The U.S. government will spend over $4.7 trillion in the coming year. The federal budget is larger than the entire economies of every other country in the world except for China and possibly Japan.
Every cent of this vast sum comes from the surplus value ― commonly known as “profits” ― produced by the working class in this country and also from workers in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
At least $738 billion of the money voted by Congress will go directly to the Pentagon to kill and subjugate poor people around the world. Big Oil is always the greatest beneficiary of this bloodshed.
But the military budget just begins there. Fifty-nine billion dollars is slated for the world’s largest terrorist network: the CIA and a dozen other spy agencies.(https://fas.org/irp/budget/)
The State Department and the Agency for International Development will get $56 billion. These are spy agencies too and work hand-in-hand with the CIA to overthrow governments that Wall Street doesn’t like. Secretary of State and ex-CiA director Mike Pompeo is plotting around-the-clock to oust Venezuela’s elected government.
The Energy Department doesn’t just promote fracking and nuclear energy. Close to 90 percent of its $31 billion appropriation is for handling nuclear weapons and developing new ones.
Then there’s Homeland Security, with a name that sounds like it came out of the Third Reich. Ninety-two billion dollars will be handed over to this Gestapo agency that includes U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which forcibly separates immigrant families and puts children in cages.
What this wealth could do
The total amount that will be spent for war and terror in 2020 will be $989 billion. Yet only 16 members of the House of Representatives and five senators voted against Trump’s budget.
Just think if this money were used to help people instead of oppressing them. Taking $31 billion from the nuke makers at the Energy Department could largely fix up New York City’s public housing.
Here are some other things this $989 billion in war money could do:
- $450 billion for $30,000 annual college scholarships for 15 million working and poor students. No more student debt!
- $150 billion to build and repair mass transit systems across the U.S. with free fares.
- $150 billion to train more doctors and other medical workers.
- $200 billion in genuine aid to countries around the world that have been bombed, pillaged and economically sanctioned by the U.S. big business government.
These programs could create millions of union jobs with union wages and benefits.
What about housing? Just in New York City alone there are 25,000 homeless children. Throughout the U.S. there are millions of families who are doubled-up.
But there’s no housing shortage. In New York City, one out of nine housing units — nearly 250,000 apartments — are empty, either because of speculators holding them off the market or because people can’t afford the high rents. A growing people’s movement can and will seize these empty homes.
What about the deficit?
In the coming year, the U.S. government will spend more than a trillion dollars more than it takes in. Right-wingers in the media and Congress howl about this deficit and advocate cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to pay for it.
But this deficit doesn’t bother the billionaire class at all. The wealthy and their banks and insurance companies will collect almost all of the $430 billion tax-free interest on the national debt. Only a small amount of that interest goes to holders of savings bonds.
This risk-free bonanza of $430 billion is two-thirds of the $650 billion that capitalists raked in profits from all of U.S.manufacturing last year.
U.S treasury bonds are considered so lucrative that $6 trillion worth of them are held abroad. This goes a long way to finance the U.S. empire’s 4,000 ready-to-shoot nuclear weapons, 800 military bases in 70 countries and 11 aircraft carriers.
Karl Marx called this national debt “one of the most powerful levers of primitive accumulation. As with the stroke of an enchanter’s wand, it endows barren money with the power of breeding and thus turns it into capital, without the necessity of its exposing itself to the troubles and risks inseparable from its employment in industry or even in usury.”
The entire U.S. budget is a gigantic piñata for the rich. Pfizer, Merck and the rest of Big Pharma rip off Medicare for at least $15 billion in additional profits every year.
That’s because Medicare Part D, which is prohibited by Congress from negotiating prices, pays 73 percent more than Medicaid and 80 percent more than the Veterans Administration for brand name drugs.
It’s their federal budget, not ours.