Your tax dollars are being used to prop up defense contractors, and the Ukraine conflict is giving them everything they’ve ever wanted. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             Your tax dollars are being used to prop up defense contractors and the Ukraine conflict is giving them everything they want. It is like a bonanza out there for the defense business. And you know, there’s a story behind there that everybody misses and I don’t know why because it sits right there. Okay. First of all, you got a Pentagon, that’s got an $800 billion budget. Okay. So what, anytime there’s a conflict, whether it’s Ukraine or South America or Africa, wherever, we ship out all of our missiles, for example, we might ship out, you know, 500, 600 missiles to a certain place. And then the Pentagon goes back to the producer of that missile and says, make us 500 more. So do the math. I mean, who’s making the money here. The money is the weapons industry and that’s what, you know, it’s what we’re seeing with Ukraine with $40 billion being sent there.

Farron Cousins:                  Well, you know, that’s a really good point that I think a lot of people don’t quite understand when we talk about these military budgets every single year. You know, 700 billion, two years ago, 740. Now over 800 billion this year, we are buying all of these things every single year, but we’re not necessarily the ones.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Farron Cousins:                  Using them. What we do just like you said, oh, there’s a conflict over here. Nobody’s paying attention. Take a third of our javelin missiles.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Farron Cousins:                  Hey, by the way, Raytheon, gotta resupply.

Mike Papantonio:             Make us some more.

Farron Cousins:                  Here’s your money. There’s money off the trade here.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  And so we just, we’re basically the grocery store of the defense industry.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, here, here.

Farron Cousins:                  We buy the stock and then sell it.

Mike Papantonio:             Here’s what shocks everybody. When you tell them that every tax dollar that you pay to the government, one half, one half goes to the military and most of it goes to the defense contractors. And I mean, that’s a staggering number. You pay a dollar and 50 cents of that is gonna go for this type of thing, buying missiles and sending ’em all over the world. But with, with a budget of $800 billion, there ought to be some. And I, by the way, Massachusetts, I don’t know if you saw that Massachusetts is coming up with a standard where they have, there’s a responsibility for the government to report how they’re spending tax dollars. See, this is how this has happened. If you ask, if you ask the average person out on the street, did you know that half of your tax dollars go to things like missiles and airplanes and Pentagon, yada yada? No, they don’t have any idea. So Massachusetts is saying, we gotta, we gotta end that.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. They, they wanna make it completely open to where the breakdown of how your taxes in the state are spent is available publicly to everyone. And it’s a great piece of legislation. Something that we absolutely should have nationally. But I still think even if we had it nationally, even if we had it printed out and delivered to everybody’s front step,

Mike Papantonio:             They wouldn’t read it.

Farron Cousins:                  Still half the country would say, I’ve never seen it. Because they choose not to care about these things. You’re, you’re losing your tax dollars. You know, the national Institute of health, right, the people that are supposed to be curing cancer and Alzheimer’s and all these deadly diseases, they get 45 billion a year.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  And, and almost half of that I think is spent on just the Medicaid part of Alzheimer’s treat, treatments.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins:                  Not even cures. We’re wasting so much money enriching your Raytheons and your Boeings and, and Lockheed Martins.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah, exactly.

Farron Cousins:                  And, and people are dying of things that if we actually put the 800 billion towards it, even for one year, we’re gonna start curing some things pretty darn quickly.

Mike Papantonio:             How, how about education, education? How about infrastructure? How about food and shelter for people who need food? Well, like you say, how about taking that and saying, we’re, we’re gonna put everything we have into curing Alzheimer’s disease, or we’re gonna put everything we can into curing whatever the disease is. But the point is you can’t do that when you’re taking one half of every dollar and you know that you’re sending it all over the world. They didn’t even, you know, it was unanimous with Democrats, unanimous. Yes, let’s send $400 billion worth of missiles and military arm and, and military weapons to, to Ukraine, unanimous. Nobody said, well, can we do anything else with that $40 billion?

Farron Cousins:                  Well, and, and again, if we were to take the military budget and just say, you know what, for next year, for 2023, the only budget items we’re gonna spend money on will be the military salaries. That’s it. And your housing and your benefits. The rest of the money we’re gonna put towards diseases, or we’re gonna put towards infrastructure. We’re just gonna do it one year. So for one year, we’re not gonna send weapons. We’re not gonna get the newest model of the fighter jet you want. You gotta live with a year old one.

Mike Papantonio:             But right now you gotta everybody ginned up, oh, we gotta come to the aid of Ukraine. You know my position is, get the hell out.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. That’s my position. But there’s, there’s people that’s, they, they don’t buy into the idea that sending $40 billion is just one incident. I mean, we, we do this all the time and the people who are making all the money are the defense contractors, $600 billion, $600 billion paid to defense contractors.

Farron Cousins:                  We, we couldn’t get $1,200 checks when we’re outta work for six months due to COVID.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  And we approved $40 billion like that to send over there.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.