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How Government Buys Your Support


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How Government Buys Your Support

FEBRUARY 17, 2016 James Bovard


[This article appears in the January-February 2016 issue of The Austrian.]


In Iraq and Afghanistan, US military officers routinely handed bundles of cash to local residents to buy influence and undermine resistance to the American occupation. Such payments came in especially handy after US troops inadvertently killed innocent civilians or sheep. Billions of dollars were shoveled out with little or no oversight as part of the Pentagon’s “Money as a Weapon System” program.


In the same way, politicians have long relied on money as a weapon system to buy votes or to undermine resistance to Washington. Presidents and congressmen are not carrying out a formal counterinsurgency against the American people. But they realize that addicting citizens to government handouts is the easiest way to breed mass docility and stretch their power.


Politicians are dividing Americans into two classes — those who work for a living and those who vote for a living. Federal food programs are now feeding more than 100 million Americans. Since 1983, the number of people receiving aid from the federal government has more than doubled — rising from 66 million to 153 million people. Scissors-32x32.png

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