Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Our Priorities Are Fucked

I am pissed off. I guess I have been for a little while now but have been trying to organize my thoughts instead of shooting from the hip, hence the lack of posting these last few days.

I've come to the conclusion that our priorities as a country are totally fucked. I know that's been the case for a while now, but it really hasn't been as transparent as it has in the last few weeks where the pushback from the yokels at town hall meetings defending the very insurance companies that are fucking them in the ass on a regular basis and the inane neocon talking points and conspiracy theories have taken root with the so-called leaders of the Republican party boggle the mind.

I say this because I can't begin to comprehend the mindset that doesn't blink at the amount of money we spend as a country on certain things but blow a gasket on the spending proposed for something worthwhile and beneficial to all Americans, like health care.

The Department of Defense budget for Fiscal 2009 is $651 BILLION. $136 Billion of that is used for emergency discretionary spending and supplemental spending. That's extra money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This number doesn't include funds for Homeland Security, Energy Department, FBI counter-terrorism, NASA, Veterans Affairs, interest on debt incurred in past wars or the black budget. That brings the total to somewhere between $859 Billion and $1.16 TRILLION.

We will spend a minimum of $859 billion this year on the defense budget alone but the powers that be in the beltway are in a panic over $90 billion a year to make sure Americans don't die for lack of health care. They are screeching and howling and flinging their poo over spending one tenth of what they spend on the defense budget yearly. Do you see something wrong with that?

Our presence in the Middle East is costing somewhere in the neighborhood of $11 billion a month. Health care reform would cost $7.5 billion a month.

We will spend over $36 billion this year on Homeland Security to insure that there isn't a repeat of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 when 3,000 were killed, but hesitate on spending money to insure people who are uninsured or under insured don't die from lack of health insurance. According to a Harvard medical study released just two weeks ago, approximately 45,000 Americans die yearly due to lack of health insurance. Figure out the math. That's one 9/11 every 3½ weeks.

Congress takes precious time passing resolutions to prevent funding to organizations like ACORN for the approximate $3.5 million it receives yearly for such things as census work or fighting for a higher minimum wage, but doesn't bat an eyelash at the multi-billion dollar contracts held by Lockheed-Martin and Northrop-Grumman even though there are 20 fraud cases pending bewteen them.

So what kind of country do you want to live in? One that takes care of its citizens' health even if we have to pay a little more for it? Or one that spends multiple times the projected health care reform cost to continue being the cock of the walk militarily while losing tens of thousands of citizens to illness in its "protection" of us against "the terrorists." Remind me again how many people were killed by terrorists in the US this year? Just to clarify, I'm not saying we shouldn't spend any money in defense of our country, but you have to wonder when that figure is currently 29% of our budget and rising.

So now you know why I'm pissed after a couple of hours of monkey watching on C-Span.


Chris Anderson said...

you're not alone

Brett Daigle said...

I've had this discussion before, and the opposing side's argument is that one of the federal government's few responsibilities is to protect the homeland, and thus any federal revenue spent to that end is money put to it's intended purpose. The federal government isn't, for example, subsidizing people who choose not to defend themselves, like they want to do with people that could theoretically get health care yet choose not to. I understand the concept in principal, and I suppose it would hold up when you're thinking of 12 small colonies in a world where the most deadly thing was a sailboat, but it falls apart very quickly when you're talking about a country of 300 million. Not to mention there's a very good argument to be made that the risks posed by our current health care system do indeed constitute a threat to our national security, but that's beyond the mental grasp of most of these tea baggers.

As to whining about ACORN while defense contractors suck us dry, ACORN has no coffers ready to donate to campaigns. They, like the 40+ millions of uninsured or underinsured have no lobbyists and, thus, have no voice. Which is why ACORN will lose all it's funding, and any health care bill we get is looking more and more likely to be toothless. All our politicians focus on is the next election cycle, and the sad truth is that someone like John Boehner may actually want to compromise, probably does want to compromise but he knows full well he'll lose his whip position, and then his re-election if he does. These guys gain more fundraising by digging in their heels, refusing to broker a deal, and then going home to tell their base that they fought the good fight. And any moderate voices are weeded out by the vocal extremes of their own parties in the primary/local races before they have a chance to reach the national stage.

It's a terrible system that we have created, and these politicians are now slaves to. Part of you wants to strangle them, and part of you actually feels sorry for them, because you know that deep down most of them actually got into this to do some good, their all just trapped in this beast that no one person can slay.

I'm with you, the more and more I watch this health care debate get beaten down by ignorance and fear, and then flat out bought by the drug companies and insurance firms, you begin to wonder if we can even put our nation to rights, and if we can't.... then what.

Fraulein said...

This is outstanding and right on target. I would also add to the list of fucked-up priorities, the perpetual freaking out by Republicans on the local level every time tax and/or spending increases are proposed for schools and infrastructure improvements. I live in metro Boston, not some poverty-stricken backwater, and the roads, as I have been screaming for years, look like they've been bombed in some places. The local communities have no money to fix the goddamn potholes, literally, and people shriek and shout every time someone proposes raising their taxes a tiny bit to make the schools suck a bit less. So what is the solution to that, when the priorities are so far out of whack? When people literally will take opportunities away from their own kids if it means saving themselves a few bucks in taxes? That's what's so depressing -- I just don't know how you fight this level of ignorance.