Tit-for-tat, a rag-tag collection of terrorists called al-Qaeda has had a much more efficient "defense" budget than the most powerful military that ever existed on the planet Earth...both in terms of cash expenditures and in lives lost.
Nearly 3,000 victims and 19 hijackers died in the 911 attacks. The United States, with a "defense" budget of nearly $700 billion-a-year allocated to the "defense" industry (which doesn't include our nuclear arsenal and instead, is budgeted under the Department of Energy), has cost the Americans taxpayers $7 trillion to kill Osama Bin Laden - - - and it has also cost us the lives of over 6,026 (to date) brave and patriotic American soldiers.
Who's been getting more "bang-for-their-buck"?
Is the vast U.S. military industrial complex giving the hard-working (and unemployed) American taxpayers a fair bang for its buck? Why does America maintain hundreds of military bases and hundreds of thousands of soldiers all over the world, pumping billions of U.S. dollars into foreign economies? Who's our enemy and from who are we defending our shores? A handful of 16-year-old Somali pirates? What's the real threat, and how is $700 billion-a-year accomplishing our "defense"?
Is this what American taxpayers were referring to regarding waste, fraud, and abuse in government spending? Or were the Republican voters referring to Social Security and Medicare when voting in last November's elections? After all, the Republican leadership has been claiming that that's why the voters had sent them to Washington...to "cut government spending". Or did those voters really mean obscene congressional salaries?
The U.S. "defense" budget makes up almost half of our annual spending, most of which goes to making American corporations ever more profitable at the expense of our infrastructure and the weakening and further erosion of our social programs. Our American society, and our culture as a whole, suffers for this. We can no longer welcome the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses, yearning to breathe free....because America can no longer afford them.
Yet, in all the debates over the debt ceiling and the national budget, Republicans have consistently targeted Social Security, Medicare, and other programs that the majority of us rely on when we become disabled, sick, or too old to work any longer.
And the Republican's proposed cuts also affects millions of U.S. military war veterans as well; but no Republican cuts were ever proposed in government contracts going to American corporations who provide for the vast military industrial complex. (and another reason why soldiers keep re-enlisting during a jobless recession; to avoid unemployment and being subjected to Republican cuts in unemployment benefits).
Republicans, whose economic and tax policies under George W. Bush has displaced millions of American workers and has directly caused our budget revenue shortfalls, has also targeted programs like Medicaid and food stamps for those who lost their jobs during the Great Recession because of those same Republican policies (such as Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act).
In addition to this Republican refusal to heed a former Republican President's warning (Dwight D. Eisenhower), in which he says: "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex." - - - the Republicans have done just the opposite, and have become too dependent on these very corporations (defense contractors) for their political campaign funding.
If these defense contractors (American corporations) have full control of the political influence in the Republican Party, and because the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed in the case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, that these very same corporations cannot be limited in funding political broadcasts in candidate elections, and also have the same First Amendment rights as HUMAN citizens, then this can never change.
The Republicans will ALWAYS vote to further fund profitable American corporations at the expense of deep cuts to government services that millions of every-day Americans rely on and need for their very survival. But then again, the Democrats have been no better...always caving in like disgraceful wimps to the Republican blackmailers, hostage-takers, and thugs. (When I was a kid, I once thought that "good" always triumphs over "evil". Just like Republican voters, children can be so naive. I know, I was once a Republican too.)
Republican leaders within their party do this for no other reason other than to keep their own taxpayer-funded government jobs. As a member of congress taking in $174,000-a-year, and receiving very generous perks in addition to the best healthcare that money can buy, and a retirement pension that would make any labor union member blush like a virgin, I too might sell out the American people for my own personal gain...just like the big investment bankers did.
That's why the Republicans lie so much...yes, LIE, telling us things like: "We don't have a revenue problem (taxes), we have a spending problem (Social Security)." How do I know when a Republican is lying to me? It's easy. When I see their damn lips move!
That's why, for several decades, the Republicans have also insisted on continuing corporate welfare for companies making record profits - - - such as BIG OIL, tobacco subsidies, and no-bid contracts in the "defense" industry. The Republicans are essentially OWNED by American corporations, bought and paid for, and can't be relied upon to watch out for the best interests of ordinary working, unemployed, sick, elderly, disabled, or poor American citizens. The GOP only cares about the interests of their political campaigne contributors - - - such as the uber-wealthy, CEOs, and the now-well-known Wall Street bankers.
We don't need more aircraft carriers or submarines or nuclear missiles. What we need is a "defense" from the Republican "offense" in their class war against the middle-class and poor. We already have 20 aircraft carriers (of all classes), Russia has 1, China almost has 1, and al-Qaeda has ZERO. So why should we build more, instead of feeding our poor, paying our teachers, and fixing our roads? Even the Republicans need roads.
Icon of the American Empire - The Navy likes to call the big Nimitz Class carriers "4.5 acres of sovereign and mobile American territory"...how many more of these do unemployed Americans need to protect their interests? They won't protect them from Republican politicians.
We have Met the Enemy... and He is Us
"Our real enemies are not those living in a distant land whose names or policies we don't understand; the real enemy is a system that wages war when it's profitable, the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it's profitable, the insurance companies who deny us health care when it's profitable, the banks who take away our homes when it's profitable. Our enemies are not several hundred thousands away. They are right here in front of us." - Mike Prysner
* Full disclosure: I come from a military family (Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Marines, and Navy) and have lived on several military installations. There is no more noble a profession that serving in our armed forces. The men and women who serve are exceptional in every sense of the word. They make untold sacrifices on behalf of our country and I admire and respect each and every one. I'm strong on defense, but I'm not for wasteful government spending that is not needed for defense at all, but instead used by corporations to enrich themselves through "emerging markets". Too many times Americans soldiers are sacrificed by our politicians, not for "defense", but for corporate profits. This has always been the case in human history...profiteers investing in wars.