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 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?

M-IC Flexes Its Muscle

We are a world away from the election and it is all consuming in the media….few are watching what is happening in the world today….instead they try to focus on the world of tomorrow…..at least after the next election……and while everyone is otherwise distracted news keeps coming out of the Pentagon about the wars we are fighting……

Always on the look out to escalate their involvement in the war against ISIS, Defense Secretary Ash Carter today told reporters that the Pentagon is planning a series of proposals for the Obama Administration to approve more activities for the thousands of US troops on the ground in Iraq.

“We’re talking about more of the things that we did in Ramadi, but we are talking about additional things of the kind that we’ve offered previously,” Carter insisted. Though that seems deliberately vague, he is known to have pushed the idea of US attack helicopters and embedded US troops in Iraqi combat units previously, and those are likely among the proposals.

They are trying to live up to the promise of “No Boots On The Ground” (GOD I hate that term…..these are people that you degrade by using that term ad nauseum)…..but on the other hand we keep sending more and more “small units” to these embattled regions….what part of that is no more troops?  And the American people keep buying the bullsh*t coming out of the Pentagon……

Is this leadership in the world?  That is the question you need to ask yourself before you vote in the next election and put someone in the White House that will continue to keep Americans in danger…….

The new defense budget is out…..check it out and tell me if any of it sounds like leadership or just more of the same…….below is the testimony of John  Kerry on the defense budget……


Well, Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. Ranking Member Engel, all the members of the committee, I’m privileged to be here to have a chance to present the 2017 budget and to answer your questions. And obviously I know most of them will be sort of more with respect to policy, et cetera. But I will try to be very rapid in this opening.

First, our request for resources this year – $50 billion – is equal, as Ranking Member Engel reminded everybody, to about 1 percent of the entire federal budget. One penny on the dollar is everything we do with respect to diplomatic security, development security, relationship security, all of the things we do with our embassies, AID, everything. And I would suggest very respectfully to the members of this committee it is a minimum – minimum – price for the leadership that we offer to the world, that we are currently engaged. I think, as the chairman said, I can’t remember a time where there are as many hotspots, as many difficult challenges because of the transformation taking in the world right now taking place. And as a result, we are engaged in more places simultaneously than at any time that I can remember in my public life.

Source: John Kerry: Strengthening US Leadership in a Turbulent World | World Affairs Journal

This does not sound like a plan…..just an extension of the failed policies for the last 20 years…..more war is NOT making the world a safer place…..

 

Obama’s Russian Roulette

Russia is once again that looming threat that it was during the Cold War……we hear almost daily about some new antic of Putin to get the world to notice him.

With all the problems in the Middle east why would Russia be a priority right now?

Simple answer….the budget debate.

You see we have allocated the funds for our battle with ISIS in Syria and Iraq,,,,that will not be a point of contention.  But there are still some cuts to military spending pending……and there we have the rub!

We need a good reason to expand the contracts and the spending…….and since we probably could use the Middle east because of the failures that few will openly admit to…..we need a threat to justify lots more money……and what better threat than an ascending Russia?

The case is being made as I type……we will be hearing a lot more about the pending threat from Russia.

Read On………

Source: Obama’s Russian Roulette by Kenneth G. Eade — Antiwar.com

Shortchanging National Security | Center for American Progress

Soon the budgetary debate will begin and as usual domestic programs will take it in the ass and more money will be sought to fund the US and its constant interventions….

Of course a selling point for all covert funding will be the usual culprit…National Security.

Source: Shortchanging National Security | Center for American Progress

What will be on the menu for the sloths in Congress?  ISIS?  Russia?  Iraq?  Syria?  What will be the winner….we know that domestic programs will be the loser…..now we need to work on the big winner.

We need those big guns and airplanes that are nothing but an expensive paper weight…….we don’t need to feed children or educate them and we damn sure do not need to protect the environment (all sarcasm, in case you were unsure)…..

Take Action: Oppose $96 Billion Slush Fund for War

As the train wreck diminishes in its importance the media will move and so should you……..

Get Involved!  If you do not appreciate the continuous war that we have found ourselves fighting….LET SOMEONE KNOW!

This madness must end!   Please Do your part!

Do not be one of those bitching cowards that picks his bitches from the day’s headlines…….if your privacy is truly a concern….then…….

Send a message for all to see and hear!

 

Take Action: Oppose $96 Billion Slush Fund for War.

Hey Big Spender

Last week the new spending bill was offered up….and it would fund the government through September 2015…..that means that we would not have all the theatrics over this spending for at least 10 months….or that the hint of a government shut down would be just a thought………good news, right?

The bill is huge, as all bills are, and I bet that few of us will take the time to see what is in the bill……instead we will listen to those that make a living being a liar…..the media.

In the MSM reporting they were pushing the bi-partisanship or the fact that it is a lengthy bill, something we have not had in a coon’s age……..but I ask did you spend the time to see what is in the bill?  Of course you didn’t…….the Cosby scandal is far more important or the Taylor swift has made another cover…….

I try to be helpful so here is the main issues in the bill…..as reported by the AP……….

SPENDING

?Overall spending. $1.013 trillion for core agency budgets for day-to-day operations, with $521 billion for defense and $492 billion for non-defense. That represents about one-third of the federal budget and is essentially a freeze at current levels. Another $64 billion is provided for overseas military operations.

