Bush's Militarization Is Draining the Economy

July 26, 2003

In mid-July, the White House admitted that the federal government will run a deficit of at least $455 billion for the current fiscal year. This does not include the price of the continuing military occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq which adds up to another $5 billion/month.

This year's deficit, which amounts to almost 6% of the total economy, will be the biggest ever, much higher than the previous record of $290 billion under the first Bush administration. And these huge deficits are expected to grow even more in coming years, running into several trillion dollars.

As everyone knows, one of the main reasons for the ever-growing deficit is the ongoing militarization of the economy. The Bush administration is spending $400 billion to $500 billion/year (an amount equal to $8,000 for every American family) to wage wars against other countries and build up the biggest arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in history. In addition to "protecting" and expanding the empire of the monopoly capitalist class, the militarization of the economy is a source of superprofits for the capitalist arms merchants.

In addition to the military budget, the government turns hundreds of billion more in public funds over to the capitalists through interest payments on the debt, the privatization of social services, infrastructure investments, research and development grants, etc.

This wholesale looting of the public treasury is carried out in the most arbitrary and dictatorial manner. The President and Congress simply give the military a blank check while automatically deducting taxes from workers' paychecks. Like the feudal Kings, the government has usurped the power of taxation and uses it to extort taxes from the workers and drain our country's economy in order to enrich the capitalist billionaires.

The Workers Party says this situation must be changed. While the government helps the rich rob the public, the crisis of our country's economy is deepening. The public schools are falling down but the government refuses to make the necessary investments to modernize our educational system. The health care system is collapsing and tens of millions of Americans go without needed care yet the government keeps slashing funds for Medicaid, Medicare and public health. While the government never stops boasting about the wealth of the country, the elementary rights and needs of the people remain unmet.

The answer is very simple. We must stop the rich from looting the public treasury and ruining the economy of our country. We must demand a fundamental change in the government's economic program so that the very first priority and absolute responsibility is to guarantee the basic economic rights of the people, including the right to the best possible education, to comprehensive and free health care, to a job or a livelihood, to income security in old age and so forth.

Everyone knows that our country has more than enough resources to guarantee these rights. The issue is to get our priorities straight by breaking the political stranglehold of the monopolies and putting the needs of the people in command.