National Catholic Reporter, 12/08/10:
Berrigan’s words come as encouraging reminders that we cannot give up, even when it appears so many of our efforts fall short.
To the degree federal spending is any indication of national values and priorities, we have lost our way. We are out of touch with our civic, human and Christian ideals.
Let’s take a look. The numbers today are so large they are incomprehensible. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Military Expenditure Database, U.S. military spending in 2009 came to $663 billion. Second on the list of military spenders was China, at $98 billion. If one were to add all 2009 military spending by the top 19 spending nations, other than the United States, the figure comes to $642 billion, or $21 billion less than the United States spent in that year.
When the 2010 fiscal year budget was signed into law in October 2009, the final size of the Department of Defense’s budget was $680 billion, $16 billion more than President Obama had requested. An additional $37 billion supplemental bill to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was expected to pass Congress in the spring of 2010, but has been delayed by the House of Representatives after passing the Senate. Meanwhile, military-related expenditures outside of the Department of Defense constitute between $319 billion and $654 billion in additional spending, bringing the total for military-related spending in the 2010 fiscal year to between $1.01 trillion and $1.35 trillion, a new landmark.