HomeArticleReducing US Military Spending Always Meets With Resistance; Increasing It Never Does

Reducing US Military Spending Always Meets With Resistance; Increasing It Never Does

Last year Senator Bernie Sanders led a public push to reduce the insanely bloated US military budget by a paltry ten percent. His push splatted headfirst against a bipartisan solid steel wall which shut him down definitively.

Sanders’ bill was killed in the Senate by a vote of 23 to 77, with half of Senate Democrats stepping up to help Republicans stomp it dead. It’s companion bill in the House of Representatives was killed by a margin of 93 to 324, with a majority of House Democrats (92 to 139) voting nay.

Contrast those numbers with those who voted to approve Trump’s $741 billion military budget this past December. The House voted to approve the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) budget by a margin of 335 to 78, 195 of those yes votes coming from the Democratic side of the aisle. The Senate passed that same budget by 84 to 13. This was a substantial increase from the previous year’s budget, a trend which has remained unbroken for years.

From Macrotrends:

  • U.S. military spending/defense budget for 2019 was $731.75B, a 7.22% increase from 2018.
  • U.S. military spending/defense budget for 2018 was $682.49B, a 5.53% increase from 2017.
  • U.S. military spending/defense budget for 2017 was $646.75B, a 1.08% increase from 2016.
  • U.S. military spending/defense budget for 2016 was $639.86B, a 0.95% increase from 2015.

And those are just the official numbers going directly to the official “defense” budget. As a Nation article titled “America’s Defense Budget Is Bigger Than You Think” explained in 2019, once you add up the full costs of US wars, preparations for wars, and the impact of those wars, the annual budget is actually already well in excess of a trillion dollars.

And now, under the “harm reduction” candidate Joe Biden, it’s about to get even bigger.

“President Biden is requesting a $753 billion defense budget for next fiscal year, with $715 billion of that going to the Pentagon,” reads a new report from The Hill, which notes that the White House said the Defense Department budget “prioritizes the need to counter the threat from China as the department’s top challenge.”

The Public Citizen advocacy group has criticized the move in a statement, saying “The Pentagon budget – which jumped more than $130 billion during the Trump presidency — is replete with spending on overpriced weapons that don’t work, rip-off deals for private contractors, gigantic investments in pointless or outdated weapons systems, and waste and mismanagement so severe the agency cannot pass an audit. It is, indeed, a tribute to the power of the military-industrial complex.”

“There are hundreds of billions of dollars to be saved by appropriate cuts to the Pentagon budget,” Public Citizen adds. “What is most important for the FY22 budget is that it be smaller than FY21, in order to signal that we are finally moving in the right direction and shifting resources from the Pentagon to investments in people.”

We may be absolutely certain that the Biden administration will get the spending increase it seeks, because that’s how it always works. When there’s a push for a ten percent reduction to a military budget which already exceeds that of the next ten countries combined, the move is dismissed as crazy and extremist. Whenever there’s a push to increase that obscene military budget, it’s “Why yes Mister President, anything you wish Mister President, we’ve got the papers all drawn up already for you Mister President.” It slides right in with no inertia whatsoever, like it’s been lubricated with Astroglide.

A political establishment which thinks it’s crazy and extremist to reduce a morbidly obese military budget by ten percent is a crazy and extremist political establishment. A political establishment which thinks it’s sane and moderate to increase a morbidly obese military budget is a crazy and extremist political establishment.

The plutocratic media exist to normalize the inexcusable act of robbing from the citizenry to murder people overseas in unceasing acts of military interventionism to benefit war profiteers and secure unipolar planetary hegemony, to make it seem like this is not such a big deal and mollify the public’s righteous indignation at this atrocity. But it is a big deal. It’s a very, very big deal.

We cannot progress to a healthy world as long as we’re being successfully propagandized into accepting endless slaughter and theft as normal and acceptable. We continue to allow ourselves to be led by murderous psychopaths at our own peril.

_____________________

New book: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix.

