September 9, 2011--
Robert Greenwald writes his version of Obama's jobs speech on Alternet:
“Good evening. To get American working again, we must cut our massive war budget and find better ways to spend that money. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.”
He continues to say that beyond war industry hype, military spending costs Americans jobs. The Political Economy Research Institute’s 2009 study reveals that for every $1 billion spent for military purposes it costs Americans 3,222 jobs and even worse at the upper end of war spending costs are 17,500 or more jobs per billion dollars. Based on this equation, the $700 billion we are spending every year on war is killing our economy.
“War spending is good at making a few corporations very rich at the expense of the rest of us, however. Take Lockheed Martin, for example. Lockheed is the top contractor for both the Pentagon (.pdf) and the U.S. government in general (.xls), having made $35.8 billion off the taxpayer in 2010. Just to put that in perspective, if they were an “official” arm of the U.S. government, their taxpayer-funded budget, ironically, would be roughly three times the size of the Department of Labor (.pdf). Their CEO, Robert J. Stevens, made $21.9 million dollars last year, or $10,527.80 per hour. That’s a pretty sweet deal for the head of a company whose two marquee products, the F-22 and the F-35, have yet to see action in a war-zone because they aren’t safe or don’t work.”
President Obama’s jobs speech is on the same day as the first meeting of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, known to us as the “Super Committee.” Will cuts to the war budget be at the top of their agenda?
Mr Greenwald reports that corporations like Lockheed Martin realize that if Congress does move forward with job creation their days of “living-high-on-the-[government] hog” will be over.
Further war profiting corporations have banded together under the banner of a front group, “Second To None,” to pressure the committee and other influentials on the Hill to protect their profits. [See Nick Turse's excellent piece on AlterNet today detailing just who is behind the Second To None effort.] They plan to stage a “march to the Hill” on Tuesday, and with members of the so-called “Super Committee” having taken well over a million dollars in campaign and PAC contributions from these war profiteers, there’s a real danger that Second To None could “cash in,” corrupting the process to shield their job-killing profits.
We want to have faith in our government and believe and trust our elected officials, but when reports like this reveal how campaign donations sully the process tipping the scales in favor of the war machine, it’s difficult to trust.
In a recent article in Aljazeera,quotes Eric Margolis, “A number of analysts have observed that although bin Laden was finally killed, he won some major successes in his war against the U.S." He repeatedly asserted that the only way to drive the US from the Muslim world and defeat its satraps was by drawing Americans into a series of small but expensive wars that would ultimately bankrupt them -- "Bleeding the U.S.," in his words.
How long does America have to bleed before the government realizes they are fulfilling bin Laden’s prophecy even after his death?