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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/27/15

Comprehensive Progressive Agenda & Wishlist Report

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The essential goal of the People's Budget is steady with the Congressional Progressive Caucus' FY2015 spending plan option: Use expansionary monetary approach to straightforwardly address the country's most squeezing financial difficulties and focus on a fast and strong come-back to full recovery. The financial backing was produced from the proof based conclusion that the present monetary test of joblessness results from a substantial interest shortage--the aftereffect of the Great Recession and its outcome--and that the discouraged condition of financial action is to a great extent in charge of expanded spending plan shortfalls and the late ascent out in the public debt.

38. National security

"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes" known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few" No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." --James Madison, Political Observations, 1795.

"Deficits don't matter," Republican Vice President Richard Cheney once famously professed. Four years ago a highly placed government official corrected Mr. Cheney in a different and crucial context. He said, "I believe the single, biggest threat to our national security is our debt"" It was not some ultraliberal financial specialist talking: it was Admiral way to deal with reshaping-the-pentagon-can-help-fix-sequestration/">Mike Mullen, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Senator plan/"> Tom Coburn (R-Okla) said on "Morning Joe" in 2013 that "$100 billion could be cut."">Ron Paul (R-Ky) says that less than half the defense budget is for actual defense, the other half is for militarism overseas.

And">Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense in both the Bush and Obama Administrations, asked, speaking on May 10, 2010, that, "Does the number of warships we have or are building really put America at risk when the U.S. battle fleet is larger than the next 13 navies combined, 11 of which belong to allies or partners? Is it a dire threat that by 2020 the United States will have only 20 times more advanced stealth fighters than China?"">Dwight D. Eisenhower, as a five-star general and the WW II supreme commander, pioneered in this discourse on April 16, 1953, by delivering his famous speech weeks into his administration. As his time in office advanced, so did the blooming of the military/industrial complex:

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone..It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children" The military-industrial complex has a total influence--economic, political, even spiritual--[that] is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government"The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities".

If the massive defense budget, more than $1 trillion on">national security this year, consisting of baseline budget plus "overseas contingency" of $601 billion in 2015, down from $610 billion spent in 2014, and $20 billion in the Department of Energy budget for nuclear weapons, nearly $200 billion for military pensions and Department of Veterans Affairs costs, and other expenses, an obscene waste of resources, which has to be spent, a strong national security can be better achieved by investing"> military and homeland security spending publicly in America only.

Instead, the current spending priorities are geared towards subsidizing much of the defense budgets of many countries, called allies, actually making up 2/3s of the">NATO's entire defense budget, in spite of the vicinity of an extra 27 nations in the association, and then maintaining more than 4,000 bases inside the U.S. and"> 1,000 overseas, lodging 255,000 men and ladies in uniform: 65,000 positioned in Europe, 80,000 in East Asia and Japan, 5,000 in North Africa, the rest scattered in 140 nations. The recurring yearly fixed expense of every base ranges from $50 million to $200 million, as per a">RAND Corporation study; at bottom $36.85 billion for each year. What's more, positioning military personnel abroad is significantly more expensive than it is at home: RAND says from $10,000 to $40,000 more every year, per individual. Another $2.55 billion.

All these bases are serving several purposes, mainly employment and training for command and obedience, which could all be done at home at a lower cost, but, for the interests of the military-industrial complex, who are bristling with their 655 lobbyists employed by the contractors, such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, many of which pay no taxes, the main purpose is obviously that of leveraging and showcasing of all these bases as convenient showrooms for U.S. military products. But just like in other Western powers, and just like any other local manufacturing industry, the non-nuclear arms industry should set up their own show-rooms everywhere without such massive government subsidies.

The political elites, Democrat or Republican, serve the demands of military-industrial complex corporations and empire. The military machine holds well the political and economic arenas hostage, and can mount daily effective public opinion campaign, scripted like a Walt Disney movie. The Pentagon spends $4.7 billion a year and has somewhere in the range of 27,000 employees who deal with enrollment, promoting, psychological operations and advertising, as indicated by a 2009">report by The Associated Press.

For better long-lasting results, some of that wealth could be funneled into science research, technology industries, climate change mitigation, the medical world, or education.

Foreign policy based on pursuing of virtual military domination and the cultivating of corporate consumer markets worldwide is guaranteed to breed more antipathy and resentment that foster more conflict over time. ("The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations", David Friedman).

39. Preventing Financial crisis

Restore and revamp">Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 that kept business banks from exchanging securities utilizing their customers' accounts whose annulment in 1999 is accepted to have played major role in the 2008 economic crisis that left millions of Americans unemployed and vastly devalued their largest assets. The method of reasoning for looking for the separation was the irreconcilable situation that happens when banks were making profits in both business and venture investments, and the propensity of such banks to participate in unnecessarily risky activities. Accordingly, business banks wound up being loaded with billions of dollars in losses because of the over the top introduction of their venture keeping money arms to subsidiaries and securities that were attached to U.S. home industry. At the point when the housing industry crashed, it drove into enormous losses for the banking division amid the 2008-2010 recession that required the $800 billion bailouts.

Having learned from this experience, Sen Elizabeth Warren introduced">21st Century Glass Steagall in 2013 that restores the separation wall between the financial markets and investment markets, specifically, "To reduce risks to the financial system by limiting banks' ability to engage in certain risky activities and limiting conflicts of interest, to reinstate certain Glass-Steagall Act protections that were repealed by the Gramm-LeachBliley Act, and for other purposes."

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I am an accounting instructor in Iowa. As a progressive, my mentor was the late Sen Paul Wellstone of Minnesota. I worked for him in all his campaigns since 1992 until his death in a plane crash in 2002. In all regards, he was a constant (more...)

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