I just came back from a Bernie Sanders campaign gathering in Greenville, South Carolina. I'll start out by saying that the crowd was standing room only. This is a very important State because it has a very early primary and, therefore an essential State in the primaries and a good showing here does much to gain momentum for other States with later primaries. To see the room overfilled with people in the area this warmed my heart.
Let me tell you about the meeting before I explain why I came out disheartened and more than a little angry. The speaker was a Mr.Jonathan Tasini , author of the book "The Essential Bernie Sanders and His Vision For America." . He gave us a speech he called "Bernie Sanders 101. I knew that he couldn't tell me anything I didn't know about Sanders, the only reason I went was to ask some questions and show support.
Mr Tasini started out by asking the crowded room what their main concerns were about the state of the nation. I happened to be right next to him and I spoke my concern in a pretty loud voice. and He looked right at me and then ignored me. Unbelievably, he ignored my raised hand, not one foot away from him!After five or ten minutes of writing down peoples complaints on a white eraser board, with, me repeating my question over and over, he went into his spiel about the things Sanders stood for and how Sanders will, if elected, work to fix all the problems they brought up. I listened attentively because he said we could ask questions after he spoke. He didn't
I believe it was because he had already heard my question early on, and either he didn't know how to answer It, or because it was a question too extreme for the campaign.
My question to Mr. Tasini ""Why doesn't Senator Sanders bring up the fact that defense spending is 54% of our budget?" Why was that question not put on that eraser board? With all the talk of putting a tax on Wall Street speculators and raising the taxes on the wealthy along with raising the cap on Social Security for those making over $110,000 dollars, (I heard Bernie say that on The Bill Maher Show), why wasn't my question addressed?
I know why. Let me begin by giving you some startling facts.In 1945, our defense budget, even though we were fighting WWII when they drew it up in 1944, was 962 million dollars.. Adjusting this number for inflation at 1221.9% the figure is 127.2 billion dollars. Today we spend 637 billion dollars! That is over five times what we spent in 1944!
This is what boggles my mind. Why in the world are we spending 5 times more than we were in WWII? Why is our military using 54% of our budget today!
Education amounts to 6%, Veteran Benefits are 6%,Government is 6%, Housing and Community are at 6% Medicare and Health are Social Security is at 5%, social security and labor is at 4% Energy and Environment is at 4%, ect, ect.. Social Security, the thing that Republicans most want to cut, along with Medicare, are but a tiny bit of the budget. Why hasn't Sanders addressed the elephant in the room?
It's probably the same reason why Obama or any other mainstream candide hasn't addressed this. This is very thing that President Eisenhower warned us about in his farewell speech. It has happened!
Tim Gatto is Ret. US Army and has been writing against the Duopoly for the last decade. He has two books on Amazon, Kimchee Days or Stoned Colds Warriors and Complicity to Contempt.