Whenever it comes to spending money on programs that actually benefit people, such as health care or education or housing, there are endless debates about how to fund it and how the country cannot afford it because it will increase the deficit and the debt and so on. But there is one area where there is never any problem finding money and that is when it comes to spending on the military. If there is one government program that is massively bloated with over-funding that produces little benefit to society other than providing employment, that is the US military, and yet it is the one where Congress falls over itself to give it more.
Just yesterday, a bill to increase military spending by a whopping $80 billion just breezed through the senate with an overwhelming majority.
Those concerns were brushed aside Monday night, as the Senate overwhelmingly approved an $80 billion annual increase in military spending, enough to have fully satisfied Sanders’s campaign promise. Instead, the Senate handed President Donald Trump far more than the $54 billion he asked for. The lavish spending package gives Trump a major legislative victory, allowing him to boast about fulfilling his promise of a “great rebuilding of the armed services.”
The bill would set the U.S.’s annual military budget at around $700 billion, putting it within range of matching the spending level at the height of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
To put that in further perspective: If the package becomes law, U.S. military spending would exceed the total spending of its next 10 rivals put together, going off of 2016 military spending estimates from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Put another way, with a $700 billion military budget, the U.S. would be spending more than three times as much as China on its military, and 10 times as much as Russia. According to SIPRI, the U.S. already accounts for more than a third of all military spending.
The Senate voted 89-8, with three senators not voting, to approve the military money. Spendthrift [Bernie] Sanders joined only four other Democratic senators to vote against the bill: Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden from Oregon. Republicans Bob Corker of Tennessee, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Mike Lee of Utah also voted against it.
And no doubt to really rub it in about how the military must be panderted to at all costs, Trump wants to hold a military parade for Independence day, no doubt to show off all the shiny new toys they will buy with all that money.
The priorities of the US government are truly insane.