Robbing the Public Treasury

February 14, 2007

George Bush's budget for fiscal 2007 calls for $630 billion in military spending. This includes $120 billion more for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (bringing the total costs of these wars to $450 billion), $439 billion for the Defense Department, another $23 billion for nuclear weapons, and at least $50 billion for the military in the budgets of NASA and the Dept. of Homeland Security.

This $630 billion amounts to $8,500 for every family of four.

The 2007 budget also includes $438 billion in interest payments, most of which will be turned over to the big Wall Street bankers. Hundreds of billions more will be turned over to other big capitalists through privatized government contracts, research and development grants, infrastructure investments, etc.

At the same time, Bush's budget wants yet more cuts in social programs, including education, food support for the poor, Medicare, and Medicaid - programs which literally can mean life or death for people. In his budget message, Bush insisted that "the biggest challenge to our nation's fiscal health comes from unsustainable growth in entitlement spending."

This refrain - that there is "no money" - is repeated by every level of government at a time when tens of millions of Americans face severe and worsening economic conditions. While millions are losing health insurance, the government cuts funding for Medicaid and public health programs. While companies default on pensions and health care commitments to retirees, the government raises the cost of Medicare and prepares new attacks on Social Security. While rents skyrocket, the government tears down public housing and cuts housing assistance. While children are left in overcrowded and run-down schools, the government refuses to invest in public education.

Everyone knows that the government has more than enough money (just look at the tax deductions from your paycheck). The federal budget equals $2.77 trillion dollars and the combined budgets of federal, state and local governments account for one-third of our country's gross domestic product. The money spent on the military budget alone is enough to: 1) provide health insurance for the 80 million uninsured Americans; 2) double the funding for every student k-12th grade; 3) provide free tuition for every college student; 4) provide $3,000 to every person below the poverty level. In other words, the basic problems of health care, education and poverty could be solved overnight.

But of course, the gargantuan military budget is needed by the capitalist class - needed to wage wars of conquest for oil and empire, needed as a source of superprofits for the arms merchants and the Wall Street loan sharks.

In short the capitalists are more and more using the power of the state to rob the funds in the public treasury and the people of their rights. All the wealth of the country is being put at the disposal of the billionaires.

The Workers Party says: "This robbery must stop!"

We say: "NO! to the militarization of the economy!"

We say: "NO! to paying the Wall Street loan sharks!"

The public treasury and the public sector of the economy belong to the people and the people must decide how these monies are spent.

The first priority of the government must be to meet all the fundamental economic rights of the people. The public sector of the economy must be used to guarantee everyone's fundamental economic rights including food, clothing and shelter; a job or an income at a level commensurate with our country's high degree of development; free, comprehensive health care; a secure retirement; and the best possible education from pre-school through the university.