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Our Government Says: Make War And Some Other Stuff

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

Government's Violent Priorities

This past week both houses of Congress finally passed the omnibus spending bill for 2023 after months of delays and political wrangling. The $1.65 Trillion legislation will fund the federal government through September of 2023 once it is signed into law by President Biden. The bill includes billions of dollars in new spending, along with a variety of programs slipped into this must pass bill. A quick rundown of some of the bill’s highlights mentioned in other publications include:

  • $45 billion in continuing military aid to Ukraine

  • Extension of Special Immigrant Visa program to help relocated Afghani refugees

  • Electoral Count Reform Act

  • Expanded incentives for retirement savings

  • Permanent fund for summer lunches for low income children

  • Banning TikTok on government devices

  • 22% increase in VA medical care funding

  • $40 billion for disaster relief recovery

  • Worker Ownership, Readiness and Knowledge (WORK) act

  • Etc.

The list goes on and on, and you can read more details of what was included and left out in a variety of publications. In these type of omnibus spending bills, everyone involved is attempting to slip their own personal legislative priorities into the bill. In such a process there are many instances of great policy becoming law, like the WORK act introduced by Bernie Sanders, in which $50 Million in funds will help workers with the resources and knowledge to open and operate employee-owned businesses. But while legislative victories like these are definite, material improvements to American’s lives, focusing on these specifics can obscure the overall thrust of the spending bill.

From a top-line perspective, we can see that Congress has decided to spend 57% on “military defense” and less than 10% combined for affordable energy and housing, science, environmental preservation, and education and childcare! As President Biden said earlier this year, “Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what youvalue.” Our government has told us loudly and clearly that their priorities have not changed. Despite all the protestations and grand promises, the campaigning and historic victories for Democrats and progressive politics, we are still a country that primarily funds the war machine at the expense of affordable housing, education and the environment itself.

At DSOT, we cover week after week how endless war and record-breaking corporate profits aren’t what Americans’ want. They want a government that spends on its people and future, not on bombs. Unfortunately, we end the year with a stark reminder that our politicians are still listening to the people writing the checks, not the ones at the ballot box. As we enter into a new year, we must resolve to change our country’s priorities back towards the will of the people. To do this will take concerted, consistent economic power, wielded on behalf of the American people. So join us each Tuesday in growing solidarity, to bring our budget back in line with our values!

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