Click to go to the Subscriber Log In Page
Go to menu with buttons for all pages on BC
Click here to go to the Home Page
Est. April 5, 2002
June 27, 2019 - Issue 795

Bookmark and Share

Tone Deaf Congress
Wants Military Pork

"The Poor People’s Moral Budget has the theme,
'Everybody Has the Right to Live'.  The budget
would cut $350 billion in military spending, while
increasing taxes on the wealthy, corporations, and
Wall Street.  It represents a paradigm shift from our
nation’s current focus on militarism
to a focus on human needs."

The F-35 stealth fighter aircraft is one expensive plane. It costs $135 million to produce a single aircraft, but Congress is prepared to authorize spending for 90 more planes, a dozen more than the Pentagon has requested. Why? Lobbyists for Lockheed Martin, the company that produces these aircraft, have exercised their fine art of persuasion to convince the House Armed Services Committee that these aircraft are needed for our national “defense”. Wouldn’t you think the Pentagon has a better idea of what they “need” than lobbyists? Or are the profits of this corporation more important than the fiscal prudence that so many in Washington crow about when looking at education, Social Security, health care or programs that address human needs?

There is much to object to about the “Defense” budget, as defense spending absorbs more than half of all of spending from our budget. But spending on the F-35 aircraft is especially egregious. More than a trillion dollars will be spent on this aircraft, a trillion. Enough to eliminate all student debt, or fully endow the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with money left over! What do we get from this trillion? We get an aircraft with supply chain problems that the General Accounting Office has described as “falling short of warfighter requirements”. They say the aircraft, “cannot perform as many missions or fly as often as required”, partly because of a “shortage in spare parts and limited repair capability”. So Lockheed Martin is producing this $135 million aircraft, more than two thousand, to be exact, without producing the requisite spare parts or developing the appropriate repair capabilities.

Bloomberg News described the F-35 program, “as the world’s costliest weapons program.” Its entire history has been fraught with both cost and efficiency problems. Why, then, are lobbyist pushing Congress to order more of these planes, more, even than the Pentagon wants? Follow the money. It’s all about the profits.

While the House Armed Services Committee is planning to waste billions of dollars on these costly and flawed F-35 planes, poor people around the country gathered in Washington to hear from Rev. William Barber, and Rev. Liz Theoharis about the Moral Budget. Believe me, there is no room for F-35 fighter planes in the Moral Budget. Instead, the poor People’s Campaign increased spending on human needs, like heath care, education, and that oh-so-basic need – food! It might have been impactful for members of the House Armed Services Committee to spend a few moments with the Poor People’s Congress, the thousand or so people who crowded into Trinity Hall at Trinity Washington University to demand equity in education, affordable health care, and more.

The Poor People’s Moral Budget has the theme, “Everybody Has the Right to Live”. The budget would cut $350 billion in military spending, while increasing taxes on the wealthy, corporations, and Wall Street. It represents a paradigm shift from our nation’s current focus on militarism to a focus on human needs. Our nations hawks, and our President, believe that profligate military spending makes our world safer, which is nonsense! Indeed, the possibility of military action against Iran (and the deployment of a thousand more troops to the Middle East in late June), suggests that militarism makes the world dangerous, not safer. In any case in this militaristic climate, the move to order more F35s than even the President wants is nothing more than a profit-serving move to benefit Lockheed Martin, the corporation that can’t even produce enough spare parts for the planes it has already produced!

The Poor People’s Congress operated in stark contrast to the House Armed Services Committee. Rev. William Barber testified before the House Budget Committee on June 19, 2019, calling for an end to police violence against poor people and urged Congress to embrace its moral budget. By continuing profligate spending on F35 fighter planes, and funding more planes than even the Pentagon wants, Congress is engaging in policy violence against all Americans, but especially the 140 million who are poor!

A Podcast - It's Personal with Dr. J!
Listen, Rate, Review and share!

BC Editorial Board Member Dr. Julianne Malveaux, PhD ( is the Honorary Co-Chair of the Social Action Commission of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and serves on the boards of the Economic Policy Institute as well as The Recreation Wish List Committee of Washington, DC.  Her latest book is Are We Better Off? Race, Obama and Public Policy. A native San Franciscan, she is the President and owner of Economic Education a 501 c-3 non-profit headquartered in Washington, D.C. During her time as the 15th President of Bennett College for Women, Dr. Malveaux was the architect of exciting and innovative transformation at America’s oldest historically black college for women.  Contact Dr. Malveaux and BC.

Bookmark and Share




is published every Thursday
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble

Perry NoName: A Journal From A Federal Prison-book 1
Ferguson is America: Roots of Rebellion by Jamala Rogers