The War Budget

Every year we hear abut the defense budget and every year it gets larger and larger…..sucking up more and more of much needed revenue for the country.

I have been saying for decades that the Pentagon is destroying the capabilities of this country all the while making defense contractors richer and richer…..war is big business…..

Imagine. It cost America more to fight a ragged band of insurgents and terrorists than the Red Army, Red Guards, Viet Cong, Khmer Rouge, Korean People’s Army, and the rest of communism’s many axes of evil. And real military outlays today remain well above even Reagan’s enhanced levels.

Corporate America quickly seized its opportunity for gain. Hartung quoted Boeing Vice President Harry Stonecipher warning politicians not to get between the companies and the cash: “the purse is now open . . . any member of Congress who doesn’t vote for the funds we need to defend this country will be looking for a new job after next November.” Boeing’s PAC was experienced at winning votes for the Export-Import Bank, a fount of corporate welfare nicknamed Boeing’s Bank for munificently underwriting the company’s airline sales. Boeing also added to the horde of lobbyists, an estimated 700-plus for the infamous merchants of death alone. Many of these agents of influence served in either the Pentagon or Congress, putting their career contacts to profitable use.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/war-is-big-business/

Let’s be honest…..the Pentagon budget should be called what it truly is…..a War Budget.

The misleading first name of the Defense Department doesn’t justify using “defense” as an adjective for its budget. On the contrary, the ubiquitous use of phrases like “defense budget” and “defense spending” – virtually always written with a lower-case “d” – reinforces the false notion that equates the USA’s humongous military operations with defense.

In the real world, the United States spends more money on its military than the next 10 countries all together. And most of those countries are military allies.

What about military bases in foreign countries? The U.S. currently has 750, while Russia has about two dozen and China has one. The author of the landmark book “Base Nation,” American University professor David Vine, just co-wrote a report that points out “the United States has at least three times as many overseas bases as all other countries combined.” Those US bases abroad “cost taxpayers an estimated $55 billion annually.”

Stop Calling the Military Budget a ‘Defense’ Budget

The problem is that even Progressives for all their big talk cannot step back from the M-IC and its cash……

Military contractor campaign donations, propaganda, and patriotism account for much of the support for our endless wars and preparation for them, costly in economic, environmental, and human ways. In addition, a multitude of interests sustains the military and its budget, and encourages silence about its wars of aggression and other activities.

The antiwar movement must contend with the many ordinary citizens who may have no desire to kill people, destroy the environment, or overthrow governments. They are trying to earn a living, fund their charitable organizations and schools, or save their communities from economic devastation. At present, without a national budget devoted to human needs, they see no other choice but to slip under the wings of the lush military budget.

The military contracts for almost everything. Along with other government enterprises, such as prisons and highways, this further ensures their survival while contributing to booming regional economies where unemployment levels are low.

https://covertactionmagazine.com/2021/10/04/addicted-to-military-keynesianism-why-cant-even-our-most-progressive-politicians-break-with-the-military-industrial-complex/

Our country needs to repair itself….both socially and internationally and spending billions on war will do neither.

But as usual the people sleep through all the destruction…..and yet pretend they care.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Put Americans Back To Work

Covid made companies take a hit on employees…..every attempt to get the workers back to work has failed and failed spectacularly …..even our president drank the kool-aid with the stupidity that if he cuts off any unemployment benefits and it will force workers back to the slavery they have had to endure….Biden and his pals in Congress (Manchin preeminent among them) kicked 8 million people off of extended unemployment in September, with the rationale that exacerbating their misery would spur them into the workforce and that cruel act translated into…197,000 new jobs…….he, Biden, caved to the business world and he got egg on his face…..how?

September showed conclusively that federal unemployment benefits weren’t solely to blame for people staying home.

Over the summer, 26 states ended their participation in federal unemployment benefits early, cutting off an additional $300 a week in an effort to get people back to work. The Biden administration chose not to step in and pay out benefits through the Department of Labor — even though several federal judges reinstated the benefits throughout July and August — and millions of Americans lost benefits.

