This was published at TomDispatch.com
Tom provides an intro to this article in which he points out that 5 years ago there was an article posted on his site that said that the defense budget was approaching $1 trillion. He notes that this was probably not covered in any of the mainstream press and that Hartung has been working this issue for years.
I am calling Senator Portman today about how the Republicans can pass a health care bill that effects 20% of the US economy but what is in the bill is a secret. At the same time, congress continues to fund pointless wars.
And by the way, The New Climate Regime is the major issue that continues to be ignored even as the changes happen at an accelerated rate.
We have foreclosed future generations ability to respond to the changes we have made to the earth. Is this a sin?
“Brother, can you spare a dime?”
Answer : “No! Do you think money grows on trees?”
Veterans costs continue to be one of the fastest growing costs when you consider that advancing medical technology keeps more and more soldiers alive (who would have died instantly in previous decades) after being wounded on the battlefield. These survivors need expensive care for the rest of their lives and their families need support since the vet can’t work.
I posted on this essay at www. truth-out.org, I’ll go to tom dispatch and read his intro. Question: Do taxpayers get their money’s worth from the military dollars?..
Probably one of the saddest ironies of this insane funding of “National Security” is that if you ask the general populace they will probably say that they feel even less safe than 15 years ago. People are struggling more and more to survive and even those who can survive are living miserable lives under an oppressive job or debt. All while the media is warmongering now more than ever, even with countries that have no right being enemies. All this funding hasn’t helped give the U.S. people freedom. It has wrapped them in chains, made from the bones of the innocents slaughtered with their tax dollars.
Any apologies for this incredible and disgusting waste of money should be met head on. This is our shared genuflection to the most grotesque war machine in history. It is unpatriotic and completely indefensible. And, its tentacles reach everywhere, though mostly submerged in the deep and the dark.
This article should be hung on every political officeholder’s door. It should be the only topic of thoughtful political discussion: at city councils and regional gov’ts and statehouses, especially.
And yet, that discussion is left to musicians, like Roger Waters, and their songs, to poets and writers, to other celebrities who have more courage than our elected representatives. It is truly unbelievable.
You simply cannot label yourself progressive if you think any of this, is in any way, acceptable. " If you don’t stand for something, you’ll stand for anything ". Well, I know where the politicians of The Uniparty stand, and its on the floors of Congress, with an open briefcase at the ready. It’s blood money, and payoffs, at the surface and much worse at the bottom. Wherever that is. Does anyone know?
" If we can’t defend this country on $350 Billion a year, it’s time to get some new generals ". Ret. 4 Star Gen. " Tony " McPeak. It’s past time for new political leaders who’ll do the right thing on this giant disgrace, too. We must all be war resistance fighters. It’s at our front door and it’s not on a community outreach call.
As an aside to the inflated costs of the products and services related to military and intelligence expenditures and the associated boondoggles, etc…
A major problem with private contractors and the MIC in general, is that the demand such products and services must continue, or else it will affect profits, R & D and employment levels related to such industries.
Privatization is a double-edged sword when it comes to the popular rationalizations and justifications by its proponents.
That said, I am substantially certain that not only can a majority of such services be rendered by public sector, but also less expensively for comparable quality and efficiency. It is only that many times, the powers-that-be deliberately sabotage systems, policies and procedures; and then when the public demands solutions, a Trojan-Horse solution is proffered, e.g., privatization.
Oh well, I could continue on and on about education system, criminal-justice system, federal government’s hiring of far too many contractors to fill many of its bureaucratic positions, etc…
The bottom line is that privatization is simply a way of consolidating even more wealth in the hands of a few and stealing from the public-at-large; it also weakens the political power of the citizenry.
The 1.09 trillion total is without the 70 billion under “7) Intelligence” that are somehow omitted from the summation! Considering that all these funds do anything but keep us safe, it is just an out of control socialized spending benefiting government cronies, politicians and military brass.
Great Post, mrsannhitts.
The purpose of this money is to make us, ever, more UNSAFE.
Oil the gears of ENDLESS WAR MACHINE, as they CREATE Long Enduring Hatred against Our Nation by the Sheer Unadulterated Terror that they wreak through Sovereign Nation, after Sovereign Nation, which they have Illegally, Immorally, and Aggressively Invaded, Disrupted and Laid to Waste, hiding as best they can, their True Motives from the American Populace, AS WE DO WITHOUT, in order to FUND THEIR RACKET.