Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org
There is only one Cabinet-level federal Department that is so wasteful — so corrupt (&/or incompetent) — that its financial records can’t even be audited, meaning that no auditors can be found who will certify its books: the Defense Department, otherwise called “the Pentagon” — it’s 54% of the Fiscal Year 2016 federal budget for all Departments of discretionary (i.e., legally non-obligatory) federal spending, as shown here:
A Politico and Morning Consult poll, a scientific sampling of 1,992 registered American voters, which was first published on March 8th, asked “Here is a list of federal departments and agencies. For each of the following, please indicate if you think the department or agency should have its annual budget increased, decreased, or kept about the same.” Here is what it found:
In other words: as compared to cutting the incredibly wasteful $625 billion Aggression Department (euphemistically called the ‘Defense Department’), Americans are more favorable toward cutting almost all of the constructive Departments: cutting the State Department (not shown in the pie-chart except as ‘International Affairs’, but it was actually allocated in FY 2017 $37.9 billion), cutting the $41.6 billion that’s shared between the Energy Department and the EPA, and cutting the Interior Department (which expenditures are generally not shown online, such as in the pie-chart above, or here), or Commerce Department (also generally not shown), or HUD (which was allocated $37.5 billion in FY 2017), or Justice (which was allocated $28.7 billion in FY 2017) or Labor (which also is generally not shown), or Agriculture (which also is generally not shown, but might be the $13.3 billion shown on the pie-chart above for “Food & Agriculture”), or Transportation ($27.4 billion on that pie-chart, but generally not shown), or Education ($74.1 billion on that pie-chart, and $68.3 billion allocated for FY 2017). Furthermore, the $625 billion for ‘Defense’ excludes such things as the CIA, whose costs the federal government does its best to hide from the public, but without the CIA, America’s coups overthrowing foreign governments (such as here), wouldn’t even be possible, notwithstanding that they actually are part of America’s ‘Defense’ expenditures, though not at the Pentagon — so, the $625 billion ‘Defense’ figure is clearly an understatement of the reality (even if those expenditures actually helped produce the 9/11 attacks and overall reduce the safety of Americans — but that’s another question entirely).
As is clear from the above, the U.S. federal government does its best to make inscrutable its financial records, and so even organizations that try to inform the public about federal expenditures in ways that the public can easily make sense of, have enormous difficulty doing it, and really cannot do it for all federal Departments; but, by far the most untrustworthy numbers of all are those that are given for ‘Defense’, even though that’s so gigantic that even our federal officials haven’t yet found a way to make ‘Defense’ seem to be less than half of all federal discretionary spending. Americans live (though never informed of this) in a war-state, today’s Sparta, a nation at perpetual war, in order to overthrow (either by the Pentagon or by the CIA) governments around the world that the actual powers-that-be in this country do not like.
The Morning Consult & Politico poll also found that when asked “As you may know, a special prosecutor is generally a lawyer from outside the government who is appointed by the Attorney General or Congress to investigate a government official for misconduct while in office. Do you support or oppose appointing a special prosecutor to investigate alleged ties between Donald Trumps campaign staff and Russian government officials?”
37% “Strongly support” and 17% “Strongly oppose,” while 20% “Somewhat support” and 14% “Somewhat oppose.” Given figures like that, the pressure on Congress to pressure the White House on this will be very “Strong.” For the Administration to continue to resist would only weaken the Administration. Of course, the lowest support for this came from Republicans (39% “Support” versus 50% “Oppose) and the highest support came from Democrats (75% “Support” versus 16% “Oppose”), but if Trump continues to oppose it, his re-election chances will be greatly damaged because the issue will look worse for him as time goes by and as he continues to resist. 82% of the respondents who said that they had voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 were in “Support” of “appointing a special prosecutor,” and the 2016 Presidential election was close; so, if Trump continues to oppose on this, he’ll almost certainly be a one-term President — if even that (Democrats could get their wish and overthrow Trump and install Pence instead, though they would actually like President Pence even less, except that his thirst for war against Russia is even greater than what Trump now is showing in order to satisfy Democrats plus John McCain and Lindsey Graham).
There is so much that is essential for the American public to know and to understand, that they are instead confused and misinformed about; but the powers-that-be benefit greatly by the public’s misinformation and confusion, and so it will certainly continue; but is this democracy, or is it dictatorship — and, if the latter, then whom is it actually serving? Who is Big Brother? Actually?
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.