Last Sunday (January 14) it was reported that Trump twitted (that’s appropriate coming from a twit) “DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don’t really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military.”
Yeah, right! Democrats sure want to take money away from the military. They (the Democrats) along with the Republicans just passed the largest “defense” budget since WWII – $700 billion ($574.5 billion base plus $54.6 billion for overseas contingency operations plus another $60 billion for “defense”1 activities in other agencies). And bear in mind, this is just the estimate. We all know the true cost will be greater when all is said and done.
And for what? In addition to new toys for the military (e.g., $1.2 trillion for whole bunch of F35 fighter aircraft, 4 brand new nuclear powered aircraft carriers at $13 billion each plus god only knows what the operational costs will be plus, plus, plus ad infinitum), the U.S. military has special operating forces operating in 80 countries (that’s over 40% of the world’s nations), and has over 800 military bases in 70 countries with 450,000 active duty military personnel not including contractors and mercenaries. By comparison, the UK, France and Russia have only 30 foreign bases combined.
Now compare that with what the U.S. spends on it’s own people. The single biggest domestic expense is Medicare2 which amounts to $582 billion. The next largest expense is Medicaid which amounts to $408 billion. (Both of these go to subsidize a bloated healthcare system that has the worst healtcare metrics of all the developed countries.) After that, there is $618 billion out of $3.1 trillion left to cover everything else. (Click here to see the president’s proposed budget.)
Compared with last year’s budget, “defense” gets a 10% increase while the Departments of Agriculture, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Labor. Veterans Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Geological Survey and others get cut. In the mean time, money for infrastructure repair and disaster aid to hurricane, fire and mud slide stricken areas is nowhere near adequate.
To cap it all, the total cost is $4.062 trillion while the receipts are expected to amount to $3.654 trillion leaving a deficit of $603 billion – before the tax cuts which will add another $135 billion. Combining that with other probable expenses (increased disaster aid and military contingency expenses) the total deficit is predicted to exceed $1 trillion.
So here we are, spending $3.1 trillion (about $1 trillion will be borrowed) in 2018 in order to pay for an out of control “defense” establishment that seeks to rule and/or destroy the world, and a bloated and ineffectual healthcare system while cutting back on desperately needed domestic spending that includes all investments for the future.
Now recall that Trump accused Democrats of wanting to take money that was “desperately needed for ‘defense’” to pay for DACA. The “defense” budget was passed by both houses of Congress and signed by Trump, and not one nickel of “desperately needed money” was taken away by Democrats. In fact, 117 Democrats voted for the “defense” authorization act with 227 Republicans in the House of Representatives while 41 Democrats voted for it along with 47 Republicans in the Senate. (To find out how your Representative voted, click here and to find out how your Senators voted, click here.)
Squandering our nation’s wealth trying to rule the world while ignoring the needs of our own people is no way to make our nation great. For that crime, Democrats are as guilty as the Republicans.
1 “Defense” is in quotes because it is a euphemism. It is not about defending our sovereign territory from invading forces, it is about conquering the world.
2 Social Security is not listed here as it is a self paying retirement insurance program run by the government paid for with premiums taken out of workers’ paychecks.