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SO YOU WANT TO CUT SPENDING?

By       Message Mary Pitt     Permalink
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You're sick and tired of the government spending too much money? Is that what's buggin' you, Bubbles? You want to privatize Social Security and cut back on Medicare, Medicaid, and welfare? Well, Bubba, you sit right down and let's talk.

"Living within your means" and "sound economic policy" are matters in which some choice is involved. Unfortunately, for a number of years, those choices which were made were bad ones and we are already deeply in debt which compounds the severity of the consequences of our choices. Any head of a family will tell you that the first option in this situation is to increase the amount of your income so that debts may be paid. Alternatively, your life partner who is not currently employed outside the home will have to go to work. However, in many cases this option has already been used for years and that second income has also been exhausted.

In the case of government, there is even less choice. Taxes are the only option for increased income but the Republicans do not choose to offend the wealthy by allowing the overly-generous tax cut which President Bush allowed them to die a natural death as it was intended to do. That brings the choice down to how and where to cut spending. But the so-called "entitlements" are necessary "family expenses" and should be the last to be eliminated.

It would appear that the first step in repairing the economy should be to stop the transfer of billions of dollars to "contractors" who, in another day and age would be called "mercenaries" to provide "security" for our diplomats and other Very Important People as they traverse the hostile territories --a job that once was done better, and at less cost, by our own military personnel.

While we're on the subject of contractors, why are we paying them to import the poor from all over the world and make them work long hours at slave wages when our National Guardsmen who are experienced mess personnel and quartermasters are carrying rifles and rocket launchers and fighting Arabs? The same task is being assigned to men who have been trained as engineers and heavy equipment operators, work that is also being done at much greater expense by the contractors. It does seem that a nation which was built on the principle of "do it yourself" would be able to find the resources to save a bit of money by performing those tasks.

Not enough men in the army, you say? Why not? The last "national emergency" of this magnitude began with a military draft, (and, by the way, a significant tax increase), but now we have a nation of able-bodied men lining up at the employment offices all over the country, looking for jobs and trying to stretch a few dollars of unemployment to cover their expenses. Our greatest need at this time is for jobs and it seems that the military could certainly use the help.

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So...what's left? How about all the money that we just give away? Like the foreign-aid programs that shuttle money to other nations, particularly to some who do not necessarily take care that it does not aid our enemies? For example, Israel uses our money which is intended for their self defense to commit genocide against the Palestinians while we are encouraged not to notice. After all, is that not our "best ally in the Middle East?" Why, then, do they keep manufacturing military armaments and weapons which they sell wherever they can,without regard to whether those same weapons might destroy American soldiers?

And why is it essential to keep our "army of occupation" stationed in now-friendly nations? You say that this is necessary for our defense? I recall a time during the Cold War that we were told missiles from the central United States could reach any target in the world in minutes! That is the reason our farmers still have to till their land around the carcasses of the abandoned silos that still litter the landscape of the Great Plains. And yet, we are told that we are in so many nations for "their" protection against invasion by unfriendly neighbors. Does this mean that we are going to maintain our "deterrent" military forces in Asian nations well into the next century?

Throw into the mix the fact that, at the onset of the Afghan War, President Bush simply handed out the national credit card to the military like a benevolent father treating his teenagers. And the result has been the same -- disaster! There has been no control and no accountability. How could there be when American cash has been shipped overseas, packaged on shipping pallets and moved by forklifts? Nobody was made responsible for accounting for its destination or its use. Billions of dollars have been disbursed to unknown points and paid out to unknown people for unknown purposes. 

Among the many mistakes made by George W. Bush was his request for tax cuts for the wealthy at the same time he single-handedly declared war on two fronts. If Bush's goal was to get rid of the surplus "as far as the eye could see," he certainly over-achieved on this ambition! Now, a nation that is in a stubborn recession has no choice but to reform its accounting and disbursement practices and allow the Bush tax cuts to end in the manner and time mandated by Bush and his Congress.

The wars are winding down by the Grace of God and now it's time to pay up and go home. Because -- the gods of war must always be paid.

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This writer is eighty years old and has spent a half century working with handicapped and deprived people and advocating on their behalf while caring for her own workung-class family. She spends her "Sunset Years" in writing and struggling with The (more...)
 

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