If We Really Wanted to “Support our Troops,” We’d End No-Bid Defense Contracts and Corporate Welfare

militaryIt is currently estimated that the super rich are stashing as much as $32 trillion offshore, according to a recent study.  Meanwhile, back here in the United States, we still have unacceptable levels of unemployment and our infrastructure is crumbling. We have bridges that are collapsing as well as ports and roads that need expansion or maintenance. We have families with children struggling to get by and veterans who came home from war only to find themselves homeless or lacking the mental help they need.

Over and over again, they’ve told us that the wealth would trickle down. Just one more tax break, just one more cut to environmental standards or labor laws and we’d be swimming in a sea of money and jobs for everyone. It is now more apparent than ever that the super rich and the politicians they employ were lying to us — sadly, some people still cannot comprehend that fact.

It’s time for another “New Deal.” It is a very simple but necessary step that we have to take to rebuild America. For too long, we’ve propped up corporations with subsidies and given them railways, airports, roads and sea ports to move their products. They’ve thrived for decades on our tax dollars and have given us little to nothing back. Instead allowing their profits to be honestly taxed, they’ve driven us ever further into debt and asked us to give them even more breaks. More recently, they’ve used loopholes like “Citizens United” to spend unlimited amounts of money to buy and sell politicians like shares on Wall Street. The money that could be used to repair bridges and schools has instead been used to crush unions, drive down wages and further the interests of the 1%, not the American public.

We’ve been led into wars that weren’t paid for and that we are continuing to put on the credit card. Our defense is the world’s largest even though we do not face any serious, imminent threat from any standing army. All these wars have done is add to the debt and enrich the defense contractor industry. Meanwhile, too many veterans fill our homeless shelters and mental health facilities, or even the jails. Often, they’ve had to rely on charities like the Wounded Warrior Project or the kindness of a grateful, but gullible public who’ve often rabidly supported the very same wars that have produced this misery.

This madness has to stop, and we can do this by ending no-bid defense contracts and corporate welfare. First, simply cut off subsidies to corporations that have been making billions in mostly untaxed profits. Second, use the money we’re wasting on the largest military machine in the history of mankind and spend it on taking care of those who risked their lives and limbs. If we can’t do this, then we need to seriously examine our collective conscience and rethink our priorities as a nation. If we are unable to honor our promises to our veterans, then we have no business sending them into harm’s way until we can make good on those assurances once again.

After all, it’s the least we can do for them, and for ourselves as a country.


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