Congress and Biden increase war spending at the expense of social programs

The massive general budget bill passed by Congress and endorsed by President Joe Biden will cut social spending in real terms, while increasing military spending and providing a new stream of funds for America’s proxy war in Ukraine against Russia. .

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) talks with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). [AP Photo]

The omnibus law was approved by the Senate on Thursday afternoon by a vote of 68 in favor and 29 against, with the support of 50 Democrats and 18 Republicans. The bill increases national spending by $42 billion, or 6 percent, and increases military spending by $76 billion, about 10 percent.

The legislation only takes into account discretionary federal spending, which is subject to congressional action each year. An even bigger sum goes to automatic expenses, the so-called entitlements, which include payments from Social Security and Medicare, other small retirement plans and benefits, and interest on the federal debt, which will rise sharply next year when the Federal Reserve raises rates.

In addition to the figures of $858 billion for the military and $772 billion for domestic programs, there is another $80 billion in emergency spending, more than half for Ukraine, and the rest to fund responses to US natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and wildfires. . The White House’s proposal of $9 billion to fund future responses to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has been scrapped.

Given that the US inflation rate is 7%, the 6% increase in domestic spending is a cut in real terms, which means less real resources for health, education, housing, public transport and what is left of the programs of social benefits, such as food stamps and home heating allowances.

Instead, the budget increases military spending by 10%, to a record $858 billion. There is an additional $45 billion in aid to Ukraine, combining financial support for the bankrupt kyiv regime and direct military support. The total war expenditure thus exceeds $900,000 million. An increase next year of similar proportions would push the military budget above $1 trillion for the first time, a truly staggering sum.

The bipartisan budget deal between Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer and Republican leader Mitch McConnell established for the first time that domestic spending would increase at a significantly slower rate than military spending.

McConnell gloated after the terms were made public early Tuesday morning, citing the much larger increase in military spending compared to domestic spending. “This is an impressive result for Republican dealmakers,” he said, noting the “substantial increase in real dollars” in military spending and the “substantial cut in real dollars” in nonmilitary spending.

The top Republican on the Armed Services Committee, Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, stated, “While not the package that Republicans would have written on our own,” the Pentagon appropriation “provides our military with the necessary resources to deal with China, Russia and other imminent threats’.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.