Friday, January 21, 2011

It's About People

For the last few years our nation has been facing a financial crisis and it's now where the choices are about people. We're at the point we can't cut budgets, local, state or federal, anymore without cutting deeper into social, educational, medical and other public programs which help the people of this country. All the while we're continuing to increase the budgets for the military, intelligence services and our national security.

This, as some have apply pointed out, can't continue. The Republicans are voicing more cuts to the discretionary federal spending in face of the fact it's less than 15% of the total annual federal budget and expenditures. The rest are the entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid), interest on the longterm debt, and the military, intelligence and national security programs.

We're at the reality that we have to determine who we are as a nation and a people, the whole of both of those together. What does it mean to live in America and be an American. It's that simple now. We can continue down the road of increased war, military, intelligence and national security spending at the expense of other programs or we can decide to change, to help Americans and help America.

We don't have to throw the other spending on the budget scrape heap. We're in two wars and we have international military obligations with perceived military threats from global terrorism and other nations. We can't change that much now, but we can slowly and incrementally change the direction along with the money. We have to ask the people with those programs to sacrifice for us as we have sacrificed for them.

We're in this together. And like it or not, there are no choices of doing both anymore, or at least for a few more years when we can get out of this recession and moving in a better direction where the social, educations, environmental, medical and other prgrams aren't robbed to pay for unwinnable wars, overzealous security and needless intelligence. But that's down the road.

For now, it's time Congress and the President decided to cut all discretionary spending, especially the Department of Defense and the Homeland Security Administration. They need to do more with less, a lot less. There is more savings there than the rest of the discretionary spending. It's time they stepped up and acted responsibly for America and Americans.

Otherwise, what's the alternative? Keep robbing the social and other programs which help Americans for more DOD and HSA spending? For what? How does those agencies help Americans here at home with their lives? They don't. They don't help Americans pay their bills, stay in their homes, keep their jobs, pay for health insurance and healthcare, pay the education for their children, and so on.

That's the choice we face now. Between a better America for Americans or a worse one at the expense of the military-corporate industry. Eisenhower was right and would be angry today at the extent of the budget for the industry at the expense of people, ordinary Americans who need the help far more than our global military and political efforts. Over one trillion dollars of our national debt is for two unwinnable wars.

We'll exit Iraq with nothing achieved except the ouster of Saddham Hussein. Nothing else. The Iraqis will determine their own fate now and we didn't help by allowing Al Qaeda to get a foothold there and allowing the Sunni-Shia civil war. None of our real goals, as promised by President Bush, were met or will be met under President Obama.

We'll leave as we left Vietnam, quietly and with no winner, only losing for the damage in human lives and a country in ruins. And we'll do the same in Afghanistan. We knew it a few years ago, we know it now, and we'll know it in a few years. Nothing will be significantly different then as now and was. There won't be a winner, certainly not us, and eveyone will lose from the damage in human lives.

And that's the choice we have to make. A lesson we haven't learned. To stay out of wars which have nothing to offer beyond an endless hole to pour money and lives, American money and lives, our money and lives. For nothing for us here. That's the choice we have before us now. It's about here or there. And we can't keep paying for there with money for here.

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