Tuesday, February 24

On Military Spending

Here we are, back to normal. Granted these numbers could be dubious but Wikipedia provides data on US military spending: for the 2009 fiscal year, the base budget rose to $515 billion. Adding emergency discretionary spending and supplemental spending brings the sum to $651 billion. This does not include many military-related items that are outside of the Defense Department budget, such as nuclear weapons research, maintenance and production (about $9.3 billion, which is in the DoE budget), Veterans Affairs (about $33.2 billion), interest on debt incurred in past wars, or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (which are largely funded through extra-budgetary supplements, about $170 billion in 2007). As of 2009, the United States government is spending about $1 trillion annually on defense-related purposes. This amounts to more than the entire world combined and 8X China. And the scary thing is this: to 2008, with one exception, every department rising faster than inflation (the Virginia Class Submarine see its year-on-year nipped -1.2% which must have been on heck 'uv a battle) while base spending, ie, ongoing, up 5.7%. There are several obvious conclusions: A) what nation-state do we fear and why do we have nuclear missle attack submarines?; B) we are the most hawkish nation in the world; C) this investment does not fight terrorism; and D) no wonder our roads crumble, education declines, streets less safe and national debt ballooning. There are others, too, of course but I hope all those fuckers in the Midwest living on corn fields appreciate their machismo. We are all paying for it.

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom."
Martin Luther King, Jr.