Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

War profiteers benefit from Trump administration – USA heads for bankruptcy

In addition to increasing the national debt, such a program will require cutting every sector of the civilian side of the budget — housing, transportation, environmental protection, biomedical research, education and health care. For many years, caps on these programs have continued to weaken them. The current proposal will essentially bankrupt the federal contribution to the civilian side of the economy.

The longer-term effects on the national economy are often obscured but will be even more devastating…..

Efforts to communicate to voters the role of weapons contractors in distorting national security policy are getting underway, following the lead of the European-based “Don’t Bank on the Bomb” campaign. Last spring, the Cambridge City Council voted unanimously to request that the Cambridge pension funds divest from stocks in companies involved in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. Subsequently, the US Conference of Mayors passed a supporting resolution. These are small but important first steps in focusing attention on these corporate drivers of dangerous and costly nuclear weapons policies

Trump Is Bankrupting Our Nation to Enrich the War Profiteers,  March 06, 2017 By Jonathan King and Richard KrushnicTruthout | News Analysis President Trump’s calls for a military buildup are opening the fiscal floodgates for congressional hawks and defense industry contractors. On January 27, Trump signed an executive order setting in motion a “great rebuilding of the Armed Forces” that will include new ships, planes and weapons and the “modernization” of the US nuclear arsenal. Presently, more than half of this year’s congressional budget — some $610 billion of our income tax dollars — is allocated to Pentagon accounts, including overseas military operations and nuclear weapons.

Though the details were scarce, we can expect the Trump order to align with the proposals of Sen. John McCain, chair of the Armed Services Committee. As reported in Politico, Senator McCain is now calling for large increases in this already bloated budget, to $640 billion for fiscal year 2018 — $54 billion above the current budget projections. Adding in the $60 billion projected spending for Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and other interventions could bring total Pentagon spending next year to more than $900 billion. The primary beneficiaries of such a buildup will be the large corporations that dominate weapons contracting.

This is likely to be more than 60 percent of the total congressional discretionary budget. For comparison, the National Institutes of Health budget, which funds biomedical research on all the diseases that afflict tens of millions of Americans, is about $33 billion, less than 3 percent of the congressional budget. By fiscal year 2022, defense appropriations would reach $800 billion.

Trump’s tweets calling to limit the costs on the deeply troubled and over-budget F-35 Joint Strike Fighter have led to some optimism regarding his Pentagon spending plans. But mildly limiting the excessive profits to Lockheed Martin and their subcontractors, by tens or even hundreds of millions, is a very small effect when overall spending is increased by hundreds of billions.

Excessive Pentagon Spending Undermines the Civilian Economy

In addition to increasing the national debt, such a program will require cutting every sector of the civilian side of the budget — housing, transportation, environmental protection, biomedical research, education and health care. For many years, caps on these programs have continued to weaken them. The current proposal will essentially bankrupt the federal contribution to the civilian side of the economy.

The longer-term effects on the national economy are often obscured but will be even more devastating. Weapons don’t house us, don’t clothe us, don’t help us get to work and don’t cure our diseases. Thus, in the long run, they drain resources away from productive investments, deeply undercutting the overall health of the economy………

Former US Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, who served from 1994-1996, argues, “We are facing nuclear dangers today that are in fact more likely to erupt into a nuclear conflict than during the Cold War.” He notes that the new US nuclear weapons modernization program and Russia’s modernization program — along with confrontations in Eastern Europe and the Middle East — have begun a new nuclear arms race more dangerous than the Cold War. He sees “an imperative to stop this damn nuclear race before it gets underway again, not just for the cost but for the danger it puts all of us in.”

Efforts to communicate to voters the role of weapons contractors in distorting national security policy are getting underway, following the lead of the European-based “Don’t Bank on the Bomb” campaign. Last spring, the Cambridge City Council voted unanimously to request that the Cambridge pension funds divest from stocks in companies involved in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. Subsequently, the US Conference of Mayors passed a supporting resolution. These are small but important first steps in focusing attention on these corporate drivers of dangerous and costly nuclear weapons policies.http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39712-trump-is-bankrupting-our-nation-to-enrich-the-war-profiteers

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March 8, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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