January 26, 2010 by J. Madson
President Obama will be giving his state of the union address tonight. Over at NY Times you can read about the proposed 3 year moratorium on domestic spending. Green Greenwald has written an insightful post today about the taboo of reducing military spending. The question he asks is:
As always, the notion of decreasing the deficit and national debt through reductions in military spending is one of the most absolute Washington taboos. What possible rationale is there for that?
Greenwald references charts from global security that we have shared here before. Here is a breakdown of military spending worldwide in 2008.
Notice, the US spends more than the rest of the world combined.
If we just look at discretionary spending, our military budget amounts for more than 50% of discretionary spending.
I have always found it humorous that in LDS circles and among conservatives that terms such as agency and satan’s plan are thrown about whenever there is a possibility that “their” hard earned money might go towards helping their neighbor or creating any type of social net. Yet none of them bat an eye when it comes to taking “my” hard earned money to go towards buying up weapons to kill and maim others. You see, its only govt theft when it goes to help the poor, minorities, or actually do some good in the world.
Greenwald sums up his argument nicely with this
The clear fact is that, no matter how severe are our budgetary constraints, military spending and all so-called “security-related programs” are off-limits for any freezes, let alone decreases. Moreover, the modest spending freeze to be announced by Obama tomorrow is just the start; the Washington consensus has solidified and is clearly gearing up for major cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, with the dirty work to be done by an independent “deficit commission.” It’s time for “everyone” to sacrifice and suffer some more — as long as “everyone” excludes our vast military industry, the permanent power factions inside the Pentagon and intelligence community, our Surveillance and National Security State, and the imperial policies of perpetual war which feed them while further draining the lifeblood out of the country.
Read more at Salon.com