Exaggeration of threats to our national security and the electorate’s fear response have maintained Cold War defense budgets for three decades since it ended. The budget bill passed for FY2019 includes a huge $94 billion spending increase for the military. It’s the biggest budget the Pentagon has ever seen: $700 billion. That’s more than twice the combined defense spending of America’s two nearest competitors, China and Russia.
The permanent war economy of the United States has given us a secretive national-security state. And as a consequence of the overkill spending on our military, we continue to be financially unable to meet the problems of our cities and states: decaying infrastructure and housing, failing schools, pollution, entrenched poverty and crime.
The consummate military man, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, wisely observed: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.”
Jim Stoffels, Richland