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Latest comments

  • https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2021-04-10/media-royal-death-propaganda/

    The news media offers wall-to-wall propaganda every day. We only notice when a royal dies
    10 April 2021

  • Just read where the founder of BLM just bought a 1.4 million dollar house in a neighborhood that is 98% white. I guess her black life matters to her. I am sure she didnt use any of the BLM slush fund from various sources to purchase her house.

    • so she’s a fraud like trump and biden. not surprising. what isn’t a fraud? cops killing, beating and arresting people for no goddamn good reason.

  • APENULTIMATE / No doubt that any money saved by a shining military would go toward the high the cost of exterminating millions of humans without causing ground water contamination or an ecological havard.

    • Ironic that the software or censor, substituted the word, ‘Harvard’s, for the word, ‘hazard’, seeing as it seems that every politician that graduates from there later becomes a hazard to human life.

    • Ever wonder why most bases when they are abandoned or closed are not repurposed. The ecological cleanup would be too much. Not just US but all military unstallations by other countries as well. The world is littered with such places.

    • It will if a leader proposes it and brings leadership of the military-industrial-complex on board and gives them high seats at the table. Nothing like that has ever been attempted.

      If you want people to change, you have to make it worth their while. So, make it worth their while. Otherwise, nothing will change (at least not without complete chaos).

      • What I meant is that such a climate change program could happen if the above happens. I did not mean that people would be exterminated.

        Transfer the military money into another large (new) branch of government infrastructure that benefits people and our national security.

        • The paperwork would be easy (1ID is hereby reassigned to the corps of engineers) but the weapons companies seem to have more influence than the citizens.

  • Agreed that it’s all about the money.

    There is only one way to solve this issue, and even then it’d be next to impossible. Transfer a large percentage (10%, 20%, 30%, 40%–maybe increasing over years) of the Pentagon budget to a new civilian effort to combat climate change for the “defense of the country”. Advertise it as such. Give higher paying jobs to top military brass down through the ground soldiers to incentivize them to switch to this civilian agency and take them out of the military budget. The US is defended by two oceans on each side of it, making any sort of invasion nigh impossible. We don’t need the size military we have now.

    The job of this new agency would be to convert the country to distributed renewable energies of all types, a huge push into research and deployment of energy storage, a smart nationwide electrical grid that can re-route power needs around small and large infrastructure failures, implement methods to stop or at least delay flooding around coastlines, come up with a national plan for fresh water access for the next century for all areas, come up with a national plan for food access through the next century.

    Make sure jobs are directly provided for these efforts, at both good working class and middle class pay (to rebuild these economic baselines), managers for the efforts, technology R&D, as well as funding private sector jobs (e.g., solar roof installers, etc.). Also, mandate that a certain percentage (50%?) of materials needed for construction *must* come from private US manufacturing companies–building up our manufacturing base once again and employment there.

    Fund it not only through cutting military spending, but also through covid-like emergency monetary packages as climate change is a national (and world) crisis. It would be a jobs program, just like the military is, but it would focus the money on things that are productive and useful here at home, rebuild the US economy, and make the country more secure. Instead of throwing away money uselessly on bombs dropped on Syria, we would invest it at home, where it might actually keep our homes and businesses and jobs safe. Make this a 50-year initiative to allow the country to flourish for at least a couple more generations. I’d say a minimum of $500 billion per year would eventually be needed.

    Politically, in order to gain approval, maybe initially send more of the money to red states. Make this like the military is today–nobody will want to cancel it because it provides so many jobs. Heck, maybe take

    Not suggesting to disband the military–just reduce it substantially. Still would probably be the largest in the world. But we might need to give up many of our bases around the globe and accept a multi-polar world.

    • Climate change is just the new political mantra and state religion. The hubris of man knows no bounds.

      • And yet, it’s supported by overwhelming scientific evidence. Believe what you will.

