Increased military comes at a cost


The Donald Trump administration is pushing for a massive increase in the Pentagon’s budget, but spending on war already takes up more than half of all federal discretionary funds and a fifth of total federal spending.

How big is the American military? The Pentagon employs more than 3 million people, 800,000 more than Wal-Mart. The Pentagon controls 70 percent of the federal government’s $1.8 trillion in property, land and equipment. The Pentagon’s 2012 budget was 47 percent bigger than Wal-Mart’s budget. Serving 9.6 million people, the Pentagon and the Veterans Administration together constitute the nation’s largest health care provider. The Pentagon holds more than 80 percent of the federal government’s inventories, including $6.8 billion of excess, obsolete or unserviceable ‘stuff.’ The Pentagon operates more than 170 golf courses worldwide.

For an administration that claims we need less federal spending and power, they seem very focused on increasing federal spending and control. This is done at the cost of eliminating many health care benefits, preschool programs, college grants, scientific research, primary and secondary school benefits, food inspections, environmental programs and other public safety nets. All of the aforementioned are badly needed by taxpayers, especially as the value of our paychecks steadily shrinks.

If this mystifies you as much as it does me, let your legislators know. Support representatives who support human values or consider running for office yourself.