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Unlike social spending, US Congress has no problem passing the largest US Military budget in history

December 26, 2022

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Just two days before Christmas, the US Congress passed that largest US military budget in history, The $858 Billion budget for the Pentagon/US Military was almost unanimously passed by Congress, thus continuing the long standing history of Bi-partisan support for US militarism. 

According to the Director of the National Priorities Project

This deal gives the military its highest budget since the height of the post-9/11 wars, and more than $100 billion more than the last budget under President Trump — an increase big enough to fund most of the still-unfunded priorities under President Biden’s Build Back Better plan. In a typical year, half or more of the Pentagon budget goes to corporate contractors, who have seen their stock prices soar since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Pentagon recently failed its fifth audit in a row, the only major government agency unable to account for how it spends taxpayer dollars. 

Co-founder of The Intercepted, Jeremy Scahill, also wrote about the FY 2023 US Military budget, stating:

Included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2023, finalized on December 6, is the establishment of a multiyear no-bid contract system through which Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, and other weapons manufacturers are being empowered to expand their “industrial base” and business. Lawmakers determined that “providing multi-year procurement authority for certain munitions programs is essential,” in part because it will “provide the defense industrial base with predictable production opportunities and firm contractual commitments” to “increase and expand defense industrial capacity.”

The power of the US Military Industrial Complex cannot be understated. According to data from, military contractors have contributed over $293 Million to Congressional candidates since 1990, when the data began to be collected. The military industry also has over 700 lobbyists, who are paid a ton of money to constantly pressure members of the US Congress to adopt military budgets, which will be good for their clients. In 2022, Military contractors spent over $92 Million in order to lobby the US Congress.

Senate Armed Serves Committee member and Michigan Senator, Gary Peters, released his own Press Release on December 23rd, touting how well he didi to secure funding for US military installations in Michigan and Michigan-based military contractors. 

What Senator Peters and other members of the US Congress fail to mention are the following important contextual realities about the US Military Budget:

The US has the largest military budget in the world. In fact, the US military budget is larger than the next 9 largest military budgets in the world, combined. (See graph above, from the National Priorities Project) 

The US has 750 Military bases around the world, in 80 different countries, according to data from 2021 from World Beyond War.

The US military is currently involved in numerous wars/military conflicts around the world, which includes direct military involvement, US military advisors, covert operations, training for foreign troops, US Military aid to countries and US weapons sales abroad. In fact, the US is the largest weapons dealer on the planet.

Did you know if the Pentagon were a country, its fuel use alone would make it the 47th largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world? If we’re going to address the climate crisis, we need to #DivestFromWar NOW! 

According to the excellent data provided by the National Priorities Project, for FY 2021 taxpayers from Grand Rapids contributed $370.66 Million to the US military budget. As a trade off, that same $370.66 Million could have been spent on 59,172 Public Housing units for a year. Imagine if that amount of money stayed in Grand Rapids and was used for critical issues like housing, education, health care etc. It’s never a question of there not being enough money, rather it is always a question of priorities. 

Just last week, over 1,000 US faith leaders called for a negotiated settlement between Russia and Ukraine, a settle that the US could be involved in if they were truly committed to disarmament and lasting peace. 

The very fact that there is no real anti-imperialist/anti-war movement in the US right now, is indicative of the fact that too many people are either disinterested in fighting US imperialism or too many people, including progressives who contrite to support US militarism and the US Military Industrial Complex. Until such a movement exists in the US, the US Military Budget will continue to grow and be adopted by both Republicans and Democrats alike. 

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