Progressive Democrats Refuse to Fund Global Destruction Unless Healthcare Funded Too

This is an actual headline at Common Dreams: “Progressive Democrats Threaten to Tank $733 Billion in ‘Crazy’ Pentagon Spending If Social Programs Not Also Boosted.

They keep using that word, “crazy.” I do not think it means what they think it means.

Dumping over $1 trillion per year into the Pentagon plus militarism in other departments eliminates the need for hospitals, schools, parks, and even budget proposals. It kills us all. Our nuclear luck will run out. And if it doesn’t run out soon, the military’s destruction of the climate and our water and air will do us in. While it may be taboo to notice the environmental damage of wars and war preparations, and may be strictly forbidden to become aware of the military budget as the potential source for a serious effort to mitigate the coming environmental collapse, the news is now full of stories of the climate destruction of military bases, which ought to at least make people aware of how many bases there are.

Polls have shown for decades that the U.S. public favors reducing military spending. Numerous U.S. cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors have repeatedly urged Congress to move money from militarism to human and environmental needs. But, year after year, Congress and the President have done just the opposite.

This trend has now reached extreme levels, with the Pentagon, “Homeland Security,” and nuclear weapons in the “Energy” Department amounting to 63 percent of discretionary spending in Trump’s 2020 budget request. The Veterans Administration is another 7 percent. That leaves 30 percent for absolutely everything you’ve ever been told costs a government any money.

Trump wants to increase this year’s $716 billion Pentagon budget to $750 billion for next year, including $165 billion off-the-books, outside of budget caps.

In the Republican-run Senate, the Budget Committee has advanced a resolution that would provide $576 billion for the Pentagon, and $543 billion for everything else.

In the Democratic-run House, the Budget Committee sent to the full House a resolution that would have handed over $733 billion to the Pentagon, and some $650 billion for everything else. But progressives are intent on doing the decent thing and adding a bit more to the “everything else” side of the death sentence.

Non-military spending is at a historic low relative to the size of the U.S. economy, at just 2.9 percent. If all human and environmental needs had any supporting institution along the lines of NATO, Trump would be demanding that all of its members pay more. That would go on until Trump discovered that everyone other than the United States already was paying much more.

The United States and the earth are in desperate need of useful investment in green energy, education, infrastructure, healthcare, food, and water. We urgently need to move hundreds of billions out of the military and into a Green New Deal. The out-of-the-military part of that is the most important part for our survival.

Earlier this year, Trump himself called $716 billion for militarism “crazy” and proposed reducing it. This past Thursday, Trump celebrated increased military spending by NATO members, and told the Vice Premier of China that he thought the United States and China and Russia were spending much too much. China spends less than a third and Russia less than 10 percent what the U.S. spends.

The U.S. government really does give “crazy” a bad name, and it really does need an external enemy, real or imagined, as its fundamental justification for existing. If Russiagate didn’t exist, it would be necessary to invent it. Just hope that what’s invented next isn’t worse.

 

3 Replies to “Progressive Democrats Refuse to Fund Global Destruction Unless Healthcare Funded Too”

  1. Russiagate didn’t exist, and it was invented. Defunding the military will allow for money to be available for social programs. Adding “a bit of everything else” does not negate the murderous and wasteful counterproductivity that will result from the continuance of foreign policy that has resulted in nothing but failure for decades.

    Quoting from your linked article, “senior Democrats “privately hope it won’t pass.” There are no good guys here. No good parties, to be more specific. Pandering to voters is not the decent thing.

  2. Total US expenditures on all things military has been a shell game for years, and both major parties have been complicit. Yes, the entire nuclear weapons program is buried in the Department of Energy, but there are massive outlays tucked away in other departments. One branch of the service, the Coast Guard, has its budget hidden away in the State Department. Civilian employees on the US’s over 700+ foreign military bases come out of the General Accounting budget. The entire VA, and all military retirements come out of the same. The State Department also funds our many mercenary operations, OOPS – I mean “contractors.” And then there is the biggest chunk of all – the interest on the national debt that all this creates. Funny how this is never talked about, certainly not on Fox “news,” but never on CNN either. We have no idea what our total military expenditures are, and this is by design.

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