State of The Union


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.



2 thoughts on “State of The Union

  1. David says:

    Well, this makes sense when you consider the fact that we’re at war with the more people than the rest of the world combined. That was supposed to be funny. Get it? Are you laughing?

  2. Joseph says:

    It would be funny if there weren’t so many dying needlessly in all those useless wars. It seems the people who really control our government don’t run for election, because no matter who gets elected, policies stay the same. I’m not sure our elected officials really have much say in this stuff any more.

    I agree, J., I don’t understand the disparity between talking about free agency, etc., and yet waging wars for force others to think the way we do. Using money to help the poor just doesn’t obliterate agency quite so blatantly as war does.

    Missed the State of the Union address. Wasn’t quite as excited as I was about watching the inaugural speech this time last year. I’ll probably still vote for Obama in 2012, though, just to annoy my soon-to-be-ex-father and mother-in-law. Since there really isn’t anyone who I agree with that is likely to become the President, it’s worth it just to hear them whine about how “scared” they are and how all their “freedoms” are being taken away, when there weren’t many freedoms left after George W. Bush to take away!

    Tired of the same-old, same-old, though. It seems the military industrial complex has won, no matter who gets elected.

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