Bloated U.S. Discretionary Spending Bill Mostly for Militarism and Warmaking

Global Research, March 25, 2018


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The discretionary spending bill Trump signed into law on Friday excludes hundreds of billions of dollars in military related spending, enormous classified amounts for CIA, NSA and other intelligence community black budgets, along with add-on appropriations to come for US operations in multiple war theaters.

America spends over $1.5 trillion annually for militarism, warmaking, maintaining its global empire of bases, highly classified intelligence operations, and related expenses, most of it over and above annual appropriation bills.

US FY 2018 spending is expected to add substantially to the federal deficit, likely exceeding another trillion dollars this fiscal year, amounts increasing annually.

David Stockman estimates the great GOP tax cut heist will increase the federal debt to around $35 trillion by 2028. It’s currently slightly over $21 trillion, around 105% of GDP, the percentage rising annually.

He explained $20 trillion in national debt was reached last September 8 – $21 trillion 186 days later, saying “you haven’t seen nothin’ yet.”

Imagine if US discretionary spending went largely for productive, not destructive purposes – for education, healthcare, low-cost housing, other social justice programs, rebuilding the nation’s crumbling infrastructure and other homeland needs.

America’s permanent war agenda prevents it – notably since Operation Desert Storm (1991), a decade of Balkan wars, the rape of Yugoslavia and what followed 9/11.

In 1981 when Ronald Reagan’s tenure began, the national debt was less than 32% of GDP. It reached an all-time high of nearly 119% of GDP in 1946 because of WW II spending.

In 2008, it was less than 68%, increasing by around 55% through 2017.

Most discretionary US federal spending goes for militarism, raping and destroying countries, corporate welfare including rewarding banksters, and police state harshness, the nation militarized against its own people – including at the state and local levels.

In his treatise on government, Thomas Paine said

“a republic is supposed to be directed by certain fundamental principles of right and justice, from which there cannot, because there ought not to, be any deviation.”

“(It) is executed by a select number of persons, who act as representatives, and in behalf of the whole, and who are supposed to (govern) as the people would do were they all assembled together.”

“When a people agree to form themselves into a republic, (they) mutually resolve and pledge themselves to each other, rich and poor alike, to support this rule of equal justice among them.”

“A republic, properly understood, is a sovereignty of justice, in contradistinction to a sovereignty of will.”

Since its founding, America was never governed by these principles, notably not today, serving wealth, power and privileged interests exclusively, waging war on humanity, the nation thirdworldized to finance it, along with serving its monied interests alone at the expense of most others.

Bloated spending Trump signed into law followed earlier out-of-control budgets.

Stockman believes massive annual deficits are as sure as daily sunrises, the “nation’s fiscal accounts…in free fall…for as far as the eye can see into the future” – a slow-motion “fiscal calamity…unfolding.”

Notably, most US discretionary spending goes for the wrong things, vital ones benefitting ordinary Americans increasingly eroding.


Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the CRG, Correspondent of Global Research based in Chicago.

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

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