Sunday, July 19, 2009

Of sacred cows and such

America's sacred cow is bankrupting our treasury every day and has been
since the Department of War became the Department of Defense. The
Department of War was well funded if the nation was at war. When the war
ended spending was reduced to accommodate a peacetime military.
With a Department of Defense we have to pay for a permanent war footing.
The birth and rapid growth of the Military Industrial Complex has
played a major role in our current economic situation. We now spend a
trillion tax dollars to kill people half way around the world who
neither harmed nor threatened to harm America or Americans. What does
this say about us as a nation and culture?
We have 50 million Americans without health care coverage, and we still
fund a bloated military that costs more than the rest of civilization
spends towards that end. This same bloated military couldn't stop 19
guys with box cutters from bringing us to our knees and squandering even
more resources on foreign wars with no end in sight.
The political will in Congress is a mile wide and razor thin. With the
exception of a few brave members, Congress rubber stamps defense
spending without a second thought. Could that be from a fear of being
labeled weak on whatever ism is making threats, real or imagined,
against us? Or, could it be from the fear of losing campaign
contributions (read bribes) from defense contractors?
We have money to bail out bankers who pushed the limits of law and
regulation to produce a bottom line that legitimized, at least on paper,
their inflated bonuses that were piled on top of very generous salaries.
The collusion of banks and insurance companies to create institutions
too big to fail has made the taxpayers hostages to these predators.
They, like the military, have become so complex and convoluted that no
one can understand how they operate. The obfuscation of their business
practices needs to be exposed and halted now.
But getting back to sacred cows: The time has come to hold accountable
the contractors and the members of the legislature who take their
campaign contributions . We the taxpayers can no longer afford to fund
expenditures that only serve to make the greedy even more wealthy
without justification. The time has also come for Congress to legislate
for the people instead of lobbyists.
To paraphrase the character Howard Beale, played by Peter Finch in the
movie "Network:" We're mad as hell, and we're not going to take this
anymore.
The time has come to start goring some sacred cows.

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