Helping the Poor vs. Funding War

It seems that many Republicans in this country have the idea that those who are on Welfare are “lazy” or “drug addicts.” I know that I seem to talk about this topic a lot of my Facebook and such, but it irritates me to no end whenever I see Conservatives, people that are supposed to be Christians, ranting and raving about “Socialist” programs, and how “lazy deadbeats” are destroying our country. Yet, mysteriously… These people are absolutely silent when it comes to funding our massive military, or programs like the NSA. Where is the “righteous” indignation against unprecedented military spending? Where is the moral outrage against the NSA for all of the spying they’ve been doing on not only our allies, but US citizens as well?

Here is the amount of money spent on military for the top 5 countries in 2012 (in billions):

  1. United States – $682 (39% of the World’s share) 

  2. China – $166 (9.5%)

  3. Russia – $90.7 (5.2%)

  4. UK – $60.8 (3.5%)

  5. Japan – $59.3 (3.4%)

Since the NSA is a secretive organization, we don’t even get to know exactly what they spend, but it’s estimated to be in the $10’s – $100’s of millions a monthand conservatives complain about social programs that help the poor and needy? Why does America need to spend more than the next 9 countries combined on military? Just to give an idea of the types of things that are being purchased for the military, let’s take a look at the F-35 Fighter Jet:


MilitaryThe Pentagon now forecasts that the conventional takeoff A-model will average a cost of $76.8 million per plane

The forecast assumes U.S. purchases of 2,443 production jets, on top of 14 test planes. (In case you don’t want to do the math, that is over $185 billion…)

The cost of operating and sustaining the new planes is estimated to reach $1.1 trillion,assuming that they will be used for 50 years

And just remember, these are all just estimates. They are purchasing these planes and they don’t even know how much these planes are actually going to cost them! What in the world are they preparing for? An alien invasion? World domination? Remember, those $185 billion are just going to buy the planes. This isn’t considering the cost for aircraft carriers, ammunition, training, etc…

When it comes to the complaints about social programs, I have to say, I just don’t get it… Especially in light of how much we spend on our military. So, we’ve taken a tiny glimpse at military spending, now let’s compare some of the social assistance programs that are supposedly “draining” our economy:

Food stamps

SNAP (Foodstamps): Estimated to be $75 billion a year (and remember, the House has passed a bill to cut $4 billion from the program)

TANF Federal (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families): $16.5 billion annually

TANF State: $10-$11 billion annually

These are true Welfare programs. Many Republicans are now claiming that Welfare spending has reached closed to $1 trillion, but this is a gross manipulation of the facts. What these Republicans aren’t mentioning is the fact that they are counting 83 different programs as “Welfare,” including Pell Grants, public works spending, Head Start, child support enforcement, the Child Tax Credit, Foster Care assistance, housing for old people, [the Earned Income Tax Credit] and much more.” It’s ridiculous to bundle 83 different programs, many of which are tax credits for middle class families, and call them “Welfare.” If America really wants to cut back on spending, they need to take a look at where our money is really going, and the biggest culprit is military spending.

Just a final thought; In 2006 the United States spent $56 billion dollars on social welfare programs, but gave $92 billion in subsidies and tax breaks to large corporations. Another thing you never hear Republicans / Conservatives complaining about. What a shock!

Written By: James Garcia (10/22/2013)

More on the F-35 Fighter program: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-05-23/business/sns-rt-us-lockheed-fighter-costbre94m1b8-20130523_1_f-35-program-pentagon-cost-4-percent-f-35-joint-strike-fighter

More on Republican lies about Welfare: http://www.salon.com/2012/10/18/new_lie_the_government_spends_more_on_welfare_than_everything_else/

More on Corporate Welfare: http://thinkbynumbers.org/government-spending/corporate-welfare/corporate-welfare-statistics-vs-social-welfare-statistics/

 

 

3 thoughts on “Helping the Poor vs. Funding War

  1. The percentages for China and Russia are grossly understated, because they don’t tell us what they spend.
    You demonstrate amply and justly that estimates for weapon systems are low. LIKEWISE, estimates for welfare programs are low. The Food Stamp program was underestimated by 10-15 percent last year, and that’s only a year ahead. Long range forecasts for social programs are ridiculously low: In 1965 when Medicare was put into place, the estimated spending in 1995 was 40 billion. The cost was at least ten times that.
    The issue with helping people, spending money on them to make them better, is how do you do it? Set aside Americans with inabilities. How does government help people with weaknesses? In some communities weaknesses are a cultural goal.
    The models based upon assumptions we have used in the past are wrong. It may be the Republican models are completely wrong.
    I find the Democrats singing the same old song, do the same old thing.

    1. Sorry but I’d rather have a few abusers than have a single person who actually needs the help losing the aide and having to give up their children and live on the streets. Our military is horribly over-funded. Regardless of how “wrong” the estimates for China / Russia’s military is, we are still spending far more than they are, and it is unnecessary.

    2. After rereading your post again, I have to say there are some things I agree with. I have no doubt in my mind that the estimates I stated (for both the social programs and military spending) are most likely hugely understated, but I think the majority of the understatement would be for military spending. They haven’t even told us how much money is actually going to fund the NSA, and there’s no telling how much more is being spent by the military that we don’t know about. I don’t deny that there are people that abuse the social programs, but I don’t think it even compares to the tax money that is going to fund our massive military industrial complex. I just can’t get my head around WHY we could possibly need a military that is larger than the next 10 countries militaries combined. Why do we need a military as large as ours?

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