Friday, October 30, 2020
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“Defense” Follies

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If you haven't read this article at Tom Dispatch, you have missed perhaps the most important story about the budget debate (or lack thereof).  Over and over we hear false charges that Social Security, which has contributed nothing to the deficit and which both parties are trying to raid as we speak, "should be cut," but little about the truth of the so-called security budget, which is more like assured insecurity. The truth is that defense spending is ballooning and unsustainable.  And so far, rather paltry, pitiful attempts at making cuts to that side of the budget have been attempted.  Defense spending is making the rest of America poor and even contributing to the destabilization of the world.  We pretend we can be the world's police force.  But we cannot.  Merely trying robs us of what we can truly become as a nation.  We are much more than a military presence, but we do not act like it. Now we hear we may yet become involved in a third war, and maybe a fourth. We callously neglect our returning veterans even while enriching white collar defense workers and privatized mercenary armies.

Meanwhile, daily the extant and so-called media rant fabrications against workers, while failing for the most part to report the basest exploitation of workers to further line CEO pockets. Yet almost nothing is so infuriating as the callous disregard for good stewardship of our defense dollars.

While we are told military expenditures range roughly in the 600 billions, they are more realistically twice that (see the article linked above). Spending our way to security is a fool's bargain and, it seems we have never been less secure, even as we spend historic sums of money, often just throwing money at problems.  One year ago, a CSM article spoke of the last vestige of US empire.