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Defense Lobby Wins, Middle Class Loses In Obama Debt Proposal

By       Message Richard Eskow       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink

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The President's latest budget offer slashes a 95-year-old retiree's Social Security benefits by more than nine percent -- and trims the defense budget by less than one percent.

Nancy Pelosi insists that these benefit reductions aren't "cuts," which is consistent with the propensity to describe the slowed growth or freezing of military spending as a "reduction."

Pelosi says she'll push this deal in Congress and that most recalcitrant Dems will eventually fall in line behind it. She said they'll "stick with the President" -- as opposed to, for example, sticking with seniors.

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Why are people so anxious to avoid the "fiscal cliff" that they'll sacrifice the elderly, along with the disabled, veterans, and their families? And why does the President's proposal ask so much more "shared sacrifice" from them than it does of the nation's bloated defense contractors?

As the old saying goes: Follow the money.

Ike's Warning

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In this case the money trail quickly leads from the corridors of power to the boardrooms of the Military Industrial Complex. (You didn't think it had gone away, did you?)

The contours of our national budget debate -- both in the press and among politicians -- have been shaped by a small cadre whose latest front group is called "Fix the Debt." Thanks to some in-depth investigative reporting from ProPublica, we now know that "Fix the Debt" is deeply embedded with the defense industry.

That's the almost all-powerful lobby which President (and five-star General) Dwight D. Eisenhower named in his final Presidential address. "We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence" by that lobby, Eisenhower said, adding: "We must never let the weight of this (complex) endanger our liberties or democratic processes..."

How's that working out for you?

Under the Influence

Fix the Debt's participants are linked to 43 companies -- companies whose defense contracts amounted to $43 billion in 2012 alone. It has a $60 million publicity budget. And it's scooped up some self-interested Democrats to lend that all-important "bipartisan" air to its lobbying efforts.

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The Fix the Debt cluster of lobbyists has also co-opted some lazy journalists who can't be bothered to learn the subject matter for themselves, content to treat its spoon-fed "facts" and ideas as gospel truth instead.

This corporate lobbying front has moved Beltway and media perception so far to the right that even an opinion supported by 75 percent of Tea Party members is considered too "leftist" and "extreme" to be taken seriously.[1]

Sharing the sacrifice ... among seniors, veterans, and the disabled

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Host of 'The Breakdown,' Writer, and Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

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