Half of every dollar we pay in Federal taxes goes into the military account
Seymour Melman, a professor emeritus at Columbia University, once said, “We have gone mad,” citing presidents and Pentagon chiefs starting new wars even before they finish fighting the old ones!
Who can recall a time in our history when the U.S. initiated aggressive wars against five nations (Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen)?
Between 1947 and 1989, Melman said, the U.S. spent $8.2 trillion (in 1982 dollars) on the military. When I said I couldn’t grasp a figure that large, Melman replied, “Think of it this way: In 1982, the total money value of all America’s manufacturing, industry and its infrastructure amounted to $7.3 trillion. You could have replicated the largest part of everything made by people in this country with what the military got.”
Melman went on to say, “Half of every dollar you pay in Federal taxes goes into the military account. Pentagon contractors are awash in billions while the infrastructure that underpins our economy collapse around us and human misery spreads everywhere.”
Fast-forward: Today, the Pentagon still gets roughly half of every tax dollar. The War Resisters League estimates 54% of the pie goes to the military compared with 30% for all human resources, 11 percent for general government and 5% for physical resources.
Defense contractors are awash in profits while lines lengthen at soup kitchens, foreclosed families sleep in shelters, 20 million are jobless or underemployed, food stamp use sets records, summer jobs for teens have vanished, and President Obama appears willing to rat out the elderly on Social Security and Medicare as too costly while he authorizes new CIA drone attacks on Pakistan.
The Pentagon budget does more than absorb tax dollars. It punishes the civilian sector.
[Excerpt of article by Sherwood Ross, Anti-War News Service]