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How Can We Turn Military Spending into a Budget for the People?

How Can We Turn Military Spending into a Budget for the People?

Frida Berrigan

The problem isn’t that we are spending more on the military — it’s that it comes at the expense of just about every social good imaginable.


From the article: “if you took the military budget in $100 bills it would circle the equator 500 times. (OK, I made that last one up.)”

Shoot - that made me do the math. A $100 bill is 6.14 inches long while the circumference of the Earth at the equator is 24873.6 miles (from NASA website) or 256,676,107 $100 bills around. Since the DoD budget for the current fiscal year is $585.3 billion, those $100 bills could actually circle the Earth just about 23 times. Interestingly most of those bills would be underwater just like the Pentagon budget.

When thinking about the “Defense” budget we should also keep track of the interest payments on past Defense expenditures. That puts the number to over $800 billion so we’d add another 10 times around the globe.


She says, “but the problem isn’t that we are spending more on the military — it’s that it comes at the expense of just about every social good imaginable.”

This doesn’t make sense because both go together. Namely, the more we spend on this, the less goes to social spending. That’s because discretionary spending is zero-sum.

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It is quiet simple
The dollar is meaningless in most transactions.
Only do those transactions you have to in the dollar.
Do everything else in a local currency that you can agree upon.
Don’t go ta corporate grocery store.
Stick to farmer’s markets.

Become a corporation.
Demand that all payments for your work be made to your corporation.
Hire an accountant.
let them figure out how much you owe the people who dispense your funds for the common good.

Demand that all governing bodies use only transparent ledgers like the blockchain.
Make sure multiple people monitor it at every moment.

That is step one

Right: the problem isn’t that we’re spending more on the military – it’s that we spend anything at all on the military, the worst waste of resources and threat to peace the world has ever known.

“The problem isn’t that we are spending more on the military — it’s that it comes at the expense of just about every social good imaginable.”

The problem is that we can’t fix enormous wealth and power disparities with taxation. The rich and powerful own the politicians that make the tax laws and direct revenues to make war profits.

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HOw Much $? Spent on Mic bigwigs 300 billion?

“Bill Hartung’s article on how much the CEOs of the six top defense contractors, Lockheed Martin, the Northrop, Boeing, and so forth, were paid and how much of the defense budget in that particular fiscal year they got for making their arms, over $300 billion. That’s taxpayer money, and much of that went out to pay their executives. Unbelievably obscene numbers of salaries that were over $1 million, $2 million, $3 million, $4 million, $200 million in bonuses and things like that. We’re paying taxpayer money to these people for the weapons of death that they’re producing for our Armed Forces, and producing increasingly for armed forces all over the world. This is an incredible situation we’ve gotten ourselves to in our supposedly democratic federal republic.”


War, America’s job program.


I think step one is to clean out the corruption in Congress. No way do our
“Representatives” represent us. We want these illegal wars to end and we want Medicare for all single payer—but WE ARE NOT GOING TO GET THIS AS LONG AS YOU KEEP VOTING FOR EITHER A DEMOCRAT OR A


Thanks for asking that question! RFK observed to have desicions made to help rather than to harm, you of necessity have to change the people making the decisions. The country and its military might are in the hands of sociopaths. They won’t change.


Coming out of WW2 it was determined that spending on the military had(has) become one of the basic economic necessities in our capitalist economy. Without that enormous(ly) increase(d) budget annually we would be in terrible economic shape. No state is not without it’s “national military budget component”.
Excess profits taxes, “dollar a year” CEO’s and universal conscription without ANY social status or political standing exemptions might do some good. But, there is no courage in our elected officials to grasp such programs. All our elected officials have an incumbent investment to continue with the status quo. There is the dilemma. Until there is a conscious revolt of the common folk there will be no changes.

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" When thinking about the “Defense” budget."

That is part of the problem; calling it the defense budget because the trillion $ military appropriation budget has nothing or little to do with the defense of the average American. That is a misnomer, it needs to be called what it really is: THE WAR PROFITEERING BUDGET!

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Thanks for putting it so simply.

Exactly why I put it in quotes. From 1789 until 1947 it was more appropriately called The War Department. Then Truman decided to mess with it - first separating into Dept of Army, Dept of Navy, and Dept of Air Force - and then a couple years later to the great misnomer: Department of Defense. The world would be a much different place if FDR had just fought to keep Henry Wallace on the ticket in 1940 instead of acquiescing to the appointment of Truman as V.P.

Yeah, too bad Truman changed the name to the Defense Department, which is just another Orwellian term. I am surprised he did not change it to the Peace Department! What could be more egregious than dropping 2 nuclear bombs on Japans civilian populations and murdering so many innocent people and saying it brought peace!

Swords into ploughshares will take something a little more profound that existing political process to get started. But a good place to begin is here. http://www.energon.org.uk For such a simple unassuming web site, the material it offers sure packs a punch!