BAD SPENDING PRIORITIES!

By Jack Jodell, March 30, 2011

OK, John Boehner. You and your Republicans have now controlled the House of Representatives for nearly 3 months, and YOU’VE been Speaker of the House since January 5.  NOW WHERE THE HELL ARE THE JOBS YOU PROMISED US, MR. BOEHNER? WHERE THE HELL ARE THE JOBS?

 

Jolly Roger over at the marvelous site Plutocrap (http://reconstitution.us/) posted the following graph on his site recently, which explains the vastly mistaken spending priorities this country is locked into, when compared to the rest of the world. It illustrates the amount of money WE spent on military matters vs. what the rest of the world spent in the year 2008. Though it is not current (the figures from both China and Russia have since grown higher), it gives a disgusting glimpse of the still overly dominant role our own country has played in the supply of arms across the globe.  To make the graphs below larger, just left click on them.

The 2008 US Gross Domestic Product, the total of all goods and services produced, was roughly $14 TRILLION . Our $711 BILLION shown here means that for every dollar produced in our economy, we spent just over 5% of it on military matters. Considering that we are deficit spending, and that a lot of the money we are borrowing to fund this addiction comes from China and Saudi Arabia, not exactly the most stable or reliable “allies”, it seems a bit foolhardy for us to be spending all these BILLIONS on ridiculous wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Libya, doesn’t it? You bet it is!

Conservatives (Republicans and teabaggers alike) love to complain about the money we are “wasting” on entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, federal retirement plans. unemployment compensation, and agricultural subsidies. By taking a look at the Federal Expenditures chart for 2010, you’ll see that we DO spend a lot in those areas. But first of all, these are vitally needed programs which keep the poor, our veterans,  and the elderly from starving or being forced into abject poverty due to the ever-rising cost of our ridiculous for-profit health care system. They are NOT mere giveaways to lowlife types! Secondly, many of these programs are self-funded at least in part through workers’ lifelong taxpayer contributions.

I find it shameful that we in this country are responsible for roughly HALF of the world’s entire military output.  We have become not only the self-appointed, smugly self-righteous policemen of the planet, but also the biggest arms merchant the world has ever seen. Got the cash? We’ll sell you whatever you need to kill your enemies! Our fat-assed greedy stockholders of the military/industrial complex are getting even fatter with every rocket, plane, tank, bomb, missile, or gun that we sell to kill others with. It is incredibly wasteful, destructive, and, most definitely, not a record to be proud of in the least…

All of which got me to thinking: what if we were to take roughly half of that $711 BILLION we so recklessly spent that year on military matters and were to apply it instead to useful and practical CONSTRUCTIVE things like rebuilding our infrastructure? According to some projects listed in a Popular Mechanics online article dated May 12, 2009, we could do a LOT to modernize our badly-neglected infrastructure.  We could, for example,

1. Update our aging Air Traffic Control systems. Cost = $150 million.

2. Upgrade our water system. Cost = $6 billion.

3. Erect a smart electric grid. Cost = $4.5 billion.

4. Develop and launch a truly high speed railway system. Cost = $8 billion.

5. Renew our crumbling highways and bridges. Cost = $27.5 billion.

The total of these endeavors is only $46.15 billion. Let’s allow for inflation and call it roughly $50 billion.

Then, why don’t we add another $300 billion to renovate and upgrade our slowly decaying public schools? If you nitice, we still haven’t yet spent all the money we would save if our vastly overbloated military budget were halved! Best of all, spending money on these projects NOW would provide a huge increase in sorely-needed JOBS. With all of these new hires finally off of unemployment and back in the workforce actually buying things and paying taxes, this economy would spring back to life pronto. Plus, we would enjoy the added benefit of creating infrastructure improvements which would last for years and provide for a more secure future. Last, but definitely not least, our deficit would shrink considerably due to the vastly increased numbers of renewed taxpayers once more contributing their tax dollars. If we were to go one tiny step further and restore the Clinton-era top tax rate of only 39% (it was 91% back in Eisenhower’s day), our deficit would quickly turn into a safe, long-lasting SURPLUS, which is exactly where it was before the “free market” Grover Norquist crowd of tax-haters pushed through their irresponsible, reckless, and wholly needless George W. Bush tax cuts for the rich!

