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Forum Post: "PLAYING WITH FIRE ; Instead of firing teachers, closing libraries and senior centers, and cutting bus routes, Let's Put The Pentagon On A Diet.", by Mike Prokosch .

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 8, 2012, 6:52 p.m. EST by shadz66 (19985)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

February 08, 2012, " http://www.otherwords.org/articles/playing_with_fire " :

Some Americans want to starve our cities, close our schools, and knock away the ladder that our children are supposed to climb to economic security. Your lawmakers may be among them.

The White House plans to release its proposed 2013 budget on Feb. 13. A free-for-all will ensue, as denizens of Capitol Hill compete for the titles of Biggest-Tax-Cutter and Baddest-Program-Slasher.

To appreciate how truly loony this is, consider how much we're already hurting.

U.S. cities and towns have fired half-a-million workers since 2008, and another quarter-million municipal employees may lose their jobs by the end of this year. Venice, Florida is losing its fire marshal, deputy fire chief, and fire inspector. San Jose, California may have to shut down all its libraries and community center programs. Gardner, Massachusetts has one clerk running its municipal grounds, parks, playgrounds, cemetery, forestry, flood control, insect control, golf course, and swimming pool. Fond du Lac, Wisconsin cut city inspectors, police, and crossing guards.

Los Angeles, like hundreds of other cities, is cutting back bus service and raising fares. Lincoln, Nebraska is deciding whether to close a fire station and leave one end of town without rapid fire and medical emergency responders. Baltimore has debated closing five of its firehouses. Other cities across the country are debating similar choices in their worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Our cities and towns need a helping hand from Washington. Instead, Congress is cutting funding they depend on. Under last year’s deficit-reduction deal, domestic spending is dropping about one-quarter from 2010 levels. Meanwhile, military spending, which is supposed to be cut equally, is barely being nicked.

Now a crack team led by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) is trying to exempt the Pentagon from further cuts.

What are they thinking?

Just before Christmas, the Iraq War officially ended. That was a very important moment for millions of Iraqis and thousands of our soldiers and their families. It could have been an important moment for taxpayers too. The war cost us $800 billion, and we could do a lot with that kind of money.

But if McCain and McKeon have their way, our cities aren't going to be hiring back elementary school teachers, firefighters, or police offers, or providing more VA care to veterans or healthcare for millions of low-income kids. Instead, the Pentagon will continue to develop its F-35 stealth fighter, which costs $156 million per jet but can't provide a steady stream of oxygen to the pilot. It will continue to build a new fleet of aircraft carriers at $9 billion apiece when no other country in the world has more than one.

It will spend several hundred billion dollars "modernizing" a nuclear weapons stockpile that Washington has committed to reducing. It will build new military bases in places like South Korea and Guam, where people don't want them, even though the United States has more than 1,000 military installations around the world. We have so many overseas bases that there's no agreement on how to count them all.

The Pentagon can cut these programs and more without endangering our security or reducing healthcare and pensions for those serving in the military. In fact, we'll be safer if budget cuts force the Pentagon, Congress, and the White House to focus on programs that actually improve our well-being instead of trying to police every corner of the world. And we'll be a lot more secure if Washington shifts the savings to us and helps us get out of this Great Recession.

President Ronald Reagan had some advice for confronting bureaucracies like this: "Starve the beast." It's time for those who call themselves Reagan's heirs to take his advice and put the Pentagon on a diet.

Mike Prokosch is the national coordinator of the New Priorities Network. http://newprioritiesnetwork.org/ .

Distributed via OtherWords ( http://www.otherwords.org/ ).

[The above article is copied verbatim, under 'Fair Use' from : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30475.htm ]

Fiat Lux...

13 Comments

13 Comments


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[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21276) 2 years ago

It would be interesting to see just how much investment profit and political campaign contributions each member of the House and Senate receive from all of the companies that receive contracts for our military expenditures. There is an obvious financial interest in addition to the cowboys and Indians game that these guys still love to play.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

@ 'bw' : I agree and further, please also see :

and bear in mind that this does NOT include 'dark funding' ie undeclared or accounted military funding.

fiat lux ; fiat pax ; fiat iustitia ruat caelum ...

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (21276) 2 years ago

Can you check the link? It doesn't work for me.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

It's a Working Link but it's a 'pdf' file so you probably need the "Acrobat Reader" programme on your computer.

Try this site : http://www.warresisters.org/index.php and put "Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes FY2012" in the site search box.

pax et lux ...

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21276) 2 years ago

Thanks. That's a fascinating site, btw.

"Today many Americans are asking how our country ended up in such a monumental mess in Iraq. The old saying still holds true: follow the money."

It is sad that profiteering off destructive wars is more important to these greedy people than funding the basic necessities of Americans and maintaining world peace at the same time.

And, how about a little peace, love and understanding? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WWp67DsTk4

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 2 years ago

Very Nice ! That Scouser, Declan McManus'll go far - despite those funny looks !!

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (21276) 2 years ago

LOL! He's just a baby in that video.

[-] 3 points by jimmycrackerson (940) from Blackfoot, ID 2 years ago

Instead of starving the beast, why not slay the beast? That is what Jesus would do.

[-] 0 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 2 years ago

What does that mean?

[-] 1 points by DanielBarton (1345) 2 years ago

he is saying no more funding

[-] 0 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 2 years ago

So do away with our military?

[-] 1 points by DanielBarton (1345) 2 years ago

yes that is what that man wants

i dont see a need to get rid of them

[-] 2 points by Nevada1 (4784) 2 years ago

Hi shadz, Agree. Best Regards, Nevada