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America is too profoundly corrupt to be called a democracy.

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Date: Friday, 22 December 2023

America is too profoundly corrupt to be called a democracy.

Eric Zuesse (blogs at

U.S. national security isn’t threatened by anything. So, why does the U.S. Government spend $1.5T/yr. — half of the world’s total — on ‘defense’?

On December 18th, Stephen Semler at Responsible Statecraft documented the corruption. He headlined “ Pols Loaded With Industry Cash Vote Up Military Budget”, and reported:

Lawmakers and Senators who voted for NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act — the funding for next year’s ‘Defense’ Department, the Pentagon] got four and five times more money from contractors, respectively.

Following the Senate’s lead, the House approved the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Friday, thereby authorizing $886 billion in military spending for fiscal year (FY) 2024.

By comparison, the FY2021 iteration of the bill — the last NDAA under Trump — authorized $740 billion. While Trump had managed to spike annual military spending by an incredible 20 percent in four years, Biden just accomplished the same feat in three. (Another $62 billion in Pentagon funding is included in Biden’s foreign aid bill, which is still being debated in Congress.)

This is undoubtedly good news for the arms industry. Over the last decade, 55 percent of U.S. military spending went to military contractors, and there’s no reason to expect contractors’ share of the $886 billion budget for FY2024 to be much (if any) different.

The annual military budget is the lifeblood for the arms industry, their golden goose. This is especially the case for the largest military contractors. For example, Lockheed Martin — the largest federal contractor, military or otherwise — derived 72 percent of its revenue from government contracts last year.

To ensure a continuation of Pentagon largesse, weapons companies reinvest a portion of their state-subsidized profits back into the political system. The arms industry bankrolls influential think tanks, retains more lobbyists than Congress has elected officials, and spends tens of millions of dollars on political campaign contributions every year.

Campaign cash in particular is associated with “buying influence,” a practice top recipients in Congress typically deny exists, insisting the corporate checks stuffed in their suit pocket have no impact on how they vote. The data suggest otherwise. I compared the recent House and Senate NDAA votes with the political donations each representative and senator received from the arms industry so far this election cycle.

On average, House members who voted to authorize $886 billion in military spending took four times more money from military contractors than members who voted against the bill. Senators who supported the NDAA took five times more arms industry cash than the senators who opposed it. ...

Senators who supported $886B Pentagon bill got 5X more cash from Pentagon contractors. …

Military contractor cash certainly helps to smooth out partisan differences on the NDAA. However, the average disparity in takings between “yea” and “nay” votes was slightly more pronounced among Democrats. House Republicans who supported the $886 billion bill took five times more money from military contractors than Republicans who opposed the measure, and House Democrats who voted for it took seven times more than their Democratic colleagues. In the Senate, Republicans who voted for the NDAA took five times more than their caucus peers, and Democrats who supported it took six times more than other Democrats.

Almost every elected official in Congress takes money from military contractors, but these firms don’t take a spray-and-pray approach to political giving. Rather, they target the people with the most influence over the size and scope of Pentagon contracts. The House and Senate Armed Services Committees have the most control over what military policies make it into the NDAA and how much funding is authorized for each one. Little wonder, then, that seven of the top ten House recipients of arms industry money so far this election cycle sit on that committee. In the Senate, six out of the top ten recipients do. …

The stark correlation between money and votes on the FY2024 NDAA isn’t an anomaly. A similar relationship exists on every NDAA vote since Biden entered office, during which time the amount authorized by the annual bill has grown by $146 billion. Congress overwhelmingly approved yearly hikes in military spending despite there never being more than 1 in 5 Americans interested in doing so, according to Eurasia Group surveys from 2021, 2022, and 2023. More than twice as many people want the Pentagon budget to shrink than want it to expand.

America’s armament-manufacturers — the top U.S. ‘Defense’ Contractors — virtually own the U.S. Government, because they have to in order to control their markets, which are mainly the U.S. Government but also the U.S.-‘allied’ Governments (America’s colonies, such as in NATO), which likewise buy those mega-corporations’ products.

Countries such as Russia and China never privatized their weapons-making firms, which therefore make weapons according to the needs of the Government, not like in The West — according to the desires of the private stockholders who control The West’s weapons-makers. U.S. propaganda says that pure capitalism is democracy, but it’s actually fascism and that’s extremely corrupt. A mixture of socialism and capitalism is far better, and no weapons-making firms should be capitalistic — all of them need to be at least 51% owned by the Government (like in Russia and China) so that they will serve the Government’s needs for national security (an authentic need of any public), and not serve investors’ cravings for profit at the expense of the public’s need for national security and everything else.

The U.S.-and-allied world is just a con-game, and it has couped, invaded, and destroyed, almost half of the world — Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Libya, Venezuela, Chile, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Palestine, and on and on. For the profits to U.S.-and-allied billionaires.

Not only is there scientific proof that the U.S. is a dictatorship by its richest 0.1% of its richest 1% instead of any democracy at all, but here is a detailed description of the legal process by which this country does this and fools its citizenry (and virtually the rest of the world) not to know this ugly reality about it. That’s how the empire functions. And it is spectacularly profitable for that richest hundred-thousandth of the U.S. population.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse’s new book, AMERICA’S EMPIRE OF EVIL: Hitler’s Posthumous Victory, and Why the Social Sciences Need to Change, is about how America took over the world after World War II in order to enslave it to U.S.-and-allied billionaires. Their cartels extract the world’s wealth by control of not only their ‘news’ media but the social ‘sciences’ — duping the public.

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