?Defense. Provides a base budget of $490 billion to the Pentagon, a $3.3 billion increase. Maintaining 1.3 million active-duty troops and 820,800 reserves would cost $128 billion. Another $162 billion is provided for operations and maintenance; procurement of new weapons systems, including 38 new F-35 fighters, totals $92 billion.

?Overseas military operations. Provides $73.7 billion for overseas military operations and diplomatic efforts by the State Department to combat terrorism, including $3.4 billion to continue the air campaign against Islamic State militants and $1.6 billion to train the Iraqi military. Provides $4.1 billion to train and equip Afghanistan’s military.

?Homeland Security. Keeps the Department of Homeland Security funded at current levels through Feb. 27. Its budget will be revisited next year when Republicans are hoping to roll back President Barack Obama’s recent moves on immigration.

?Ebola. Provides $5.4 billion of President Barack Obama’s $6.2 billion request to fight Ebola at home and abroad; $2.5 billion of the total would help African countries fight the disease, while $2.7 billion would go to the Department of Health and Human Services, including $1.2 billion for Center for Disease Control and Prevention efforts to stop Ebola in West Africa and strengthen public health systems in at-risk countries.

?Foreign aid. Provides $49 billion for foreign aid programs, an almost $3 billion increase. Some $6 billion would help fight HIV/AIDS overseas, while $7.2 billion would be for economic and development programs. Israel would receive $3.1 billion in military aid; Egypt would receive $1.3 billion in military aid and $150 million in economic assistance. The Millenium Challenge Corporation, which directs aid to countries demonstrating economic and social progress, would receive $900 million.

?Environmental Protection Agency. Cuts the EPA budget by $60 million to $8.1 billion, or 21 percent below peak levels in 2010.

?Internal Revenue Service. Cuts the IRS by $346 million to $10.9 billion. Blocks the agency from targeting tea party organizations and other advocacy groups seeking tax-exempt status based on their ideology.

?Transportation. Provides $71 billion for transportation programs, including $40 billion in highway funding for states. Aid to Amtrak would be maintained at $1.4 billion.

?Housing. Provides $26 billion for Section 8 and other public housing programs for the poor. Add $10 billion for other housing programs, including help for the elderly and disabled.

?Crime-fighting. Provides $8.4 billion for the FBI, a slight increase; $2.4 billion for the Drug Enforcement Administration; $1.2 billion for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; and $2.3 billion for various grants to state and local law enforcement.

?NASA. The space program would receive $18 billion, a $364 million increase. Of that, $4.4 billion is provided for the new Orion space-launch system, which last week had its first test launch.

?Food Aid. Provides $82 billion for food stamps as required by law; allots another $6.6 billion for a program that provides food aid to pregnant and nursing mothers and their young children. Another $21 billion goes to mandatory funding for the school lunch program and child nutrition programs.

?Capitol Dome. Provides $21 million to continue a project restoring the iconic cast-iron Capitol Dome, which is beset by crack and leaks.

POLICY ‘RIDERS’:

?Likely to be amended to include legislation aimed at shoring up underfunded multiemployer pension plans, including a controversial provision that permits them to cut the benefits of current and future retirees to shore up severely distressed plans.

?Eases regulations under the 2010 Dodd-Frank overhaul of financial regulations that require banks to set up separately capitalized affiliates ? ineligible for federal benefits such as deposit insurance ? to deal in more exotic and riskier forms of complex financial instruments called swaps. Regulators could still “push-out” risky swaps based on asset-backed securities.

?Blocks new Transportation Department regulations that require truckers to get two nights of sleep before re-starting the clock on their workweek. One effect of the rule was to shorten the maximum length a trucker’s workweek from 82 hours to 70 hours.

?Relaxes rules slated to go into effect in 2017 that require more whole grains in school foods. Put off rules to lower sodium in school meals that were supposed to go into effect in 2017.

? Prohibits the use of federal or local funds from implementing a referendum legalizing recreational marijuana use in Washington, D.C

?Blocks the Fish and Wildlife Service from placing the Sage Grouse on the Endangered Species list, which Republicans claim will have economic benefits for Western states.

?Blocks the Justice Department from raiding medical marijuana dispensaries in states where they are permitted.

? Prohibits the use of funds for a “National Roadside Survey” by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

? Bars funding for renovation of the United Nations Headquarters in New York, a new London embassy and debt relief for foreign countries.

? Withholds money from the UN population fund, dollar for dollar, if it operates a program in China.

? Prohibits the transfer or release of detainees held at the prison at Guantanamo, also bans construction of facilities to hold detainees within the U.S.

? Prohibits funding for the administration “light bulb standard,” which prevents the manufacture or sale of incandescent bulbs.

? Bars funding for the White House to order the IRS to determine the tax-exempt status of an organization.

? Prohibits the use of funds for painting portraits.

? Prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating lead in ammunition or fishing tackle.

The AP did an excellent job in this summary………

The MSM will focus on the provision that emphasizes their ideology…….this may be the only place that will give you ALL the major provisions for you to make a rational decision on this bill……Hopefully it will be of some small degree of help………

Please read it over and let me know what parts YOU think are important and what parts are a waste of time and even which of the provisions is a typical DC waste of time……

I will give you my thoughts on the parts that I find offensive in the next post…….

Turn The Page!