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By the numbers...

I ran across an interesting article on Middle East online, by way of cursor.org by Ismael Hossein-Zadeh, a professor of Economics at Drake University about the escalation of war and military spending. This economic info should be staggering (to say the least) to anyone on either side of the fence.

He makes some really grim comparisons on military budgets versus government spending in other areas, causing a dramatic shift in the distribution of wealth from the middle and lower income to the already wealthy by noting the impending permanence of tax cuts to the richest 1%, and then the plan to cut vital services and programs in order to make up the difference in money coming in.

For perspective, he quotes comparisons in the article made by William D. Hartung, Senior Fellow at the World Policy Institute in New York:

Proposed US military spending for FY 2008 is larger than military spending by all of the other nations in the world combined.

At $141.7 billion, this year's proposed spending on the Iraq war is larger than the military budgets of China and Russia combined. Total US military spending for FY2008 is roughly ten times the military budget of the second largest military spending country in the world, China.

Proposed US military spending is larger than the combined gross domestic products (GDP) of all 47 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The FY 2008 military budget proposal is more than 30 times higher than all spending on State Department operations and non-military foreign aid combined.

The FY 2008 military budget is over 120 times higher than the roughly $5 billion per year the US government spends on combating global warming.

good, you're still with me...

so, in order to make up the difference, Mr. Hossein-Zadeh goes on to say:

"The official Pentagon budget for 2008 fiscal year is projected to rise by more than 10 percent, or nearly $50 billion, “a total of 141 government programs will be eliminated or sharply reduced” to pay for the increase. These would include cuts in housing assistance for low-income seniors by 25 percent, home heating/energy assistance to low-income people by 18 percent, funding for community development grants by 12.7 percent, and grants for education and employment training by 8 percent."

and further:

"For example, at the same time that President Bush is planning to raise military spending by $50 billion for the next fiscal year, he is also proposing to make his affluent-targeted tax cuts permanent at a cost of $1.6 trillion over 10 years, or an average yearly cut of $160 billion. Simultaneously, “funding for domestic discretionary programs would be cut a total of $114 billion” in order to pay for these handouts to the rich. The targeted discretionary programs to be cut include over 140 programs that provide support for the basic needs of low- and middle-income families such as elementary and secondary education, job training, environmental protection, veterans’ health care, medical research, Meals on Wheels, child care and HeadStart, low-income home energy assistance, and many more."

I don't give a rat's ass who you support, this should make you sick.