Billions for Defense, and Tribute Too!
Winslow Wheeler breaks down the real numbers of Obama’s and Gates 2010 Defense Budget. Spoiler–Its a bit more than the $534 billion reported in the press. Politico.com reveals the additions including:
- $6 billion the Pentagon will get in “mandatory” appropriations, mostly for personnel-related expenses.
- $130 billion …to finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Money being sought by the Department of Energy for nuclear weapons and other appropriations, such as for the Selective Service and the National Defense Stockpile… Add another $22 billion.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs … Add $106 billion.
- Also consider the Department of Homeland Security: Add $43 billion.
- Military and economic aid to Iraq and Afghanistan, gifts and loans to Israel and others, U.N. peacekeeping costs, and all the rest from the State Department…Add $49 billion. (That’s the tribute!)
- An account buried in the Department of the Treasury to help pay for military retirement. Add about $28 billion.
- Interest on the national debt… About 20 percent of federal spending goes to the Pentagon: That’s another $57 billion.
Add it all together, and you get $974 billion — almost $1 trillion.
If that isn’t enough to depress you, you can be sure the real cost of the rest of the whole Federal Pie goes equally unreported, and should be an equal if not worse harbinger of graft and corruption. But for the most part everyone only complains about defense, which should be the principle responsibility of our Big Brother government.