As Congress Debates Raising Taxes And Cutting Core Programs For Americans, The Obama Administration Builds Israel a $100 Million Air Complex

israel1American citizens are again bracing for a new round of deep cuts into social programs and increases in tax rates. At the same time, the Obama Administration is extending military and non-military operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan at the costs of billions of dollars. Now, in addition to billions in aid, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking bids to build a five-story complex for the Israeli Air Force for as much as $100 million. This amount could literally fund thousands of needed science and math teachers around the United States or fund historical programs eliminated due to shortages of a few million dollars in Congress.

The new complex will include classrooms, park benches, and an auditorium. It is the type of construction that we continue to fund in places like Afghanistan under the claim that they simply do not have money for construction. Israel has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world and yet we continue to cut domestic programs while sending hundreds of millions of dollars to other countries like Israel.We now appear to be funding general construction projects so long as they can be defined as a military need for Israel.

Notably, the U.S. contractor hired will be required to supply mezuzahs inscribed with Torah verses, “for each door or opening exclusive of toilets or shower rooms.”

Another problematic U.S. enforced condition is that the employment of Palestinians is strictly prohibited.

I have long been critical of the continued spending of billions in various countries from Iraq to Egypt to Afghanistan to Israel as our citizens face severe cuts in social and educational programs. I fail to understand the sense of priority in such spending even though I obviously understand the powerful lobbying and political pressure that come to bear in Washington. There appears to be no serious scrutiny of our continued spending in these countries and the balancing of our own domestic needs in an economic crisis.

Source: CNN

44 thoughts on “As Congress Debates Raising Taxes And Cutting Core Programs For Americans, The Obama Administration Builds Israel a $100 Million Air Complex”

  1. I’m really not understanding how we can have a 16 trillion dollar debt and be financing wars. My thought–if you can’t afford it, you can’t make a war! Especially with the war price tags nowadays. I must just not understand money though. Ron Paul was the only politician who agreed with this, and of course everyone thought him to be nuts!

    As an ex single mother (kids are grown now), if I couldn’t afford something I didn’t buy it. I may have given a homeless person a few bucks now and then, but I didn’t finance and buy things I couldn’t afford. So I’m just NOT understanding how just because the big guys are ‘government’ they can spend millions and billions and trillions, when they supposedly are WAY in the hole!

    Jobs have dried up, unemployment is insane (and the numbers are lots higher than they admit), infrastructure is crumbling, the homeless are all over the place, they’ve coined a new buzzword to help us realize how desperate the situation is, but there is ALWAYS money (HUGE money) for wars, or complexes, or anything they want to do. This is INSANE!!!!

  2. Are we getting closer to the point the public does not fall for or tolerate cutting needed services ( police, teachers, libraries etc ) every time the government wants to raise taxes? Corporate subsides, wallstreet bailouts and runaway military spending must have a limit.

  3. @RS, there is no “guns or butter” debate anymore. The “guns” side of the equation is a given, steady state, and increasing, budget category.

    The GDP has grown so since such debates were salient that it is possible for the pols to hide the obscene growth of military spending (perhaps the last time was Vietnam – back in the day when we actually had military buildups, not constant war footing). Now, when someone cries “deficit, defitcit” there is never a question that the military should take a hit, but that the domestic, social program side must be “brought into line”.

    Personally, I would rather have most social programs, including with attendant issues of efficient management, than another uneeded and Wall St/MIC-coddling defense program. Te social programs are always the ones needing to ‘justify’ their existence; with the military, their existence — including size and bloat — is generally assumed.

    But we can’t talk about that in our ‘center-right’ country because ’91`1 changed everything’.

    Budgets and programs could be brought under control but for the conspiracy of political calculus in the 21st century, and the political-miitary-K Street-corporate-financial revolving door.

  4. 1) In my humble opinion rich industrialized countries have a moral obligation to give a minimum of help to the poorest developing countries.
    But even if you disregard morals: very poor states are a source of unrest, transnational crime (including piracy and terrorism), illegal immigration, and so on. Just as it is destabilizing to let the gap between the very poor and the very rich become too big inside a society, so it is in the community of nations.

    2) If you bomb a country ‘back to the stone age’ you’ll have an obligation to help them rebuild. If you can’t afford that, then stop bombing people.

    3) In the current situation (Israel is wealthy, an attack from a nation state is very unlikely) Israel has IMHO outgrown the need for *general* military aid in the form of money (cooperation is a different matter). You could probably make an argument for some financial help in some rare, very specific cases (e.g. Iron Dome arguably).

