Warning: mysqli_query(): (HY000/1030): Got error 28 from storage engine in /home/proje503/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1924
13. Obama Cuts Domestic Spending and Increases Military Corporate Welfare –

Connect With Us

“At a time when the need for independent journalism and for media outlets unaffiliated with and untainted by the government and corporate sponsors is greater than ever, Project Censored has created a context for reporting the complete truths in all matters that matter. . . . It is therefore left to us to find sources for information we can trust. . . . It is in this task that we are fortunate to have an ally like Project Cen-sored.” —Dahr Jamail
“The staff of Project Censored presents their annual compilation of the previous year’s 25 stories most overlooked by the mainstream media along with essays about censorship and its consequences. The stories include an 813% rise in hate and anti-government groups since 2008, human rights violations by the US Border Patrol, and Israeli doctors injecting Ethiopian immigrants with birth control without their consent. Other stories focus on the environment, like the effects of fracking and Monsantos GMO seeds. The writers point out misinformation and outright deception in the media, including CNN relegating factual accounts to the “opinion” section and the whitewashing of Margaret Thatcher’s career following her death in 2013, unlike Hugo Chavez, who was routinely disparaged in the coverage following his death. One essay deals with the proliferation of “Junk Food News,” in which “CNN and Fox News devoted more time to ‘Gangnam Style’ than the renewal of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ law.” Another explains common media manipulation tactics and outlines practices to becoming a more engaged, free-thinking news consumer or even citizen journalist. Rob Williams remarks on Hollywood’s “deep and abiding role as a popular propaganda provider” via Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. An expose on working conditions in Chinese Apple factories is brutal yet essential reading. This book is evident of Project Censored’s profoundly important work in educating readers on current events and the skills needed to be a critical thinker.” -Publisher’s Weekly said about Censored 2014 (Oct.)
“[Censored] should be affixed to the bulletin boards in every newsroom in America. And, perhaps read aloud to a few publishers and television executives.” —Ralph Nader
“Project Censored brings to light some of the most important stories of the year that you never saw or heard about. This is your chance to find out what got buried.” –Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
“Project Censored shines a spotlight on news that an informed public must have . . . a vital contribution to our democratic process.” —Rhoda H. Karpatkin, president, Consumer’s Union
“Project Censored interrogates the present in the same way that Oliver Stone and I tried to interrogate the past in our Untold History of the United States. It not only shines a penetrating light on the American Empire and all its deadly, destructive, and deceitful actions, it does so at a time when the Obama administration is mounting a fierce effort to silence truth-tellers and whistleblowers. Project Censored provides the kind of fearless and honest journalism we so desperately need in these dangerous times.” —Peter Kuznick, professor of history, American University, and coauthor, with Oliver Stone, of The Untold History of the United States
“In another home run for Project Censored, Censored 2013 shows how the American public has been bamboozled, snookered, and dumbed down by the corporate media. It is chock-full of ‘ah-ha’ moments where we understand just how we’ve been fleeced by banksters, stripped of our civil liberties, and blindly led down a path of never-ending war.” –Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare, cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK.
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“Activist groups like Project Censored . . . are helping to build the media democracy movement. We have to challenge the powers that be and rebuild media from the bottom up.” —Amy Goodman
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcasting outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism.” —Walter Cronkite
“Censored 2014 is a clarion call for truth telling. Not only does this volume highlight fearless speech in fateful times, it connect the dots between the key issues we face, lauds our whistleblowers and amplifies their voices, and shines light in the dark places of our government that most need exposure.” –Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“[Censored] offers devastating evidence of the dumbing-down of main-stream news in America. . . . Required reading for broadcasters, journalists, and well-informed citizens.” —Los Angeles Times
“For ages, I’ve dreamed of a United States where Project Censored isn’t necessary, where these crucial stories and defining issues are on the front page of the New York Times, the cover of Time, and in heavy rotation on CNN. That world still doesn’t exist, but we always have Project Censored’s yearly book to pull together the most important things the corporate media ignored, missed, or botched.” –Russ Kick, author of You Are Being Lied To, Everything You Know Is Wrong, and the New York Times bestselling series The Graphic Canon.
“Most journalists in the United States believe the press here is free. That grand illusion only helps obscure the fact that, by and large, the US corporate press does not report what’s really going on, while tuning out, or laughing off, all those who try to do just that. Americans–now more than ever–need those outlets that do labor to report some truth. Project Censored is not just among the bravest, smartest, and most rigorous of those outlets, but the only one that’s wholly focused on those stories that the corporate press ignores, downplays, and/or distorts. This latest book is therefore a must read for anyone who cares about this country, its tottering economy, and–most important– what’s now left of its democracy.” –Mark Crispin Miller, author, professor of media ecology, New York University.
“Project Censored continues to be an invaluable resource in exposing and highlighting shocking stories that are routinely minimized or ignored by the corporate media. The vital nature of this work is underscored by this year’s NSA leaks. The world needs more brave whistle blowers and independent journalists in the service of reclaiming democracy and challenging the abuse of power. Project Censored stands out for its commitment to such work.” —Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and associate professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University

13. Obama Cuts Domestic Spending and Increases Military Corporate Welfare

President Obama’s decision to increase military spending this year and in the future will result in the greatest administrative military spending since World War II. This decision is being made in spite of continued evidence of extreme waste, fraud, abuse, and corporate welfare in the military budget. At the same time, spending on “non-security” domestic programs such as education, nutrition, energy, and transportation will be frozen, resulting in inflationary cuts to essential services for the US public over the upcoming years.

