$ New Military Jet=$600,000 Home For EVERY U.S. Homeless Person
Robbie Couch in an article on HuffPo recently asserted:
The $400 billion program to create a fleet of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets, which, as The Hill points out, is seven years behind schedule and chronically plagued with misfortunes and incompetencies, could have housed every homeless person in the U.S. with a $600,000 home.
This gobsmacking calculation, Couch explains, was made by Think Progress to help us struggling average Americans appreciate the obscene amount of money continuing to flood into U.S. military programs, sacrificing a massive potential to provide for basic and life-enhancing social and human needs both domestically and globally.
Here are two more calculations to help make your “jaw drop”, as Couch puts it:
The full cost of the jets program could also fund the National School Lunch Program, which feeds about 31 million students annually, for the next 24 years.
... the amount spent per year to build the F-35 jets could easily fulfill a $16.7 billion request by the United Nations Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs to save countless lives from preventable causes around the world — and then have enough left over to fund UNICEF's budget request, too.
Did you know that, according to the Office of Management and Budget, our federal government spent 19 times more on “defense and international security assistance” in 2013 than it did on education?
Hmmm, let’s see. Door #1, nurturing and educating America's children. Door #2, slaughtering foreign children (and their families,too, of course).
Our Congress and administration? “LET’S TAKE DOOR NUMBER TWO, DON!”
Did you know that according to research by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, the US spends more on defense than China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, the U.K., Germany, Japan and India combined?
The second largest spender for its military is China, but the U.S. spends 6 times more than China according to SIPRI, a new report from a Swedish think tank addressed by Judd Legum of Think Progress. According to this recently released report, U.S. military spending has almost doubled since 2001 and the US spent $698 billion on the military last year, which is an 81% increase over that spent over the last decade.
Well, thanks to 9/11 and subsequent corporate media enhanced US government fear- and vengeance-mongering and murderous militarism military contractors have made out like bandits! As for the working and middle classes, as well as the aforementioned ever unmentioned homeless? Not so well.
The report notes that, “even in the face of efforts to bring down the soaring US budget deficit, military spending continues to receive privileged treatment.” Indeed, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and others on the right are passing legislation increasing defense spending. At the same time, they are insisting on massive cuts to social programs that provide vital assistance to the elderly, the poor and the middle class.
The lobbying by military contractors has proven most effective on our not-so-representing of us political representatives.
Eli Clifton also of Think Progress:
DefenseNews reports that the top five U.S. military contractors boosted their lobbying expenses by 11.5 percent — a combined total of $15.9 million — in the first quarter of 2012 when compared to the same quarter in 2011. The increase in lobbying spending was led by Northrop Gurmman, increasing its spending by 51 percent, and Lockheed Martin, which increased its lobbying investment by 25 percent.
Ali Gharib of Think Progress helps address political rationalizations of military spending as a mainstay for US employment:
Facing deep spending cuts, the Department of Defense, including Secretary Leon Panetta, and military-industrial trade associations have complained that tightening the U.S. security budget will cause greater unemployment. And even while toeing the (dubious) conservative line that government spending cannot create jobs, right wingers like Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) insist that military spending must stay high to keep unemployment from increasing.
Averaged between the three domestic spending priorities of clean energy, health care, and education, those areas create about twice as many jobs per dollar spent as military expenditures. The lower numbers for clean energy and health care spending still create 50 percent more jobs than the military category, and results from putting money into education will.
Maybe important to mention here that non-military employment does not result in deliberate mass slaughters of humankind!
Nickeling and diming the American middle, working (poor) and poor classes out of basic and desperately needed social and job programs, while at the same time avalanching billions of tax dollars onto gratuitous and murderous weaponry and other military contracts for juicy, quid pro quo, MASSIVE rewards from crony war corporatist benefactors is such a blatantly heart-of-darkness way to go. But that seems to be the current job description of all US pols, does it not?
What will it take to make US citizens, let alone their profits-uber-alles, pro-corporatist-sociopathy reps, wake up, rally and insist, “ENOUGH!!!! ENOUGH!!! ENOUGH!!!! STOP THE INSANITY!!!”?
[cross-posted on open salon]