Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

Got Milked? US "Defense" Spending 2017

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Thomas Knapp       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   23 comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 2   News 2   Supported 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 6/9/16

Author 76576


(Image by gregwest98)   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

"The White House said Tuesday [June 7] that President Barack Obama will veto the Senate's version of the annual defense policy bill," Richard Lardner of the Associated Press reports. Why? Lardner cites provisions that would prevent Obama from shutting down the prison at Guantanamo Bay and limit the number of "national security" functionaries he can put on the White House payroll.

Deeper in the story, however, we find meatier objections: The $600 billion bill "denies the Defense Department's request for a new round of military base closings" and Senate Armed Service Committee chairman John McCain (R-AZ) "plans to propose an amendment that would add nearly $18 billion to the defense budget to pay for additional ships, jet fighters, helicopters and more that the Pentagon didn't request."

If Obama, who doesn't face re-election, follows through on his veto threat House and Senate Democrats will likely join Republicans in overriding that veto so long as they get their share of that $18 billion and the bases in their districts remain open. What gives? Nothing. It's politics as usual.

- Advertisement -

In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson asserted that the purpose of government is to secure the rights of the governed to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Jefferson, to put the best face possible on things, was hopelessly naive. The purpose of government is -- and always has been -- to transfer wealth and power from the ruled to the rulers. Politicians crave unearned power; plutocrats crave unearned profit. The two groups, broadly constituting the "political class," prop each other up and assist each other in milking the rest of us.

Since World War 2, the premier American political milking operation of this type has been what President Dwight D. Eisenhower labeled "the military-industrial complex." Politicians receive campaign contributions and golden parachutes as corporate directors. In return, "defense" contractors knock down billions in arms sales, base maintenance contracts, etc. All at your expense, and none of it related to any reasonable conception of "national defense."

- Advertisement -

It's not just treasure the political class takes from the productive class. It's blood as well. Justifying insane levels of military spending requires the occasional war. Not to worry. The political class considers your sons' and daughters' lives a reasonable price to pay to keep their gravy trains running on time.

Don't expect anything different from this year's crop of presidential candidates. Donald Trump believes the bloated US military needs to be "rebuilt." Hillary Clinton hasn't met a war she didn't love since Vietnam. Even "libertarian" vice-presidential candidate William Weld, running on a second Republican ticket, avers that he and running mate Gary Johnson believe "a bedrock responsibility of the US government is to maintain the most powerful military in the world, by a wide margin." Given that the US is separated from all credible military threats by two oceans, Weld's line is clearly the usual political class pandering.

If voting won't fix the problem this November, what next? Well, the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (nwtrcc.org) has some ideas for next April.

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 2   News 2   Supported 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.


Thomas Knapp Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Hypocrisy Alert: Republicans Agreed with Ocasio-Cortez Until About One Minute Ago

Finally, Evidence of Russian Election Meddling ... Oh, Wait

Chickenhawk Donald: A Complete and Total Disgrace

The Nunes Memo Only Partially "Vindicates" Trump, But it Fully Indicts the FBI and the FISA Court

Political Parties Should Say What They Mean. The Libertarian Party Does.

NATO: This Deal is a Turkey