I sincerely hope the MAGA’s down south are enjoying the bountiful economic gifts the cheeto-in-cheif and his republican bag men are bestowing upon them.  I mean the establishment of an military oligarchy in the US was well under way under Obama, but at least he made the obligatory nods to democracy and caring for the American people (while of course, still screwing them).  Nuance isn’t a thing anymore in terms of US domestic policy.  It is being sky-written for the populace to see, you (the general public) are paying for the military and corporations first and maybe, if there are few scraps left in the budget, you may get some society and civilization as a part of the bargain.

The New Gilded Age is proceeding quite monstrously in the USA.  Perhaps this latest give away to the military industrial complex will fuel the rise of organized labour and demands that US society should prioritize its citizens, rather than its military.   William Hartung writes with great detail on what is going on in the budgeting process:

 

“While domestic spending fared better in the recent congressional budget deal than it would have if Trump’s draconian plan for 2018 had been enacted, it still lags far behind what Congress is investing in the Pentagon.  And calculations by the National Priorities Project indicate that the Department of Defense is slated to be an even bigger winner in Trump’s 2019 budget blueprint. Its share of the discretionary budget, which includes virtually everything the government does other than programs like Medicare and Social Security, will mushroom to a once-unimaginable 61 cents on the dollar, a hefty boost from the already startling 54 cents on the dollar in the final year of the Obama administration.

The skewed priorities in Trump’s latest budget proposal are fueled in part by the administration’s decision to embrace the Pentagon increases Congress agreed to last month, while tossing that body’s latest decisions on non-military spending out the window.  Although Congress is likely to rein in the administration’s most extreme proposals, the figures are stark indeed — a proposed cut of $120 billion in the domestic spending levels both parties agreed to. The biggest reductions include a 41% cut in funding for diplomacy and foreign aid; a 36% cut in funding for energy and the environment; and a 35% cut in housing and community development.  And that’s just the beginning.  The Trump administration is also preparing to launch full-scale assaults on food stampsMedicaid, and Medicare.  It’s war on everything except the U.S. military. 

Corporate Welfare

The recent budget plans have brought joy to the hearts of one group of needy Americans: the top executives of major weapons contractors like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and General Dynamics. They expect a bonanza from the skyrocketing Pentagon expenditures. Don’t be surprised if the CEOs of these five firms give themselves nice salary boosts, something to truly justify their work, rather than the paltry $96 million they drew as a group in 2016 (the most recent year for which full statistics are available).  

And keep in mind that, like all other U.S.-based corporations, those military-industrial behemoths will benefit richly from the Trump administration’s slashing of the corporate tax rate.  According to one respected industry analyst, a good portion of this windfall will go towards bonuses and increased dividends for company shareholders rather than investments in new and better ways to defend the United States.  In short, in the Trump era, Lockheed Martin and its cohorts are guaranteed to make money coming and going.”

Civil society is for chumps after all…