FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Who Will Pay for Huge Pentagon Budget Increase?

This week, the United States Senate overwhelmingly voted in favor of increasing military spending by $700 billion, pouring even more money into by far the most expensive military in the world and exceeding military funding from any time during the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. The U.S. Military budget is larger than the next nine most expensive countries combined, and this new budget now makes it ten countries.

Though both political parties are abrasive toward spending on social programs, from expanding the social safety net through policies like single payer healthcare, to boosting welfare, medicare, and social security, military spending receives little resistance, even in the wake of a massive accounting error at the Pentagon in which trillions of dollars are still unaccounted for. The spending increases continue a trend of enormous military spending set under the Obama Administration, in which the United States’ military budget was the highest its been since World War II.

89 Senators voted in favor of the bill that increased spending than what even Trump’s Administration proposed for programs in funded in the bill, from North Korea defense missile systems to new ships and aircraft. The bill provides funding that far exceeds what is reportedly saved by kicking 32 million people off of healthcare through the proposed Graham-Cassidy Obamacare repeal efforts. The Intercept reported it would take just $80 billion a yearto provide enough funding to enact free public college tuition across the country. But instead these policy proposals are dismissed or attacked with fear mongering, baseless rhetoric to frame them as intangible and too expensive. Pundits, think tank fellows, and lobbyists jump through hoops trying to come up with ways to discredit social welfare program proposals as far too ambitious, or down right socialist, to try to delegitimize them. Imagine if the same scrutiny was applied to military spending, but when it comes to funding war, the funding source is never up for debate.

Its disturbing how unanimous support is for significant boosts in military spending are compared to making investments and providing funding into a healthcare program that millions of Americans depend on to survive. Though there is no shortage of virtue signaling or criticisms toward universal healthcare proposals on the potential costs, often ignoring the savings yielded in return, when it comes to war, few elected officials are willing to challenge the military industrial complex. It also reveals a lot about the Democratic Party, who has branded itself on the Trump Resistance, yet poses virtually no resistance for boosting funds for the military that Trump and his administration presides over.

Only 8 Senators voted against the military spending boost, compared to 89 who voted in favor of it, a rare instance of bipartisanship in a highly polarized political climate. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Bob Corker (R-TN), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Mike Lee (R-UT) were the only votes against the spending increase.

This bipartisanship is reflective of special interests and war hawks who profit immensely off military spending, rather than representative of the interests of American voters. In 2017, weapons manufacturers and the Defense Industry have continued pouring millions of dollars in campaign contributions to both Republicans and Democrats. While less than 10 percent of Senators opposed this drastic boost in funding, several polls conducted over the course of the past few years affirm that a majority of voters support cutting military spending rather than adding to it. The military budget is just one prime example of how congress reflects the interests of corporations and wealthy donors, while ignoring and in many cases starkly opposing the interests of voters.

More articles by:

Michael Sainato’s writing has appeared in the Guardian, Miami Herald, Baltimore Sun, Denver Post, Buffalo News, the Hill, Alternet, and several other publications . Follow him on twitter: @MSainat1

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
September 20, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Unipolar Governance of the Multipolar World
Rob Urie
Strike for the Environment, Strike for Social Justice, Strike!
Miguel Gutierrez
El Desmadre: The Colonial Roots of Anti-Mexican Violence
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Pompeo and Circumstance
Andrew Levine
Why Democrats Really Should Not All Get Along But Sometimes Must Anyway
Louis Proyect
A Rebellion for the Wild West
T.J. Coles
A Taste of Their Own Medicine: the Politicians Who Robbed Iranians and Libyans Fear the Same for Brexit Britain
H. Bruce Franklin
How We Launched Our Forever War in the Middle East
Lee Hall
Mayor Obedience Training, From the Pet Products Industry
Louis Yako
Working in America: Paychecks for Silence
Michael D. Yates
Radical Education
Jonathan Cook
Israelis Have Shown Netanyahu the Door. Can He Inflict More Damage Before He Exits?
Valerie Reynoso
The Rising Monopoly of Monsanto-Bayer
John Steppling
American Psychopathy
Ralph Nader
25 Ways the Canadian Health Care System is Better than Obamacare for the 2020 Elections
Ramzy Baroud
Apartheid Made Official: Deal of the Century is a Ploy and Annexation is the New Reality
Vincent Emanuele
Small Town Values
John Feffer
The Threat of Bolton Has Retreated, But Not the Threat of War
David Rosen
Evangelicals, Abstinence, Abortion and the Mainstreaming of Sex
Judy Rohrer
“Make ‘America’ White Again”: White Resentment Under the Obama & Trump Presidencies
John W. Whitehead
The Police State’s Language of Force
Kathleen Wallace
Noblesse the Sleaze
Farzana Versey
Why Should Kashmiris be Indian?
Nyla Ali Khan
Why Are Modi and His Cohort Paranoid About Diversity?
Shawn Fremstad
The Official U.S. Poverty Rate is Based on a Hopelessly Out-of-Date Metric
Mel Gurtov
No War for Saudi Oil!
Robert Koehler
‘I’m Afraid You Have Humans’
David Swanson
Every Peace Group and Activist Should Join Strike DC for the Earth’s Climate
Scott Owen
In Defense of Non-violent Actions in Revolutionary Times
Jesse Jackson
Can America Break Its Gun Addiction?
Priti Gulati Cox
Sidewalk Museum of Congress: Who Says Kansas is Flat?
Mohamad Shaaf
The Current Political Crisis: Its Roots in Concentrated Capital with the Resulting Concentrated Political Power
Max Moran
Revolving Door Project Probes Thiel’s White House Connection
Arshad Khan
Unhappy India
Nick Pemberton
Norman Fucking Rockwell! and 24 Other Favorite Albums
Nicky Reid
The Bigotry of ‘Hate Speech’ and Facebook Fascism
Paul Armentano
To Make Vaping Safer, Legalize Cannabis
Jill Richardson
Punching Through Bad Headlines
Jessicah Pierre
What the Felicity Huffman Scandal Says About America
John Kendall Hawkins
Draining the Swamp, From the Beginning of Time
Julian Rose
Four Funerals and a Wedding: A Brief History of the War on Humanity
Victor Grossman
Film, Music and Elections in Germany
Charles R. Larson
Review: Ahmet Altan’s “I Will Never See the World Again”
David Yearsley
Jazz is Activism
Elliot Sperber
Captains of Industry 
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail