Friday, February 15, 2013
What social program is most important to you? Will your heart break if the U.S. slashes its funding in order to continue to pay for a bloated Pentagon budget?
Over the last 24 hours a number of community groups around the country have hand made valentine cards to Obama challenging him to cut the pentagon budget, not programs of social uplift. I've included a few of those pictures here, but you can see them all by clicking onto this link.
With all the talk of fiscal cliffs and tightening budgets when one actually looks at the federal discretionary budget there's a clear cruel irony; we are not broke.
That's right, there's actually plenty of resources to go around. The crisis we face isn't one of economic resources, it's a crisis of economic priority, and there are all to many examples.
When the economy crashed in 2008, largely in part to irresponsible, greedy banking practices that put 10 million homeowners out of their homes, how did the federal government respond? They said the banks are too big to fail and bailed them out to the tune of 800 billion. On top of the 800 billion the federal reserve began to give the big banks no interest loans totally 16 trillion dollars...16 trillion! That's enough to buy every American a home free and clear!
Have banks been held accountable for their irresponsible, felony fraud, a fraud that costs 10 million Americans and counting their homes? No, in fact they were rewarded.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan alone have cost over 1 trillion dollars and done nothing to make the world safer. Every dollar spent on that war should be seen as a robbery from our communities. Every multi-million dollar drone dropping million dollar missiles killing poor people abroad represents another school closing, another defunded social program, another debate about whether or not we should provide food assistance to folks who are struggling in the worst economy in 80 years.
There is no fiscal cliff, it's a moral one. Martin Luther King once said that a country that year after year spends more money on the military then it does on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. I often Wonder how Dr. King would react to our current budget priorities if he were alive today.