Where’s all the money going? We all have our ideas… This past week, almost under the radar, the Congress passed yet another “Supplemental” war spending bill–$97 billion for our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan… And, these wars are accomplishing exactly what? Nobody seems to know. We do know this money is supplemental to the already bloated Defense Department budget which consumes nearly 40% of the total U.S. budget.
How does it break down? Well,f or the 2009 fiscal year, the base budget rose to $515.4 billion. Adding emergency discretionary spending and supplemental spending brings the sum to $651.2 billion. This does not include many military-related items that are outside of the Defense Department budget, such as nuclear weapons research, maintenance and production (about $9.3 billion, which is in the Department of Energy budget), Veterans Affairs (about $33.2 billion), interest on debt incurred in past wars, or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (which are largely funded through extra-budgetary supplements, about $170 billion in 2007). As of 2009, the United States government is spending about $1 trillion annually on defense-related purposes.
Military discretionary spending accounts for more than half of the U.S. federal discretionary spending, which is all of the U.S. federal government budget that is not appropriated for mandatory spending. Every year it rises, but it is not sustainable. Soon, the government will not be able to make mandated payments, such as Social Security and Medicare, which are in direct support of its citizens–US–since it will be too impoverished supporting military adventures abroad and monstrous military expenditures at home. Altogether the US is spending HALF of the entire world’s military budget, over 8 times as much as the next biggest spender, China.
There you have it. In case you’re wondering why you get no help with health care or your mortgage, that’s why.