According to Republican Members of Congress, and some Democrats—think Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema—the reason we can’t afford things like healthcare, education and generally ensuring the prosperity of the American people is that we supposedly need a huge military budget.
The knock-down fight right now in Congress comes down to this “budget conflict.” Of course it is stated in different terms, but lets face it, the Pentagon budget is nearly three times what is spent by the Chinese, the next biggest budget in the world. It is nearly 40 percent of our annual national expenditures.
And what is this money being spent on? The image at the top is just one line item: the B2 Spirit stealth bomber. The price tag? Over $2 billion PER PLANE! That’s right. Each one of these flying death machines costs that.
Now the $2 billion sticker price of the B2 is just one cost. This does not include ordnance and operating costs. You’ll love this one. The B2 is projected to cost $135,000 PER HOUR to fly. These are not my numbers. This comes from a GAO report.
We throw numbers like millions, billions and trillions around a lot these days. Let’s give this a little perspective. If an average person were to spend $500 per day, he would need 500 years to spend $1 billion.
Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
We have been flushing money on this aircraft and its development since 1993—and this is far from the only Pentagon boondoggle. At current levels the US defense budget over a 10-year term will spend more than two times the proposed $3.5 trillion dollar human infrastructure proposal being crafted by Congress—and being vehemently opposed by fossil fuel, pharma, healthcare and other vested interests.
We need a radical shift in the priorities of what this country invests in. We’re spending more money on death than any other country in the world. Isn’t it time we invest in the actual lives of Americans? The return on investment from the Pentagon budget is death. Investing in people sounds like a much better deal. Unless of course some military, pharma, insurance or oil lobbyist is paying your freight.