Why is it that when it comes to fighting, we can always find the money? Soup kitchens, winter heating oil for seniors, Head Start for kids, national public radio (NPR) — all are on the chopping block but weapons and the military budget is a subject that is damn near untouchable? Calling it out for being a huge waste is considered unpatriotic by the hawkish among us.
We have weapons that are now considered obsolete (so of course we have to make more) and a military presence at nearly 600 bases worldwide (over 1000 if we count other military installations). Why? Current battles aside (and we always seem to be fighting or getting ready to fight somebody), do we still have a beef with Germany? Are we worried about an invasion by Russia? Do we need such a large number of military people in Italy? I could be wrong but I thought World War II was over.
There is something to be said for protecting the homeland but where do we draw the line? We can’t find funds to build or repair things that can move civilisation forward, educate people and make our collective lives easier but yet we continuously find new and improved ways to destroy ourselves and others. Seeing a “Made In The USA” label on anything other than weapons is as rare a sighting as Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster.
What would it take to get our priorities in order? Will reprioritising ever happen as long as the monetary incentive to make more weapons exists? When do we stop fighting and focus on the fact that for every one job there are far too many applicants?