The Perpetual War Machine.

As President Eisenhower was leaving office, he warned, “We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist … Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

Consider the warning unheeded.

For 2010, the U.S. defense budget is $692,000,000,000 – more than the total of all 194 other nation’s combined. And that doesn’t even include the money being spent in Iraq and Afghanistan! By comparison, in 2009, the 2nd largest defense budget belonged to China at $98,800,000. And the defense budget for Russian Federation stood at a paltry $61,000,000.

Yet, as our nation struggles with high unemployment and decaying infrastructure, Republicans continue to push for more military spending along with the use of more military contractors such as Halliburton, KBR and XE (aka Blackwater). All the while, they rail against the growing deficit.

What about that makes any friggin’ sense?

Well, apparently it makes sense to former President George W. Bush. According to former Argentine Prime Minister Nestor Kirchner, Bush told him that “all the economic growth that the U.S. had had, had been based on the different wars it had waged.”  Wow!

So, according to Bush, our chief economic stimulus is war?! No wonder he ignored the warnings of 9/11. No wonder he invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. It was part of his plan for economic growth!

If our economy is based on war, then why, during the two longest wars in U.S. history, aren’t we thriving? Why are so many Americans unemployed? It would appear that Bush’s war theory makes as much sense as Reagan’s trickle down theory.

I have a better suggestion for improving our economy. Let’s cut our $692 billion defense budget in half. We’ll still have a budget more than three times the size of any other nation – enough to ensure our place as the biggest, baddest bully on the planet. And we’ll have money to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and invest in new industries that create jobs for people without killing others.