For several years, if not decades, Republicans have, and still do, claim that any American who is not anti-government, anti-taxation, anti-women’s rights, anti-immigration, anti-theocracy, and anti-democracy is a raving socialist. Yesterday Ted Cruz accused Hillary Clinton of being a “wild-eyed socialist” who will do serious damage to America, and it is so typical for a Republican to use that term because they know most Americans are ignorant of what socialism entails. Socialism is simply “an economic and political system where all major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual companies or people, or a societal system in which there is no private property.” Obviously, neither Hillary Clinton, nor any Democrat supports or advocates for socialism, including Senator Bernie Sanders who claims to be a democratic socialist. In fact, democratic socialism is “a political ideology involving a combination of political democracy with government ownership and control of all major industries.” Bernie Sanders is not any kind of socialist; not even a democratic socialist.
What most Americans are woefully ignorant of is that there is a socialistic program that Republicans not only advocate for, they are never at a loss for investing more taxpayer dollars into it with no return except for a growing deficit; one that will eventually break America like the former Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War. To make matters that much worse, and it is that much worse, the GOP’s favorite socialist program has completely lost track of where $8.5 trillion in taxpayer and borrowed money because the Department of Defense has no accountability to the American people or apparently the government that owns and operates it. The worst part is that despite this country’s only wasteful, unaccountable, and out-of-control socialistic program, Republicans want to sink more of Americans’ tax dollars into the defense budget.
It was barely reported again last January that after Congress had just allotted well over half the entire annual federal budget for the military, that the Department of Defense could not account for over $8.5 trillion between 2000 and 2012. In 2005, for example, the Department of Defense had contracts worth a bit over $3 trillion with various businesses, but the United States Treasury Department could not find any record of how those trillions of dollars, both taxpayer money and trillions borrowed, was actually spent. Apparently, it is a common Pentagon practice to “regularly cheat on its accounting books” by submitting a falsely balanced budget to the Treasury; in 2012 the Pentagon falsely reported “$9.22 billion to reconcile its spending with its budget.” And Republicans want to give the Defense Department even more money than over half the nation’s spending.
It is not that the Defense Department (DoD) is not required to do a full accounting of where every single penny of borrowed and taxpayer money goes. In 1990, Congress passed a then-new federal law requiring all government agencies to be audited, but the Pentagon, the only American socialist entity, is the only government agency that has failed to comply with the law because it is the military, national defense, support the troops, patriotism and war on terror. In fact, for the very same reason the DoD is allowed to lose $8.5 trillion without a national outcry is why Republicans constantly demand more money for the military.
What should be astonishing is that despite “reckless accounting” and “consistently fraudulent reporting,” there has been no investigations into where trillions-of-dollars of both borrowed and taxpayer dollars have disappeared, or who is responsible for increasing the deficit. There was a pathetic attempt to curb the Defense Department’s waste and bring some transparency to the nation’s only socialist program by mandating a reduction in weapons programs if the DoD fails to meet its budget, but socialist or not it is the military and Republicans want more funding despite the waste and fraud. The Government Accountability Office as well as the Department of Defense’s own inspector general admit that the lack of accountability makes it incredibly easy to conceal “outright fraud and inappropriate purchases” that also “affects military personnel’s salaries.”
There has been an effort to revamp the Department of Defense’s accounting system within two years, by 2017, but because it is a government owned and operated socialist “industry” there are absolutely no legal consequences or mechanisms in place to hold anyone responsible. Some leading officials claim that the only way to force the Pentagon to “straighten out” and “be accountable” like every other agency is if there was a means to bring “outside pressure to bear” from Washington, but with Republicans in control of Congress and the nation’s purse-strings, and crusading to increase defense spending, that is never going to happen; their campaign donors in the oil industry and military industrial complex will not allow it.
Republicans demand accountability from every government agency to devise new and devious means to cut spending under the guise of deficit reduction. However, the one and only socialist entity in the nation is not only unaccountable to the people, including losing $8.5 trillion over ten years, it is piling on debt like there is no tomorrow. It is important to remember, that Bush-Republicans started two completely unnecessary wars of aggression against Muslims for regime change without regard for funding or the deficit.
It is an abomination that while Republicans refuse to spend one penny for infrastructure, domestic programs, education, or renewable energy due to “America being broke,” they easily hand over half of the nation’s spending to a socialist program without any accountability. And it is pathetic that there is no major media outcry that literally trillions of dollars have gone missing while the Defense Department refuses to say where that borrowed and taxpayer money went. Something that every American should consider is that the $8.5 trillion the Pentagon “lost” represents over a third of the entire national debt, but that is just the money they will not, or cannot, account for. Trillions more, like “known waste such as $1.5 trillion for the F35,” of the deficit has been reported accurately and went to Republican military industrial complex donors and the national deficit.
Over the next sixteen months of an already incredibly long presidential campaign, every Republican seeking the nomination and candidate for Congress will scream that defense spending is woefully inadequate and call for a monumental increase; all while decrying that Democrats are socialists and call for domestic spending cuts. Democrats, no matter the office they seek, have to start explaining to voters exactly what socialism means, and point out that the one and only program that Republicans want more borrowed and taxpayer money for is the socialist Department of Defense despite it cannot account for $8.5 trillion that is gone forever but still has to be repaid.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.