Decades ago, economic professors used the analogy of 'guns and butter' to differentiate the economic systems of the Soviet Union and America. America allowed its citizens to work, keep their money and spend it however they wanted - lots of butter aka consumer choices and middle class prosperity. By contrast, the Soviet Union forced its proletariat workers 'paradise' to work in state run factories that fueled its global covert and overt military operations - the Russian people existed for the sole purpose of sustaining the 'guns' of militarism.
Fast forward to today. Has America become the Soviet Union, an evil empire and a nation that squandered the wealth and prosperity of its people for militarism gone mad? Have we sown the seeds of our own destruction? With $16 trillion in national debt and chronic trillion dollar plus deficits every year, the one thing in America that isn't out of the closet is military spending, the military empire and its gargantuan cost.
Even in warmongering America, folks of all ideological stripes are beginning to raise the issue. Over at Fox News, aka Neocon Central, the despicable Bill O'Reilly raised the issue of the War on Terror.
Bill O'Reilly: On this 11th anniversary of the 911 attacks
According to the Congressional Research Service, the War on Terror has cost America $1.4 trillion. That includes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and money for veterans, also a bunch of other military expenditures. It does not include... it does not include security within the USA....O'Reilly, like every other Republican socialist lover of military empire, can't resist disclosing the debt attributable to Obama and the Dems while totally ignoring the fact that Bush and Gang added $5 trillion to the debt pile.
Mr. Obama has added about $5.4 trillion to the debt during his time in office...
I believe most historians will look back on the Iraq war as being a mistake. We could have brought Saddam to his knees by blockading his country. We didn't have to invade it.
Between the Republicans and the Democrats, the national debt increased over $10 trillion since the War on Terror began. McClatchy attempted to analyze its cost in 2011.
True cost of Afghan, Iraq wars is anyone's guess
Yes, Congress has allotted $1.3 trillion for war spending through fiscal year 2011 just to the Defense Department....Defense and military analyst Chris Hellman employed a different but more accurate approach in ascertaining the true cost of military and national security spending. As America morphs into a full fledged Nazified Police State and militarized global empire, the national security apparatus costs include far more than what is deceptively disclosed as mere defense spending.
But all those numbers are incomplete. Besides what Congress appropriated, the Pentagon spent an additional unknown amount from its $5.2 trillion base budget over that same period. According to a recent Brown University study, the wars and their ripple effects have cost the United States $3.7 trillion, or more than $12,000 per American.
Tomgram: Chris Hellman, $1.2 Trillion for National Security
For 2012, the White House has requested $558 billion for the Pentagon’s annual “base” budget, plus an additional $118 billion to fund military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. At $676 billion, that’s already nothing to sneeze at, but it’s just the barest of beginnings when it comes to what American taxpayers will actually spend on national security. Think of it as the gigantic tip of a humongous iceberg....Not only is $1.2 trillion dollars a whole lot of guns and an obscene amount of military spending on an annual basis, the American military empire has stripped the people of their prosperity and liberty. America is spending about $3.8 trillion a year on tax revenues of about $2.3 trillion.
Missing from the Pentagon’s budget request, for example, is an additional $19.3 billion for nuclear-weapons-related activities...
And then, don’t forget an additional $7.8 billion that the Pentagon lumps into a “miscellaneous” category -- a kind of department of chump change...
$703.1 billion dollars.
For starters, that $117.8 billion war-funding request for the Department of Defense doesn’t include certain actual “war-related fighting” costs....
The White House has also requested $71.6 billion for a post-2001 category called “homeland security” -- of which $18.1 billion is funded through the Department of Defense. The remaining $53.5 billion goes through various other federal accounts, including the Department of Homeland Security ($37 billion), the Department of Health and Human Services ($4.6 billion), and the Department of Justice ($4.6 billion). All of it is, however, national security funding which brings our total to:
The U.S. intelligence budget was technically classified prior to 2007, although at roughly $40 billion annually, it was considered one of the worst-kept secrets in Washington....This work done by federal agencies like the CIA and the National Security Agency consists of keeping an eye on and trying to understand what other nations are doing and thinking, as well as a broad range of “covert operations” such as those being conducted in Pakistan...
Veterans programs are an important part of the national security budget with the projected funding figure for 2012 being $129.3 billion. Of this, $59 billion is for veterans’ hospital and medical care, $70.3 billion for disability pensions and education programs...
If you include the part of the foreign affairs budget not directly related to U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as other counterterrorism operations, you have an additional $18 billion in direct security spending....
As with all federal retirees, U.S. military retirees and former civilian Department of Defense employees receive pension benefits from the government. The 2012 figure is $48.5 billion for military personnel, $20 billion for those civilian employees, which means we’ve now hit:
$1,034.2 billion. (Yes, that’s $1.03 trillion!)
When the federal government lacks sufficient funds to pay all of its obligations, it borrows. Each year, it must pay the interest on this debt which, for FY 2012, is projected at $474.1 billion. The National Priorities Project calculates that 39% of that, or $185 billion, comes from borrowing related to past Pentagon spending.
Add it all together and the grand total for the known national security budget of the United States is:
$1,219.2 billion. (That’s more than $1.2 trillion.)
Will the American people ever wake-up to the stone cold reality that the military empire has destroyed us and bankrupted us?
We need to kill the empire before the empire kills us.