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The High Costs of Today's U.S. Defense Budget

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October 29, 2009
The High Costs of Today's U.S. Defense Budget
by Arn Specter, Phila.


Here is the text (see below) and link for Video

of today's event at the White House, the signing of the NDAA for 2010, Defense Budget. The President seems well intentioned although we need to understand and appreciate that this budget of over $600 Billion is the largest in U.S. history, and -by far- in the world. It measures about all the other defense budgets in the world of over 200 countries - combined! In other words the U.S. spends - and intends to spend- about a half of all the budgeted monies in the entire world on it's own national defense. Besides the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 the only other time the U.S. was attacked was in 2001, causing the U.S. to 'defend' itself. All other wars and incursions have been on foreign soil...Let's put the question, What is our national defense? on the table. Other spending by the U.S. recently included $3.5 Billion for 'Energy' improvement, something we do need. Since unemployment is now approaching 10% the U.S. is not spending enough on creating more jobs for the millions of people now out of work. Over 20 million Senior Citizens will not be given any increase at all next year. Even the poultry 2% of so usually given will be missed however as the cost of living has probably dramatically risen to well over 5% each year in recent times.

One of the cantankerous complaints by Congress is that real Health Care Reform for ALL AMERICANS will cost too much. What started out as an attempt for single-payer, changed to government option, and now ???, to possibly mandating - forcing- everyone to buy health insurance. If upwards to 50 million people cannot afford health insurance now how will they afford to buy it after this legislation is passed.The insurance companies may actually raise the premiums, as suggested by Rep. Dennis Kucinich is a recent statement blasting his own Democratic Party for their inaction onhealth care reform Money for social services have been cut; sorry I don't have a list of them. It's probably rather lengthy though, and really hurts low and middle income families. We still have thousands of homeless people living on the street - and with the cold and dangerous winter coming on soon. Many just die in the streets and are buried as 'John or Mary Doe'. Who even says a prayer for them? Where is the resolve, commitment and the Money to help these unfortunate citizens who have been discarded by the U.S. government, from the city, state, and national levels?

How much would it really cost in each city - perhaps a military airplane or two- to set up good shelters with adequate medical care as well as food, clothing and shelter. I wonder how many of the homeless just yearn at the idea of some clean clothes, a decent bathroom to use, and a home cooked meal to eat with others to talk to a little. And, oh, could you please spare a little shampoo?

The last years or so thousands of people have lost their homes due to foreclosures.

That is, the banks and mortgage companies have taken the homes from them because they couldn't pay the monthly mortgage anymore. When I was growing up in the 1950's I remember my Dad writing out a check, for the same amount every month, to pay the mortgage and keep our home in tack, 'fixed rate' it was called.

When and why has our government allowed the banks and mortgage companies to raise the mortgage rates whenever they want to make more money? Isn't the government supposed to protect us, the American people, from harm?

Perhaps we need what is called 'regulation' on these companies to prevent them from taking the homes of thousands of more people and their families: men, women and children. Too, sometimes grandparents or others who live withus - often out of economic necessity. Too, if someone is not working and is not paying a mortgage the government is missing out on taxes from those earnings and property assessments. Thus, losing out on income it could use to shelter the homeless or some other noble social service sorely needed.

The 'problem' of money seems to come up a lot in government when there is a bill that would offer services to the poor or working class. Not too long ago though there were billions of dollars 'available' for companies - called corporations- that went broke due to faulty management, greed and corruption. Some of those people are in jail now. Others wonder if they will go to jail soon. Most of them however has smiles on their faces when the government decided to give them back all the money that they lost.

Over 700 billion dollars was given in 'Bailout Monies' to Banks, Investment and Mortgage companies. Imagine all the social services and other things all that money could do, if spent wisely, for the American public.

And, by the way, if the U.S. government can give back fortunes to those companies who fail why doesn't it also give back lots of money to people who go broke and have to declare bankruptcy? And even more money to those people who try to declare but are rejected and left even more broke and sometimes destitute. Is this a country and a government that serves the wealthy but not the poor?

I suppose I'm a little off track here, having brought up the subject of the 'defense' budget for 2010. However, we are speaking of over $600 billion dollars! How many zeros would that be, let's see..$600,000,000,000.00. Is that right?

Getting out pen and envelope back cover I figure that if we have around 300 million people in the U.S. (300,000,000) each of us - man, woman and child- would have to give $2,000.00 to make the grand total of $600 Billion dollars for our Defense Budget, monies the government, military, military industrial industrial complex, and congresspeople say we need to keep America (and our Allies) safe and secure. In a family of four that would add up to $2,000 times 4 or $8,000.

Wow, $8,000 from just one (1) family. Recently someone figured out that in the Afghan War the U.S. was spending $400.00 per gallon of gasoline. And using thousands of gallons each and every day. You figure it out.

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Progress/Spiritual male, 63, lives in Phila. Retired and active on progresive issues; Reducing Military Spending, Nuclear Nonproliferation, Impeachment, Stoping the War , Disarmament, Single-Payer health care, Animal Welfare, Communities Advocate, (more...)
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