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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 4/27/11

$1,200,000,000,000: What Is That?

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Message Michael Payne
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Figured it out yet? It's one trillion, 200 billion dollars, our taxpayer dollars that are spent for America's national security; it's the annual cost of maintaining America's military empire. It's the monstrous, bloated defense budget, the lion's share of which goes to America's massive network of bases around the world; it fuels the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. And now we can add Libya. Who's next? Maybe Syria, Yemen or how about Iran? Lots of potential new targets out there.

 

Of course there are those who will say that this supposed defense budget amount is simply a fabrication. So, let me direct you to this very excellent and informative article, by Chris Hellman reported in CBS News. There we learn that the base Pentagon budget funded by Congress is nearly $700 billion which includes supplementary funding for Iraq and Afghanistan. That's a lot of money but that's just the beginning.

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This excellent analysis goes on to illustrate that, with the addition of all the other associated costs such as Homeland Security, veterans benefits, federal retirees, the CIA, the National Security Agency and other areas, the total rises to $1.219.2 trillion.

 

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Can you even begin to comprehend just how much one trillion dollars is? Think about this; one trillion dollars is one million millions. And the Pentagon needs to spend $1.2 trillion each and every year to protect America and keep us safe? Is that overkill or what? Or is that clear evidence that we must be the most paranoid nation in the entire world? It may be both. Remember the Pentagon and the military spend this amount each and every year, not in a decade. They have something none of us has; an open ended checking account balance.

 

How many weapons of war do we possibly need to keep America safe? How many military bases? Do we actually need the more than 750 that we currently have in 63 nations? What is it we're planning to do, fight the entire world at the same time? I think it way past the time for the U.S. to stop spreading its military all over the world, intimidating nations and their people if they do not do our bidding.

 

When will this president and this government grasp the economic principle of "return on investment", which is defined as "the rate of return, positive or negative, on a monetary investment?" This government has made a grave mistake by the fact that it has invested a huge portion of our wealth in the military and its world empire. The result is that this investment, instead of generating an excellent rate of return, is producing a negative return, in the sense that it has produced nothing of value but, rather, has created thousands more enemies who now seek revenge.

 

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We are allowing the corporate masters of war to use our taxpayer dollars to invest in a perpetual agenda of war designed to give them, personally, an enormous rate of return, generating great profits for them at the expense of the financial stability of the nation. Conversely, America has failed to invest in those areas that represent the best possible return for this nation's stability; education, infrastructure, universal health care and a host of other positive, constructive endeavors.

 

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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)
 

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