Home     Writers     Op/Ed     Book Reviews     News     Bookstore     Photoshops     Submit     Search     Contact Us     Advertise  
  You are here: 

Fri

25

Dec

2009

U.S. War Spending Exceeds All State Government Outlays
Friday, 25 December 2009 14:37
by Sherwood Ross

The U.S. spends more for war annually than all state governments combined spend for the health, education, welfare, and safety of 308 million Americans.

Joseph Henchman, director of state projects for the Tax Foundation of Washington, D.C., says the states collected a total of $781 billion in taxes in 2008.

For a rough comparison, according to Wikipedia data, the total budget for defense in fiscal year 2010 will be at least $880 billion and could possibly top $1 trillion. That’s more than all the state governments collect.

Henchman says all American local governments combined (cities, counties, etc.) collect about $500 billion in taxes. Add that to total state tax take and you get over $1.3 trillion. This means Uncle Sam’s Pentagon is sopping up nearly as much money as all state, county, city, and other governmental units spend to run the country.

If the Pentagon figure of $1 trillion is somewhat less than all other taxing authorities, keep in mind the FBI, the various intelligence agencies, the VA, the National Institutes of Health (biological warfare) are also spending on war-related activities.

A question that describes the above and answers itself is: In what area can the Federal government operate where states and cities cannot tread? The answer is: foreign affairs---raising armies, fighting wars, conducting diplomacy, etc. And so Uncle Sam keeps enlarging this area. His emphasis is not on diplomacy, either.

For every buck spent by the State Department, which gets some $50 billion a year, the Pentagon spends $20. As for the Peace Corps, its budget is a paltry $375 million---hardly enough to keep the Pentagon elephant in peanuts.


Nobel Prize economist Joseph Stiglitz and finance authority Linda Bilmes write in their “The Three Trillion Dollar War”(W.W. Norton), “defense spending has been growing as a percentage of discretionary funding (money that is not required to be spent on entitlements like Social Security), from 48 percent in 2000 to 51 percent today. That means that our defense needs are gobbling up a larger share of taxpayers’ money than ever before.”

And they add, “The Pentagon’s budget has increased by more than $600 billion, cumulatively, since we invaded Iraq.” With its 1,000 bases in the U.S. and another 800 bases globally, the U.S. truly has become a “Warfare State.” Today, military-related products account for about one-fourth of total U.S. GDP. This includes 10,000 nuclear weapons. Indeed, the U.S. has lavished $5.5 trillion just on nukes over the past 70 years.

No other nation has anything remotely like this menacing global presence. The Pentagon strengthens its grip by running joint “training” exercises with the military of 110 other nations, including outright dictatorships that suppress internal unrest.

The U.S. spends more on weaponry than the next dozen nations combined and is by far the No. 1 world arms peddler. “The government employs some 6,500 people just to coordinate and administer its arms sales program in conjunction with senior officials at American embassies around the world, who spend most of their ‘diplomatic’ careers working as arms salesmen,” writes Chalmers Johnson in “Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire(Henry Holt).”

Chalmers goes on to say the U.S. military establishment today is “close to being beyond civilian control” and that despite its ability to “deliver death and destruction to any target on earth and expect little in the way of retaliation” it demands more and newer equipment “while the Pentagon now more or less sets its own agenda” and “monopolizes the formulation and conduct of American foreign policy.”

How long will it be before this tyrannical, anti-democratic, colossus that is sucking up as much money for war as all states, counties and cities spend on peace---and which straddles the globe, boosts dictators, and beats the war drums---turns on its own people?

(Sherwood Ross is a Miami-based public relations executive who formerly worked for major dailies and wire services. Contact him at sherwoodross10@gmail.com)
More from this author:
Prevent Future Massacres by Curbing Bullying (8759 Hits)
by Sherwood Ross Society could reduce the number of senseless killings on campuses and in workplaces and shopping malls if it paid closer...
Bush Arms Dictators Around The World (8403 Hits)
by Sherwood Ross “In the last six years, Washington has stepped up its sales and transfers of high-technology weapons, military training, and...
CIA’S Overthrow of Iran in 1953 Reaps Bitter Harvest For America (7603 Hits)
by Sherwood Ross Iranians’ hatred of America dates back to the CIA’s violent 1953 overthrow of democratic Prime Minister Mohammed...
The Housing Bubble, Bailout, Good Jobs and Goodfellas (6681 Hits)
by Sherwood Ross The rush to bail out Wall Street is tragic. It’s as if the sun wouldn’t rise tomorrow unless Congress acted immediately....
The United States of England (9864 Hits)
by Sherwood Ross Why don’t we call America the United States of England? It may be a separate entity politically and geographically, but today...
Related Articles:
U.S. Military Has Killed Up to 238,000 Iraqi Civilians (11215 Hits)
A just-released study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, published in the current issue of the prestigious British medical journal The...
The Real Axis of Evil - A State without Mercy (11370 Hits)
by William A. Cook “And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they...
U.S. Service Academy Graduates Unite Against Illegal Iraq War (12199 Hits)
Atlantic Free Press Netherlands – (October 26, 2006) – The overwhelming response by alumni of United States service academies to the...
No Arab, Palestinian Cheers for U.S. Democrats (6812 Hits)
By Nicola Nasser Arabs, at least at the non-official level, were quick to hail President George W. Bush’s mid-term electoral defeat and the...
An Open Letter to the People and Government of the US - James Petras (8714 Hits)
by James Petras (And a Reply to the FARC) On a November 9, 2006, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-Peoples Army, (FARC-EP)...


Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Trackback(0)
Comments (0)add comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

adsense

Top