Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Our paranoia is making us poor and weak

Over the past decade, however, another branch of government has emerged, and it dwarfs the other three. It’s powerful, skirts our laws, and composed of three core entities: the military; the Department of Homeland Security, which encompasses airport security, and 15 intelligence services (National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, etc.). All exist to protect America and its citizens from enemies — both real and imagined. We might call it the paranoid branch.
Our post-9/11 paranoia doesn’t come cheaply, though. We Americans spend nearly a quarter of every dollar we generate as a nation on the military ($682 billion), Homeland Security (about $60 billion), and 15 intelligence agencies (combined perhaps $75 billion). While our government raced through some $3.67 trillion in 2013 it took in only $2.77 trillion in revenue, which means it has to borrow about $900 billion just to stay afloat.
Of the money the United States raises from its citizens, more than $1.7 trillion is spent on salving our collective paranoia or borrowed from banks and nations. That’s 40+ percent of the total."

I have nothing to add to this article. Well said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I would not call it the "paranoid branch". I would call it the progressive democratic branch.