Republicans and Money

An excerpt from Sam’s Branch Essays, a book I am working on.

I published in the Lincoln Independent, January 31, 1996:

The Republicans do not care if they balance the budget. A balanced budget is being used as a smokescreen to hide what they are really doing. They are trying to erase all the reforms of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. They want to destroy Medicare and Medicaid. They will go after Social Security if they get a Republican president. The environment means nothing to them but a roadblock to more profit. School lunch programs and other programs benefiting children are on their hit list. They want all that money for themselves. A tax cut for the rich shows how badly they want to balance the budget. If they really want to balance the budget, why are they giving the military $7 billion more than they wanted?

It was under Republican presidents that the budget deficit boomed to three hundred trillion dollars—mind you they had plenty of help from Republicrats in the Democrat-controlled Congress. Our money went down the bottomless pit called the military. Of the money Congress can allocate at its own discretion the military gets more than all the others combined. We have over thirty nuclear submarines that can each destroy all of the former Soviet Union. They cost five billion dollars to build and ten billion to arm—each!

Five billion dollars is enough money to solve all the financial problems of all the school districts in the country. One nuclear submarine less and all of our school financial problems are solved. Less a couple of more submarines and you have free medical care for everyone! We could still have twenty-seven submarines capable of destroying the former Soviet Union. Military spending has been a big boondoggle for military contractors.

When we spend our money on the military we don’t spend it on other things like hungry children and old people. Military spending is a dead-end street–it doesn’t generate any more money. A missile just sits there after it’s built. The same money spent on education causes individuals to earn more money, contribute to society, maybe employ other people, and buy groceries, cars, houses, gasoline. A missile just sits there. We’ve got a zillion of them just sitting there. Spending on peaceful items generates more money in the economy. Missiles just sit there.

About Sam's Branch

I joined the Peace Corps in 1961 as West Virginia’s first volunteer. Go to to order my book Imagonna: Peace Corps Memories. I am the eighth generation of my family born in the Big Coal River Valley of West Virginia. My father and grandfather were underground coal miners. I have a chemical engineering degree from West Virginia University (WVU). After training to make sidewinder missiles, I joined the Peace Corps and taught chemistry and coached the track team at a secondary school in Nigeria. Since that time, I was WVU’s first full time foreign student advisor and worked in urban outreach, organic farming, construction labor, and high school teaching. I recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy (, and recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Kanawha State Forest Foundation ( I am still on the board of the Labor History Association and the West Virginia Environmental Education Association and recently joined the board of the West Virginia Civil Liberties Union. I am active in the campaign to stop the destructive practice of mountain top removal strip mining in the Appalachian Mountains. You may contact me at or my blog samsbranch.wordpress.
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