According to nationalpriorities.org, for 2012 Santa Barbara County taxpayers will give $811.8 million toward the Department of Defense budget, not counting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. For those two wars, county taxpayers have given an additional $1.9 billion since 2001, money that would otherwise have stayed in the local economy.
Only a minority of this money goes directly to the actual citizen/soldiers who are doing the fighting. The lion’s share of county taxpayers’ war funding goes into the pockets of for-profit, privatized companies that make up the military industrial complex President Eisenhower warned us of four decades ago.
A May 2011 Congressional Research Service report acknowledged that the majority of personnel, foreign and domestic intelligence operations, and matériel used in our wars are now manufactured, supplied and managed by for-profit, private contractors.
Private defense contractors do not have to tell taxpayers how they conduct business or spend taxpayer money. The Freedom of Information Act does not apply. For-profit military contractors hide behind top secret designations.