Wednesday, August 3, 2011

U.S. spending cuts will further victimize the victims

Michael Doyle, McClatchy Newspapers, August 3, 2011:
"The new deficit-cutting package protects the defense industry at the expense of nonmilitary programs, potentially including border enforcement, veterans' benefits and foreign aid.
Shaped in part by an influential California lawmaker, the complicated budget deal spreads so-called "defense and security" savings well beyond the Pentagon. Consequently, weapons-makers could be the winner in what comes next. . . "
The Budget Control Act of 2011 ensures drastic cuts to the U.S. social safety net. Despite Obama's contrary promise, the budget is to be balanced on the backs of people who have borne the brunt of recession.

Even the modest reduction of defence department spending - war funding excluded - will affect programs for those in need: soldiers' pay, healthcare, rehabilitation and disability programs. Meanwhile defence contractors and weapons manufacturers, with support they have purchased from Congressmen and women, will continue on the present agenda that results in armed forces buring $400 a gallon gasoline. (From The Hill News)
"The Pentagon pays an average of $400 to put a gallon of fuel into a combat vehicle or aircraft in Afghanistan.

"The statistic is likely to play into the escalating debate in Congress over the cost of a war that entered its ninth year last week.

"Pentagon officials have told the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee a gallon of fuel costs the military about $400 by the time it arrives in the remote locations in Afghanistan where U.S. troops operate."
The PBS Frontline program The Wounded Platoon provides a stunning exhibition of how America has failed the men and women returning from war zones. Tea Party demands for spending cuts and the destruction of effective government in the USA ensures these crimes will continue and become worse. Can any moral and ethical person argue that political leaders bear no responsibility for the repulsive behaviour of troops, both at home and on the battlefield?

Further reading:

Amy Goodman, The Guardian, The winners and losers in the debt ceiling deal

Mark Boal, Rolling Stone, The Kill Team

Lizette Alvarez & Dan Frosch, New York Times, A Focus on Violence by Returning G.I.'s

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2 comments:

  1. No doubt about it Obama has been a dismal failure. If you can't even put a left leaning Prez in power anymore then what? The future for America is indeed bleak. Watching their downfall is very sad, knowing that this too is our future.

    This is what happens when you abandon balance.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Perhaps Obama has never leaned to the left, perhaps he might even have joined the Republican Party except for the glass ceiling that keeps minorities from real positions of power in the G.O.P. He was, of course, very ambitious from the beginning.

    More likely, it is a reality of American politics that big money (eg: Tea Party and its billionaire supporters like the Koch brothers) is the real controlling force. Elections merely choose between Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

    Politics in Canada is similar, unfortunately.

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