Washington – Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy on Thursday asked Senate appropriators for $150 million in additional advance-procurement money for the new Columbia-class submarine that will be built largely by Electric Boat, with the help of Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia.
The Pentagon has asked for nearly $843 million to ramp up the submarine supply base ahead of construction of the Columbia-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine, which will replace aging Ohio-class subs and be the most expensive subs the Navy has ever built.
The first Columbia-class submarine is scheduled to be completed in 2021 at a cost of about $6.2 billion. The following 11 subs will cost about $4.2 billion apiece.
Sens. Blumenthal and Murphy are liberal leaders who are loud in calling to support human needs – education, environment, women’s health, etc., etc. But they also promote military spending galore. Economics 101 argues that you can’t have both guns and butter – there aren’t enough resources to promote war and at the same time feed, clothe, house, educate and care for the health of the population. Even before Trump boosts Pentagon spending our taxes annually feed over $1 Trillion into war.
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
– President Dwight Eisenhower.
Alas! As Blumenthal and Murphy promote the building of killing machines Connecticut cities and towns are starving. State and local budgets are awash in red ink because Blumenthal, Murphy, 5 members of the House and most of Congress prioritize weapons of mass destruction. When they complain about Trump’s taking $54 billion from Meals on Wheels, school lunches, clean air and so on it rings pretty hollow.
“The Pentagon’s top weapons buyer has approved advanced development for a fleet of 12 new nuclear-armed submarines, a potential $128 billion project that the Navy calls its top priority.” If we examine past experience, these costs will rise dramatically. Link here.
The war economy kills millions abroad and at home leaves most of us in the dust.
“According to the town [of Groton, where Electric Boat will take billions of tax dollars building subs], 1,100 military children attend Groton schools. While they are covered by federal health insurance, more than 40 percent fall below the poverty line and qualify for free and reduced lunches. The superintendent believes Groton is getting shortchanged because military children are not on state welfare, but says they are still poor.” Link here.
The cost of each sub averages $8 billion, not including the nuclear power plant and weapons. It wouldn’t take much to feed poor kids. What else might we get for $8 billion?
For the price of just one sub we could have
- 19,000 military vets receiving VA medical care for 5 years,
- 3,600 infrastructure jobs created for 5 years,
- 2,500 elementary school teachers for 5 years,
- installed 700,000 households with solar electricity in 1 year,
- provided 1,200,000 households with wind power for 1 year,
- 60,000 low-income adults receiving healthcare for 5 years,
- 30,000 four-year university scholarships, and
- 22,000 Head Start slots for children for 5 years.
That’s a whole lot that would benefit our communities instead of just one nuclear sub, one of the many subs, bombers, tanks, nuclear warheads, missiles and wars that Senators Blumenthal and Murphy are using our tax money to fund. All the while waving their hands and scrambling for crumbs to fund human needs.
And $8 billion is only a tiny fraction of the acknowledged $700 billion military budget.
Saturday’s Women’s March to Ban the Bomb in New York points the way to a treaty over 100 nations are negotiating at the UN to outlaw nuclear weapons. The US is leading the other nuclear-weapons states to march in the other direction.
Now is a good time to contact Senators Blumenthal and Murphy and our members of the House and ask them to reverse course away from war spending.
Call the President. 202-456-1111
Call Blumenthal, Murphy and your member of Congress. 202-224-3121
Demand that they work to seriously cut the military budget.
Fund the communities.
Cities across the US are passing move-the-money resolutions
In February New Haven’s Board of Alders passed a resolution proposed by the Peace Council and Peace Commission that called our elected officials in Washington to cut the military budget and fund human needs. If your town hasn’t yet passed a similar resolution, it’s a good time to get started. See http://worldbeyondwar.org/resolution/for sample resolutions. Ask your mayor to support the move the money resolution at the US Conference of Mayors later in June.