Congress's 2023 Budget Doesn't Match the Priorities of Americans.
Surprise, surprise — Politicians are ignoring us and enriching their donors.
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There’s a common joke that the United States isn’t a country, but “6 corporations in a trench coat.” This is obviously false.
It’s actually 6 defense contractors in a trench coat, as made evident by Congress’s 2023 budget, a.k.a. the “Omnibus Bill.” This is the process by which Congress sets the year’s discretionary spending. Discretionary spending is money Congress chooses to spend, as opposed to mandatory spending which has already by promised, mostly to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Though Congress always has the option, changing mandatory spending is a lengthy and tedious process that carries severe political risk (see Bush’s attempt to privatize Social Security). On the other hand, discretionary spending is set through Congressional legislation, making it a good way to understand the priorities of our elected officials.
And as we can see from their spending choices, the military is their top concern.
To little surprise, Congress’s spending choices are entirely detached from the way Americans want their tax dollars to be spent. Here’s a breakdown.
How Our $ Was Spent
While there are a few bright spots in the Omnibus (the National Science Foundation received $10B in funding, its largest increase in two decades), the cons dwarf the pros.
As is the status quo, “Defense” spending tops the list. The Pentagon received $858 billion dollars, a 10% increase from last year’s provisions. This gargantuan sum does not include the $45 billion sent to Ukraine, nor does it include $204 billion for “troops and veterans.” In total, these three categories combine to give the “Military” category a whopping 72.2% of the 2023 budget.
3/4 of the budget for this ^.
Massive funding to the
Military Industrial Complex Department of Defense is self-evidently a waste of money. Empire offers the American people no benefit and only serves to drain our resources away from education, healthcare, and other public goods.
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