The Budget Bullsh*t!

It’s Monday and I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend….but now it is time to get busy……

Every Congress we are confronted with the way we shall spend our revenue….and as most people know we seldom do that under budget.  And that brings on the endless whining and sobbing over the busted budget.

One side tries to get cash for social programs like education, environment, etc and the other is all about cutting spending and at the same time trying to eliminate some revenue….(you business men out there explain that to my readers)….and in the end the Congress pushes the signing of a budget to the very limit of time and even threaten to screw the country if they do not get their way…..(a mature solution is seldom on the books)……

But the one area that most agree with needing more and more money is the Pentagon or as most call it the “defense budget”…..one can understand the need for a good secure nation but the problem is all the cash that the Pentagon gets it also pisses much of it away…..

Late last year, I spent some time digging into the Pentagon’s “reconstruction” efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, countries it invaded in 2001 and 2003 in tandem with a chosen crew of warrior corporations. As a story of fabled American can-do in distant lands, both proved genuinely dismal no-can-do tales, from roads built (that instantly started crumbling) to police academies constructed (that proved to be health hazards) to prisons begun (that were never finished) to schools constructed (that remained uncompleted) to small arms transfers (that were “lost” in transit) to armies built, trained, and equipped for stunning sums (that collapsed).  It was as if nothing the Pentagon touched turned to anything but dross (including the never-ending wars it fought).  All of it added up to what I then labeled a massive “$cam” with American taxpayer money lost in amounts that staggered the imagination.

Source: The Amount of Our Taxpayer Money the Military Pisses Away Is Just Unbelievable | Alternet – Linkis.com

It is ridiculous the amount of taxpayer money that is wasted or “stolen” for lack of a better word….and yet it is the same debate every session….no one is willing to make the Pentagon more economically sound…..why is that?

Plug the waste hole and some of the social programs to get some cash…just a thought.  But nope!  No one cares about those millions but the 100’s that someone may use for food stamps and some stroke out and go a days rant about the fraud…..

The History of Privatization

The previous post was about the profits that are being made from the M-IC….but they are not alone….and thanx to privatization many folk are getting rich….

Since the election of Reagan in 1980 I have been bitching about privatization of the government….it has invaded all parts of the government….intel gathering is the most scary for me…..since profits are everything to these contractors….. is it more important than the protection of the people?

I mean even the military is partially privatized…..that alone is another scary idea…..

Privatization is killing this country slowly but slowly….

The post-WWII era was a tough time for conservative economists, academics, intellectuals, and business leaders. Social Security, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Securities and Exchange Act, and other New Deal programs represented a dangerous expansion of government’s role in the economy and society – nothing short of a frontal assault on freedom and the beginnings of socialism in the U.S.

Today, after 50 years of attack on government, privatization is a standard conservative response to tight public budgets, a key pillar of attacks on government, and a lucrative market opportunity for domestic and global corporations. Large corporations operate virtually every type of public service including prisons, welfare systems, infrastructure, water and sewer, trash, and schools

Source: The History of Privatization

Another “conservative” program that is biting the country in the ass….again.

Paper Or Plastic?

Are you a person that cares about the environment?  If so, then this post has nothing to do with the environment.

You have heard this question in grocery stores….but there is another sector where this could be the question asked…..

The money in your wallet……

The Bank of England introduced a five-pound note Thursday that marks the beginning of the end of a three-century run for paper money in the UK, reports the Guardian. This particular note is made of a thin plastic and designed to last more than twice as long as its paper counterpart. It features the queen on the front and Winston Churchill on the back, and it goes into circulation in September. The current five-pound paper note will remain in use for another year. Next up comes up a 10-pound plastic note featuring Jane Austen in 2017 and a 20-pound note featuring painter JMW Turner by 2020.

The unveiling comes ahead of Britain’s crucial vote on whether to exit the European Union, and Bloomberg notes that both sides of the debate have claimed none other than Churchill to be in their camp. Asked on Thursday about how Churchill might view the question, Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney opted to play it safe. “It’s not for me to make any inference about that,” he said.

Libertarians should be watching this….I mean they are against paper money….will they embrace this experiment?

How long before this makes it to the shores of the colonies?

The Civil War Inside the US Military

I have been writing a blog now for 10 years and I have always kept with my beliefs that we should not rush into conflict for any reason short of an attack on the nation proper……I can justify the invasion of Afghanistan but not the occupation for 14 years…..in all that time I have also been a keen observer of the budget battle especially the money that will be earmarked for the military or what we call the defense budget…..

This year is no different……I have been watching the battle for the budget on the Hill…..I have watched the propaganda machine go into full tilt boogey…..The Russian are coming seems to be the war cry…..

In early April, a battalion of senior military officials appeared before a Senate panel and testified that the US Army is “outranged and outgunned,” particularly in any future conflict with Russia. Arguing for a much bigger budget for the Army, they claimed that, absent a substantial increase in funding, the Russians would overtake us and, even scarier, “the army of the future will be too small to secure the nation.”

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! And before you know it, Brooklyn will be renamed Putingrad.

Source: The Civil War Inside the US Military – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

It will be interesting to see where this budget, the final budget, will lead our military….will the armed conflicts continue to rise or will calmer heads prevail?

Any bets?

I’d put Bill ‘in charge of revitalizing the economy’

Oh Crap!

I have never heard 9 more terrifying words uttered.  It sent a shiver up my spine.

