Who has the most to gain by going to war?

LOS ANGELES – What does it cost to build a U.S. Navy submarine? The Virginia SSN, a modern submarine, cost taxpayers $2.4 billion.

The aircraft carrier, George H. Bush, cost taxpayers $6.26 billion.

A cruiser/destroyer such as the DDG 1000 Zumualt costs taxpayers $6-billion.

A new Navy aircraft, the E2D advance Hawkeye, costs $253 million (Source: New Wars website).

The F-35 Strike Fighter program is expected to cost $1.5 trillion over a 55-year-life of the program (Source: The Fiscal Times website). One long range Strike Bomber costs taxpayers $550 million each (Source: The Fiscal Times website).

A new high school, on average, costs $20,562,200 dollars for a two-story building (Source: RS Means website). A new elementary school costs $7,393, 000 for a one-story building (Source: RS Means website).              

The average salary for K-12 teachers: elementary School teacher – $42,588; high school teacher – $46,989; special education teacher -$43,936. Of course these estimated salaries vary from state-to-state (Source: Pay Scale website).

A new University of California San Francisco Medical Center cost $1.5 billion  It is known as the “Next Generation Medical Center” with three new hospitals serving the community (Source: UCSF.edu/news).

Just recently Congress passed a military priorities budget that has no domestic spending increases but continues on the path for a war budget with increased military spending. This money will be used to continue funding thousands of military projects like the one’s mentioned above at the expense of our communities.

We must ask the question: Who benefits from a war budget? Is it the one percent which includes corporate elites, Wall Street bankers and CEOs, and billionaires?  Is it the war lobby in Washington D.C.? Is it the new military/corporate industrial complex? Is it all the greedy war profiteers? You guessed it. It’s all of the above.

Let’s be clear that it’s all about the money. It is money that I argue should be spent on social programs and in our communities. We should not fear cutting the military budget since strong and healthy communities make for a strong nation.

Working-class communities always get the short end of the stick in a war economy. constant war. Yet some of your local and national politicians and their wealthy backers are pushing for stronger aggressive action in Afghanistan, Syria, North Korea, Palestine, Latin American, the Ukraine and Russia. Again who benefits? Who gains from going to war?

It is fear mongering when presidential candidates advocate that the U.S. should have the strongest military on the face of the planet, saying nothing about the peace option. These presidential candidates, funded by corporate elites, are seeking only to collect more wealth without really producing anything of value for the majority of the people.

A classic example of the damage done by war would be the Vietnam war. The war economy constructed then created the initial steps toward destruction of the nation’s infrastructure and eventually caused unraveling of much of President Johnson’s “Great Society” programs.

It is also well documented that George W. Bush’s war with Iraq cost future generation trillions of dollars of debt with no way to finance the debt and at what cost to our communities? Only the capitalist class and their war partners get the benefit by creating more wealth at the expense of working people.

Workers joining with allies and pushing together from the bottom up is a necessary and sure way to combat the war hawks.. All the forces and groups that can benefit from a peace economy must come together and demand it. A war budget doesn’t make us safer or more powerful.

Our priorities need to change from a constant war perspective and action to one of making funding of people’s needs a priority. A new and powerful peace movement needs to develop.  Progressive forces aligned with other like-minded people need to work together, organize and forcefully say “no” to war.

Photo: The Virginia SSN cost taxpayers $2.4 billion.   |   Wikipedia (CC)


David Trujillo
David Trujillo

David Trujillo is a member of the National Writers Union, a playwright, writer, and community activist. David Trujillo es miembro de la Unión Nacional de Escritores, dramaturgo, escritor y activista comunitario.