Government Entitlements: The Pentagon Gets Them But We Don't?

03 May 2012

By Jane Stillwater

It seems that all we ever hear coming out of Washington these days are statements such as, "The only way America can pay off its debts is to cut Social Security," always followed quickly by, "For our own good, we have to eliminate MediCare!"

And these vociferous demands for cuts to entitlements for America's senior citizens always come in tandem with heart-rending cries of "Single-payer healthcare is Socialism," and "Government must cut all pork from women's healthcare and the Veterans Administration," and "Unemployment benefits are government entitlements and government entitlements are WRONG!"

Cutting government entitlements to Americans appears to be the brave new order of the day in Washington DC right now.

Everyone in Congress and the White House and the Supreme Court seems to be obsessively intent on cutting back on all "Big Government" entitlements.


No one ever mentions cutting back on Pentagon entitlements. And the subject of entitlements for weapons manufacturers is never even brought up. Bank-bailout entitlements are sacred and can't be touched. The Federal Reserve is Big Government but no one in Washington is trying to drown the Fed in a bathtub. The filthy-rich are given entitlements in the form of huge tax breaks and concessions. Big Pharma, possibly the world's largest source of illegal drugs, is supported by all kinds of government entitlements. And what about all the entitlements that agribusiness receives? And the so-called health insurance industry that never insures anyone's good health but their own?

They get their entitlements bigtime but we don't get ours? Where is the outrage in that?

And do we ever hear any hue and cry at all when oil companies receive government entitlements, subsidies and tax breaks? And what about Citizens United? How come they are entitled but we are not? What?

Are America's middle class, homeowners, children, college students and the working poor -- America's 99% -- all just supposed to sit down and shut up while they get no government entitlements or even any pitifully small bread-crumbs of benefits thrown their way like chicken-scratch? And then we're supposed to feel all ashamed and guilty that we even get these small handfuls of crumbs?

Apparently yes.

You and me are not allowed to band together, pool our tax money and provide ourselves with any kind of mutual benefits at all. That would be Socialism!

Yet mega-corporations, war-mongers, stock-market cheats and advocates of a police state can and do band together -- and are given buckets full and bank vaults full and wire transfers full of entitlement money like there was no tomorrow.

The Pentagon gets trillions of dollars in entitlements. Wall Street profiteers go to sleep at night on soft pillows filled with Socialism-for-the-wealthy entitlements provided to them by our tax money at work -- and by Draconian cuts to OUR entitlements.

Homeland Security, FEMA, the War on Drugs and all those huge corporate-run for-profit prisons also get big bucks -- even while our local police departments and fire departments have to sell tickets to strangers over the phone because their entitlements have been cut -- and our public schools have to hold bake sales to pay for their books.

Have I missed anything here? Have I left anything out? Any other examples of "entitlement" hypocrisy that you can think of offhand? I just bet that there are.



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