Pentagon Gets a Half Trillion $ to Kill Nasty Foreigners
|June 15, 2014||Posted by Staff under Progress Report, War / Peace|
This 2014 excerpt of the Weekly Wastebasket, May 30, is by Taxpayers for Common Sense.
The Senate Armed Services Committee authorized $514 billion for the Pentagon and for building bombs at the Department of Energy. The Pentagon requested an additional $79.4 billion for undescribed expenditures in so-called “Overseas Contingency Operations ” (OCO) in Afghanistan. Yet the committee didn’t include any authority to spend money for this account.
The Pentagon could not provide Congress with a single detail in support of this enormous request. Is the OCO account really just a gimmicky “slush fund” that is technically off-budget so it does not count against the caps on spending? Historically the OCO account has been far smaller than in the last several years, typically in the range of $2-3 billion.
Given the ever increasing portion of the Pentagon budget that is eaten up by personnel costs, the funds available to actually develop and buy weapon systems are being squeezed. The Senate committee did go along with the Pentagon’s request to cap the pay raise for military service members at 1 percent and freeze the pay of generals and admirals. It also reinstated a previous cap on the retired pay of generals and admirals, but “grandfathered” in some of those officers.
Ed. Notes: Wasn’t too many wars ago when the entire US military budget was the size of the current OCO portion. And note the Pentagon budget does not include the spending for past wars — such as on veterans — and on future wars — such as some NASA research. There is so much money to be made by waging war that waging peace does not stand a chance. The US would probably be the most peaceful nation on earth if bureaucrats, officers, and weaponeers could not rake in such easy money.
Probably the only way to make Americans pro-peace is to tie every single income tax dollar to military spending. People complain about the taxes imposed upon them. If Yanks want to lighten their tax burden, they will have to become less belligerent and more tolerant of foreign ways.
The US could even try to make the world a better place instead of a global war zone by doing what works: free trade, no foreign aid (especially to dictators), de-tax labor to make US exports less costly to manufacture, and pay citizens a dividend to set a lofty example of economic justice. As other nations adopt the geonomic model and prosper, they won’t want to go to war either. Then we can totally eradicate the military/industrial complex.