With the president’s State of the Union address coming up on Wednesday, the White House appears to be struggling to find its feet. Republican Scott Brown’s surprise victory in liberal Massachusetts has dominated the national conversation in the last week and made Obama’s goal of signing health care reform impossible before the big speech.
Now, even Obama’s apparent attempt to soothe voters’ budget-deficit concerns by proposing a three-year freeze on some federal spending is being met with ridicule from both the right and the left.
The plan Obama will propose breaks down as follows:
Freeze discretionary spending on non-security-related programs and government agencies whose budgets are set annually by Congress. Affected programs could include subsidies for farmers, child nutrition and national parks.
Exempt from the freeze would be budgets for federal entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, as well as the budgets for the Pentagon, the Veterans Administration, the Department of Homeland Security and foreign aid.
The administration claims this will save the country $250 billion over the next decade, or about 3 percent of the $9 trillion deficits the U.S. is expected to accumulate over that period.
Conservatives have mocked the freeze as not doing nearly enough to get to the root of the country’s economic problems…. Liberals aren’t happy either, arguing that less government spending will slow economic growth, and that cutting government services will harm those in need.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman labeled the freeze “a betrayal of everything Obama’s supporters thought they were working for.” …
Agreed. The Obama administration is so beholden to the military-industrial complex — of which the Israel-first lobby is a huge part* — that it would be exempt from a federal spending freeze.
Make no mistake: the Repugnicans are fine with taxing and spending — as long as those tax revenues goes to the war profiteers (most of whom are stupid rich white men) and not to the things that the American people actually need.
The federal budget deficit hit a record fucking high under George W. Bush because of the unelected Bush regime’s looting of the U.S. Treasury via its bogus war in Vietraq. The wingnuts made not a peep of this reckless spending that put the nation’s economy in the toilet.
But when the Obama admininistration wants to give some poor schoolkids some free or reduced-cost school lunches, that’s — gasp! — socialism! Because slaughtering children abroad (nip those little “Islamofascist” “terrorists” in the bud!) is a much higher national priority than is taking care of our children here at home, obviously.
So successful has the military-industrial complex’s self-perpetuating propaganda been that Obama is afraid to take the complex on, although he has claimed that he didn’t become president just to kick our most pressing problems into the future.
Well, some U.S. president sometime — and sooner rather than later — needs to confront the bloated military-industrial complex and say: Enough!
Yes, we need national security. I’m all for national security.
But I vehemently oppose bombing and occupying foreign nations that not only never did anything to the United States but couldn’t even have done anything to the United States only in order to inflame anti-American hatred — only in order to ensure that we have plenty of enemies to ensure bullshit justification for the perpetuation of the military-industrial complex’s mega-budget.
These traitors of the military-industrial complex make us more unsafe by unnecessarily creating even more enemies abroad and then screaming about all of our enemies abroad from whom they have to save us. This is what Big Brother did in George Orwell’s 1984: ensure a constant supply of enemies, fake or real, to justify stealing the people’s resources from them, induce them to tolerate going without because supposedly their government was using the lion’s share of its — of their — resources to protect them from imagined or real harm from without.
(The wingnuts’ propaganda has been so successful that many Americans are terrified of things that would help them — such as health care reform — but don’t think twice about the fact that the nation’s wealth is being funneled to a bloated military-industrial complex, since the thieves can’t empty the U.S. Treasury outright.)
If you are as pissed off about our woefully misplaced national spending priorities as I am, you can go to TrueMajority.org to “tell Congress not to clap when Obama proposes [during his State of the Union speech] spending $100 billion on the war in Afghanistan while freezing spending on everything else.”
Maybe, if Obama says during his speech that we need to put these additional billions and billions of our dollars into bogus wars for the war profiteers, some sane member of Congress will yell: “You lie!”
*Israel is the No. 1 recipient of U.S. foreign aid; apparently the Repugnicans want the Israeli children, not American children, to get those free or reduced-cost school lunches…