Military Budget

Who Cut All the Weapons Programs? BushDaddy, Of Course!
Military Budget

Vets for Justice reports, "In reality it was 'W' Bush's dad President George H.W. Bush who admitted on January 28, 1992 in a joint session of Congress about the State of the Union: 'Two years ago, I began planning cuts in military spending that reflected the changes of the new era. But now, this year, with imperial communism gone that process can be accelerated. Tonight I can tell you of dramatic changes in our strategic nuclear force. These are actions we are taking on our own because they are the right thing to do. After completing 20 planes for which we have begun procurement, we will shut down further production of the B - 2 bombers. We will cancel the small ICBM program. We will cease production of new warheads for our sea-based ballistic missiles. We will stop all new production of the Peacekeeper missile. And we will not purchase any more advanced cruise missiles.'"

Military Spending Sparks Warnings
Military Budget

WashPost reports: "A sharp jump in military spending under President Bush has lifted defense budgets to levels not seen since the height of the Reagan buildup of the early 1980s, prompting warnings by lawmakers and defense analysts that the surge may no longer be sustainable in a time of deepening deficits... The looming political battle bore a striking parallel with conditions 19 years ago when congressional alarm over a soaring federal deficit led to the end of President Ronald Reagan's defense buildup. 'This feels to me the way it did back in 1985,' said John Hamre, a former deputy defense secretary and comptroller under President Bill Clinton and now president of the [Richard Mellon Scaife funded rightwing think tank] Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. 'I believe the tide has begun to turn. These deficit and defense budget numbers are so shockingly big now that, politically, they're untenable.'"

World Bank Condemns Military Spending as 'Madness'
Military Budget

"The president of the World Bank condemned the amount developed countries spend on defence yesterday, saying it was 'madness' compared with the sums committed to aid projects. James Wolfensohn told an audience in Australia: 'We are spending 20 times the amount on military expenditure than what we are spending on trying to give hope to people.' He added: 'If a Martian came to earth and read the [UN's] millennium development goals, and then looked at what we're doing, you'd think we were mad. We are spending a trillion dollars a year on defence. We talk about freeing trade and we've got $300bn to $350bn being spent in ... agricultural subsidy or tariffs, and we're spending maybe $50bn on development.' 'The world is spending less now that it was spending 40 years ago, percentage wise, in terms of development. We have got it tremendously wrong in the way in which we are addressing the questions of poverty, development and its importance.'"

U.S. Military Budget is 8 Times Bigger than China or Russia, and Still Growing
Military Budget

New fiscal year '05 figures from the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation:
United States $420.7 billion
China* 51.0
Russia* 50.8
Japan 41.4
United Kingdom 41.3
France 34.9
Germany 27.4
Italy 22.3
Saudi Arabia* 22.2
India 16.2
South Korea 14.8
Israel* 9.9
Australia 9.9
* denotes 2002 spending

Jim McDermott Pushes Pentagon to Provide Equipment for National Guard and Reserve Troops in Iraq
Military Budget

"Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) today joined 48 other members of Congress to introduce 'National Guard and Reserve Protection Concurrent Resolution' calling on Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld House to provide adequate equipment for National Guard and Reserve troops in Iraq. 'Soldiers who serve in the Guard and Reserve deserve the same respect and equipment as any other soldier who puts their life on the line for our country,' said Rep. Jim McDermott. 'I have visited wounded troops, and I can tell you that the Guard and Reserve get injured and suffer just like the regular troops. There is no excuse for the Administration's failure to give them the tools they need to do their jobs and stay alive.' Over 60 National Guard and Reserve members have died and dozens more have been seriously injured in the war in Iraq."

Bush Makes War While Screwing the Military
Military Budget

The Navy Times reports: "Commissaries and the Defense Department's stateside schools are in the crosshairs of Pentagon budget cutters, and military advocates, families and even base commanders are up in arms. Defense officials notified the services in mid-October that they intend to close 19 commissaries and consider closing 19 more, mostly in remote areas. At the same time, the Pentagon is finishing a study to determine whether to close or transfer control of the 58 schools it operates on 14 military installations in the continental United States. The two initiatives are the latest in a string of actions by the Bush administration to cut or hold down growth in pay and benefits, including basic pay, combat pay, health-care benefits and the death gratuity paid to survivors of troops who die on active duty."

Bush Wants $87 Billion for Iraq, But Says Health Coverage for Guardsman and Reservists is Too Expensive
Military Budget

Gannett News reports: "The Bush administration is formally opposing a proposal to give National Guard and Reserve members access to the Pentagon's health insurance system, jeopardizing the plan's future and angering supporters. The proposal would give more than 1.2 million Guard and Reserve members the right to buy health coverage through the Pentagon, even when they are not on active duty. The Senate has attached the plan to a nearly $87 billion bill to pay for fighting and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan. A recent General Accounting Office report estimated that one out of every five Guard members has no health insurance at all. The administration, in stating its objections, said the health care proposal is too expensive. It would cost $400 million each year. The administration also said the proposal did not belong in the Iraq bill."

Exposed: Pentagon Created $20 Million Stash By Inflating Budget Proposals
Military Budget

"The U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base inflated budget proposals at the Pentagon's request last year to hide $20mn from Congress, according to documents obtained by the St. Petersburg Times. Special Ops (SO) officials divided the money among six projects so the money would not attract attention. They also instructed their own budget analysts not to mention it during briefings with congressional aides... The Pentagon's inspector general has launched an investigation... The Pentagon initially wanted SO to hide $40mn. The SO Command, which oversees the nation's secret commando units, refused... It is unclear what the Pentagon intended to do with the $20mn, or what became of the money. Young surmised that the money could have been used as a contingency fund, available to Rumsfeld to use at his discretion. While $20mn is relatively modest in a Pentagon budget of almost $400bn, Young said, if all the armed services are doing it the amount could grow significantly."

