WHY DO MOST
DEMOCRATS IGNORE THE
ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM, THE $750 BILLION
MILITARY EXPENSE IN OBAMA's 2012 BUDGET?
Under Obama's new 2012 budget, military spending would be
$553 billion next year. It then grows by $100 billion
The real amount of the US Imperial Budget is closer to $750
if one includes the wars on Irag, Afghanistan and Pakistan and
secret National Intelligence Budget. Source.
Obama is trying to position himself
exactly between the Republicans
in the House and the Democrats in the Senate.
Neither party represents the poor or the
unemployed. Both parties cater
to the rich and the military industrial complex in order to get
contributions and get favorable treatment from the corporate
like General Electric and NBC. As a result, only a few
members of Congress dare
to heed Eisenhower's warning about the American military
Republican (Ron Paul) and Democrats (Dennis Kucinich and Bernie
are the major exceptions.
One in seven Americans
is poor. One in four children is in a family in
poverty. Nearly 50 million Americans have no health
which every other industrialized country in the world
guarantees all its citizens.
The top 1% of Americans in wealth own more than 50% of the
wealth. The super rich care more about their stock
portfolios. As a result,
the stocks representing the leading defense contractors
(NOC, BA, ROK, GD,
UTX, RTN and LMT) have turned up recently, the realization
now being that
there would be no big hits to their military contracts.
See their individual
TigerSoft charts at the bottom of this page.
It is very clear that the very rich
do not seem to care much about Main Steet
America. They are supported by Washington, which they
can now control.
It is clear that they run America. If they cared,
things would be different.
Instead, the rich are busy exporting jobs, bribing
maintaining the American Empire by making military spending
elephant whose wild rampage cannot be challenged or
by budget cuts.
In this Washington context, Obama's priorities
seem utterly perverted and
lacking in compassion when viewed outside of Washington.
Though, one in
seven Americans are desperately poor. Obama prefers to cut
for the disabled and the elderly and axe the Pell education
needy students, rather than control the wild elephant of military
spending. He seems oblivious that the American middle class
Taxes are onerous, unfair and destructive of employment.
real wages and reward exportation of jobs. Income from
investments are taxed
at a rate far below that imposed on a secretary, a school
teacher, a farm
worker ot a lathe operator. The tax rates on the super rich
that Obama promised
to raise, he left alone in December; this alone will cost $300
billion over the next
Meanwhile, the Pentagon has almost 1000 bases overseas to
against what? The Pentagon's budget equals the
of the rest of the world combined. Our trillion
dollar war in Iraq was based
on lies. Our war in Afghanistan and covertly in
Pakistan is counter-
productive. It is allienating the very people we say
we want to defend.
This is obvious. Most Americans would sharply cut
and end the war in Afhanistan-Pakistan. But popular
opinion is ignored.
The Republicans and Democrats have agreed overwhelmingly to
the present military and imperial budget.
While I can understand Obama's heartless political
cynicism, I consider
his betrayal of his political base to be utterly
despicable and heartless.
What is harder to undertand is the failure of
Democrats to condemn his failure to cut back military
This spending on far flung bases, military golf
courses and weapons
that perpetuate an arms race is much worse than a
tragic, colossal waste.
It is counter-productive. It guarantees that
Americans will be hated
and we will be attacked again and again. War
and torture are so cruel.
Yet we hurtle down this road to self-destruction.
paying for the imperial military is bankrupting us.
Yet, Obama and
almost all Washington politicians are silent.
Why can't they see
the consequences of their perverted priorities?
It hurts average
Americans so much to pay for this wild elephant. $750
billion a year,
more than $2500 for each man, woman child in America.
These were the thoughts that ran through my
mind when I got an
email today from David Swanson, a long-time
opponent of this wild elephant,
unchecked military spending and cruel
war-making a half a world
away. I am quoting it in its
||David Swanson is the author of War Is A Lie |
Let's Try Democracy
and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect
Union." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org
How Many Progressive Budget Analysts Does It Take
to Notice the Military?
By David Swanson
Whether or not one recklessly and misleadingly includes Social Security and Medicare and
Medicaid in discussions of the federal discretionary budget, the fact remains that over
half of the discretionary budget (of everything other than Social Security and Medicare
and Medicaid) is military. The primary talking point coming out of the White House is the
need to freeze all non-military discretionary spending. And yet it is difficult to find a progressive analysis of the budget
President Obama proposed on Monday that even mentions the existence of the military.
Here's Robert Reich
arguing for taxing and spending. I agree with everything he says. I would tax the rich if
all it accomplished was taxing the rich. I would spend on the poor if the money had to be
borrowed. But there has to be some reason why Reich does not mention the option of funding
everything he dreams of and more by cutting the military back to merely three times the
size of anyone else's. He must believe the United States benefits from and can survive an
ever-larger military budget. Or he must be afraid to say otherwise.
You can find similar, military-free analysis at the Campaign for America's Future, although CAF does squeeze mention
of the military in here, and at the Nation. At Huffington Post the main story doesn't mention the military, and it's
followed by a blurb misleadingly suggesting that the "defense" budget is being
cut, while in reality it is going up. The Center on
Budget and Policy Priorities includes one half sentence misleadingly suggesting
"defense" is being cut.
Ezra Klein, not your most progressive blogger, was, to his credit, among those bucking the
trend. He called the United States government An insurance conglomerate protected by a large, standing army and
pointed out that The Defense Department won the future, or at least the budget.
You can listen to the audio recording of a phone call the White House held on Monday with
progressive bloggers here. Congressional Budget Office spokesman Ken Baer briefly mentions
the White House's misleading claim to be cutting $78 billion from "defense"
without stressing that those are theoretical cuts in future years and cuts from a dream
list but actually increases above this year's budget. White House adviser David Plouffe
did not mention the military at all in his initial comments when he joined the call late.
Progressive bloggers asked why the budget was so hard on poor people and so easy on the
rich, why funding for poor people's heat was being slashed, how cuts could possibly be
good for the economy, et cetera. They wanted spending, not cuts. They dragged in Social
Security. But the call was almost over before a single one of them brought up the
existence of the U.S. military, despite the fact that over half of discretionary spending
goes there, and despite the consensus among economists that the same spending elsewhere
would produce many more jobs and jobs with better pay.
Christina O'Connell with FireDogLake, always the best blog that manages to maintain access
to these calls, asked about the pretended cuts in military spending and about the ongoing
war spending and whether there would be additional off-the-books supplemental bills.
Plouffe replied by bashing Bush's practice of using supplementals despite Obama having
broken a promise and used them for the past two years, but did not promise not to go on
using them for a third year. At the same time Plouffe meaninglessly bragged about a
decrease in war spending in the 2012 budget. He did not reply at all to the first half of
O'Connell's question, regarding the pretense that overall military spending is being cut
while in reality it is going up. He did not explain that the theoretical future cuts are
only proposed as cuts to wish lists while still allowing the budget to increase year by
Why the lack of interest among the other bloggers in the majority of the budget they are
Do progressive bloggers consider it their duty to talk (albeit in a better way) about the
topics those in power want to talk about? Would it be rude to raise a new topic no matter
Or do progressives who are loyal to the Democratic Party and therefore invited on White
House phone calls share Barack Obama's desire to increase the military every year and use
it against a growing number of countries each year?
These are serious questions, even deadly serious questions.