Why the US is going broke - you can\'t have both a high standard of living and a rapacious military

      Home » World events & politics » Why the US is going broke - you can't have both a high standard of living and a rapacious military

Why the US is going broke - you can't have both a high standard of living and a rapacious military

Fascinating article on how the US is in an unsustainable situation economically. With unsupportable demands on the economy from both the domestic and the military sectors, a crisis point will soon be reached.

It is virtually impossible to overstate the profligacy of what our government spends on the military.

The Department of Defense's planned expenditures for the fiscal year 2008 are larger than all other nations' military budgets combined.

The supplementary budget to pay for the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not part of the official defense budget, is itself larger than the combined military budgets of Russia and China. Defense-related spending for fiscal 2008 will exceed $1 trillion for the first time in history.

The U.S. has become the largest single seller of arms and munitions to other nations on Earth. Leaving out President Bush's two on-going wars, defense spending has doubled since the mid-1990s. The defense budget for fiscal 2008 is the largest since the second world war.

Before we try to break down and analyze this gargantuan sum, there is one important caveat. Figures on defense spending are notoriously unreliable. The numbers released by the Congressional Reference Service and the Congressional Budget Office do not agree with each other.

Robert Higgs, senior fellow for political economy at the Independent Institute, says: "A well-founded rule of thumb is to take the Pentagon's (always well publicized) basic budget total and double it."

Even a cursory reading of newspaper articles about the Department of Defense will turn up major differences in statistics about its expenses. Some 30-40% of the defense budget is 'black,'" meaning that these sections contain hidden expenditures for classified projects. There is no possible way to know what they include or whether their total amounts are accurate.

In an attempt to disguise the true size of the U.S. military empire, the government has long hidden major military-related expenditures in departments other than Defense.

For example, $23.4bn for the Department of Energy goes towards developing and maintaining nuclear warheads; and $25.3bn in the Department of State budget is spent on foreign military assistance (primarily for Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Republic, Egypt and Pakistan).

Another $1.03bn outside the official Department of Defense budget is now needed for recruitment and re-enlistment incentives for the overstretched U.S. military, up from a mere $174m in 2003, when the war in Iraq began.

The Department of Veterans Affairs currently gets at least $75.7bn, 50% of it for the long-term care of the most seriously injured among the 28,870 soldiers so far wounded in Iraq and 1,708 in Afghanistan. The amount is universally derided as inadequate. Another $46.4bn goes to the Department of Homeland Security.

Missing from this compilation is $1.9bn to the Department of Justice for the paramilitary activities of the FBI; $38.5bn to the Department of the Treasury for the Military Retirement Fund; $7.6bn for the military-related activities of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and well over $200bn in interest for past debt-financed defense outlays.

This brings U.S. spending for its military establishment during the current fiscal year, conservatively calculated, to at least $1.1 trillion.

Much more on the site
 http://www.informationclear...
By netchicken: posted on 17-9-2008








Why the US is going broke - you can\'t have both a high standard of living and a rapacious military | [Login ]
Powered by XMB
Privacy Policy