How do we pay for the refugees?

Washington, DC (TFC) – As soon as the demographics debate was settled and it was shown that Syrian refugees are not, in fact, made up of “military aged males,” the anti-refugee crowd began complaining about the cost. An easy solution would be to charge the people responsible for the war for the cost of shouldering the refugees.

The war was pushed along by a series of former government employees who engaged in a propaganda effort to persuade the American people it was necessary. James Cartwright was on ABC and was identified only as “Fmr Vice Chair, Joint Chiefs of Staff.”  The Washington Post identified Stephen J. Hadley as a “national security advisor in the George W. Bush administration” when he wrote a pro-war propaganda piece for the outlet. What wasn’t disclosed to the American people is that these retired civil servants weren’t really retired. They both worked for Raytheon. Raytheon is the defense contractor that made hundreds of millions of dollars selling missiles to the government.

But it wasn’t just Raytheon that pushed the war along. The entire defense industry got in on the act and used a collection of former government employees to push their agenda over news outlets that failed to disclose the conflict of interest. BAE Systems, Booz Allen Hamilton, General Dyanamics, Fox Rothschild LLP, and many others had commentators on CNN, Fox News, Bloomberg, or MSNBC. A report from the Public Accountability Initiative demonstrates that in 111 appearances, the conflicts were only disclosed 13 times.

This propaganda blitz was instrumental in solidifying support for the war that created the refugee crisis. These companies profited billions. A 10% tax on defense industry leaders would more than fund the cost of resettling the refugees fleeing their products.

Lockheed Martin recently had a gross profit of $2.7 billion. Boeing made $4 billion. BAE Systems? $2.3 billion. General Dynamics? $2.5 billion. Raytheon? $1.9 billion. The top ten defense contractors made about $23.1 billion. 10% is $2.3 billion, Freedom Outpost generated the largest estimated cost per refugee at a little less than $13,000 per year. That provides enough funding to settle 176,923 refugees per year.

While it may seem silly to expect the defense industry to clean up its own mess, it should be noted that for 15 years the US government required oil and chemical companies to contribute to a superfund to clean up hazardous spills. The concept is not without precedent. If the government is willing to force oil companies to clean up after themselves, why not force the defense industry to clean up the devastation brought on by trading human life for profits?