Trumps Attack on Social Spending Escalates Long-term Massive Robbery of American Work

The Trump administration has proposed  $1.7 trillion in cuts to major social programs for the coming yea while funneling even more money to the military-security state.The proposal is  a qualitative escalation of long-term government  attacks on existing social services.  But it is in reality small  potatoes compared to the decades-long channeling of ever-more of the wealth produced by Americas mental and physical workers to the military and finance capital.

Let’s go back to  2008 to see how this works. Since 2008 the U.S. government has transferred, about 1 trillion dollars per year, in free money under the so-called ‘quantitative easing program’ to the banks and major financial institutions. That’s a total of about 8 trillion dollars in free money transferred over eight years.

It’s sometimes said that ‘they just print the money’ so perhaps it doesn’t matter.  But that is not correct.  In fact, that money is a claim on socially produced wealth – goods and services – created by mental and physical workers in the U.S.  That’s eight trillion dollars removed from workers to the wealthy who control or hold stocks in the financial institutions.

Now let’s add another number for military expenditures.   The official government number has been around 500 billion per year for some years.   But if related expenditures for the military-security apparatus, such as the NSA, the CIA, and so forth, and we also include the cost of taking care of the military veterans who have been physically or mentally maimed in the wars of aggression they were pushed into, then the number approaches 1 trillion per year.

So in the past eight years combined transfers to the banks and finance capital, and military-security expenditures have totally around 2 trillion per year

That’s 16 trillion dollops worth of social wealth removed from working people over the past eight years.  That money could not be spent to build infrastructure; that money could not be spent to alleviate poverty; it could not be spent to create good jobs; to take care of the environment; to create a true universal health care system, and so forth.

A government that spends endless trillions to support a military-security apparatus oriented to wars of aggression, while sending more trillions to its wall street friends, clearly doe not represent the interests or needs of the American people  It’s not for nothing that a survey of young people in the U.S. found that a majority, though they may not fully understand it yet, said they preferred socialism to capitalism.

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Eric Sommer is an international journalist.

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