Biden’s Announcement That Trump Got Military Spending Just Right Is Dead Wrong

By David Swanson, World BEYOND War, April 8, 2021

President Joe Biden is proposing a level of Pentagon spending so close to that of Trump’s last year in office that Bloomberg calls it a 0.4% reduction adjusting for inflation while Politico calls it a 1.5% increase and “effectively an inflation-adjusted budget boost.” I call it a disgusting violation of the will of the public spent in the hypocritical name of a grand battle against autocracies by so-called democracies, driven in reality by the influence of war profiteers and contempt for the fate of the planet and the people on it.

The U.S. public, according to polling, would reduce military spending if it had something resembling a democracy.

Just five weapons dealers poured $60 million into U.S. election campaign bribery in 2020. These companies now sell more weapons abroad than to the U.S. government, with the U.S. State Department acting as a marketing firm, and with U.S. weapons and/or U.S. military training and/or U.S. government funding going to the militaries of 96% of the most oppressive governments on earth.

U.S. military spending is $1.25 trillion per year across numerous departments. Even just taking the $700 billion and change that goes to the Pentagon and stands in for the full amount in media coverage, U.S. military spending has been climbing for years, including during the Trump years, and is the equivalent of many of the world’s top military spenders combined, most of which are U.S. allies, NATO members, and U.S. weapons customers.

Still using that artificially reduced figure, China is at 37% of it, Russia at 8.9%, and Iran is spending 1.3%. These are, of course, comparisons of absolute amounts. Per capita comparisons are extreme as well. The United States, every year, takes $2,170 from every man, woman, and child for wars and war preparations, while Russia takes $439, China $189, and Iran $114.

“Takes” is the right word. President Eisenhower once admitted it out loud, saying, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”

When a mere $30 billion could end starvation on earth, there is no question that militarism kills first and foremost through the diversion of funds from where they are needed, while of course risking nuclear apocalypse and driving environmental collapse, justifying secrecy, fueling bigotry, and degrading culture.

The madness of militarism is not new, but it is always newly happening in an environmentally riskier world in more desperate need of a redirection of resources, and is happening now in the midst of a pandemic. Meanwhile President Biden proposes to pay for things he wants to spend money on with slight corporate taxes over 15 years, as if no other expenses will come up between now and 2036.

A bill in both houses of Congress called the ICBM Act would move funding from intercontinental ballistic missiles to vaccines. Dozens of Congress Members say they favor moving funding from militarism to human and environmental needs. Yet, not a single one has made a public commitment to voting against any bill that fails to reduce military spending, and not a single one has introduced a war powers resolution to end a single war, now that Trump’s veto cannot be relied on to render such an action harmless.

It is a real shame that President Biden is not a member of the Democratic Party whose 2020 Platform reads: “Democrats believe the measure of our security is not how much we spend on defense, but how we spend our defense dollars and in what proportion to other tools in our foreign policy toolbox and other urgent domestic investments. We believe we can and must ensure our security while restoring stability, predictability, and fiscal discipline in defense spending. We spend 13 times more on the military than we do on diplomacy. We spend five times more in Afghanistan each year than we do on global public health and preventing the next pandemic. We can maintain a strong defense and protect our safety and security for less.”

It’s just bad luck that President Biden does not subscribe to the religion professed by the Pope who remarked last Sunday: “The pandemic is still spreading, while the social and economic crisis remains severe, especially for the poor. Nonetheless – and this is scandalous – armed conflicts have not ended and military arsenals are being strengthened.”

According to Bloomberg, the U.S. military arsenal is being strengthened in a proper progressive manner: “The $715 billion Pentagon ‘topline’ is likely to be presented as a compromise to Democrats pressing for cuts in defense spending, as some of the money would be slated for the Pentagon’s environmental initiatives.”

With friends like the Pentagon, the environment has no need of enemies, real or imagined.

According to Politico, wildly out-of-control military spending that Biden believes Donald Trump got just about exactly right is actually a demonstration of restraint because “Pentagon budgeteers” have been hoping for more. Let us weep for them in our own private ways.


2 Responses

  1. But Biden IS a member of the Democratic Party whose 2020 Platform is quoted above. The problem is so many public servants in the Democratic Party ignore the national Democratic Party platform, and their state Democratic Party platform, which are put together painstakingly by grassroots volunteers in the Democratic Party. There needs to be a way to hold these public servants’ feet to the fire, heeding the will of those volunteers.

  2. Trump only declared one war while he was in office: a war on human trafficking. Which is the war we must all fight. that is why the democrats hate him, and that is why they stole the election, (watch 2000 mules movie) because he was stopping their drug of choice, Adrenochrome, harvested from children under repeated traumatization. Funny that Trump would have spent more on war but NOT gone to war? Maybe the war he was preparing for was the one he is waging now… as the rightfully elected, yet unacknowledged POTUS. On telegram TruthSocial and from links on there, and on Rumble ‘Fall of the Cabal’ “Sequel to fall of the Cabal’ and especially ‘We the People NEWS’ updated 19/5/22 it gives details, that, as a new-to-this-topic Aussie, seems to me they have reinstated a constitutional parliament (or whatever they are meant to have), he has rightful place as elected president and since he ‘lost’ the election, he has been using the military covertly to shut down underground tunnels and military bases, rescue 1000s of children (including the ones Putin’s soldiers found in Ukraine) and expose the deep state cabal by giving them enough rope to hange themselves, while all the time working to bring them to justice. At this time anyway, I have become a Trump supporter. he never started a war with any nation. Only spent money on USAs own military (which based maybe he had a different, more noble reason for that than people would commonly assume.) Also will be bringing in gold backed currency world-wide to replace the fake FIAT false banking monetary system. Gather good guys in every country (including China) are all working together on this. The news behind the news! So many layers. And sorry, but I just can never get excited about the peace symbol, as the upside down broken cross. Peace should look more like a dove than a satanic symbol.
    How does Hillary Clinton – codename Evergreen – like those cargo ships that have been getting grounded – traffick children into the country? Calls the boxes ‘art’ or ‘museum’ pieces, trusses up kids so can’t move or speak, because art they don’t get opened, go straight to museum next to one of her frequently used dwellings/offices! John Durham currently starting process in courts, starting with election fraud. Plus, I am not sure how anyone can be on the democratic party, which openly wants abortion up to and maybe even after birth!!! That is a war on the unborn! Plus, the two party system is just not constitutional anyway. Should be the parliament, reps of the people, speaking and discussing together to find how to do what is truly best for the people – with exceeding transparency. And to find out a little more about so-called green energy/climate change/sustainability: Headwind’21 & Return to Eden. Most of their climate change stuff is an absolute lie. and like covid, we are NEVER presented with both sides in an open, calm, rational discussion so the people can actually discern the truth for themselves. No, like covid, we are told to fear and comply.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Our Theory of Change

How To End War

2024 WBW Film Festival
Antiwar Events
Help Us Grow

Small Donors Keep Us Going

If you select to make a recurring contribution of at least $15 per month, you may select a thank-you gift. We thank our recurring donors on our website.

This is your chance to reimagine a world beyond war
WBW Shop
Translate To Any Language