The 2012 baseline military allocations were over $800 billion, averaging $8,000 per taxpayer annually, a sum not including tens of billions for the CIA, NSA, or veterans’ disability payments — the latter sacrosanct and inviolable but also interminable like “continuous war.”
The overall Pentagon budget and related programs accounts for 56 percent of all federal discretionary spending. Using Ralph Nader’s figures (The Seventeen Solutions), attributed to former assistant secretary of defense Lawrence Korb, I calculate the drone-loving Obama administration can save an average $600 per taxpayer per year just by:
Canceling the V-22 Osprey; a one-third reduction of active troops in Europe and Asia; reducing Virginia class submarine and DDG-51 destroyer procurements to one per year; stop aircraft carrier construction; and modest ground force and F-35 fighter jet reductions.
Cut the Pentagon budget to 2000 figures — then $300 billion — as I proposed in my 2008 and 2010 congressional campaigns, and our average tax burden drops almost $5,000 per year per taxpayer.
James Madison perhaps said it best in 1795: “War is the parent of armies. From these proceed debts and taxes, bringing the many under the domination of the few. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”
G. SCOTT DESHEFY