Then the White House agreed with business groups’ and Republicans’ demands to allow the federal unemployment programs to end in September. In July, President Joe Biden said it “makes sense” for emergency federal aid for jobless Americans to end.

Now we know that the end of unemployment benefits isn’t strongly linked to job gains. Friday’s jobs report, the first to show the widespread effects on the labor market of ending enhanced unemployment, said the US added just 194,000 jobs in September. It captured the sentiment of cut-off workers around the country, not just in those 26 mostly Republican-governed states.

https://www.businessinsider.com/biden-september-jobs-report-federal-jobless-aid-congress-2021-10

The easy path is not always the best….and so far Biden has chosen the easy and avoided the heavy lift that is desperately needed….but that is what I expected when we elected yet another feckless centrist.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

“A Huge Victory”

That is how the MSM is selling the ‘bi-partisan’ deal to move forward with the work on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill in the Senate.

Before I give my thoughts on this groundbreaking deal…..

Senators of both parties voted Wednesday night to get started on President Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan. The 67-32 vote puts the Senate on schedule to begin debate on the package this week, the Washington Post reports, a full month after Biden had announced that a deal had been reached. “We are prepared to move forward,” lead GOP negotiator Sen. Rob Portman said Wednesday before the vote, per CNBC, but after a few big issues had been resolved. Democratic negotiator Sen. Kyrsten Sinema also said earlier in the day that most of the bill’s text had been completed. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has promised that the Senate will pass the bipartisan bill before the August recess, Politico reports.

Wednesday’s test vote does not necessarily mean the Senate will approve the package in the end, per the AP. Passing the deal will require the support of all 50 Democratic senators and at least 10 Republicans. Portman announced the deal alongside four other GOP negotiators, but it’s not clear how many other Republicans will vote for the plan. Sources tell the AP that at a closed-door lunch Tuesday, some GOP senators spoke in favor of the plan while others argued against doing anything that would clear the way for Biden’s wider $3.5 billion “human infrastructure plan,” which would expand social services. Although cost is an issue, many senators have projects they want to add to the infrastructure package. “It’s very popular,” Portman said.

As I stated the MSM is all over this ‘deal’ as some sort of indication that the Trump support is waning….I disagree.

I believe that since infrastructure is wildly popular with the voter this is just an attempt to garner votes for the 2022 election.

Senators will use this ‘deal’ in their campaigns….but Trump still has their hearts and butts.

It is a political decision for votes not what is best or needed by this country.

Ask yourself why now?

I do hope that I am wrong….but I seriously doubt it.

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

An Alternative To The $15 Minimum Wage

Well that big thing is the proposal for a $15 minimum wage….and of course the GOP is having a stroke at the idea.

They preach the same crap every time….that it will cost jobs and drive corporations overseas…..To this I say BS to the first accusation and to the second then let the cowards go as long as they pay a fat tax for leaving.

Contrary to popular support…..Two-thirds of Americans (67%) support raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, including 41% who say they strongly favor such an increase, according to a Pew Research Center survey…..although a majority of the American public support this idea…..it is a doomed proposal.

The $15 thing will NEVER fly in the Senate…..even though the Dems have a slim majority they also have a couple of conservs in the party that hate seeing humans make a descent living….not to mention any name….Manchin and Sinema…..

Maybe there is a couple of things that could be done that would actually make a difference in people’s lives…..

The government could make it a more just society but they are afraid to slap around the wealthy that take from society and give nothing in return…..afraid the cash cow will dry up for their re-election funds.

Just my idea to help if you cannot manage to raise the minimum wage…..since food seems to suck up the cash on hand along with shelter, utilities…..why not use a tool, that is at hand?

Price controls.

The government could step in and make life easier for those that are struggling especially these days of lockdowns and unemployment….

