(This post originally appeared at NewDeal2.0)
So is the government running out of money? Not when it goes on a military spending spree…
A recent Bloomberg report reveals that the Pentagon is seeking $14 billion to train forces in Iraq:
“The U.S. military next week will request about $14.2 billion more to train and equip Afghanistan’s forces, according to two Obama administration officials. The defence Department’s proposed budget for fiscal 2011, which begins Oct. 1, will include $159 billion for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. That includes $11.6 billion to accelerate the growth of the Afghan military and police. The Pentagon separately will seek about $2.6 billion more for Afghan forces in fiscal 2010 over the $6.6 billion already approved by Congress, according to the officials, who requested anonymity.”
This is where the myth and reality of federal deficits collide. The most cynical interpretation of deficit hawk warnings about improved health care and other things we can’t “afford” is that they know perfectly well that that their logic is faulty — they are simply using scare tactics to undermine social programs that our most vulnerable citizens depend on.
This agenda becomes apparent when the hawks go strangely silent on military expenditures tied to questionable missions. Hummers, howitzers, and helicopters, we can afford, apparently. Decent health care for our citizens, we can’t.
Question to hawks: Is the threat posed by Afghanistan more significant than that posed by a broken health care system that leaves our citizens sick and dying? Inquiring minds want to know.
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