These words were spoken by candidate Hillary Clinton when asked what job would she have for her husband if she is elected…..

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton is beginning to hint at what role her husband, former President Bill Clinton, could have in her administration if elected president.

At a campaign stop in Fort Mitchell, Ky., Clinton said her husband would be “in charge of revitalizing the economy.”

Clinton said something similar at a campaign event in early May, saying she would bring him out of retirement to create jobs.

“He’s got more ideas a minute than anybody I know,” Clinton said. “Gotta put people back to work and make it happen. So we’re going to give it all we’ve got, absolute full-in 100 percent effort, because I worry we won’t recognize our country if we don’t do this.”

Now I know she wants history to be kind to her hubby but I do not have to be……Bubba’s signature policy NAFTA did more to kill the US manufacturing base than any policy before and his insistence that Glass-Steagall be repelled is what let banks go batcrap crazy that caused the economic collapse in 2007.

All I can say is that she is praying that the American voter has the attention span of a gnat and that they have the memory of a puppy.

People please before you vote for Clinton do a little reading or research and see what we got with the first Clinton in office……none of it is pretty.

Please do not let it happen again.

Downsizing?

I have always disliked that term……

Let’s go back to pre-Cold War….in those days military service was not the “hero” worship it is today……the peacetime military was small, skeletal force whose nain function was to train the civilian population to be used militarily if the need were to arise.

We are getting more and more involved in the situations around the globe…..and we have only a limited amount of troops to carry out the policies of our admins…..and it appears that those troops will lessened even further……we appear to be trying to return to the days of the skeletal force……

In 1940, the head count for active-duty soldiers in the US Army was 269,023, a low that hasn’t been reached since, the Army Times reports. But due to budget cutbacks, a drawdown plan announced last summer to whittle manpower by 40,000 troops has left the Army with its lowest post-World War II count yet: 479,172 soldiers, which is 154 fewer than those on active duty during the previous post-WWII low hit in 1999.

“These are not cuts the Army wants to make, these are cuts required by [the] budget environment in which we operate,” the Army’s vice chief of staff said in July when the plan was first announced, Fox News reports. Per the Defense Manpower Data Center, there are also just over 548,000 soldiers in reserve, bringing the total number of Army troops to 1,027,196. The ultimate goal: to hit a total force number of 980,000 by the end of September 2018.

Back in the day we had the draft to make up the difference in case of dire need…..but the Congress may finally eliminate that fall back position…..

This year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) looks set to decide the question of whether women aged 18-26 will have to register for the military draft in the United States, with a vote likely next week on Rep. Pete Sessions’ (R – TX) legislation attempting to block language that would require women to register.

The debate has happened off and on for decades and came up again with calls from the Army and Marine chiefs of staff calling for women to be brought into the Selective Service system in the name of “equality.” The Selective Service Act requires all men 18-26 to register, though none have been conscripted since 1973.

This led to some bipartisan efforts to satisfy the desire for equality in the more straightforward way, ending the Selective Service outright, though ultimately this didn’t happen and the committee put language into the NDAA forcing women to register. Sessions’ bill would remove that language.

Questions about who is or isn’t eligible for conscription have long been treated as purely academic, and officials have downplayed the money wasted on the unused Selective Service system. Secretary of State John Kerry, however, recently spoke out in support of bringing back the draft, saying he has “deep reservations” about America’s all-volunteer military.

Let’s say we drop the draft….what then when the country needs recruits fast?  Or will we start limiting our international entanglements?  (Raucous laughter…like that will EVER happen)

Veterans And The Choice Program

I have been an outspoken critic of the services that this country is withholding from its veterans…..and as usual Congress, especially the conservatives are looking for a “better” way for the vets to get what we owe them….

The Veterans Choice Program?  What is this?

For Veterans who have faced unacceptable waiting times for needed medical care, or for whom a regular VA medical facility is inaccessible, the Veteran Choice Program (VCP) will make it possible for you to receive the needed care from a non-VA health care provider in your community.

The Veterans Choice Card (Choice Card) has been distributed to all Veterans enrolled for care at VA. Veterans will receive a letter in the mail along with the Choice Card and information about eligibility. The cards were mailed first to those VA believes are in immediate need and meet the eligibility requirements. If you have recently moved or your primary residence has changed, complete VA Form 10-10EZR to update your information and contact your enrollment coordinator at your nearest VA medical facility.

The Choice Card will enhance other treatment options already available at VA and is designed to improve wait times and access. It does not impact existing VA health care or any other VA benefit – it just offers other options for care when VA cannot meet Veterans’ health care needs.

There seems to be a bit of a push back against this program by several veterans groups……

The nation’s largest veterans groups have lined up to oppose any expansion of the Veterans Affairs Choice program that would allow all veterans who are eligible for VA medical care to use it.

The stand, by the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and others, places the groups squarely in the corner of VA Secretary Bob McDonald, who has called proposals favoring private care for veterans over VA facilities, a “dereliction” of department duties, and at odds with seven powerful U.S. senators, including Arizona Republican John McCain, who have proposed legislation to lift restrictions on Choice.

Source: Veterans groups oppose Choice program expansion

There seems to be a gimmick when it comes to the health of our veterans….why is that?

I am not very knowledgeable about this program but if there are any vets out there that would like to shred some light on this for the readers of IST……I would appreciate the help understanding.