Government price controls are situations where the government sets prices for particular goods and services.

Types of price controls

  • Minimum prices – Prices can’t be set lower (but can be set above)
  • Maximum price – Limit to how much prices can be raised (e.g. market rent)
  • Buffer stocks – Where government keep prices within a certain band
  • Limiting price increases – In a privatised monopoly (e.g. electricity, gas, water – where there is no competition) the government regulator may play a role in limiting how much prices can be increased. In the UK, regulators use a formula like RPI-X.
  • Direct price setting – In a command economy, prices of goods may be set by the government.

Since food seems to continue in a never ending spiral upward to the point where people have to decide between food or rent the government should step in and help.

It is not like this has not taken place in the past…..

Signed on August 15, 1970, during the administration of Richard Nixon, the Economic Stabilization Act gave the president power to impose wage and price controls to stem inflation caused by federal efforts to finance its operations. It extended a law that had provided the executive with similar authority during the Korean War; the earlier law, in turn, had precedents in controls imposed during World Wars I and II.

For those that would like to know more about this law then I can help…..

https://scholarlycommons.law.case.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=3158&context=caselrev

Not to worry this will NEVER happen because Congress is well paid by lobbyist to keep anything good from ever taking place.

Politicians play to a base and the rest of us be damned….people go hungry and people become homeless and yet NO ONE gives a shit.

You may not like my idea but for now it would help those that need it the most.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–27May21

Do you have student debt?

This is a hindrance to people as they try to pay off thousands of dollars in debt for their excellent education…..this crippling debt keeps college grads from living the ‘good life’…..

There has been ideas to help people get on with their lives by lessening or cancelling student debt.

Some progressives are calling for the canceling of all student debt….the new president is calling for the cancellation of $10,000 of debt…..that figure is not nearly enough.

Forty-five million Americans now owe a total of $1.7 trillion in federal and private student loans.

For many people, that debt is the biggest drag on their adult lives. It prevents them from buying a home or starting a family or investing in their future. They are stuck in a perpetual loop.

This crisis has led to calls to cancel all that debt and liberate an entire generation of Americans — something I instinctively support. But when you start to think about all the obstacles and trade-offs, you quickly realize how politically fraught such a proposal would be. Is there any way to do it fairly? What about the millions of people who spent decades paying down their loans? And what about the people who didn’t go to college because they didn’t want the debt — how would this land for them?

So I reached out to Astra Taylor, documentary filmmaker and author of the 2019 book Democracy May Not Exist, But We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone. Taylor has become a leading advocate for debt forgiveness, and she treats it as not just an economic problem but as a small-d democratic problem. We talk about why that is and how it shapes her argument.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/22383450/student-debt-forgiveness-biden-astra-taylor

A total cancellation of student debt could be fuel for the economy….it would put $1.7 trillion dollars into the economy…..and that would be a huge boost across the board.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

GOP Economics

Since 1980 I have not thought the GOP had the best economic ideas to put this country on the path for progress….and since then all their economic solutions have actually done little to improve the lives of Americans unless they are in the wealthy class.

These days nothing has changed……here are some of the statements made that illustrate the GOP lackluster economic ideas and why.

First infrastructure……most specially our road systems….

… it’s up to Senate Republicans to try to demonstrate there’s some rationale for their GOP colleagues to be participating in this thing called government. It’s been ages since they’ve been called upon to proactively contribute to a policy-making process, in this case infrastructure, and thus far they’re not making much headway.

They’re “getting there,” says Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, of the process they’ve been working at for nearly a month. Back in mid-April they revealed just how incompetent they’ve become at governing, offering up a $568 billion counter to President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion proposal. It was a back-of-the-napkin scribble that offered a vague funding mechanism of taxes on electric car drivers and taking COVID-19 relief money away from states. It’s a reflection of just how inadequate that proposal was that senior Republicans are now inching up their spending limit. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell went up to $800 billion just last week, and on Monday Sen. Lindsey Graham offered $900 billion, but they’re still fighting the idea of raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations to fund it.

https://m.dailykos.com/stories/2021/5/18/2031013/-While-rural-America-clamors-for-infrastructure-Republicans-obsess-over-keeping-corporate-taxes-low

Then there is the attempt to starve people into accepting crappy wages…..