        However, let’s just for the sake of argument say you are correct. Why not use climate change to effect the changes we need? Why not drive towards less polluted air and not strip mine mountains for coal and frack the country and contaminate huge numbers of water reservoirs? Why not end our dependence on oil from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, etc., etc., and stop sending people to die over there, and killing people over there? (Thou shalt not kill . . .) Why not construct a self-reliant new energy system that won’t ever have oil or coal or natural gas run out? Where exactly is the downside?

        Even if you think climate change is bullcrap, how else do you propose to re-instantiate the economy to perhaps keep the dollar as the default currency and keep America the economic engine of the world? Things right now are trending in China’s direction. It’d be good to have a WWII level effort (or something close to it) to re-spark things. Why not let it be climate change? Otherwise, all we got is the military, and eventually that’ll destabilize things because all our money will be going there.

  • Never ending inflation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when the largest budgets ever conceived automatically builds it in via baseline budgeting. It’s kind of like:
    “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”. (The Red Queen’s Race, Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass)

  • The $700 billion plus is the only money we’re permitted to see. When compared to the budgeted money, the dark money at their disposal makes the budget look like pocket change. When questioned about trillions of dollars spent earlier this century – and unaccounted for – all the Pentagon could say, was that it was just an accounting error. They contend that the money never existed.

    If you believe that, you also believe that the U.S. is the most altruistic and globally caring country in the history of the world. Oh – and I also have a country that I can sell you at a big discount.

  • Caitlin, with your anti-USA obsession, you are – involuntarily I hope – misleading your followers. Instead of American figures, you should publish international figures, all available, with several well organized institutions doing the research for you. SIPRI, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, CAAT Campaign Against the Arms Trade and GCOMS, Global Campaign on Military Spending would be a good start for you and your readers.

    There are around 250 military conflicts raging in the world at any given time. They happen and people suffer injury, death, loss of loved ones, families are destroyed, are force to abandon their homes, people go hungry, sick all because of educated people like you, who accept Militarism. 90% of the world population think Armed Forces are a necessary expenditure, because they believe Governments bif lie, that Armed Forces are necessary for Defense, for Governments ro ‘protect’ their population.

    Whilst such human ignorance and stupidity prevails, nothing will change. Criticising military expenditure leads NOWHERE. Even if not one dollar was spent, the situation would be exactly the same. Machine guns, bullets, landmines, grenades, bombs, rockets, torpedoes, tanks, rocket launchers, drones. Apache helicopters, air FIGHTERS. WAR ships, are designed and manufactured for killing people and nothing else.

    What is of value is NOT $$$$$$$, but “human life”.

    • For the vast majority of mankind the love of money is life.

  • New pig brain maps facilitate human neuroscience discoveries

    https://techandsciencepost.com/news/science/new-pig-brain-maps-facilitate-human-neuroscience-discoveries/

    If some people act like pigs(and who doesn’t) maybe it’s because we all have pig brains

  • As relative today as it was then:

    • By golly, they got it right! Thank you.

  • Remember the USS Theodore Roosevelt—the aircraft carrier crippled by Covid-19 earlier this year? It turns out you don’t need nuclear weapons, hypersonic missiles, stealth fighters or a space force to fight the Empire. All you need is a new virus (which are apparently plentiful in bats) and a single prostitute in a port city frequented by American sailors, and voila, end of the U.S. Naval threat, and the end of the U.S. military—the so-called “greatest military in the history of the world!”
    . . . .

    News Headline of the Future: “Zimbabwe wipes out US Empire with a Bat and a Working Girl.”

  • Its a race to the bottom. The US Dollar is in a death spiral, and the MIC knows it. So, to maintain its lifestyles of the rich and famous, it lies its way into ever more funding to compensate. To maintain a constant flow for their spigot of wealth until there is none left. At which time who the hell knows what new and improved psychosis we’ll be subject to. Hard for an at least mostly sane mind to predict.

  • @publicc_Citizen is a little wild on those zeros, the number shown is actually in the trillions; just another reason why I’m beginning to believe that people should probably, more accurately be described as a subspecies of wild dog rather than as the pinnacle of primates.

