Monday, February 9, 2009

Military Spending Killing All Americans

Are you starving yet? If you do not want hunger in your future, you would be well-advised to get involved with your government's budgeting process. While millions of Americans struggle with individual survival, the makings of a catastrophe is made worst by a military that is strangling our capacity to stop the slide. And, they continue to lobby for more. Much of the US military budget is hidden from taxpayers, but Robert Higgs, a military analyst, has proposed that "in considering...defense budgetary costs, a well-founded rule of thumb is to take the Pentagon’s (always well publicized) basic budget total and double it. We may overstate the truth, but if so, we’ll not do so by much." (The Trillion-Dollar Defense Budget Is Already Here, March 15, 2007). The 2006 budget for national security was extrapolated by Higgs below:

National Security Outlays in Fiscal Year 2006 (billions of dollars)
Department of Defense499.4
Department of Energy (nuclear weapons & environ. cleanup)16.6
Department of State25.3
Department of Veterans Affairs69.8
Department of Homeland Security69.1
Department of Justice (1/3 of FBI)1.9
Department of the Treasury (for Military Retirement Fund)38.5
National Aeronautics & Space Administration (1/2 of total)7.6
Net interest attributable to past debt-financed defense outlays206.7
Source: Author’s classifications and calculations; basic data from U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2008 and U.S. Bureau of the Census, Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970.

"Each year," Chalmers Johnson writes, "we Americans account for nearly half of all global military spending, an amount larger than the next 45 nations together spend on their militaries annually." (The Looming Crisis at the Pentagon: How Taxpayers Finance Fantasy Wars. What's worse is the enormous waste and lack of fiduciary responsibility the US miltary command and Congress exercises over taxpayer money. Over 87000 weapons are reported missing in Afghanistan. Is it possible that private contractors are selling these weapons on the blackmarket? Yes, it is.

For more information, download the fifth annual edition of the “Unified Security Budget.” As with the previous four editions, a non-partisan task force of military, homeland security, and foreign policy experts laid out the facts of the imbalance between military and non-military spending. The ratio of funding for military forces vs. non-military international engagement in the Bush administration’s proposed budget for the 2009 fiscal year has widened to 18:1 from 16:1 in the 2008 fiscal year, according to the report.

They don't really care about our money! Just ask the invalided, injured, and homeless veterans on the street.

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