Millions of jobless workers in Republican-led states across the U.S. are growing increasingly worried that they soon won’t be able to afford rent, medicine, and other basic necessities as GOP governors rush to cut off pandemic-related unemployment benefits, a widely condemned attack on struggling people that the Biden administration insists it is powerless to stop.

As of this writing, 22 Republican governors have moved to withdraw from a federal program that boosted regular unemployment checks by $300 per week to help jobless people weather the ongoing economic crisis.

Of those Republican-led states, 19 are also ending their participation in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)—federal initiatives that provide an extension for people who have exhausted their state-level benefits and offer aid to gig workers and others who are typically ineligible.

To justify stripping a crucial lifeline from the jobless, the Republican leaders of Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, South Dakota, and other states have falsely claimed that the federal unemployment programs are so generous they are dissuading people from rejoining the workforce—a narrative that ignores a slew of other relevant factors, from the low wages on offer to lack of child care to health concerns.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/05/21/attempting-starve-people-back-work-anger-grows-gop-governors-cut-jobless-benefits

Their big idea is that if people get help then the economy will collapse…..according to Sen Ron Johnson of Wisconsin….

Senator Ron Johnson, are asking the poor to stay poor for the good of all America.

On Sunday, Johnson appeared on WKOW in Wisconsin to explain his support for a bill that would end the $300 enhanced unemployment benefits. While many conservatives have argued that these benefits are hurting employers who want to pay their employees less than the $16.75 an hour the unemployment benefits come out to, Johnson is taking the bold step of claiming that employers paying workers more in order to compete with said unemployment benefits, and workers demanding more money to work, is bad, because that will lead to inflation.

https://www.wonkette.com/ron-johnson-wants-people-to-work-for-less-money-than-they-need-to-live

Really?

Johnson has just stated what I wrote about over a decade ago…….https://lobotero.com/why-poverty/

I have written many times that GOP economics suck….and now with the stupid within the party their true colors are finally emerging.

Watch This Bog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–18May21

Mississippi’s governor did what all cowards within the GOP does……he jumped on the BS that people are not working because they make too much on unemployment….

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves followed the lead of his Republican counterparts in Montana and South Carolina by announcing the state will refuse expanded federal unemployment benefits, costing unemployed Mississippians $300 a week in an effort to force them into low-wage jobs—despite a lot of data showing that Republican claims about the effects of the federal unemployment aid boost are simply false.

President Joe Biden pushed back on some of those claims in Monday remarks on the economy, saying “we don’t see much evidence” that people are staying home because of high unemployment benefits, and pointing out: “We still have 8 million fewer jobs than we did when the pandemic started.” At the same time, Biden emphasized that “anyone collecting unemployment who is offered a suitable job must take the job or lose their unemployment benefits.”

In Mississippi, businesses “report that they cannot get employees to return to work because they can earn more from combined federal and state unemployment benefits than their normal wages … These businesses are no longer suffering from a lack of demand due to COVID-19,” Mississippi state House Speaker Philip Gunn wrote in a letter to Reeves. “Rather, they are suffering from a labor shortage caused by unemployment benefits that exceed normal wage levels for productive work.”

Mississippi’s maximum unemployment benefit without the added $300 a week is $235, so the benefits that “exceed normal wage levels for productive work” end up at $13.38 an hour, just under the $13.43 an hour that the MIT Living Wage Calculator says is a living wage for one adult with no children in Mississippi.

