Being the world’s police and the leading imperial power on the planet is not cheap. But have no fear, the US Congress is certainly up to the challenge of taking more than half a trillion dollars from cash-strapped tax payers to support militarist intervention around the world.
A $649 billion defense spending bill for next year easily passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday after four days of debate in which war-weary lawmakers sought to curb President Barack Obama’s combat operations in Afghanistan and Libya.The measure, approved 336-87 in the Republican-dominated House, would raise the Pentagon’s base budget for the 2012 fiscal year beginning on Oct. 1 by about $17 billion over current levels, despite intense pressure to slash the $1.4 trillion U.S. deficit.
Notice that the “lawmakers” are “war-weary” and yet they increased military spending by $17 billion – and at a time when these same politicians profess to be greatly concerned about the huge Federal deficit. Apparently they have no problem with borrowing from future generations to fight pointless wars today.
The House cut about $8 billion from Obama’s overall defense spending request, voting to provide about $530 billion for the Pentagon’s primary budget and another $119 billion for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Obama asked for about $690 billion for military spending for 2012. This House bill does not include funds for U.S. nuclear weapons programs or military construction, which come in other bills and add about $33 billion to defense spending.
The bill is especially good news for the military-industrial complex, so-called “defense” companies that are closely connected to the government and feed at the public trough:
The House measure includes $5.9 billion to buy 32 Lockheed Martin’s (LMT.N) radar-evading F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, $15.1 billion to build 10 Navy ships and $3.3 billion for 28 Boeing F-18 Super Hornet fighter jets (BA.N) and 12 EA-18 Growler electronic warfare aircraft.
Congress is still weeks away from approving a final military spending bill ready for Obama to sign into law. The House bill will have to be melded with whatever measure is approved by the Senate, which is still working on its plan.