Biden’s Proposing a Drastic Increase to the Military Budget.
Of all the ways the most powerful and wealthy nation on Earth chooses to spend its money, the staggeringly bloated and frankly insulting amount set aside for the military is arguably the most frustrating. Only adding to the frustration is the fact that President Joe Biden has proposed a military budget of $753 billion, a 1.7% increase from last years. This from a man who, citing cost, vowed to veto Medicare for All legislation if it ever crossed his desk. Money he evidently instead feels should be given to the Pentagon, which can’t even pass an audit.
And yet, unsurprisingly, the President still has not managed to satisfy the GOP.
Incredibly, Senate Republicans are taking part in public outcry, insisting it is far from enough and turning Joe Biden’s expressed desire for bipartisanship against him, saying that will be impossible if the military budget does not see the same 16% increase non-defense programs would get under his proposal.
How are we going to pay for that?
At this very moment, insurance companies are acting as the middle man between the American people and their doctors, dictating whether someone lives or dies based on how much it might affect the bottom line for the CEOs and shareholders. At this very moment, someone is profiting off of a sick child needing chemotherapy, or a mother needing insulin in order to survive. For as long as Medicare for All has been a part of the mainstream political discourse we’ve been able to count on politicians from both parties asking how we could possibly afford it. Of course, Joe Biden and the very same Republicans decrying his already unnecessarily high proposed military budget are among them.
Why is that never asked of our military?
Why don’t pundits, journalists, and politicians ask how we can afford to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on defense contracting and weapons to be turned against brown people in the middle east? Why is it that we always have the money to set aside for the military industrial complex and hundreds of billions there for the apparent sole purpose of sending China a message, but not for the tens of thousands dying because of the commodification of healthcare?
The thing that really gets me is they don’t even have the decency to treat voters like we’re intelligent. They don’t even have the decency to acknowledge the hypocrisy and backwards priorities right there in front of our eyes on full display, and at least be honest about where their priorities lie, because they don’t feel as though they have to.
What consequences will Biden face for this, really? What consequences will the Republicans calling for an even more absurd military budget face? I’m not sure there are very many journalists interacting with them regularly who would bother asking them why they’re willing to dedicate this sort of money to death, destruction, and essentially a vanity project for a dying capitalist empire, but not on the fundamental human right to healthcare for their own people.
As is so often the case these days, this proposed budget and the response to it from the GOP is a further reminder of the absolute necessity for organized labor, and as it stands today we have very little of it. Biden and Republican lawmakers would be far more worried about the message this budget sends if there was an organized workforce there in place to oppose it. A workforce that — when organized — would have much more of an influence over what was even proposed for government spending in the first place. It’s easy to wallow in the frustration, and sink into the cynicism that these type of stories bring about in people. But at some point, the American people are going to have to channel our collective pain and frustration, and turn it into a force that our lawmakers and the corporate powers can no longer ignore.
We generated that wealth our government is spending.
It’s time that we actually get to decide how it’s spent.