US Says No Money for Social Programs, But ‘$700 Billion to Kill People? Yeah That We Have’

“Note ‘where will the money come from?’ deficit trolls will be silent on this $700 billion defense spending bill.”

As The Intercept‘s Alex Emmons observes, the annual increase in military spending alone—$80 billion—would be more than enough to “make public colleges and universities in America tuition-free. In fact, Sanders’ proposal was only estimated to cost the federal government $47 billion per year.” (Photo: David B. Gleason/Flickr/cc)

Where were the pundits and elected lawmakers who complain about the cost of providing healthcare to all Americans when the Senate voted to spend $700 billion on the military?

“Note ‘where will the money come from?’ deficit trolls will be silent on this $700 billion defense spending bill.”
—Adam Johnson, FAIR
Many critics were raising this question Monday after the Senate—in what was portrayed as yet another indication of bipartisan support for endless waroverwhelmingly approved the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which will dump a larger sum of money into the military budget than even President Donald Trump asked for while also authorizing the production of 94 F-35 jets, two dozen more than the Pentagon requested.

Passage of the NDAA—which this year approves a $700 billion defense budget, an annual increase of $80 billion—is something of an automated process in Washington, one that often flies under the radar and garners little opposition.

However, with support for Medicare for All and free public college tuition soaring, many are calling attention to the hypocrisy of pundits who yell about the costs of single-payer healthcare providing debt-free higher education while remaining entirely silent about the war budget.

Adam Johnson, a contributor to Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, argued that the explanation for this double standard is simple: America’s dominant political class and mainstream commentators view exorbitant military spending as a given.

“Note: neither Vox or WaPo will have pundits lament over ‘where the money will come from’ for [the Department of Defense],” Johnson wrote on Twitter following the Senate’s vote, implying a reference to those who slammed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Medicare for All bill on budgetary grounds. “Money for war just is. Like the tides.”

Others echoed Johnson, noting that many U.S. reporters are not “programmed” to question military spending—a stark contrast to their reflexive skepticism of ambitious healthcare proposals or free public college tuition plans.

“We don’t have the money for universal healthcare!”
“What about $700 billion to kill people?”
“Yeah. That we have.” https://twitter.com/ap/status/909912774465277952 

As The Intercept‘s Alex Emmons notes, the implications of this persistent refusal to question the bloated military budget are massive.

We’re constantly told the US “can’t afford” single-payer health care, while 89% of senators vote for $0.7 trillion for Pentagon warmongering

Emmons observes that the annual increase in spending alone—$80 billion—would be more than enough to “make public colleges and universities in America tuition-free. In fact, Sanders’ proposal was only estimated to cost the federal government $47 billion per year.”

“If the additional military spending over the next ten years instead went to pay off student debt,” Emmons added, “it could come close to wiping it out entirely.”

Instead, as Monday’s vote revealed, the a bipartisan majority of U.S. senators appear content to continue unquestioningly pouring money into a military budget that already far exceeds spending of any other nation in the world.

Only 8 senators voted against the NDAA, which is expected to become law by the end of this year: Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ron Paul (R-Ky.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). Three senators did not vote.

Here are the 89 senators who voted in favor of the measure.

3 thoughts on “US Says No Money for Social Programs, But ‘$700 Billion to Kill People? Yeah That We Have’

  1. History has proven that when doctors stop seeing patients for one reason or another, individuals become healthier because it forces them to look for answers beyond their usual authority figures – doctors – and habits. And this is happening. More and more are looking for alternative healing. Its an illusion that insurance companies and government pay for healthcare. WE PAY WITH OUR HEALTH and taxes!

    When we understand that our bodies are designed to heal themselves, we will get out of the away and recognize that ‘fast foods are slow poisons and should be avoided at all costs.’ Read the ingredients before buying and take responsibility for your own health and the health of your family. The price is too great to do otherwise.

  2. i agree that spending on warfare is wrong, but so is spending on “social programs”( = WELFARE). These “social programs” are not what ppl think; they dont go into roads, and educating children, and ssafeguarding rights. they go to corporate bailouts, putting political agents and lazy moochers on free lunch gravy trains (ie illegals, obama supporters, fat people, and liberals and their endless pizzagate abortions) to use as excuse to raise taxes and gvnt regulations

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