Militarism ; $1 Trillion a Year
Gzedit, The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV)
West Virginia's two Republicans in Congress, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito and Rep. David McKinley, say they're eager for federal budget- cutting negotiations during the three-month Washington reprieve after the U.S. government shutdown (which Capito and McKinley helped cause).
Typically, the GOP notion of budget-cutting means trying to slash Social Security for retirees, college scholarships for teens, food stamps for the poor, Medicare for seniors, school lunches for pupils and other people-helping programs - while giving bigger tax breaks to billionaires.
The shutdown perpetrated by Capito, McKinley and fellow House Republicans knocked $24 billion out of America's economy. Maybe a good start for budget negotiations would be a pledge never to inflict such damage again.
Meanwhile, here's our favorite way to reduce federal spending: Curtail the $1 trillion of taxpayer money that is poured into militarism yearly.
America is the world's most militaristic nation, spending more for arms than almost the rest of the planet combined. Other modern democracies don't bankrupt themselves in this manner. They don't feel a need for such gigantic war preparation. None spends even one- tenth as much. Why is America is an outsize exception?
In reality, international warfare has almost vanished in the 21st century. Civilization seems to be entering a long-desired peaceful phase. Today, the only remaining conflicts are local civil insurrections and suicide terrorism by hidden cliques of fanatics. …