By Eric Zuesse
A new Morning Consult/POLITICO survey, published on 26 April, indicates that most American voters support the military-industrial complex more than they support any other recipient of U.S. federal government spending. The military-industrial complex includes almost all federal contractors, the top ten of which, in the ranking of the “Top 100 Contractors of the U.S. federal government”, are all military suppliers: 1: Lockheed Martin. 2: Boeing. 3: General Dynamics. 4: Raytheon. 5: Northrop Grumman. 6: McKesson. 7: United Technologies. 8: L-3. 9: Bechtel. 10: BAE. Those ten firms would be the likeliest main beneficiaries from today’s America’s extremely pro-military-industrial-
2,032 American voters were asked in the poll a list of objectives that might be so important as to justify “the government must shut down.” Only one single objective was close to being supported by an absolute majority of the respondents, so that the government’s going to shut-down would, in those respondents’ view, be justified for Congress to do in order to achieve that given objective, which was stated as: “Increase funding for defense and homeland security.” 47% of respondents (just shy of an absolute majority, which is 50+%) chose that goal as being so drastically important; 39% chose instead the answer, “NOT important enough to prompt a shutdown.” 14% chose “Don’t Know / No Opinion.” In other words: 47% were in support of any member of Congress who refused to vote to fund the government unless the proposed legislation to keep the government going would “Increase funding for defense and homeland security” (increase funding that’s going mainly to those ten firms). Increased spending on the military-industrial complex (which is incontestably the most corrupt portion of the U.S. federal government) is so extremely important to 47% of America’s voters, according to this poll. Those 47% are like a huge cheering section for those ten corporate stocks: they’re willing to shut down the federal government if the taxpayer-money going to those ten firms isn’t increased.
The second-highest-supported listed objective, “Continue to make cost-sharing payments to health insurance companies,” was supported by only 42% of respondents. Exactly the same percentage, 42%, chose “NOT important enough to prompt a shutdown.” So: only “Increase funding for defense and homeland security” was supported, in this poll, by more people than opposed it — and it was supported by 47% and opposed by only 39%; so, it was supported by 47/39, or 1.21 times as many respondents, as the number of respondents who opposed it. The proponents of increasing the military-industrial-complex don’t merely dominate; they clearly dominate.
The third-highest-supported objective, at 35%, was “Provide health care benefits to retired coal miners.” 44% said that that goal isn’t worth shutting down the government in order for it to be attained. I.e.: more think that those miners should be left to die than think that continuing to provide for their black-lung treatments (etc.) is essential.
The lowest support of all, at only 27%, was “Fund a wall along the Mexican border.” Donald Trump’s alleged support for that is shared by far fewer Americans than oppose it. 61% of respondents on that say it’s “NOT important enough to prompt a shutdown.”
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Americans, according to this poll, very strongly, by a 47% to 39% margin, absolutely demand “Increase funding for defense and homeland security,” but by an even stronger 48% to 32% margin, they do NOT absolutely demand “Decrease funding for domestic programs.” (This poll did not inquire regarding whether there is more support for increasing domestic programs than for decreasing those programs.)
Retired U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who, as the Chief of Staff to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell had been deceived into believing the military-industrial-complex’s hired allegations in 2002 about Saddam Hussein and “WMD,” became afterward an opponent of that very same operation which had deceived him, has since said (at 11:06– on the video here) about that operation which had deceived him:
It is a corporate complex that is growing and it surrounds everything else, including what I call fateful decision-making. … You are serving the ulterior purposes of the leadership of the country. … You are serving corporate and commercial interests, you are serving the interests of people who bureaucratically are seeking power within the structure, and you are serving the interests of what is basically an incompetent governing process.
This latest poll makes very clear that the majority of the U.S. public are satisfied with that situation, or else don’t know that it’s even the case. Of course, if they don’t know the reality about this matter, then they’ve been deceived by the newsmedia they’re being exposed to, and/or by whatever other sources have influenced them regarding it; but, otherwise, they really do love the military-industrial-complex, and they authentically demand that more and more of their tax-dollars go toward paying for it.
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.
Image Credit: Anthony Freda Art