The weapon contractors get fatter while U.S. troops and veterans grow hungry.
The Wall Street Journal, citing a 2022 Defense Department report, said about a quarter of active-duty troops have faced some level of food insecurity in 2022, compared to 10 percent of the total population.
Beth Asch, a senior economist at the think tank Rand Corp, told the paper that income is not the only factor at play. Active service members often have spouses who have difficulty holding permanent jobs because of frequent moving and she said members pay out of pocket when they move and have to wait months to be reimbursed.
The report said the Defense Department started the Basic Needs Allowance a few months ago that brings the income to up to 130 percent of the federal poverty line, or about $29,940 a year for a family of three.
Asch has said there are a “myriad of underlying causes” that contribute to the issue. Members of the military may also avoid seeking help due to the stigma attached to needing assistance. An earlier Rand report said the military’s culture of “self-sufficiency and pride has kept members from seeking help for food or financial insecurity.”
“Service members aren’t living in poverty in the same way [as the general population]. But … it’s also the dirty little secret: that there are service members with families and children making the salary of an E-4 who need help getting food on the table,” one military installation representative told RAND, according to CNN.
Many who resisted applying for food assistance said they were concerned about their security clearances being revoked.
The United States spends more now on defense than it ever has, including the next eight countries combined. (See “WAR-MONGERS IN CONGRESS PUSH RECORD SPENDING FOR MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX” 17 Nov 2022 and “MORE EVIDENCE POLS BOOKED PROFITS OFF OF U.S. RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR SPENDING” 10 Jan 2023.)
The Pentagon’s proposed budget for fiscal 2024 has a 5.2 percent pay raise for both uniformed and civilian employees.
TRENDPOST: President Dwight Eisenhower, a five-star general who led the D-Day invasion, gave a powerful warning to the nation in his farewell address on 14 January 1961.
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist,” he said.
Today, the White House has converged with the military-industrial complex to an extent and depth beyond what Eisenhower could have imagined. In policy, practice, and operations, Washington is now run by military elites.
A new report released by the Institute for Policy Studies that was published on 15 April—tax day in the U.S.—found the average American taxpayer paid $1,087 just for Pentagon contractors alone, according to Jacobin magazine.
The report noted that the amount represented 21 days of work for the average American “and four times what they contributed to K-12 education ($270).”