  5. I too am generally a supporter of Israel, but sending money to other nations, particularly rich(ish) ones, is economic suicide for America.
    But that rule goes to all the other freekin hopped up nations with their hands out. And the worst part of it is they consider it an entitlement, not the voluntary gift that it is from our federal govt.

    They take this money, and still act haughty and obnoxious to our national expectations. Why send money to unappreciative entities even?

    We are in dire need of our own taxes, money and resources, and yet here we are sending shtloads of cash overseas.

    Our govt suffers from cognitive dissonance, a form of institutional insanity, only because it is the govt it can do this by edict and preemptive right, yet the people of America suffer for it.

    I could stomach purely humanitarian aid – food, medicine, water purification, peace corp type things. But when it becomes building their infrastructure, supplying them with munitions and facilities, that truly goes five levels too far.

    Yet the wound keeps flowing our national lifeblood out to undeserving, unappreciative countries.

  6. I think the figure is that the U.S. spends more on defense than the total expenditure of the next fourteen nations……combined. The Military/Industrial Complex is alive and well. It has controlled the national debate on defense and foreign policy since the Cold War. As the Professor opines, this is an example of money that could be used to rebuild our infrastructure and care for our own citizens, yet it is spent to build infrastructure in foreign nations in the service of U.S. companies that will employ foreign citizens. That this is never a topic of conversation in the national media, nor an issue raised by most politicians of either party, illustrates the grip the MI Complex has and probably the lack of power that any President has to stop it.

  7. The “fiscal cliff” is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the American people. It doesn’t exist. Read the US Treasury’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. It’s full of accounting gimmicks, but not the typical ones make to make an entity look solvent. They are made to make the US look insolvent. For example, future entitlement obligations are accounted for as a CURRENT CASH outlay. Also whatever happened to the asset side of the balance sheet?

    Look at the cafr reports from anywhere State , local, national. they all have trillions in assets
    just go here.

  8. think of it as stimulus and you should be all right with it. After all it is an American construction firm.

    Remember Krugman said we should have a war with little green men from Omega 2 to stimulate our economy. So spending money in Israel should be even better stimulus.

  9. 707 – I am with you on solutions but I have a modification that will have to be accepted by the Very Serious People since it will simultaneously reduce the national debt.

    The guillotine will be placed atop a pachinko like device so that the heads will bounce around and eventually fall into one of 20 numbered buckets at the bottom. People will be allowed to bet on which bucket the head will land in. Winners get half the betting pool the other half goes toward paying down the national debt.

  10. There is no known purpose for this building. Somebody in congress put this in an appropriations bill. Israel receives 3 billion in aid a year.

  11. Lrobby99,
    I think he is sicilian irish mix. A particularly difficult mix.
    He hates the Pope and muslims but loves moonpies. Could be wrong about the Pope though.

  12. CNN) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is receiving bids to build a five-story complex for the Israeli Air Force, or IAF, near Tel Aviv.

    The facility, mysteriously dubbed “site 911,” will be built under the auspices of the Foreign Military Sales program and is expected to cost the U.S. between $25 million and $100 million, according to a solicitation for bids posted on a U.S. government website.

    Only U.S. construction firms are able to bid on this contract, and the deadline for proposals is December 3, according to the notice. The notice, first reported on by The Washington Post, includes structural plans that show the first three underground floors are roughly 41,000 square feet and will include classrooms on Level 1, an auditorium on Level 3 and shock-resistant doors throughout.

  13. The explanation is easy. You must be anti-Semitic and hate Jews, or you would not ask these questions, Professor. (And hold an appreciation of your name on certain types of “watch lists” by certain organizations, foreign and domestic).

  14. “the U.S. contractor ”

    While Medicare dangles over the fiscal cliff, corporate welfare reigns supreme.

    While the “entitlement” programs which are requisite components of the social contract are threatened, the programs of the “Entitled” remain unscathed.

  15. I am a supporter if Israel and I think this is insane. We cannot afford to spend this kind of money to support other governments no matter who they are no matter where they are. This money should be used in the USA!

  16. Israel remains the untouchable pork barrel of US politics. Te new third rail, as it were.

    If the obscenity could be somehow communicated and received by the American public — not likely with our media gatekeepers and AIPAC info-overlords and Congressional whores — it might be pitchfork time.

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