Tuesday, May 25, 2010

War is Making You Poor

Many of you are already aware that the financing of our ongoing military conflicts actually takes place outside of the regular budgeting process, so they aren't included into deficit calculations. The sidebar to your right shows the enormous and continuing cost of the illegal invasion of Iraq, for example. Incredibly, these costs are not counted as part of our current deficit!
The costs are utterly staggering and they are borne by us, the taxpayers. Us, and foreign powers like China that loan us the billions for these boondoggles, that is! Of course, we're still technically on the hook for all of it. And it's high time the curtains were thrown open wide.
I am so sick of all the phony political posturing on both sides - the talk about how all our most crucial programs and services for the public need to be cut, yet no one ever talks about cuts to the biggest, most wasteful, free-for-all on the planet - the freakin' Pentagon and its boys-with-big-toys brigade, playing on our dime.
Look, there is NO country on the face of the earth that is an actual, serious, or imminent threat to ours. None. We have enormous stockpiles of any/every kind of weapon you have and have not heard of, as well as military bases all over the globe. No other country on the planet would be suicidal enough to mount an attack on us. In spite of the ubiquitous, yet nebulous "terrorists" we are always being warned about (who generally are real fringe-types lacking significant funding themselves), we simply don't face the genuine threats that such obscene military expenditures would justify. Not even close.
Joshua Holland of Alternet writes that, "Last week, as Congress prepared to pass yet another “emergency” spending bill to cover America’s costly operations in Iraq and Afghanistan—to the tune of $159 billion this time around - Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Florida, has introduced a bill that would force the Pentagon to pick up the tab out of its ample regular budget.
“The purpose of this bill,” wrote Grayson last week, “is to connect the dots, and to show people in a real and concrete way the cost of these endless wars.” It’s not just the costs of active shooting wars; with hundreds of bases overseas, as far as the defense budget is concerned Americans have been on a permanent wartime footing, to varying degrees, since Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941. “War is a permanent feature of our societal landscape,” wrote Grayson, “so much so that no one notices it anymore.”
Read more of Holland's piece about this measure on Truthdig.
Among its innovative features is that it would require the DoD to work within its means. You know, like you and I have to. Last time I checked, my bank doesn't offer to ignore the expenditures that I prefer it wouldn't count. The gi-mongous savings resulting from that would be used to make the first $35,000 each American earns tax-free. Of course, we know the minions of the MIC aren't going to allow this, but it's a ballsy effort nonetheless. Man, we oughta clone that Grayson!

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