Debt Crisis: Military Spending And Wars Collapsing America
America has enough weapons of mass destruction to kill life on the planet several times over. So, why does U.S. annually spend $700 billion on weaponry? When will Americans realize these foreign wars always exact a costly domestic price at home?
[Speaking Truth To Power]
Last week, after months of grandstanding GOP rhetoric, Congress with the clock winding down finally raised the debt ceiling. But why are the most virulently, pretentious pontificators of addressing America’s debt so silent about the devouring of the nation’s treasury by the ongoing immoral overseas wars?
The Budget Control Act of 2011 was passed on August 2, and signed into law by President Obama. The bill’s primary goal is to cut $1.5 trillion over 10 years. The legislation requires Congress to vote on a balanced budget amendment between October 1, 2011 and the beginning of 2012. The bill also mandated that a “super committee” composed of six Republicans and six Democrats be setup to oversee and help produce debt reduction legislation.
The bill has created widespread disenchantment among progressive Democrats and those in the Tea Party. The Tea Party representatives, and Republicans, complain the bill doesn’t cut government spending enough. They insinuate the reason we have massive debt in America is due to “entitlement” programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
Progressives argue that President Obama caved to the brutish, bully tactics of the Tea Party, and Republicans, and compromised on a wretched bill that will further impoverish the working-class and poor people. Many decry the fact that none of the cost saving measures required any sacrifices from the wealthy. Cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security are on the table, but the Republicans stood fast to their demand against any increase in revenues. Republicans even objected to closing existing tax-loopholes for wealthy corporations.
Since the 2010 Elections, and the retaking of the House of Representatives by Republicans, we’ve heard much bellowing hot air about the need for the nation to get its fiscal house in order. With their ascendancy, in Washington, the Tea Party crackpots have launched a program of austerity that will only benefit the rich. Social welfare programs are now being targeted by these pretentious debt hawks—who will no doubt try to gut these programs when this so-called “super committee” convenes.
Yet while these “responsible” politicians have decided these programs are to be eviscerated why aren’t they proposing slashing the grotesquely humongous size of the military budget?
America spends, by far, more than any other nation—now averaging around $500 to $700 billion a year—on military expenditures annually. In fact, the United States military budget accounts for over 41 percent of the world’s annual military expenditures—some say the true percentage is 47 percent. By comparison, China, which is second in the world, in military spending, averages around $80 billion a year. England and France spend around $65 billion a year.
We know America has enough weapons of mass destruction to kill life on the planet several times over. So, why does this nation continue to spend so much on weaponry? When will Americans realize these foreign wars always exact a costly domestic price at home?
For the past several months, Washington Republicans have engaged in hyperventilating hysterics about the need to curtailing America’s debt. But the debt debate amounted to nothing more than a grandstanding theater of the absurd. No serious discussion of the debt can occur without tackling the exorbitant amount of money that is wasted on war. Moreover, lack of jobs and growth are the primary problems now, not the debt.
The most galling aspect of this sideshow is the Republicans’ attempt to portray themselves as the responsible stewards of fiscal frugalness. Aren’t these people the ones who got us into this mess with deregulation policies, tax-breaks for the rich and foreign wars? Didn’t President Bill Clinton leave America with a surplus which President Bush, and his Republican cronies, quickly squandered? And now we’re supposed to believe they’re committed to solving America’s debt problem? Do pigs ever clean up their pigsty?
Where were House Speaker John Boehner, Senator Mitch McConnell and the Republicans when the Bush White House was busy looting the treasury? Let’s be clear, Republican presidents are the ones who’ve increased the debt with their no tax for the rich policies and imperial wars. The last four Republican presidents all drove up the national debt. The last four Democratic presidents did the opposite.
But now Republicans, and the Tea Party crackpots, tell us to shrink the country’s debt we must cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and any “entitlement” programs for the poor. Are these folks really trying to say America has a debt problem because it spends too much on its needy citizens?
The debt ceiling bill, that was just passed, is slated to slash $1 trillion over 10 years. The national debt now stands at $14 trillion. But, consider this: since 9-11, America has spent $7 trillion on defense and national security. We now know the total cost of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan could reach as high as $4 trillion. Check out www.costofwar.org.
And why has close to $800 million, of American taxpayer money, been spent to help religious extremists—and terrorists—or so-called "rebels" in Benghazi attain power in Libya?
If Americans are serious about reducing the national debt, the nation must honestly reconsider the huge sums of money it spends on the military. Isn’t it time America spend money to empower its citizens at home rather than promote destructive, expensive wars abroad?
"Speaking Truth To Empower."
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