|01-27-2010, 12:00 PM||#1|
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Cut Pentagon Budget for Jobs & Reducing the Deficit
Jacqueline Marcus: Cut Pentagon Budget for Jobs & Reducing the Deficit
Submitted by BuzzFlash on Fri, 12/11/2009 - 10:08am. Guest Commentary
BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARY
by Jacqueline Marcus
If the Republicans' proposal for creating jobs is "reduce Federal spending," fine! Then let's begin with cutting the Pentagon budget by 30 percent. With that 30 percent savings, President Obama can solve just about every problem we're facing right now from paying off the national debt, to creating green jobs, to rebuilding our infrastructure with money left over for college funding.
It was reported in The New York Times: "The Pentagon 2009 budget of $515.4 billion, annual military spending, when adjusted for inflation, will have reached its highest level since World War II."
And that is a conservative figure!
Estimated Pentagon spending figures are as high as $970 billion a year -- this doesn't include the supplemental spending of $600 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, nor does it include the covert spending for the CIA (which is another article, in itself, but certainly related to the problem of "excessive military spending").
Nearly 54 cents out of every tax dollar goes to the Pentagon budget. That's GROSSLY UNFAIR! The Pentagon hogs nearly 54% of the public's treasury for their pet weapon projects, and who knows where the money is going because there really is no Congressional oversight keeping tabs on all those billions of tax dollars -- at a time when Americans are suffering, when people are losing millions of jobs and homes, and when they can hardly afford to put bread on the table. In fact, the number of Americans on food stamps is at an all-time high.
This was Eisenhower's (A Republican President) warning regarding the Pentagon budget expansion of the military industrial complex: Defense spending would deplete funding for Americans; it will lead to an economic depression. That is exactly what is happening under our war economy, the Military Elite contractors in the Pentagon are getting filthy rich during the worst depression since the Dust Bowl days.
We are asked to make sacrifices, but the Pentagon NEVER sacrifices a dime for our country. They demand more of our tax dollars from Congressional members, and every president has bowed to their demands. The Pentagon consumes over half the annual national budget to sustain a business of producing weapons of mass destruction. Bush/Cheney annihilated Iraq, a perfectly functional country before it was attacked. Now it's completely uninhabitable due to nuclear radiation cancer exposure from U.S. weapons and from the ongoing deadly chaos. What an accomplishment! Three cheers for the Pentagon! They really put that trillion-dollar budget to use, didn't they? They can also be proud of using those billions of dollars to build new torture prisons for natives who object to the U.S. invasion. We see why the Press stopped asking if Iraq was better off with Saddam Hussein in charge.
By contrast, in Denmark, college education is free for students who've made the grades. In the United States, "Most people leave college because they have trouble going to school while working to support themselves."
Why can't our Government provide college funding after Denmark's program? Why? The Pentagon budget hogs all the money. Why can't we pay off the Bush/Cheney war debt? Why? The Pentagon budget is what CREATED the debt in the first place!
Robert Gates and his Generals predictably threaten President Obama not to cut the Pentagon budget. In response, the President should say that the people can't do ALL the sacrificing, alone; it's time for the Pentagon to do a little sacrificing as well for their country. A Google search tells the story of the INFLATED Pentagon budget, a monstrosity with octopus arms raiding the treasury of billions of dollars for unnecessary projects.
The Department of Defense is equal to the military spending of 15 countries combined.
Current Military $895 billion:
• Military Personnel $129 billion
• Operation & Maint. $241 billion
• Procurement $143 billion
• Research & Dev. $79 billion
• Construction $15 billion
• Family Housing $3 billion
• DoD misc. $4 billion
• DoE nuclear weapons $17 billion
• NASA (50%) $9 billion
• International Security $9 billion
• Homeland Secur. (military) $35 billion
• State Dept. (partial) $6 billion
• other military (non-DoD) $5 billion
• "Global War on Terror" $200 billion [We added $162 billion to the last item to supplement the Budget's grossly underestimated $38 billion in "allowances" to be spent in 2009 for the "War on Terror," which includes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan]
If the Republicans want President Obama to cut Federal spending, terrific! Start now by cutting the Pentagon budget by 30 percent and use that savings to create new green jobs, to put Americans back to work, to rebuild our country's infrastructure. It's criminal for the Pentagon to take 54% of our hard-earned tax dollars -- Why should the "Military Industrialize Complex and their boys can continue to live high on the hog while nearly half the population in this country is begging for work and on food stamps!