OPINION: Audit The Pentagon

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Many people on the right wing have called for an audit of the Federal Reserve in order to stop wasteful spending. While the Federal Reserve may have issues with spending, the Pentagon and the military industrial complex are far more of a burden on the US economy. According to warsisters.com, 54% of all income tax money goes goes to the military almost $1.7 Trillion. A lot of this money is going to companies like Halliburton and Blackwater and other contractors who spend money with out any audits from the Pentagon at all.

In an age when school budgets are being cut, social services are being cut and unemployment is at an all time high, it is time to find ways to cut the government budget without letting the poor suffer. Can we afford to be the policeman of the world while our children suffer at home? Is our defense budget really defending us and keeping us safe? The Obama administration recently used $30,000 Billion to send $30,00 troops to Afghanistan, that means that every soldier being sent overseas costs $1 million dollars, despite the fact that your average soldier makes less than $40,000 a year.

Given the outrageous amounts of sums we are paying to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan and the strong opposition against the wars it is time to audit the Pentagon. During the Bush years, defense contractors and the military industrial complex had access to whatever tax payer money without being audited, now that he is gone it is time that the wasteful defense spending goes too.

How exactly is does bombing countries overseas make us safer at home? Despite the large sums of money they military has yet to catch Bin Laden or stabilize either Iraq or Afghanistan. If the military could be used for rescue and cleanup missions like helping people out during natural disasters both at home (Katrina) and abroad (Haiti) as well as man made disasters such as the BP oil spill rather than to just attack other countries, maybe some of the spending would be justified.

Given that the military takes up half of our tax dollars, citizens have a right to know where that money is going. Contractors like Halliburton and Blackwater have been found liable of wasting tax payer money, yet they keep on getting contracts from our government. The government is spending $10 billion for a missile defense system despite the fact that the chance of someone launching a missile to the US is very slim.

The U.S. Military budget for 2009 was almost as large as the whole world military budgets combined and nine times as much as China’s, despite the face that China has four times as many people.

America must decide whether keeping its people employed, its children educated is more important than fighting unjust wars. The Pentagon should be audited for every dollar it spends. How is this money making our country safer? Are these wars necessary? The Taliban and our insurgents in Iraq don’t have access to a tenth of the money and weaponry that the U.S. military does, so why it necessary to spend billions of dollars on weapons that have not been proven effective in fighting these wars? Is killing people abroad more important than keeping people healthy, educated, housed and employed at home? It’s time to audit the Pentagon. Even those who agree with the wars must take into account the obscene amount of money being spent on them in the economically troubling times.

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