Wars Sending US into Ruin
Obama the peace president is fighting battles his country cannot afford
By Eric Margolis
February 7, 2010,
U.S. President Barack Obama calls the $3.8-trillion US budget
he just sent to Congress a major step in restoring
In fact, it's another potent fix given to a sick patient
deeply addicted to the dangerous drug - debt.
More empires have fallen because of reckless finances than
invasion. The latest example was the
spent itself into ruin by buying tanks.
income from taxes) will reach a vertiginous $1.6 trillion US
this year. The huge sum will be borrowed, mostly from
and Japan, to which the
service will cost $250 billion.
To spend $1 trillion, one would have had to start spending $1
million daily soon after
2,738 years until today.
Obama's total military budget is nearly $1 trillion. This
includes Pentagon spending of $880 billion. Add secret black
programs (about $70 billion); military aid to foreign nations
"contractors" (mercenaries and workers); and veterans' costs.
Add $75 billion (nearly four times
budget) for 16 intelligence agencies with 200,000 employees.
$200-250 billion more this year, including hidden and
indirect expenses. Obama's Afghan "surge" of 30,000 new
troops will cost an additional $33 billion - more than
Obama's "austerity" budget.
Military and intelligence spending relentlessly increase as
unemployment heads over 10% and the economy bleeds red ink.
America has become the Sick Man of the Western Hemisphere, an
economic cripple like the defunct
The Pentagon now accounts for half of total world military
figure reaches 75%.
There are 750
service members stationed abroad, 116,000 in
Military spending gobbles up 19% of federal spending and at
least 44% of tax revenues. During the Bush administration,
each American family more than $25,000.
Like Bush, Obama is paying for
supplemental authorizations Â- putting them on the nation's
already maxed-out credit card. Future generations will be
stuck with the bill.
This presidential and congressional jiggery-pokery is the
height of public dishonesty.
wars, these conflicts would end in short order.
America needs a fair, honest war tax.
Military spending and debt-servicing are cannibalizing the
U.S. economy, the real basis of its world power. Besides the
late U.S.S.R., the
British Empire in 1945, crushed by immense debts incurred to
wage the Second World War, unable to continue financing or
defending the imperium, yet still imbued with imperial pretensions.
It is increasingly clear the president is not in control of
great President Dwight Eisenhower, whose portrait I keep by
my desk, warned Americans to beware of the military-
industrial complex. Six decades later, partisans of permanent
war and world domination have joined Wall Street's money
lenders to put
Increasing numbers of Americans are rightly outraged and
fearful of runaway deficits. Most do not understand their
political leaders are also spending their nation into ruin
through unnecessary foreign wars and a vainglorious attempt
to control much of the globe - what neocons call "full
If Obama really were serious about restoring
economic health, he would demand military spending be
slashed, quickly end the
the nation's giant Frankenbanks.
Copyright © 2010 Toronto Sun
Eric Margolis is a columnist for The
of many conflicts in the
featured in a special appearance on
"the man who got it right" in his predictions about the
dangerous risks and entanglements the
His latest book is American Raj: Liberation or Domination?:
Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World