$750 Billion, Who Cares?
By Ed Flaherty
In another wonderful example of bipartisan cooperation, the U.S. Senate on June 27 passed the National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 86-8. The headlines of all media, conservative and liberal, should be screaming. This bill authorizes a 2020 military budget of $750 billion. (Compare that to $618 billion in 2017). Military spending will be $33 Billion more that in FY 2019. If every man, woman, and child in the U.S. were to pay for the $750 billion military expenditures, it would be $2,278 per capita. Of course, if war spending were to be financed that way, the voices of protest would be loud. But, we don’t finance war that way. We simply add it to our national debt.
There are so many dimensions to this insanity that it is hard to begin. Some simple comparisons might be helpful. The 2020 budget for the Center for Disease Control is $6.6 billion. The 2020 budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency is $5.54 billion. The 2020 budget for the Environmental Protection Agency is $6.08 billion. The total of those three agencies’ budgets is $18.22 billion. The INCREASE in the military budget is 1.8 times those three agencies’ total budgets.
A big increase in the budget for mental health may be what is most needed now.
~ Ed Flaherty, a former banker, now works for peace.