THAT, MR. BOEHNER, IS HOW YOU CREATE JOBS. NOW WHY THE HELL DON’T YOU AND YOUR RICH, CORPORATIST CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN AND TEA PARTY ACTIVISTS FINALLY DO SOMETHING BESIDES POLITIC -AROUND, AND ACTUALLY EARN YOUR PAYCHECKS? OR WILL YOU CONTINUE TRYING TO TAKE FROM THE POOR AND ELDERLY ON FIXED INCOMES WHILE IGNORING CUTS IN “DEFENSE” SPENDING JUST SO YOU CAN KEEP  SUPPORTING THE HERE AND NOW WITH YOUR BAD SPENDING PRIORITIES?

About jackjodell53

I am an American Dissident trapped in a country where poor and middle class people are constantly being exploited and lied to by a very rigid and conservative plutocratic elite. I believe in government OF, FOR, and BY the people, not one controlled as it now is by corporations and special interests.
This entry was posted in "free market" economics, Bush tax cuts for the rich, conservative Republicans, corporate greed, Tea Party and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to BAD SPENDING PRIORITIES!

  1. “. . . we DO spend a lot in those areas. But first of all, these are vitally needed programs which keep the poor, our veterans, and the elderly from starving or being forced into abject poverty . . .”

    None of which Republicans care about, or at least care about more than winning the next election. In fact, that’s why they’re demanding budget cuts. A good many of them know very well that stimulus — especially government spending and assistance for the poor and middle class — will propel the recovery and create jobs, while reduced government spending and denying assistance will retard the recovery and stall job growth or even reverse it.

    It’s all about the politics. |A fast-moving recovery with people getting back into jobs at a quickening pace will help Obama and Democrats, not Boehner and Republicans.

    What makes me crazy is how Obama and the Democrats have let Republicans frame the debate and set the agenda so that it’s all about dealing with the deficit and cutting the budget.

    The better response would’ve been: “As you’ve told us often enough, elections have consequences, and you don’t have the votes. We’ll deal with the deficit once unemployment is below 6 percent and not a bit sooner. Get over it.”

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Those a re very wise words, S.W. We’ve got to appoint you Democratic Whip and scoot you off to Washington to straighten those guys out!

  2. Jolly Roger says:

    Now now…. educated children do NOT grow up to be Rushpubliscum voters. Junket John knows what he’s doing, even if he is a drunken, corrupt, adulterous waste of oxygen.

  3. oso says:

    Excellent read, excellent research as always Jack – thank you so much!
    I really appreciate your hard work here. I might add just one additional thing-the transfer programs/entitlements that Boehner and the Repubs want to cut, all of them very effectively funnel $ back into the economy on the demand side, thus spurring growth. $ poured into military ventures takes away from needed R&D as well as concentrating any profit on the supply side, merely adding to financialization.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Thanks, Oso, but you realize that % spent for the military lines the pockets of the military/industrial complex, and that’s all Boehner’s boys care about. They are deliberately trying to sabotage this economy to knock Obama out of office and seize all control for themselves. That is an act on treason, and I hope most 2012 voters will be able to see what they are doing, and will punish them accordingly!

  4. Also note that Social Security is completely funded by worker contributions. It does not contribute one cent to the deficit. It should not even be compared to other budget items.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Very well said, Jerry. But you know these ignorant Republicans—in their craze of budget-cutting, they’ll slash anything and everything and then spin it into something they should get credit for!

  5. mudrake says:

    Jack, Jack, Jack! There you go again thinking that Republicans actually want to govern. How many times must I tell you that it’s all about power, not governance?

    Now go to the black board and write 100 times, “The GOP wants power, not governing!”

    Neat handwiting, too or you’ll do it all over again.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      🙂 The GOP wants power, not governing.
      The GOP wants power, not governing.
      The GOP wants power, not governing.
      The GOP wants power, not governing…

  6. Tom Harper says:

    What do you mean “Where are the jobs?” The Republican Agenda will create tons of new jobs. Somebody will have to enforce all these new Republican crackdowns on abortion, birth control, homosexuals, Sharia, marijuana…

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