Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Only in Idaho do mountains of facts fail to impress...

Just last night, Bush said: “In the long run, Americans can be confident about our economic growth;” in Bush-speak the qualifying term is “our.” Not you.

The dollar is poised on the diving board, ready to jump with any more interest rate cuts by the Fed. Those raw materials and goods we import? Think. Will foreign countries still want to provide the same goods at the same price if our money is worth less (or worthless as the case may be)? Inflation is already working on your gallon of milk.

Unfortunately, if they don’t cut the rate, the market will take another turn on the diving board and foreign investors will scatter anyway.

Investigative journalist Dave Lindorff writes, “The Bush chickens–endless deficits as far as the eye can see, and a $2-trillion military debacle that has no end in sight and is sucking money out of the country like a giant industrial vacuum cleaner–are coming home to roost.”

Chalmers Johnson writes, “It is virtually impossible to overstate the profligacy of what our government spends on the military. The Department of Defense’s planned expenditures for fiscal year 2008 are larger than all other nations’ military budgets combined. The supplementary budget to pay for the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not part of the official defense budget, is itself larger than the combined military budgets of Russia and China.

Johnson advises that It is impossible to actually discover what is spent in the name of “defense.” Other agencies even hide some of the costs, e.g., the Dept. of Energy receives $23.4 billion toward maintenance of nuclear warheads; the inappropriately-named Homeland Security gets $46.4 billion; have you ever seen actual results from that department? Separate from the DoD budget, $1.03 billion is for incentives for US Military, up from $174 million in 2003. Veterans Affairs gets $75.7 billion of which 50% is for long-term care of those severely injured in Bush’s war hobby, and pretty damn poor care it is!

Additionally, our Bush-compliant Dept. of Justice gets $1.9 billion for FBI paramilitary activities; military retirement funds to the Treasury Dept are $38.5 billion, NASA gets $7.5 billion for military-related activities, and over $200 billion is for interest on past financed defense outlays. Guess who the nincompoops perpetuating the myth that massive military outlay will make up for the continuing loss of the manufacturing base and jobs?

Johnson adds, “Some of the damage can never be rectified. There are some steps that this country urgently needs to take. These include reversing Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for the wealthy, beginning to liquidate our global empire of over 800 military bases, cutting from the defense budget all projects that bear no relationship to the national security of the United States, and ceasing to use the defense budget as a jobs program. If we do these things, we have a chance of squeaking by. If we don’t, we face probable national insolvency and a long depression.”

Everyone should read Johnson’s article, but you might wait for an hour or so for your dinner to digest.


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