As Senators John McCain and Kelly Ayotte (NH) launch their transparent campaign to whine about Department of Defense cuts, mostly to help the GOP in an election year and to pay back their defense contractor donors, it’s as good a time as any to remind Americans about the true nature of U.S. defense.
According to a number of sources, the U.S. defense budget sits at around $1 trillion annually. Costs include defense contracts (all that fancy machinery is produced with corporate welfare enjoyed by Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, etc.), the operating costs of hundreds of international military bases, munitions (bombs, guns, etc.), active duty pay, veteran benefits, and so on. With all of the defense contracts and personnel pay and benefits which amount to 24% of the federal budget in 2012, we could honestly characterize the Department of Defense as the biggest entitlement program of them all. By comparison, healthcare and welfare spending account for 22% and 12% of the budget, respectively.
(Read about how the Federal Reserve underwrites America’s never-ending war machine.)
At $1 trillion per year in defense spending, the U.S. government is outspending its nearest military competitor 10 to 1. What business do we have spending that amount of money? And the automatic $50 billion in annual cuts over 10 years ($500 billion in total) is a pissant amount of tax cutting. It’s chump change. And here is Mr. McCain acting as if the whole world were collapsing.
The bitch is crying wolf, and the American people should really begin opening their eyes to this reality. The power structure transmits messaging that this is all about American jobs when it really is about enriching those private corporations that do business with the military. The military is a sacred cow, and its officers and legislative champions like McCain are only interested in preserving American hegemony abroad, both militarily and economically.
McCain and Ayotte say defense sequestration cuts would be “devastating” to the military, though they fail to explain exactly how (bullshit alert). What he does say is that it will cause job loss, presumably in the form of lost defense contracts and less military personnel. This, however, is a smokescreen.
Tell us, Mr. McCain, how can $50 billion in annual military cuts off of a $1 trillion annual defense budget really cause devastation? The preservation of the U.S. military and economic hegemony is the the real devastation.