It is time to cut the military budget.
It has been time to cut the military budget for many years. Like right after WWII. Otherwise known as a peace dividend. Free up funds to pay for school, job training, health care, clear water and air, mass transit, housing, hunger, jobs.
Under sequestration as part of the federal budget-deficit deal, half the budget cuts would come from the military, around $45 billion this year - perhaps 6% of existing spending. And those cuts include reductions in growth. That is way too little. Lawrence Korb, defense advisor for former President Reagan, estimates $150 billion a year could be cut while maintaining the Reagan-era level of military strength.
Imagine how much you could cut if your focus was primarily to defend the US, not to protect oil companies - or to fight an attack by Stalin's tank divisions, which no longer exist. Groups like the Green Party argue for cuts of $300 billion or more - and still the
The whole idea behind the sequestration deal was that neither Democrats or Republicans would allow any real cuts to the military. And there has been a bipartisan push to find a solution that spares the military from anything off than a little trimming of the fat around the edges. Even the budget deal pushed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus would reduce the military cuts well below the sequestration requirements.
The Republicans of course want to slash spending on programs that benefit the majority of Americans. The first part of the strategy was to create a deficit with huge tax cuts that benefit the rich that creates the deficits that provides the excuse to cut social spending - a weak safety nets makes for a complaint work force.
But Obama and the Democrats have put cuts on the table to programs like Social Security and Medicare while be willing to accept major cuts in other critical domestic programs such as health care, hunger, housing, environment, etc.
Below I go into how wasteful and criminally corrupt Pentagon spending has become. How we have fallen into the standard trap of countries 'arming themselves not to fight the next war but rather the past one (from the 1940's, or as President Obama pointed out in the last debate, we don't need as many bayonets as we used to - we also don't need as many tanks or aircraft carriers either).
But first a little history lesson.
WWII was so long ago that almost everyone forgets that we never had a permanent standing army before them. After the few wars we previously fought, the soldiers went back home to raise their families, grow some crops, run a local business.
That was the conservative position (i.e., vastly different from the neo-con pretenders).
President Eisenhower, the Leader of the Allied Forces, knew that he was giving the country a raw deal when he decided to perpetuate the Cold War against the
Needless to say his mea culpa didn't do much to curb the money-devouring monster he had unleashed on
No one knows how much we really spend on the military.. The low-ball estimate is that it is $700 billion (a 100% increase in the last decade) but most believe it runs over a trillion dollars when you add in interest payments from past wars, nuclear weapons, intelligence gathering, Veteran benefits, Homeland Security, etc.
The military budget is so out-of-control and hidden in so many places that it has never been audited, making it wide open for fraud and theft. There was an effort late in the