29 January 2010

Obama Freeze Appalling Sham

In Obama Liquidates Himself, Paul Krugman calls the Obama administration’s spending freeze appalling, bad economics, and a betrayal of everything Obama’s supporters thought they were working toward.

I agree on all 3 charges.

The biggest head scratcher is why would the President exclude military spending? The US Congress nickels and dimes programs meant to help ordinary schlubs like me, and those less fortunate, but with a complicit President, hand out unmonitored blank check after unmonitored blank check to military expenditures and dubious nation building operations.

US Congress 2009 Budget Allocation
chart and spending figures from War Resistors League

An estimated 54% ($1,449 billion) of the US Federal budget in fiscal year 2009 was allocated to current-day and legacy military expenditures (of that, roughly 200 billion poured down the rat hole of elective wars in Iraq and Afghanistan).

I fear the terror-industrial complex pre-saged by Gen. Colin Powell is upon us. The following quote is from an October 2007 interview GQ Icon: Colin Powell

The only thing that can really destroy us is us. We shouldn't do it to ourselves, and we shouldn't use fear for political purposes—scaring people to death so they will vote for you, or scaring people to death so that we create a terror-industrial complex.
~ Colin Powell
In October of 2008, during a presidential debate, Sen. John McCain proposed a spending freeze on federal programs except the Department of Defense. Now President, then Sen. Barack Obama, countered by saying that approach would be the equivalent of
"using a hatchet where you need a scalpel."
I say we do need a hatchet -- to chop military spending.

The Obama administration has to do better. The people expect more than a politically motivated sham like a spending freeze - particularly when it ignores the money-sucking black hole of military spending.

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