“While war profiteers rejoice, voters wonder why the government cannot provide for education, job creation, healthcare, and needs in their community.”
By Jake Johnson
Common Dreams (7/14/17)
The U.S. House on Friday [7/14] overwhelmingly approved a $696 billion defense policy bill—the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)—that critics were quick to denounce as yet another vote for “endless wars” and “Pentagon boondoggles.”
“Every year, Congress authorizes billions of dollars of Pentagon pork at the expense of other security needs and other taxpayer priorities,” Paul Kawika Martin, senior director for policy and political affairs at Peace Action, said in a statement. “While war profiteers rejoice, voters wonder why the government cannot provide for education, job creation, healthcare, and needs in their community.”
The legislation, which passed with a vote of 344-81, far surpasses in cost President Donald Trump’s request for $603 billion earlier this year.
Politico summarized the bill’s contents:
“The House measure would authorize $621.5 billion for national defense programs, including the Pentagon’s base budget and nuclear programs under the Energy Department, as well as another $75 billion in war funding.
“It also would tap $10 billion from the war-related Overseas Contingency Operations account to pay for base budget items, including $6 billion to boost Navy shipbuilding. The NDAA funding levels mirror a budget blueprint being crafted by the House Budget Committee.”
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), who voted against the measure, said in a statement that “Congressional Republicans have chosen to bankroll bloated Pentagon spending and funnel billions into the Overseas Contingency Operations slush fund, while refusing to address our fundamental obligation to debate our ongoing military operations.”
The Intercept‘s Alex Emmons argued that the exorbitant military spending approved year after year underscores the warped priorities of Congress.
“As always,” Emmons wrote, “only spending that benefits the poor is ‘unaffordable.’ Larger sums are funneled straight into corporate pockets without protest.”
(This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.)
(Commoner Call photo by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )
- Is This How the World Sees America Now? – Donald Trump recently returned from meeting with the other powerful countries of the G20 group—one of his first big performances on the world stage. So how did it go? Not swell, according to a no-holds-barred account delivered by Chris Uhlmann, an Australian journalist. Uhlmann made four main points about how the rest of the world sees the U.S. president. First, Uhlmann charged, Trump has “no desire or capacity to lead the world.” He called him “a man who barks out bile in 140 characters” and “wastes his precious days as president at war with the west’s institutions, like the judiciary, independent government agencies, and the free press.” It’s hard to refute that latter point. How much time has Trump wasted watching cable news, or insisting that he got more votes or had bigger crowds at his inauguration than he really did? … Read the Rest