The Progressive - October 8, 2021
The Military-Industrial Complex exploits flaws in what is, at best, a weak, quasi-democratic political system to defy the will of the people and spend more public money on weapons and armed forces than the world’s next thirteen military powers combined.
President Joe Biden and the Democratic Congress are facing a crisis as the popular domestic agenda on which they ran in the 2020 election is being held hostage by two corporate Democratic Senators—fossil fuel consigliere Joe Manchin of West Virginia and payday lender favorite Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.
The week before the Democrats’ $350 billion-per-year domestic package hit this wall of corporate money bags, all but thirty-eight House Democrats voted to hand over more than twice that amount to the Pentagon. Senator Manchin has hypocritically described the domestic spending bill as “fiscal insanity,” but he has voted for a much larger Pentagon budget every year since 2016.
Maintaining this pattern, Congress just doled out $12 billion for eighty-five more F-35 warplanes, six more than Donald Trump bought in 2020.
The 2022 military spending bill, the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, that passed the House on September 23 would hand a whopping $740 billion to the Pentagon and $38 billion to other departments (mainly the Department of Energy for nuclear weapons), for a total of $778 billion in military spending, a $37 billion increase over this year’s current military budget. The Senate will soon debate its version of the bill.
Two House amendments to make modest cuts failed: one by Representative Sara Jacobs, Democrat of California to strip out the $24 billion that was added to Biden’s budget request by the House Armed Services Committee, and another by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York for an across-the-board 10 percent cut (with exceptions for military pay and health care).
After adjusting for inflation, this enormous budget is comparable to the peak of Trump’s arms build-up in 2020, and is only 10 percent below the post-WWII record set by George W. Bush in 2008 under cover of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. ...
Read full report at The Progressive