Contrary to Republican claims that people are staying home because they don’t want to work, Ashton Pittman reports that Mississippi’s labor force participation rate is back to pre-pandemic levels. People are either working or looking for work, in other words. And nationally, the April jobs data suggests “the exact opposite” of the claim that people aren’t looking for work because they can get more money from unemployment benefits, as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently noted. That’s because the highest job growth has been in low-wage industries like hospitality and food service, where unemployment benefits can outstrip wages. 

https://m.dailykos.com/stories/2021/5/11/2029937/-Mississippi-dives-into-the-Republican-push-to-blame-low-wage-workers-for-the-COVID-19-economy

This spin that people do not want to work because they are making too much with it is just plain BS.

It seems they want to blame people for the shitty work environment….the GOP is killing workers with their fixation on BS.

Enough Said!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Biden On Budget Predictions

I have been trying to help my readers navigate the ins and outs of Biden’s policies he is trying to get through a divided Congress.

Biden has offered up his first budget as president and it has many great points……

President Biden released a $1.5 trillion wish list for the federal budget on Friday, one that seeks substantial increases for Democratic priorities like education, health care, housing, and environmental protection, per the AP. The request by the White House budget office spells out Biden’s top priorities as Congress weighs its spending plans for next year. Highlights:

  • The Biden request provides a relatively small 1.6% increase to the $700 billion-plus Pentagon budget. Homeland security accounts would basically be frozen, reflecting opposition among Democratic progressives to immigration security forces.
  • Biden wants to increase the Education Department’s budget by a massive 40.8% to $102.8 billion, which includes an additional $20 billion in grants for high-poverty schools.
  • The Department of Health Human Services would get a 23.1% boost to $133.7 billion. There would be additional funds to combat opioid addiction and for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whose mission took on new urgency in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The administration is also asking for $6.5 billion to establish a biomedical research agency to address cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases.
  • Biden is seeking a $14 billion increase across government agencies to address climate change.
  • Housing and Urban Development would get a 15.1% increase to $68.7 billion, primarily to provide housing vouchers for an additional 200,000 families.
  • The administration also seeks more money for civil rights enforcement addressing gun violence as a public health epidemic.
  • The plan also details how the Biden administration will try to deal with the influx of arrivals at the southern border. It includes $861 million to invest in Central America to address the forces driving people to migrate to the United States. An additional $345 million would go to immigration services to resolve delays in years-long naturalization and asylum cases. The budget for the Executive Office of Immigration Review would jump 21% to $891 million in order to hire 100 new immigration judges and support teams to reduce the existing backlogs.

I like the expansion of education which is an excellent idea…..but dislike the increase to a bloated Pentagon budget that has been sucking up funds for way too long.

An ambitious budget…..but how far will this go in a divided Congress populated with dullards and cowards.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is The Era Of Reaganism Ending?

God I do hope so!

I have often stated that I was no fan of Reagan and his policies……to me he was the founder of what is happening in DC these days……he did not want the government to do anything for this country….instead he blamed it for all our ills.

Now look at the disruptive BS coming from the GOP these days…..Reagan was the father of this disruption.

Biden has said that the government needs to act to try and repair all the ills in this society……could this be a new stage of American government?

A common theme is emerging in coverage about President Biden from political observers on the left and right: His plans to dramatically expand the scope of the government—witness his $1.9 trillion COVID package and his $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal—might just mark the definitive end of the Ronald Reagan era of small-government politics. But that’s assuming, of course, that Biden can get his infrastructure package and other measures through Congress. Examples:

