Why do we need to spend 350% more than our closest competitor? Remember what Eisenhower said about the Military Industrial Complex? Well apparently the government of the United States doesn't. We spent more money this year than we did at the height of the Cold War on a force only 1/3 the size. Don't believe for one minute that the government pays the troops well, a Buck Sergeant with two kids meets the eligibility requirement for food stamps. This is akin to the conditions in 1980 when Jimmy Carter was President. I was a Buck Sergeant in the Army and I was eligible for food stamps, but that was under a Democratic Administration that didn't place a high priority on defense, not an Administration that claims to "support the troops" by allowing a pitiful pay scale and two or three tours to a war zone.
I have included a chart that spells out how much we are spending on defense compared to other countries.
Some of the above statistics come from organizations such as the Center for Defense Information, and the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. They often include a global comparison. The one for Fiscal Year 2007 has been produced as a graph here:
% of total
Country Dollars(Billions) % Total Rank
United States 420.7 43% 1
China * 62.5 6% 2
Russia * 61.9 6% 3
United Kingdom 51.1 5% 4
Japan 44.7 4% 5
France 41.6 4% 6
Germany 30.2 3% 7
India 22.0 2% 8
Saudi Arabia 21.3 2% 9
South Korea 20.7 2% 10
Italy 17.2 2% 11
Australia 13.2 1% 12
Brazil 13.1 1% 13
Canada 10.9 1% 14
Turkey 9.8 1% 15
Israel* 9.7 1% 16
Netherlands 9.7 1% 17
Spain 8.8 1% 18
Taiwan 8.3 1% 19
Indonesia* 7.6 1% 20
[T]he lion's share of this money is not spent by the Pentagon on protecting American citizens. It goes to supporting U.S. military activities, including interventions, throughout the world. Were this budget and the organization it finances called the "Military Department," then attitudes might be quite different. Americans are willing to pay for defense, but they would probably be much less willing to spend billions of dollars if the money were labeled "Foreign Military Operations."
- The Billions For "Defense" Jeopardize Our Safety, Center For Defense Information, March 9, 2000
Is this not absurd? Think of all the squalor and destruction in the wake of Katrina, suffering that is still going on, while "the boys" in Washington play with their "toys". The most disgusting part of all this is that they can't seem to pick a winner. Almost every foreign entanglement leaves us exposed and looking like fools. Why can't we just mind our own business? While we play a giant game of RISK! Globally, China is out producing us and we are borrowing from The Peoples Republic to maintain this colossal defense budget. They are probably having a good laugh at America's expense. We as citizens won't be too happy paying off the debt and the interest that comes with it.
Spending this much on military equipment is just plain wrong. It is almost like buying computer equipment, when you purchase it, for a few months it's state of the art however, within the year the technology has already been surpassed. Military equipment works on that very same concept, the technology is always changing. When you are left with thousands of tanks and missiles and rifles that are already outmoded, what do you do with them? The only way to recoup some of the money that's been spent is to sell them off to other countries. By doing this, we are not making the world a safer place by any means. Speaking of this, we are the world's largest arms supplier. Have you ever seen a profit statement from the sale of this equipment? I never have. Where does the money go? The defense budget works out to be $1,400.00 for every man, woman and child in the United States. How long can we sustain that kind of outlay? If we cut the defense budget in half, that would still come out to two hundred and ten billion dollars. That is still almost 3 ½ % times more than our nearest rival.
Whose fault is this? It's our fault. It's every citizen's fault that puts up with the propaganda that comes out of Washington D.C. Meanwhile, Congressmen and Senator's lobby for big defense projects for the defense industries that paid into their campaign funds in the hope that these companies will support them again. The President holds us hostage with his phony "War on Terrorism" that gives him "open season" on the treasury.
Shutting down this unlimited defense budget isn't just a good idea, it's the only way we are going to stay afloat. Clinton and Obama and all the other candidates except Kucinich haven't even mentioned it. Unless they address this pressing problem, when they get to sit in the oval office they are going to get a call from a bill collector with a Chinese accent. I don't make this stuff up.
I would like to acknowledge Global Issues for the information provided. You can check them out at the link below;