BLOWING OUR WAD

5 04 2008

Some people are scandalized because of all the important social and environmental work that could be accomplished with all the funds we’re wasting on high-tech weaponry, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that most of that money is borrowed, not generated by taxes, and represents artificial inflation of the US economy to the benefit of Bush’s wealthy backers–which, under our current tax structure, we the people of the middle class are going to have to pay for.

Bush Administration Wastes Trillions in Worthless Weapons

By Robert Scheer, Truthdig. Posted April 3, 2008.

A trillion dollars here, a trillion dollars there, and soon you’re talking real money. But when it comes to reporting on what the Bush war legacy has cost American taxpayers, the media have been shockingly indifferent to the highest run-up in military spending since World War II. Even the devastating defense spending audit released Monday by the Government Accountability Office documenting the enormous waste in every single U.S. advanced weapons system failed to provoke the outrage it, and five equally scathing previous annual audits, deserved.

This is not about the waste of taxpayer dollars — already pushing a trillion — in funding the Iraq war, which, while reprehensible enough, pales in comparison to the big-ticket military systems purchased in the wake of 9/11. In the horror of that moment, the floodgates were lifted and the peace dividend promised with the end of the Cold War was washed away by a doubling of spending on ultra-complex military equipment originally designed to defeat a Soviet enemy that no longer exists, equipment that has no plausible connection with fighting stateless terrorists. Example: the $81-billion submarine pushed by Sen. Joseph Lieberman, presumably to fight al-Qaida’s navy.

That’s the huge scandal the media and politicians from both parties have studiously avoided. But as the GAO’s authoritative audit details, the costs are astronomical. The explosion of spending on expensive weaponry after 9/11 had nothing whatsoever to do with the attacks of that day. The high-tech planes and ships commissioned for trillions of dollars to defeat an enemy with no navy, air force or army, and using $3 knives as its weapons arsenal, were gifts to the military-industrial complex that will go on giving for decades to come.

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