  • Ronald Reagan famously declared that “government is not the solution to our problem” but the problem itself, notes David E. Sanger in an analysis at the New York Times. Biden’s “gamble” is “that the country is ready to dispense with one of the main tenets of the Reagan revolution, and show that for some tasks the government can jump-start the economy more efficiently than market forces.” The president is of the mind that the nation’s “political center of gravity” has been shifted by the pandemic and by a new focus on social and racial inequities.
  • In the New Yorker, Susan Glasser writes that the Biden administration is making a “real historical gamble.” Essentially, they are “advancing the proposition that the politics of the Reagan era—of endless tax cuts embraced by Republicans and of Democrats trying and failing to escape the label of big-government liberals—is finally over.” Lots of comparisons to FDR and LBJ are being tossed around, but Glasser says they should wait until we see what Biden actually gets passed.
  • Biden’s early moves suggest he is “eager and prepared to seize the opportunity to define the end of the Reagan era and shape the one to come,” writes Damon Linker at the Week. Linker thinks a comparison to FDR is more appropriate than to LBJ. The latter president expanded but mainly continued already existing policies. “What Biden is attempting now is something very different—a major leftward change of orientation from the preceding 40 years. That kind of swing hasn’t happened since 1933.”
  • All of this has conservative Matt Lewis pondering some big questions in the Daily Beast. “What if Biden turns out to be the liberal answer to Reagan?” he asks. Unlike Reagan, Biden’s party actually controls both houses of Congress, he notes. “What if Biden, who was often seen as a ‘transitional’ caretaker who was tolerable to get rid of Donald Trump, turns out to be a truly transformational president who brings about a new political consensus? Imagine the irony if Obama turns out to have been the John the Baptist to Joe Biden’s Jesus Christ.”

Yes the Reaganism of old is dead….even the GOP has abandoned most of his policies….the only thing that remains of Reaganism is the racist bigoted rhetoric.

It is beyond time for the government to do its part to uphold that social contract…..that social issue that so many have ignored for too long.

The US needs progress….without it we are a stagnant cesspool of political BS….it has begun and needs to be brought to a halt as quickly as possible.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

That Scary Infrastructure Bill

Pres. Biden has introduced a massive infrastructure bill that comes with a price tag of about $2 trillion….I like the idea for it is long been needed to help this nation move forward after being stuck in stagnation for decades.

Believe it or not….even with the huge price tag…..is wildly popular with the American people.

A new survey shows that “every major aspect” of the Democratic president’s plan to rebuild the country has majority support, regardless of party affiliation.

A new poll released Tuesday shows that a large, bipartisan majority of voters in the United States supports President Joe Biden’s proposal to spend $2.25 trillion over eight years to upgrade the nation’s physical and social infrastructure.

The survey (pdf), conducted by Invest in America and Data for Progress, found that voters support Biden’s American Job Plan by a 52 point margin, with 73% of all voters in favor and only 21% opposed.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/04/06/73-us-voters-including-57-republicans-back-bidens-225-trillion-infrastructure-plan

With all that popularity you would think that the representatives would be open to this ambitious plan…..if you do then you would be wrong…..and on many levels.

Even Dems are in opposition to this legislation…..

Two Democratic senators have already voiced concerns about President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan.

One of them is Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia who has already proven himself to be an outsized presence in the razor-thin Democratic majority. He was also a pivotal voice against the inclusion of a $15 minimum wage in the American Rescue Plan.

Now, he’s expressed his concerns with the infrastructure package. In an interview with Talkline, a West Virginia radio show, Manchin said that, “as the bill exists today, it needs to be changed.”

Regarding Biden’s proposed increase of the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, Manchin indicated that he doesn’t support the 28% figure and stressed that the international average is a few percentage points lower. The rate “should have never been under 25%,” he said. “That’s the worldwide average. And that’s what basically every corporation would have told you was fair.”

https://www.businessinsider.com/senate-democrats-bidens-infrastructure-plan-needs-change-warner-manchin-2021-4

Well we know who pays his salary…..and it is not the people of this country.

To call Manchin a moderate is disingenuous….he is a conservative and he is relishing the fact that he has all the power to kill Dem proposals.

Once again the Dems are their own worst enemies.

Now you know why I call most as spineless slugs.

Infrastructure is definitely needed….but instead war gets all the cash they need to keep waging the obscenity and yet programs that help the people of this country needs to be begged to get anything done.

That alone should tell you who/what is important to these slugs in Congress….and it is NOT YOU!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”