Imagine if the U.S. Held a Country-Wide Vote on Defense Spending

May 18, 2014 at 3:18 PM Leave a comment

Switzerland flag via

(The flag of Switzerland via Wikipedia)

Somehow or another I came across this article and my eyes almost popped out when I read the headline.  People in Switzerland got to vote on whether their country would spend $3.5 billion on new fighter jets?  Amazing and wonderful.

If only we could do that here in the U.S.  The idea is that when our congresspeople vote on defense spending bills they’re our representatives so we are in essence voting.  But what with Republicans and a whole lot of Democrats now acting as wholly owned subsidiaries of the corporatocracy, that isn’t how it working anymore.

Swiss Reject $3.5 Billion Gripen Purchase in Blow to Saab

Swiss voters rejected a 3.1 billion- franc ($3.5 billion) order for Gripen fighter jets, a setback to Swedish defense company Saab AB.

The 22-plane contract, which Switzerland awarded 2 1/2 years ago, was opposed by 53.4 percent of voters, the government in Bern said on its website today. That’s in line with the latest survey ahead of the vote, which showed some 51 percent of people polled opposed the transaction.

“The people have spoken,” said Susanne Leutenegger Oberholzer, a Social Democrat member of parliament. “We surely don’t have the money for such unnecessary acquisitions.”


And as a not-so-small aside, look at this disclamer at the top of the page:  (Adds comment from lobby group in 11th paragraph.)  Here’s paragraph 11:

According to mechanical- and electrical-engineering trade group Swissmem, the no-vote will deprive the Swiss economy of 2 billion francs of orders. The compensation deals tied to the Gripen contract “would have secured jobs in Swiss companies,” Swissmem said.

So, Swissmem is a lobbying group.  Nice to know.  Imagine if U.S. newspapers noted at the top of every article when a lobbying group was being quoted.  That would practically double the weight of the average newspaper but wouldn’t it be nice say, when you see someone quoted from the group “Americans for Prosperity,”  you’re told it’s a lobbying group.  You could look it up and see  it was founded by the Koch brothers and it’s working not on behalf of Americans per se, but very, very, very rich Americans.

What a sensible and sane thing to do.





Entry filed under: Our Tax Dollars, Wars.

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