Democrats are funding the war in Ukraine at the expense of American workers
The landslide vote in the US House of Representatives on Tuesday night for nearly $40 billion in military and financial aid to Ukraine is a watershed event. It demonstrates the Biden administration’s commitment to providing virtually unlimited resources to a war that threatens to unleash a nuclear holocaust on the world. After pushing Vladimir Putin’s regime relentlessly through two decades of NATO eastward expansion and arming Ukraine to the teeth for a proxy war with Russia, US imperialism is recklessly rushing forward, regardless of the danger of starting World War III.
As the WSWS warned in an April 27 editorial board statement: “The aims of the war are now clear. The bloodshed in Ukraine was not provoked to defend its technical right to join NATO, but rather was prepared, instigated and massively escalated in order to destroy Russia as a significant military force and overthrow its government. . Ukraine is a pawn in this conflict and its people are cannon fodder.
It is not just access to Russia’s vast resources – oil, gas, countless strategic minerals – that is the goal of the US-NATO intervention. Washington views the elimination of Moscow as an important strategic obstacle as a decisive step towards the ultimate goal, which is a military confrontation with China to establish its dominance over the entire Eurasian landmass.
The national implications of the Ukrainian war for the working class in the United States are no less historically significant. It is the workers who will pay for this war, as they have paid for all acts of aggression abroad by US imperialism.
The $40 billion bill approved by the House of Representatives and expected to pass the Senate within days brings the total allocated to the war in Ukraine in less than three months to $53 billion. These new expenditures are greater than the total budget of the US Marine Corps. It is greater than the combined budgets of five federal departments or all independent federal agencies combined. That’s more than the total federal spending on housing and homelessness, more than the total state and federal government spending on public health.
What would $53 billion buy, if that sum were devoted to the needs of workers? He could hire 500,000 teachers at $106,000 a year in salary and benefits, or a similar number of nurses. It could provide a $6,000 raise to every nurse, teacher and nursing home worker in America (9.25 million workers). It could provide a $1,000 raise to every American worker earning less than $15 an hour (52 million workers).
None of this, of course, will happen because the US government is not acting in the interests of working people but of the financial aristocracy.
House Democrats voted unanimously to fund the war in Ukraine, 219-0. This has colossal political significance. The Democratic Party has become the war party of US imperialism. There is no distinction in this respect between “CIA Democrats”—those who entered Congress in 2018 directly from the CIA, Pentagon, or State Department—or those who nominally adhere to the “left », the Bernie Sanders wing of the party.
The four member representatives of the Democratic Socialists of America, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Cori Bush and Jamaal Bowman, all voted to fund the war in Ukraine. They do not represent socialism, but the “left” wing of the State Department and the CIA. They speak not for the working class but for the privileged strata of the upper middle class, where the warlike frenzy of the American ruling class has found firm support.
The unanimous Democratic vote underscores the true meaning of Democratic “opposition” to Trump during his four years in the White House. The only real Democrat objection to the Trump administration’s policies was its failure to continue the anti-Russian campaign launched by Obama with the CIA-backed overthrow of the Ukrainian government elected in 2014 and the installation of virulently anti-Russian regimes. led by Petro Poroshenko (2014-2019) then Volodymyr Zelensky, who took office in 2019.
Democrats launched the Mueller investigation into false allegations that Russia was responsible for Trump’s 2016 election victory and that Trump was a Russian stooge. This was followed by Trump’s first impeachment, in 2019, on the basis of his brief delay of US military aid to Ukraine in a bid to pressure Zelensky into participating in his re-election campaign in digging up dirt on Biden.
Democratic Party support for the war in Ukraine is widespread. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the “democratic socialist” and former advocate of “political revolution,” issued a statement calling for immediate action to supply weapons and money to kyiv. “We should always have a debate,” he said, “but the problem is that Ukraine is currently in the midst of a very intense war. I think every day counts, and I think we have to react as firmly and vigorously as possible.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, representing the party establishment, said during the debate on the bill: “When you’re at home thinking about what [$40 billion to Ukraine] is all about, just think of ‘When I was hungry, you fed me’ from the Gospel of Matthew.
In fact, the appropriate worker response to Pelosi’s gospel would be, “When I was hungry, you spent the money on guns, not butter.”
In remarks from the White House ahead of the House vote, President Biden said tackling inflation was his “top national priority.” In other words, it is secondary to the top national security priority, which is defeating Russia in Ukraine, setting the stage for the US and NATO to continue their offensive to install a puppet regime. in Moscow or dismantle the country.
Inflation devastates the standard of living of workers. According to an analysis, the average American household will pay nearly $2,000 more for gas in 2022 and $1,000 more for food, not to mention rising rents, higher mortgage payments as interest rates are raised by the Federal Reserve and other skyrocketing costs.
Prices are not being pushed higher by the evil demon Vladimir Putin, as Biden claims, but by the policies of the Trump and Biden administrations and the actions taken by the Federal Reserve to defend the wealth and incomes of the financial aristocracy. .
In particular, the Fed’s decision to inject $4 trillion into financial markets in March 2020, when Treasury bill trading “froze” amid panicked conditions amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. , is driving the price explosion. It was the culmination of a long-term policy by the Fed, dating back to the Wall Street crash of 2008, to prop up the financial system and save the fortunes of the super-rich, regardless of the impact on working people who constitute the vast majority. Population.
There is an intrinsic link between the war abroad and the assault on the working class at home. The ruling class cannot achieve one without the other. Workers must recognize this fact as they battle the impact of inflation on their standard of living.
The growing militancy among workers is expressed in actions such as the powerful vote by autoworkers to reject the Detroit Diesel contract promoted by the UAW and the series of strikes by health care workers in California. This class movement must be linked to class opposition to imperialist war.
Only the working class can provide the basis for building a powerful anti-war movement against US imperialism. The WSWS urges workers to take up this political struggle, based on a socialist and internationalist program.