What could we do with a Pentagon budget "rounding error"?

The Senate approved an extra $25 Billion for the military by a 25-1 vote that neither the Pentagon, nor the Biden Administration, asked for.
The defense industry wants you to know that it's no big deal.

"Biden's budget is enormous everywhere," said one defense lobbyist who asked not to be named. "So are you going to fight over $25 billion for defense? It's nothing. It's a rounding error at this point."
"Congress changes the budget all the time," Punaro said. "We were adding money to the defense budget when Carter was president and you had 65 Democratic senators."

The $740 billion defense budget is larger than the next 12 nations - combined - many of those nations are allies. Plus it doesn't include all of our military spending. For instance, everything spent on our nuclear weapons is in the budget for the Department of Energy, not in the defense budget. Plus, money set aside for our wars is usually not included in the defense budget.
So what we are actually talking about is something roughly around $1 Trillion a year.
I have to say "roughly" because the Pentagon has never passed an audit in my lifetime. So who knows what we spend on "defense"?

When you put that $25 Billion up against the $1 Trillion, it doesn't look like much.
But that's not the comparison - a large amount of money wasted against an insane amount of money wasted - that we should be looking at.
The comparison we need to make is "What else could we have done with that $25 Billion?"

1. We could've ended homelessness in America.

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, it would cost $20 billion to end homelessness in the United States.
Ending homelessness is not only an achievable goal (and a moral obligation for many), but it’s also one that would likely save money in the long run. The government spends an average of $35,578 per year for every person who must endure chronic homelessness. Much of this money goes toward publicly funded crisis services, including jails, hospitalizations, and emergency departments.

So instead of a "rounding error" for a grotesquely bloated military budget, we could have ended homelessness in this country (during an eviction crisis and a pandemic), with $5 billion left over, AND ended up saving money in the long run.
Why would we want that?
Habitat for Humanity says they could build more than 294,000 houses with $25 billion.

2. We could end world hunger.

What would it really cost to end global hunger? The United Nations estimates that it would take at least $30 billion per year to solve the food crisis, mainly by boosting agricultural productivity in the developing world.

OK. We'd have to cut $5 billion off the CIA budget to do this (thus sparing a couple nations of having to deal with military coups), but what we are talking about is doing something that has never been done in all of human history - ending world hunger.
And the cost would be a "rounding error" for our military budget. Of course ending would hunger would also end a lot of wars on the planet, and the Pentagon wouldn't like that.

3. End the destruction of the Amazon for a decade while also planting 33 million trees.
What?!? And halt our planet's death spiral?

4. Provide safe drinking water for the entire world. With billions left over.

Our political and economic leaders know this stuff. The people making all the decisions know that they could alleviate immense amounts of suffering and death at virtually no cost to themselves.
What's more, they know that doing something like ending world hunger, homelessness, bringing clean drinking water to world, etc. would bring them eternal fame and glory. All of which would cost them little or nothing to do.

They know all of this and they still choose not to do it!
They consciously and purposely decide to not only ignore the immense suffering and death, but to increase it.
How is that not pure evil?

Oh, yeah. There was one other item that you could buy with that "rounding error".

5. Build Trump's Wall.

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CB's picture

to be decreased in the foreseeable future. In fact, I expect it to be increased by at least $200 billion in the coming years to counter China's rise. This will be the last 'do or die' chance for the American war mongers to hold on to American global hegemony.

I believe Pompeo is preparing for a run at the presidency in 2024. By then the majority of Americans will be clamouring for the 'godless' Chinese to be punished for America's downfall. He then would have a VERY good chance to get nominated and elected.

13 users have voted.
CB's picture

international air flights from Wuhan during it's lock-down. China shut it down completely, domestic and international, on Jan 23, 2020. They had also notified the US government so new arrivals from China could be screened.

23rd Jan. 2020

Wuhan Tianhe Airport in China is closed after the government decided to shut down all in and outbound transport in the capital city of Hubei province.

This comes following an outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus, which was first identified in the region.

The airport of Wuhan (IATA: WUH) served almost 25 million passengers in 2018, making it the busiest airport in central China. Apart from various domestic and continental connections, the airport offers intercontinental flights to San Francisco, New York JFK, Sydney, Paris, London, Rome, Istanbul and Moscow.

Passengers who arrive at airports in the United States from Wuhan (prior to the closure) are being screened for symptoms of the virus which killed at least 17. On Tuesday, the US Center for Disease Control confirmed the first known case of the Coronavirus in the United States. The infected person recently traveled to Wuhan.

5 users have voted.