Saturday, April 20, 2013

Why Austerity, You Ask

Trey Smith

According to a report just released by the highly-respected Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), world military expenditures in 2012 totaled $1.75 trillion.

The report revealed that, as in recent decades, the world’s biggest military spender by far was the U.S. government, whose expenditures for war and preparations for war amounted to $682 billion — 39 percent of the global total.

The United States spent more than four times as much on the military as China (the number two big spender) and more than seven times as much as Russia (which ranked third). Although the military expenditures of the United States dipped a bit in 2012, largely thanks to the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, they remained 69 percent higher than in 2001.

U.S. military supremacy is even more evident when the U.S. military alliance system is brought into the picture, for the United States and its allies accounted for the vast bulk of world military spending in 2012. NATO members alone spent a trillion dollars on the military.

Thus, although studies have found that the United States ranks 17th among nations in education, 26th in infant mortality, and 37th in life expectancy and overall health, there is no doubt that it ranks first when it comes to war.
~ from Investing in War by Lawrence S. Wittner ~
This is why. 

The US, in particular, invests far more money in destroying lives than in sustaining them. Actually, invest isn't the right word. We borrow money to destroy lives and then more lives are compromised when it comes to pay back the money. While the President and leaders of both corporate political parties talk about cutting one program that adds nothing to our growing deficit -- Social Security -- none of them is talking about significant cuts to THE program that drives the deficit more than anything else.

And it's only going to get worse from here on out.

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