The Endless War paid for by our tax dollars
While our fiscal woes have led Congress to slash food aid this year to the world’s poor, the U.S. government will keep using your tax dollars to kill them. “Money for bombs, not bread,” might be the slogan.
And when it comes to dropping its citizens’ tax dollars on flying killer robots and foreign military occupations, no country comes close to the United States. According to SIPRI, the cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — more than $150 billion in direct spending this year alone — exceeds what China, the U.S.’s closest military rival, spends in total on its armed forces.
Since Obama took office, the U.S. has been almost entirely responsible for the global rise in military spending: $19.6 billion of $20.6 billion since 2008.
And the actual figure spent on war – the fighting of it, the preparation for it and the consequences of it – is substantially higher than acknowledged, with spending on military programs often buried in places like the Department of Energy, which oversees the U.S.’s massive stash of nuclear weapons. Counting those hidden costs, including veterans benefits, aid to foreign militaries and interest payments on defense-related debt, economist Robert Higgs estimates the U.S. government spends more than $1 trillion a year on empire.
“We will all need to make sacrifices,” Obama reiterated in his speech on the national debt — just not the Pentagon, which is guaranteed more money every year under this president’s watch.
[Excerpts of an article by Medea Benjamin and Charles Davis]