In 2024 Congress Should Commit to Cutting the War Budget

In the closing days of 2023, the Biden Administration once again announced a large military aid package for Ukraine, this time a “mere” quarter of a billion dollars. Without a new authorization of funds from Congress, it is said to be the last bit of money left over from the more than $100 billion already authorized by Congress for the proxy war with Russia through Ukraine.

President Biden’s request for an additional $100 billion to spread around Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan was rejected by a Congress eager for its winter break, and with each passing day it looks like it’s going to be harder to push it through. Poll after poll show that Americans are increasingly opposed to more of their money being spent on the neocon’s lost-cause war to overthrow Putin in Russia.

For example, a recent Fox News poll revealed that more than 60 percent of Republican voters do not want any more money sent to Ukraine. As we enter an election year, it’s probably safe to predict that Republican candidates will be wary of crossing the wishes of the clear majority of voters.

That is why the Biden Administration has been desperately trying to re-frame its request for more Ukraine war money as anything but a request for more Ukraine war money. For example, they even brought back the old discredited “domino theory” used to justify US actions in the Vietnam war. If we don’t stop Putin in Ukraine, Biden said in December, then he will keep going into western Europe where we will be forced to fight him there.

On the one hand, supporters of the Ukraine war warn that Russia is about to reconstitute the Soviet empire in Europe, while at the same time the same people tell us Russia is out of missiles and on its last leg. One more infusion of US money will end the “Russian threat” once and for all. Both of these things cannot be true at once. In fact, neither of them is true.

But still the Administration, much of Congress, and an insatiable military-industrial complex keep selling the lies.

Last month Secretary of State Antony Blinken inadvertently revealed what exactly all the spending for war is about when he stated that as much as 90 percent of the aid for Ukraine is actually spent in the United States. The money is used “to the benefit of American business, local communities, and strengthening the US defense industrial base,” he said in an interview. In other words, the money “for Ukraine” is actually a massive welfare program for well-connected military contractors back home.

As we begin the year 2024, we need to home in on the real threat to the United States. It is not Russia or China or Iran. The true threat is closer to home: it is a corrupt system that bleeds the country dry to fight imaginary enemies while enriching the military-industrial complex.

For the New Year, Congress should resolve to end the stranglehold of the military-industrial complex by reining in out-of-control military spending. Members should simply vote “no” on military spending bills until they are drafted to benefit the American people rather than the Beltway elite. I don’t hold out much hope of this happening in the short run, but it only takes a few dedicated Members to make a real difference.

Author: Ron Paul

Ron PaulRon Paul is a former Republican congressman from Texas. He was the 1988 Libertarian Party candidate for president.