On Monday, the White House introduced its proposed budget for fiscal year 2016. Included in the request was the Pentagon’s proposed budget of $585 billion – $534 for the Pentagon’s base budget (the largest in history) and $51 billion for its war spending slush fund.
The Pentagon’s request is $34 billion over the spending caps put into place by Congress. This doesn’t make good budgeting sense if you want to avoid the across the board spending cuts known as sequestration – which we are assuming the Pentagon wants to do. But hey, whatever floats their boat.
Of course, there are defense hawks in Congress who say that the Pentagon’s budget is still too low – and the way to raise it is to cut social programs like SNAP (food stamps) and Head Start. For most Democrats, however, that plan in a non-starter.
The billions wasted by the Pentagon include a bloated back office, a plane the doesn’t work and also happens to be the most expense weapon in history (am I sensing some kind of trend, here?), and a ship that cannot do the tasks it was designed to perform.
And let’s not forgot that slush fund, which contains tens of billions of dollars more than is needed to wind down the war in Afghanistan and pay for operations in Iraq and Syria.
All of this adds up to one whopper of a budget loaded with wasteful spending. To make matters worse, we don’t even know how exactly the Pentagon spends all of this money since it has never been able to pass an audit.
But there is something you can do. Two groups – Peace Action and Win Without War – have made it easy for us to send letters to the editor to our local papers using their language or inserting our own. Just click on the links below and follow the steps. It is fast and simple.