  • I think only one thing is going to put down the tyranno-sore: When the U$D goes full Weimar and/or is booted out of reserve status – “officially,” or (more likely) implicitly. Throwing more money at the Pentragram has become an apotropaic ritual: something done/performed to ward off evil – actually carefully-cultivated bogeymen du jour.

    Until then don’t hold your breath – but a few tankfuls of air might get us there – hopefully w/o the depraved rulers of Mordor deciding that armageddon is the only way to save face.

  • Oh – and here is the TRUTH about the Ulghurs in China !!

    ZIO/US has been ‘radicalising’ them for quite some time – like they ‘radicalised’ their ISIS ‘proxy’ !!

    EVERY terrorist group that has ever existed has been ‘radicalised – financed – trained sand armed by the US !

    People should really WTFU !!

    https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-04-02/The-war-in-the-shadows-Challenges-of-fighting-terrorism-in-Xinjiang-Z7AhMWRPy0/index.html

  • Who cares !!

    Russia and China’s missile defence systems are impenetrable !

    ZIO/US is just wasting its money !

    Tianjin was a NUKE – blowing up a chemical weapons facility at Tianjin PORT – TWO explosions – the first smaller one for cover and then the BIGGIE !

    Both Tianjin AND Beirut ‘chemical ‘ storage facilities were targeted to give ‘plausible’ deniability !!!

    BOTH had two explosions – BOTH were PORTS !

    Now Tianjin has a LAKE made out of the crater it left – HOW can an organic explosion leave a FUCKING crater ???

    Anyway China and Russia are now un – attackable !

    The ZIO/US will just be humiliated if the TRY !

    • Perhaps outer space domination (all those planets to be mined and guarded) and cyberspace attacks on China and Russia are what the American war industry really has in mind. You don’t need nukes for that and any proliferation of nukes is just willy waving that could, of course, lead to the kind of accident or misunderstanding that China and Russia are shielding themselves against.

  • The reason the military budget is never decreased is because the military subsidizes both local and foreign economies with jobs and just plain cash. If you want to see the most pro military senators and congressmen just look at the military subsidies in their state or district. Its all about the benjamins, just like always.

    • Absolutely spot on. The MIC has spread it’s operations throughout nearly every congressional district. Thus ensuring support for any budget increase. Every congress person knows if they vote to reduce the budget they’ll quickly be replaced by someone who will tow the line.

    • The reason the military budget is never decreased is because “War is the health of the state.” [Randolph Bourne]. Indeed, the state _is_ war. If your society includes an institution dedicated to legitimated coercive political violence (government) it becomes a state which inevitably engages in war to preserve its structure and its ruling class. We are a long way from knowing how to get rid of the state, but eventually the meek will inherit the Earth. Whether the meek will be us or our descendants or some obscure Amazonian tribe or the rats and the roaches and the worms or the bacteria is hard to tell at this point, but the day is coming.

