the left doesn't have similar ideas. Jill Stein called NATO "gangster states" or some such bullshit, which isn't far off the mark from where Chomsky is. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Tulsi Gabbard had a roughly similar position.

it just so happens that some of the left's criticism of NATO -- which again is a position on the fringe -- appears to be moderated in order to make Trump look worse. (Or, to make Trump look as bad as he is, might be the better way to state it.)
I call BS on it being a fringe position of the GOP. The GOP control the Senate and have gone along with practically every Trump ally undermining move. They may grumble, but the Senate GOP votes are not there or Mitch second-traitor-in-chief McConnel won't bring items to a vote.

This is the GOP dominated Congress, not a Jill Stein fringe loon. Jill Stein has virtually zero power or influence on how the US treats NATO. Trump and the GOP Congress are in the driving seat, threaten and could destroy NATO. False equivalency.
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Old 03-14-2019, 03:48 PM
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I call BS on it being a fringe position of the GOP. The GOP control the Senate and have gone along with practically every Trump ally undermining move. They may grumble, but the Senate GOP votes are not there or Mitch second-traitor-in-chief McConnel won't bring items to a vote.

This is the GOP dominated Congress, not a Jill Stein fringe loon. Jill Stein has virtually zero power or influence on how the US treats NATO. Trump and the GOP Congress are in the driving seat, threaten and could destroy NATO. False equivalency.
In July 2018 the Senate voted 97-2 to express its support for NATO in a resolution authored by a Democrat. Link.

I think your posts are just examples of your anger at Republicans, and aren't really reflective of the actual state of affairs.
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