Tag Archives: Military spending

Pity the Nation: War Spending Is Bankrupting America, by John W. Whitehead

The warfare state is certainly helping to bankrupt America, but John Whitehead goes too easy on the welfare state. From Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“Pity the nation whose people are sheep
And whose shepherds mislead them
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars
Whose sages are silenced
And whose bigots haunt the airwaves
Pity the nation that raises not its voice
Except to praise conquerors
And acclaim the bully as hero
And aims to rule the world
By force and by torture…
Pity the nation oh pity the people
who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away…”
~ Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet

War spending is bankrupting America.

Our nation is being preyed upon by a military industrial complex that is propped up by war profiteers, corrupt politicians and foreign governments.

America has so much to offer – creativity, ingenuity, vast natural resources, a rich heritage, a beautifully diverse populace, a freedom foundation unrivaled anywhere in the world, and opportunities galore – and yet our birthright is being sold out from under us so that power-hungry politicians, greedy military contractors, and bloodthirsty war hawks can make a hefty profit at our expense.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that your hard-earned tax dollars are being used for national security and urgent military needs.

It’s all a ruse.

You know what happens to tax dollars that are left over at the end of the government’s fiscal year? Government agencies – including the Department of Defense – go on a “use it or lose it” spending spree so they can justify asking for money in the next fiscal year.

We’re not talking chump change, either.

We’re talking $97 billion worth of wasteful spending.

According to an investigative report by Open the Government, among the items purchased during the last month of the fiscal year when government agencies go all out to get rid of these “use it or lose it” funds: Wexford Leather club chair ($9,241), china tableware ($53,004), alcohol ($308,994), golf carts ($673,471), musical equipment including pianos, tubas, and trombones ($1.7 million), lobster tail and crab ($4.6 million), iPhones and iPads ($7.7 million), and workout and recreation equipment ($9.8 million).

So much for draining the swamp.

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Pentagon Fails First Audit, Neocons Demand More Spending! by Ron Paul

Give Russia, which efficiently funds its military on about a tenth of what the US does, the US military budget and it would rule the world. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.com:

The Pentagon has finally completed its first ever audit and the results are as many of us expected. After spending nearly a billion dollars to find out what has happened to trillions in unaccounted-for spending, the long look through the books has concluded that only ten percent of all Pentagon agencies pass muster. I am surprised any of them did.

Even the Pentagon is not surprised by the failure of the audit. “We failed the audit. But we never expected to pass it,” said Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan. Can we imagine any large US company subject to the prying eyes of the IRS being so unfazed by the discovery that its books have been so mis-handled?

As with all government programs, but especially when it comes to military spending, the failure of a program never leads to calls for funding reductions. The Pentagon’s failure to properly account for the trillions of taxpayer dollars shoveled in year after year only means, they say, that we need to send more money! Already they are claiming that with more resources – meaning money – they can fix some of the problems identified by the audit.If you subsidize something you get much more of it, and in this case we are subsidizing Pentagon incompetence. Expect much more of it.

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U.S Elections. Not a Word about Wars, not a Peep about Peace: Beware! by Gerald Celente

Brutally stupid, inconclusive wars that have inflicted immeasurable chaos and killed thousands of American military and the people they are supposedly protecting merited almost no mention during the latest campaign season. From Gerald Celente at The Trends Research Institute via lewrockwell.com:

Counting up the votes in a midterm election turnout that hit a 50-year high in the United States, all major party candidates running for the House and Senate championed America’s military/industrial/intelligence defense complex and its ballooning budget.

Throughout the election cycle, not one Republican or Democratic candidate presented a campaign platform to end America’s longest, losing Afghan War, nor to end its other illegal and unconstitutional foreign engagements in the Middle East and Africa that’s killing people, destroying nations and intensifying the hatred against We the People.

Indeed, not only was “Peace” a dirty word on the 2018 campaign trail, eight House seats that went to Democratic candidates were won by former members of the military/national security complex… veterans, Central Intelligence Agency and State Department officials. And even the gubernatorial race in solidly Republican Kansas was won by a Democrat who touted her family’s strong military credentials.

Imagine, trillions spent and millions killed in illegal, immoral wars with no end in sight – launched on platforms based on lies from Washington and promoted by the media – and it was NEVER a campaign issue in the 2018 midterm elections.

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The ‘Resistance’ Supports Trump’s Evil Agendas While Attacking Fake Nonsense, by Caitlin Johnstone

Trump’s enemies are seeking his impeachment for whatever they can hang on him, but they won’t go after him for travesties like Yemen and the defense budget that they support. From Caitlin Johnstone at theantimedia.com:

new article from the Wall Street Journal reports that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lied to congress about the measures Saudi Arabia is taking to minimize the civilian casualties in its catastrophic war on Yemen, and that he did so in order to secure two billion dollars for war profiteers.

This is about as depraved as anything you could possibly imagine. US-made bombs have been conclusively tied to civilian deaths in a war which has caused the single worst humanitarian crisis on earth, a crisis which sees scores of Yemeni children dying every single day and has placed five million children at risk of death by starvation in a nation where families are now eating leaves to survive. CIA veteran Bruce Riedel once said that “if the United States of America and the United Kingdom tonight told King Salman that this war has to end, it would end tomorrow, because the Royal Saudi Airforce cannot operate without American and British support.” Nobody other than war plutocrats benefits from the US assisting Saudi Arabia in its monstrous crimes against humanity, and yet Pompeo chose to override his own expert advisors on the matter for fear of hurting the income of those very war plutocrats.