Student Researchers:

  • Molly Lipinski and Meghan Brandts (St. Cloud State University)

Faculty Evaluator:

  • Julie Andrzejewski (St. Cloud State University)

While these domestic programs constitute only 17 percent of the total federal spending, they will sustain all of the proposed cuts. Jo Comerford, executive director of the National Priorities Project, states, “[Obama’s] proposal caps non-security spending at $447 billion for each of the next three fiscal years. During that time, inflation will erode the purchasing power of that total; requiring cuts in services in each successive year.” The consequences of cutting domestic spending will result in a further increase in the gap between the rich and the poor.

In contrast, military spending is roughly 55 percent of the discretionary spending in the current fiscal year, and will increase even more next year. According to the Office of Management and Budget’s projections, the military budget will increase an additional $522 billion over the next decade. Tom Engelhardt points out, “Here’s an American reality: the Pentagon is our true welfare state, the weapons makers are our real ‘welfare queens,’ and we never stop shoveling money their way.”

There is widespread and continuous waste, fraud, and abuse by the Pentagon and by military contractors resulting in welfare for the rich. William Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel with the US Air Force, concludes, “When it comes to our nation’s military affairs, ignorance is not bliss. What’s remarkable then, given the permanent state of war in which we find ourselves, is how many Americans seem content not to know.”

The public never hears about war spending in the corporate media and how much everything actually costs. Several examples highlight the extent of abuse.

A single future weapons system is now estimated to cost the American taxpayer almost one-third of what the Obama administration’s health care plan is expected to cost over a decade. Originally expected to cost $50 million, the estimated cost today just for one F-35 plane is $113 million. The marines, the air force, and the navy are planning to buy a combined 2,450 of F-35s, which would cost more than $323 billion.

A recent hearing of the federal Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan addressed a 111-page report on its “initial investigations of the nation’s heavy reliance on contractors.” According to a release on the hearing, “More than 240,000 contractor employees, about 80 percent of them foreign nationals, are working in Iraq and Afghanistan to support operations and projects of the US military, the Department of State, and the US Agency for International Development. Contractor employees outnumber US troops in the region. While contractors provide vital services, the Commission believes their use has also entailed billions of dollars lost to waste, fraud, and abuse due to inadequate planning, poor contract drafting, limited competition, understaffed oversight functions, and other problems.” Jeremy Scahill notes that while the wartime commission is charged with revealing the scope of corruption, it includes members who are either pro-war or have worked for major war contractors.

According to Kathy Kelly, author of Tough Minds, Tender Hearts, “The US government devotes massive resources and much sophistication to killing in Afghanistan. Would that it would spend a little to realize that its policies are creating anger. . . . It costs about $1 million a year for a US soldier—boots on the ground—in Afghanistan. Imagine what good that money could do if spent to help the Afghan people. A governor in Afghanistan makes about $1,000 a year.”

President Obama is continuing the process of reinflating the Pentagon that began in late 1998—fully three years before the 9/11 attacks. The rise in national defense spending since 1998 is as large as the Kennedy-Johnson surge (43 percent) and the Reagan increases (57 percent) put together. The Department of Defense has been given about $7.2 trillion since 1998, which is when the post–cold war decline in defense spending ended. Current spending is above the peak years of the Vietnam War era and the Reagan years, and the Pentagon plans to remain there at this point. The radical increase in military spending now, compared to the cold war and World War II, is justified by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, even if today’s wars are taken out of the picture, there has still been a 54 percent increase since 1998.

Last year innumerable public hearings were held on health care reform. Constant news and debate by the public, corporations, the media, and Congress continued for months. The health care program, in ten years, will cost the American people as much as defense and homeland security cost in a single year. Yet runaway defense budgets get passed each year without a single “town hall” meeting, next to no media coverage, and virtually no debate in Congress.

The taxpayer, forced to pay about one trillion dollars yearly to fund the military, national security infrastructure, and wars, remains ignorant of the real costs. Reasons for the lack of public knowledge about military spending include: lack of corporate media coverage altogether; media employing retired military officers as “experts,” thus presenting only one side; inculcated civilian deference toward military leaders (leave it to the experts in uniform); and secrecy and “black budgets” obscuring military spending. Among the questions William J. Astore poses about the US military, a key one is: why is the military immune from the painful budgetary belt tightening faced by the rest of America?

Astore concludes, “It’s true that the world is a dangerous place. The problem is that the Pentagon is part of that danger. Our military has grown so strong and so dominates our government, including its foreign policy and even aspects of our culture, that there’s no effective counterweight to its closeted, conflict-centered style of thinking.” This dominance is costing the US public enormous sums of money, is a major contributor to the economic crisis, and will continue to erode desperately needed public support programs now and in the future.


Tom Engelhardt, “Weapons Makers as ‘Welfare Queens,’” TomDispatch, March 18, 2010, http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/03/19.

William J. Astore, “The Pentagon Church Militant and Us: The Top Five Questions We Should Ask the Pentagon,” TomDispatch, March 18, 2010, http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175219/tomgram%3A_william_astore,_you_have_no_say_about_your_military.

Sam Husseini and David Zupan, “Obama: Cut Domestic, Increase Military,” Institute of Public Accuracy, January 26, 2010, http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2010/01/26-14.

Carl Conetta, “The Pentagon’s Runaway Budget,” Antiwar.com, March 3, 2010, http://original.antiwar.com/carl-conetta/2010/03/03/the-pentagons-runaway-budget.

Jeremy Scahill, “US War Privatization Results in Billions Lost in Fraud, Waste and Abuse,” RebelReports, June 10, 2009, http://rebelreports.com/post/121172812/u-s-war-privatization-results-in-billions-lost-in.

Facebook Comments