COVID-19 Relief Added to Budget of US Imperialism

Photo credit: Ken Cedeno

By Brian Martel

On Monday, Congress passed a 5,593 page omnibus spending bill which allocates a total of $2.3 trillion. This year, $900 billion in coronavirus aid has been added on top of the US imperialism’s ever-increasing federal spending.

The bill includes $6.2 billion in “foreign military financing,” $3.3 billion of which is allocated for Israel, which is on top of the $500 million the bill allocates for Israeli defense research. Additional funding is provided to various countries which also serve US imperialist interests. The defense budget is set by the bill at $696 billion, a slight increase since last year.

Also included is $15 billion for Customs and Border Protection, $8 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and $1.4 billion for construction of the US-Mexico border wall.

The $900 billion coronavirus aid bill makes up a small portion of this year’s budget. Only $166 billion of the bill are going towards stimulus checks, and $120 billion towards unemployment. The rest goes mostly to small businesses and maintaining government programs.

Increased military funding and propping up old states across the world subservient to US imperialism enables the US to reap superprofits from exploiting the third world, a portion of which it uses to pacify sections of its own working class, such as with the coronavirus aid. The US, along with other imperialist powers, outspent third world governments on coronavirus relief hundreds of times over.

While bourgeois politicians tout the coronavirus bill as mitigating the negative effects of the economic crisis, it is mainly designed to give the appearance of providing for the people and to fool them into thinking that US imperialism is on their side. Bribery is only a softer side of oppression, and no matter how much the stipend ends up being, it will not change the class antagonisms of capitalist society, where some sit back and accumulate wealth while others are forced to sell their labor power to survive.