Our Budget-Breaking Military Spending

Military spending in America in FY 2010 was just 5.6 % of GDP, a mere $823 billion, about half of the combined Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid entitlements, so say our pro-war pundits. By their lights, therefore, it’s these social entitlements, not military spending, that must be drastically cut to reduce the nation’s spiking budget deficit. . . However, if we take into account the millions and billions of military-related expenditures, the real total, by conservative estimates, exceeds the social entitlements plus the $165 billion + interest on the national debt combined. Some of those extras include the financial and military aid (bribes, some might call it) to our allies, the huge salaries of civilian advisors and workers in Iraq and Afghanistan, the upkeep and security of their offices and residential areas, the health care costs of wounded and emotional traumatized war veterans, the housing subsidies for their families, the permanent loss of non-recyclable materials (a million dollar missile once fired is forever spent, whether or not it hits its target.), and so on. During the Bush administration. pro-military advocates tended to gloss over the extras by saying the they were “off budget.” What did they mean by that? That the costs were being covered by someone other than us taxpayers? If so, who could that generous someone have been?

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