The devastating impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout continue to take a toll on the world and provide ample reason to reconsider where taxpayers’ money is being spent.
Several countries have even come to the conclusion that their budget would be better spent where it can potentially ameliorate the economic pressure on their citizens.
In the US, however, while such reassessments are long overdue, along with the trillions of dollars, Congress and successive administrations have lavished on the Pentagon, lawmakers have decided to once again shower the Pentagon with even more cash than it had asked for.
Interestingly enough, this comes as the massive US arsenal and fighting force deployed worldwide have proven to be powerless against grave non military threats to national security.
Gas prices in the US are at an all time high, rent prices have reached record highs, increasing consistently for the last 13 consecutive months.
Inflation is increasing so sharply that even the cost of basic utilities has risen by nearly 30% in the last 12 months. There are growing fears that the economy is poised to fall into a recession.
And now, at a time when Americans are fighting to keep roofs over their heads and feed their families, congress plans to allocate a record $838.8 billion in spending to the Pentagon, which is nearly 40 billion more than the military had originally asked for.
American taxpayers should be angry. They are angry; many are not only angry, they are incensed, and they are protesting but, unfortunately, too many elected representatives in this country aren't listening to their constituents.
They're listening to the representatives and the lobbyists of the military industrial complex, such as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, and General Electric.
So when you have those companies, and so many others, that are pouring millions and millions and millions of dollars into the political campaigns of members of Congress, and members of the Senate; and the President.
When they are pouring millions of dollars into their political campaigns, when they spend an inordinate amount of time on Capitol Hill lobbying for their interests, then you're going to wind up with policies and programs that are sending money to the Pentagon instead of sending money into states for schools, and retirement programs, and the other types of social welfare programs that are needed in this country.
Dr Wilmer Leon, Author
The US Congress is on track to give the Pentagon $37 billion more than what the military asked for. This comes at a juncture in time when Congress could have used the money to pay for a variety of things Americans so desperately need right now, such as school lunches, affordable housing and utility assistance programs.
Lowering taxes by that amount or giving this money directly to the American people could put more than $100 in the pocket of every single American at a time when they desperately need it.
Not only would spending in such ways benefit individual recipients and communities it would also help revitalize the US economy and make it more equitable.
As has been well documented, defense spending is one of the least economically productive ways a government can spend its money. On the other hand, spending on education, health care and lowering taxes, for example, have all been shown to create more and higher paying jobs.
So why is Congress poised to give government contractors the biggest taxpayer funded payday they've ever received despite the heavy economic implications that the move has on the country?
Well, the reason that the United States government is pursuing war strategies is because America is still in imperial hegemonic times.
And so you have people like Tony Blinken, and Avril Haines, Samantha Power Jake Solomon, Victoria Nuland, that are influencing decision makers in policy to try to start fights with Russia, try to start conflicts with China, to continue to try to start conflicts with Iran, to justify this immense military spending.
Dr Wilmer Leon, Author
Pentagon contractors invest heavily in efforts to get more taxpayer funding, spreading their influence and money around between the lobbyists, PR firms, and think tanks, to ensure that the money is funneled their way.
In short, this is the military industrial complex and it is working overtime to raise the Pentagon budget at the expense of the taxpayer.
And while much of Washington is in on the racket and will also profit from this wasteful government spending, it will be the Americans struggling to keep the lights on who will inevitably have to pay the stiffest price.