Monday, February 9, 2009

We Spend More On Wars Than We Spend On Education, Environment, Justice, Veterans, Housing Assistance, Transportation, Job Training, Agriculture...

That's why we're broke. We have allowed the military industrial complex, and the financial cartels that own them, to steal most of the money from this country and spend it on wasteful weapons and illegal wars of aggression. Kidnapping, torture, murder, stealing other people's resources, occupying other countries: turns out it's enough to bankrupt a country.

$922 Billion in war spending since 2001. And how broken is our economy? Obama doesn't know if $800 Billion will solve the problems, but it's in the ballpark. Why have the Republicans been so enthusiastic in supporting this waste of our money on needless wars? Because they get so many bribes and kick-backs from the military industrial complex?

Are you better off today than you were before Bush stole $900 Billion to start wars against other countries so his oil corporation friends could steal the oil?

Remember that scene in Gone with the Wind, when Scarlett O'Hara kills a Yankee who had come into their home? And she says "Now I've done murder." As if she was wondering aloud what more she would be willing to do, what more she was capable of doing. Of course she was killing someone who was trying to hurt her, which was the right response. But I sometimes think of Congress, and our politicians, as they take money daily from the worst lobbyists in the country, from the sleaziest Wall Street coked-up whore-loving thieves, I wonder if our politicians ever say to themselves "Now I've done murder," when they take the money that will ruin other people's lives, when they vote for wars of aggression. I doubt it. They're too busy counting their loot.

"In October 2008, the Congressional Research Service estimated that lawmakers have appropriated $864 billion for the Iraq war and occupation, ongoing military operations in Afghanistan, and other activities associated with the global war on terror since 2001. The Pentagon says that it will need another $170 billion for fiscal 2009 (which begins in October 2008), which would push war spending since 2001 to $922 billion – close to one trillion dollars.
To help the imagination absorb this inconceivable figure, New York Times columnist Bob Herbert has a useful comparison: He begins with a stack of one-thousand dollar bills roughly six inches high. That six-inch stack is worth one million dollars. Then, a $1 billion stack would be as tall as the Washington Monument, and a $1 trillion stack would be 95 miles high. $922 billion over seven years is about $2.5 billion per week to fight war."

"And that is not the total amount of the money that we spend on the military. This $922 billion in war spending since 2001 is not part of the U.S. annual military budget. In fact, the spending comes in the form of emergency supplementals the Bush administration has been submitting to Congress a few times a year, and is on top of the Pentagon’s regular budget. For fiscal year 2009, military spending will total roughly $541 billion – including the Pentagon’s budget, plus work on nuclear warheads and naval-reactors at the Department of Energy. The Bush administration has presided over one of the largest military buildups in the history of the United States. In 2001, military spending totaled just over $300 billion."

"Military spending dwarfs all other aspects of the U.S. federal budget. Military spending represents 58 cents out of every dollar spent by the U.S. government on discretionary programs (those that Congress gets to vote up or down on an annual basis). This means that military spending is more than the combined totals of spending on education, environmental protection, justice administration, veteran’s benefits, housing assistance, transportation, job training, agriculture, energy, and economic development. The military budget is more than 30 times higher than all State Department operations and non-military foreign aid combined, and almost 110 times more than the roughly $5 billion per year the U.S. government spends on combating global warming."

From Then, This Is the Year: Imagining Our Way to the Peace Economy
By Frida Berrigan

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