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Disastrous wars are crippling our nation; when will Americans say "enough is enough?"

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Our nation is literally being destroyed, not from attacks by a powerful foreign enemy, but by the relentless expansion of U.S. wars and empire building. Almost every facet of our economy, except the defense industry, is collapsing; our national debt is staggering and we are, by far, the largest creditor nation in the world. Yet, the massive spending for the military and defense contractors continues unabated. And the people of America continue to watch in passive silence.

Americans are totally aware of what is happening to this nation, this society and to them personally. Whoever is fortunate enough to have a job doesn't know how long that job will last. While our national government runs up massive deficits and continues down the road to eventual bankruptcy, individual states are almost there; reportedly, 46 out of 50 states could file for bankruptcy in 2010-2011; it's that bad.

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Here's a sampling of the typical problems that states, as well as individuals, are facing as they try to stop the massive hemorrhaging:

*The state of California is seriously considering sending out IOUs instead of tax refunds; payments are seriously behind to families who depend on welfare and aid for the aged, blind and disabled; and programs that serve developmentally disabled and mentally ill patients

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*Some 10% of Floridians are now receiving food stamps

*Ohio unemployment funds have been depleted

*U.S. home foreclosures totaled more than 3.5 million in 2009; projections are for 5 million more in next several years

*Many school districts across America are laying off teachers, cancelling sports, music and other programs

*Governors of five U.S. states urged the federal government to provide $1 trillion in aid to the country's 50 states to help pay for education, welfare and infrastructure as states struggle with steep budget deficits amid this continuing recession.

This is concrete evidence of the critical problems with which our states and individuals are desperately trying to cope. Deficits in individual state budgets are in the multi-billions. So, the state governors are looking for $1 trillion from the government to bail them out. But the funds are simply not there for the giving.

Why are there no federal funds available for such a high priority in our nation, namely, the functioning of the 50 states, their commitment to education systems and services to the poor, needy, disabled and the unemployed? The question is not the least bit difficult to answer. There are no funds available because they have been committed, not to the welfare and needs of the American people, but rather to the massive war machine and the defense industry which feeds upon it.

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This much is clear. Our government and our leaders have decided that their greatest priority is the proliferation of wars in foreign lands. The $1 trillion that states say they will need, a monumental amount, is about equal to the annual Defense Department budget. Bullets, bombs, drones and an empire of bases are gobbling up all available funds and are the greatest reason that the printing presses in the Treasury Department are running non-stop, printing billions more "fiat money."

But, while states are collapsing and wars drain the remaining wealth of America, the vast majority of Americans remain very silent, they seem to be unable or unwilling to break their silence and demand that this madness stop. Wherever I happen to be on any given day, I hear nothing about this issue that is doing so much damage to our nation; no strong opinions, no great debate or discussions pro or con, simply silence. Something is drastically wrong. Are we all going to just keep watching as our country goes into the tank?

What about the members of our Congress who approve those funds for the Defense Department? Do they ever question anything, do they ever challenge requests for supplemental appropriations, hold hearings to investigate abuses and waste in the system? Would they even dare to hold hearings to expose and then put a stop to the billions being spent on the Blackwater/XE mercenaries in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan? The answer to all these questions is no; Congress remains completely silent and submissive on these matters.

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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)
 

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