Approximately 26% of U.S. Government Spending Goes to Weapon-Makers

The vast majority of the U.S. Government’s purchases are for the military, and most of that is paying for weapons and for enabling America’s troops to use them.

For example, in the 3 April 2018 “OMB and Congressional Budget Office estimates of discretionary new budget authority” that “The President signed … into law on March 23, 2018”, was the “OMB TOTAL, DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS … 654,621” billion dollars. Not included in that sum was “MILITARY CONSTRUCTION AND VETERANS AFFAIRS APPROPRIATIONS … OMB Non-Defense Category Subtotal (including CHIMPs) … 81,876,” all of which is actually military (it wouldn’t even exist but for that). Also not included was anything of the “OMB TOTAL, STATE AND FOREIGN OPERATIONS APPROPRIATIONS … 53,631,” much of which is actually for military purposes. Those are only SOME of the military costs that the U.S. Government categorizes as-if they weren’t. But, adding just the $81,876 to the $654,621 produces $736,497 billion in military spending that year. The actual total was certainly above a trillion dollars.

The “Enacted Appropriations as of March 30, 2018” in the “DEFENSE CATEGORY” were $629,004 billion; and that was $79,947 billion above the “spending limit” and so required that cuts needed to be made in the “NON-DEFENSE CATEGORY” so that the Appropriations in that category (some of which were actually military) were $579,554 billion. Adding $629,004 billion to $579,554 billion produces as the total federal discretionary spending that year, $1.208558 trillion, of which the “DEFENSE CATEGORY” consumed 52%.

SO: at least 52% of federal spending that Congress authorized and the President spent with taxpayer funds during that year was for the U.S. military.

What percent did the payments to firms such as Lockheed Martin and the others of the 100 top sellers to the U.S. Government (virtually all of which were to the Pentagon) consume of that 52%. It was 53%. So: 26% of the expenses that become appropriated each year by the U.S. legislative and executive branches go to pay the hundred or so firms that sell to the Pentagon, and to U.S.-‘allied’ (or vassal) Governments, NATO, etc., not to consumers and not to businesses that serve consumers.

That’s what elections to Congress and to the White House are really about, more than anything else.

It’s also worth noting that the U.S. Government implicitly acknowledges this, by, in its own financial records, having only two main categories: “DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS” and “NON-DEFENSE CATEGORY.” Furthermore: when supplemental appropriations are made, those have to get taken from the “NON-DEFENSE” category, even when the supplemental appropriation is (nominally) for a “NON-DEFENSE” purpose.

Politicians for federal office in the United States get 29.86% of their campaign funds from merely the wealthiest 400 Americans, all of whom are multi-billionaires. 57.16% comes from the wealthiest 1% of the wealthiest 1% — the richest in ten thousand Americans.

America’s laws on financial reporting do not require, and almost none of the large corporations do, to make public the individuals who either as individuals or as a small group own a controlling interest in a corporation. Consequently, the individual beneficiaries of America’s approximately now $1.4 trillion yearly military spending cannot be traced via publicly available information. If half of that, $700 billion dollars a year, are going to them, and there are 700 of them (both of which would be reasonable estimates), then the average individual in that group would be grossing more than a billion dollars per year from the U.S. Government. But the exact numbers, and the individuals, are hidden from the public. Also, because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s increasingly interpreting the U.S. Constitution in ways which benefit billionaires at the public’s expense (i.e., as-if the Founders were aiming to serve property, dollars, instead of persons, citizens), the legal methods to hide political contributions are increasing, instead of decreasing. The handwriting about America’s Government is on the wall now, for anyone who wants to read it. But who actually does? Sadly, few. At least at present, there’s no effective political pressure to change it. How could there be, if many of the same people who are profiting from this are also controlling one or more of the mainstream news media, as appears to be the case?

Eric Zuesse is an investigative historian. His new book, America's Empire of Evil: Hitler’s Posthumous Victory, and Why the Social Sciences Need to Change, is about how America took over the world after World War II in order to enslave it to U.S.-and-allied billionaires. Their cartels extract the world’s wealth by control of not only their ‘news’ media but the social ‘sciences’ — duping the public. Read other articles by Eric.