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How America’s Wars Have Created Piles of Debt (And Little Strategic Benefit), by Jacob Heilbrunn

The welfare state by itself could probably put America into bankruptcy, but the warfare state has done its share. From Jacob Heilbrunn at nationalinterest.org:

America risks the return of the very fiscal and foreign policy perils that Walter Lippmann warned about almost a century ago.

When Defense Secretary James N. Mattis spoke at the 2018 Center for the National Interest Distinguished Service Award dinner in late July, he outlined a foreign policy strategy for the United States that focused on the resurgence of great-power competition. Mattis also warned that the United States could endanger itself from within. Specifically, he stated that the growing national debt amounts to a form of “inter-generational theft” that Congress must address.

The solvency of the United States and the balance between commitments and power has been an abiding theme of foreign policy realists. In his book, U.S. Foreign Policy: Shield of the Republic , the dean of American realist thinkers, Walter Lippmann, observed in 1943:

No one would seriously suppose that he had a fiscal policy if he did not consider together expenditure and revenue, outgo and income, liabilities and assets. But in foreign relations we have habitually in our minds divorced the discussion of our war aims, our peace aims, our ideals, our interests, our commitments, from the discussion of our armaments, our strategic position, our potential allies and our probable enemies. No policy could emerge from such a discussion. For what settles practical controversy is the knowledge that ends and means have to be balanced: an agreement has eventually to be reached when men admit that they must pay for what they want and that they must want only what they are willing to pay for.

In 1987, Samuel Huntington wrote an essay in Foreign Affairs called “Coping With the Lippmann Gap.” He reiterated that America was incurring commitments abroad that it was not willing to pay for at home. Such warnings have gone largely unheeded.

To continue reading: How America’s Wars Have Created Piles of Debt (And Little Strategic Benefit)

Democrats and Republicans Unite to Hand Trump $717 Billion in Military Spending, by Jake Johnson

The humongous US military budget gets even more humongous. From Jake Johnson at theantimedia.org:

With the help of 139 Democrats, the House of Representatives on Thursday easily rammed through the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which—if it passes the Senate—will hand President Donald Trump $717 billion in military spending.

“Of the total $717 billion, the bill would authorize $616.9 billion for the base Pentagon budget, $21.9 billion for nuclear weapons programs under the Energy Department, and another $69 billion in war spending from the special Overseas Contingency Operations account,” Politico reported following the 359-54 vote. View the full roll call here.

Additionally, the NDAA passed by the House would authorize 13 new Navy warships, approve the Pentagon’s request to buy 77 F-35s, and green-light “a new submarine-launched, low-yield nuclear warhead,” Politico notes.

“How are they going to pay for this?” asked one commentator on Twitter. “Oh wait, that question only gets asked when it comes to social programs that benefit the working class.”

The House’s passage of the 2019 NDAA comes just days after Trump fired off a hysterical Twitter rant against Iran, warning the nation’s leaders in all capital letters to “NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN.”

What Trump didn’t mention is that Iran’s so-called “threat” against the United States came after a Reuters report revealed that the White House—led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton—has launched a secret effort to “foment unrest” inside Iran, which critics described as an obvious push for regime change.

Amid escalating tensions between the two nations sparked by Trump’s ultra-hawkish administration, one of the few tiny bright spots in the NDAA is language that says“nothing in this act may be construed to authorize the use of force against Iran.”

This “explanatory statement” was included thanks to amendments pushed by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and passed unanimously by the House.

The New Handmaids of the Warfare State – Dems and the Liberal Media, by David Stockman

Once upon a time prominent Democrats and liberals almost reflexively opposed the military and the intelligence agencies. No more, now they are some of their biggest supporters. From David Stockman at antiwar.com:

If you want to know why America is going to hell in a fiscal hand basket, it’s because the last vestige of opposition to the Warfare State and the fiscal muggings of the military/industry/intelligence complex has utterly evaporated.

We are referring, of course, to the delirious Russophobia that has overtaken the Dems and the liberal media since they had the daylights shocked out of them by the 2016 election – a state of mental derangement that has degenerated into downright hysteria since the Helsinki Summit.

It had already been the case that anti-Russian policy actions (e.g. sanctions) pass through the Congress with bipartisan greased lightening, and defense appropriations had exploded to the highest level in postwar history in real terms.

In fact, the $716 billion just approved for FY 2019 compared to a constant dollar level of just $550 billion (2018$) in FY 1990 – the final year before the Soviet Union with its 55,000 tanks and 9,000 nuclear warheads slithered off the pages of history.

So we are already spending 30% more than at the peak of the Cold War, but you haven’t seen nothing yet. Not now that Rachel Maddow and Anderson Cooper have become rabid war hawks, virtually begging for military confrontation with Russia and its pipsqueak economy and pint-sized military.

As we keep mentioning, the GDP of the NATO-29 is $36 trillion, and that is 26Xthat of Russia. Likewise, when you add the NATO-28’s military spending of $280 billion to Washington’s humungous defense budget, the total is nigh on to $1 trillion per year – or 16X Russia’s entire military expenditure of $61 billion per annum.

We emphasize this massive imbalance of economic resources and military might as between NATO and Russia because it is the very reason why the bellicosity and fiscal largesse from Capitol Hill won’t diminish any time soon. That is to say, the Imperial City politicians are in a full frontal bully mode because they believe (not unreasonably) that the can huff, puff and spend with relative impunity.

This is not at all like the days of the real cold war in the 1960s and 1970s when America actually did face a deadly dangerous enemy; and when it was also evident to most rational people that rash provocations could be fatal and that the Cold War was something to be vigilantly endured, not won.

To continue reading: The New Handmaids of the Warfare State – Dems and the Liberal Media