Budget for Bush's Military Industrial Complex Largest Since Korean War
Military Budget

"This year, if all goes as Resident Bush plans, the US will spend more money on the military than in any year since 1952, the peak of the Korean War. Here are the stark numbers. The original defense budget for fiscal year 2004 was $400 billion. Bush's supplemental request for Iraq and Afghanistan, which he announced last Sunday, is $87 billion, for a total of $487 billion. Let's be conservative and deduct the $21 billion that's earmarked for civil reconstruction (even though the Defense Dept is running the reconstruction). That leaves $466 billion. By comparison, in constant 2004 dollars (adjusted for inflation), the U.S. defense budget in 1985, the peak of the Cold War and Ronald Reagan's rearmament, totaled $453 billion. That was $12 billion to $33 billion less than this year's budget (depending on whether you count reconstruction). In 1968, at the peak of the Vietnam War, the budget amounted to $428 billion. That's $38 billion to $59 billion below Bush's request for this year."

Damage Control: Bushfeld Quickly Backtrack on Plan to Cut Pay of Troops in Iraq/Afghanistan
Military Budget

From Reuters: "Moving to quash a political firestorm, the Pentagon on Thursday denied that it will cut the pay of nearly 160,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan by $225 on Sept. 30 when special military pay hikes approved by Congress are due to expire. Defense officials said that even if lawmakers do not reinstate increases passed in April in both 'imminent danger pay' and 'family separation allowances,' the Pentagon will make up the pay losses to troops in those countries in other ways. Undersecretary of Defense David Chu answered sharp criticism from Democratic presidential candidates over a press report that the Pentagon favored cutting the pay of combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan because it supported letting the special increases expire."

$1.1 TRILLION is Missing from the Pentagon - Where Is The Money?
Military Budget

"More than $1.1 trillion of federal government money is missing... finding this money could solve all of our federal, state and local budget crises. Where is the Money? The Department of Housing and Urban Development has reported that HUD has not and will not account for $59 billion of 'undocumentable adjustments.' The Department of Defense has reported that DOD has not and will not account for $1.1 trillion of 'undocumentable adjustments.' We demand a complete and accurate balancing of the books of all US government agencies. We want a full audited accounting of the real cash and assets that should be in our national bank accounts and inventories. Furthermore, we demand that all government financial data on the expenditure of our tax revenues, the management of federal credit, and all agency contractor budgets be made publicly available via open website access. With citizen access to our financial data, we will find our money." Sign the petition.

Pentagon Has Lost $1 Trillion -- Bushit Solution is to Give Rumsfeld More Authority to Dodge Accountability
Military Budget

"The Department of Defense... couldn't account for more than a trillion dollars in financial transactions, not to mention dozens of tanks, missiles and planes... the House and Senate are expected to begin floor debate on a Bush administration proposal to make sweeping changes in how the Pentagon spends money, manages contracts and treats civilian employees... The administration's proposal, which would also give Rumsfeld greater authority to move money between accounts and exempt Defense from certain environmental statutes, prompted influential House Democrats to write Speaker Dennis Hastert last week complaining that the proposals would 'increase the level of waste, fraud, and abuse... by vastly reducing (Defense) accountability.' 'The Congress has increased defense spending from $300 billion to $400 billion over three years at the same time that the Pentagon has failed to address financial problems that dwarf those of Enron,' said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles."

PNAC Wants to Steal $100 Billion MORE of Your Money for Weapons
Military Budget

Jim Lobe writes, "Last week a group of influential right-wing figures close to Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney complained that the current military budget of almost $400 billion--already greater than the world's 15 next-biggest military establishments combined--is not enough to sustain U.S. strategy abroad. In a letter to Bush released on the eve of his SOTU, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), whose alumni include both Rumsfeld and Cheney, called for increasing the defense budget by as much as $100 billion next year. 'Today's military is simply too small for the missions it must perform,' said the letter whose signatories included mainly key neoconservatives, former Reagan administration officials, and a number of individuals close to big defense manufacturers like Lockheed Martin... The letter... also suggested that Washington should prepare for confrontations with North Korea, Iran, and China."

$378 Billion Defense Budget is Old-Fashioned Corporate Welfare
Military Budget

NY Times reports, "This week, Mr. Rumsfeld will deliver to Bush a $378 billion military budget that had been trumpeted as a new strategic vision - one that was to have shaken the relics of cold-war weapons systems from the national arsenal and replaced them with new, lighter and more lethal fighting forces. Yet it now appears that the military contractors, united with allies in the Pentagon and Congress in a group known around Washington as the Iron Triangle, stood up to Mr. Rumsfeld - and won. Weapons systems that had been on the chopping block have been saved, and others that many critics say should be consigned to the dustbin of history are about to receive millions, and in some cases billions, of taxpayers' dollars." We must end Corporate Welfare as we know it!

How the Defense Budget Steals Crucial Services from Your State
Military Budget

The National Priorities Project (NPP) helps the public understand and shape the federal budget to meet community needs by providing analysis of critical budget issues, state and local data, and tools for local action. It calculated the cost of military spending (the $46 billion budget increase, not the $100-$200 guesstimate for the Iraq invasion) and what it could pay for in your state if it was directed toward peaceful uses. These fact sheets are divided by the cost to your state of nuclear weapons, missile defense, proposed increase in military spending, and the jet fighters program. For example, in California, the state share of increased military spending exceeds $4.6 billion dollars which could be used for 571,202 more children in Head Start, over 2.6 million childrens' health coverage, 65,940 affordable housing units, or 79,000 teachers. Check out your state and make sure your legislators know what this means to you and your state, your community!