The Build Back Better Act doesn’t get the “must-pass” treatment the NDAA does, of course — yet another testament to the perverse priorities of the people running the show.

By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout

The drinking water in Flint, Michigan. The ashes of Paradise, California. A tub of petroleum that once was the Gulf of Mexico. Rising seas, and storms that eat cities. Black people murdered by cops, protesters gunned down by teenagers with war weapons, and children shot by children in the ersatz safety of their own homes and schools. A lethal pandemic close to completing its second year, fueled by a vapid anti-science movement with the vocal blessing of a disgraced former president.

F35 burning through American dollars

Ponder all of this, and so much more besides, and I’ll bet my left shoe your absolute last thought would be, “You know what? This country really needs 91 new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and a pair of new Virginia-class nuclear submarines.” What the hell, it’s only $9.3 billion we’re talking about. Never mind the fact that the F-35 keeps falling out of the sky, and the subs would be of better use studying North Atlantic right whale depopulation off the coast of Cape Cod.

Here we are, though, on the verge of authorizing the spending of $740 billion for items just like that. The annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2022, which authorizes the military budget and establishes defense policy, runs close to 70 fine-printed pages, and reads like a Christmas list compiled by the most terrifying child who ever lived. This is only the stuff we’re selling to ourselves, mind you; our list of global arms sales would fell a forest for the paper.

On top of the F-35s and the submarines, there are two Arleigh Burke class destroyers ($3.7 billion), 11 CH-53K King Stallion helicopters ($1.5 billion), 17 F-15EX fighters ($1.8 billion), 92 M1 Abrams tank upgrades ($1.4 billion), $4.8 billion for the Columbia class submarine program, and a nifty $4.9 billion for Space Force “system development and demonstration” and “advanced component and development prototype R and D funding for technologies including space situational awareness, domain control, advanced communications, and related technologies and systems.” SPACE FORCE!!

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