Everywhere you go online, you see people complaining about how their tax dollars are being wasted on whatever pet cause they have under their skin. "MY TAX DOLLARS SHOULD NOT GO TO FUND LEGAL AID LAWYERS," "MY TAX DOLLARS SHOULD NOT GO TO FUND CONTRACEPTION FOR SLUTTY WIMMINZ," "MY TAX DOLLARS SHOULD NOT GO TO FUND A STUDY ABOUT ENDANGERED FISH," and so on and so forth.
But these are tiny fractions of pennies on the dollar-heap. You know what the vast bulk of your tax dollars are really going towards? Voila:
This is one ship that costs $13 billion dollars. It's a dinosaur, 1940s-era cutting-edge technology in the age of cheap cruise missiles. There is no Battle of Midway in our future, no possible scenario where our carrier fleet dukes it out with the carrier fleet of some upstart nation. We might as well pour our treasure into building Dreadnought class battleships. It will sail around, "projecting force" and "showing the flag" and little else.
Eisenhower, a man of the military through and through, warned us in his late-life position as the civilian overseer:
"This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, 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."
We didn't listen to Ike.
Guns or butter is the traditional choice. Thirteen billion dollars is many times the budget of most American states. Just think what that kind of money could do if spread out among education, infrastructure, child care, health care, neighborhood policing.
And that's just one ship. Do you hear anyone yelling about it?
Give me the fucking butter. We have enough goddamn guns.