  • This Biden “presidency” is an absolute mind fuck, especially when compared with the shit that went down under Obama.
    ~
    Obama was presumably elected with a major mandate, particularly in 2008 when he brought along >60% majorities in both the House and Senate, promising that anything was possible if only he acted upon it. Biden enters with a dead heat in the Senate and a squeaking lead of maybe 5 or 6 votes in the House. Moreover, most of the country recognises, if not admits, that Biden claimed his victory under the shadow of considerable vote fraud and fallacious ballot counts which were not allowed to be challenged or examined. One would think that Mr. Biden has no mandate for any transformative policies whatsoever.
    ~
    Yet the world stands on its head. Back during Obama’s “honeymoon” he could barely squeeze a $700 billion stimulus package, and not a penny more, out of that loaded congress. Moreover, he could barely push through a public health policy that provided only private plans which the voters were mandated to purchase. No single payer plan, not even a government plan to compete against the mandated private fleecings. Rather than “shovel-ready” pork projects to goose the economy, Obama willingly substituted “catfood commissions” to ascertain what cuts to social safety nets the American public could tolerate. Obama baits the voters as Santa’s Democratic sidekick and switches to Mitch “the Grinch” McConnell’s alter ego in order to what? To disavow the progressive mandate he was given but threw back in the face of the electorate? Has anyone ever really figured that dude out?
    ~
    Now we’ve got an illegitimate pretender to the throne who is so far along in his transition to the next life that he can rarely conjure up a coherent sentence. Yet he gets whatever his addled brain (or the puppet master with his hand up Mr. President’s azz) happens to want, no matter the cost to the national debt, the solvency of this government, or the goodwill of that part of the electorate that must work for a living, especially in these precarious times. The dead weight who cause nothing but trouble are always pleased to accept the “free stuff” tossed their way, even if they won’t show their gratitude by backing off on the violence and riots come the looting season this summer.
    ~
    I just don’t see how Crazy Joe accrues so much “political capital.” Can all this trace back to nothing more than one drug-addicted street thug’s accidental self-inflicted overdose death portrayed to the public as a police execution? However many trillions he asks for, he receives, even though most of the earmarks are only tenuously related to the Covid pandemic which served as the raison d’etre for this entire wild spending spree. His attacks on the 2nd and 4th amendments are rubber stamped as quickly as a new Patriot Act. There is no slapping his nonsense down when he proposes stacking the Supreme Court with several new associate justice positions to be created out of thin air and filled with partisan party hacks (including that abject failure in the White House and phony “peace advocate,” “Bang-Bang Shoot’em Up Obomber” hisself). His insane provocations against Russia, China, Iran and their highly competent leaders, could have us engaged in all out wars on three or more fronts. They are prognosticating how the world will soon come to an end on several respected websites, while Crazy Joe keeps adding to his totally unfounded threats against all these enemies he so enjoys hating.
    ~
    The fool seems to quite enjoy his own outrageous rhetoric. He’s only encouraged by the warmongering and revolutionary media when he really needs to be bound, gagged and locked in a closet. How can one idiot accrue so much apparent support without a real base, mandate, or coherent platform beyond raising hell both domestically and internationally and transferring gobs of money from the productive sector to a pack of violent parasites and his old political cronies? Where was the magic when Obama, the proclaimed anointed one, screwed the pooch in every way conceivable over eight painful years? Just how is this thing (or anything) working for this clown? Time for some sanity before it is really really too late.

    • …puppet biden and the stinking democrats are absolutely hideous!… an imperialist warmonger, drug warmonger, monetary ignoramus, etc.. an absolute puppet whose miserable puny ideas are zero threat to the miserable ex$ting order!

      … i hope you understand the same holds true for the hideous puppet trump and the stinking republicans…

      • ” i hope you understand the same holds true for the hideous puppet trump and the stinking republicans”
        ~
        Absolutely, though most American idiots believe you must takes sides with one or the other, and that one or the other qualifies as the “lesser of two evils” justifying their vote. I am constantly telling such cretins that my disdain for Biden and the Dems does NOT make me a Trumper!

  • Ms Johnstone, the political leaders of the United States are living in the same fantasy world that the public is addicted to. War is a ” racket ” and so is everything else about this country. It is all a fraud, a hoax, a flim-flam that gets the rich owners and masters even more money. The only thing being produced in this country is the paper ” federal reserve notes ” . Just like ” monopoly money” it is not real. Any sensible person can see the handwriting on the wall; this country is doomed; all of it will very soon look like ” ghost towns ” devoid of anything but despair. The lies sold to the public and the politicians are going to kill us for sure!

  • The baton changes hands.
    The ruthless relay towards Armageddon continues.
    God help our children.
    No one else will.

  • For some strange reason whenever I think of Senator Bernie Sanders, I also think of John Wayne Gacy. Maybe if you expanded chapter two of your book to at least a few hundred pages of double spaced, twelve point font; you might be remembered for hundreds of years if not thousands.

  • Good work. Nobody says it better.
    Embarrassed to be recognisable as the same species.

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