Thursday, March 17, 2005

They use wealth to make the world more cruel

Who? The U.S. Congress, that's who.
Their use of public money is unenlightened because it does not serve the people.

From the widely circulated story by Liz Sidoti, linked here:

This story is political in tone, but its practical implications are disastrous. Here is the lead and a few accessory paragraphs.

Mar. 17, 2005 - President Bush got most of the money he wanted for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as the House approved a $81.4 billion measure Wednesday, pushing the total cost for fighting terrorism over $300 billion.
With support from both Republicans and Democrats, the House voted 388-43 to send the Senate a bill that's only about $500 million less than what the president requested for military operations. The Senate will consider the spending package next month.
"The people of Iraq and Afghanistan are building new democracies and defying the terrorists, and America is standing with them," he [Bush] said.

Congress forbade the executive monster to spend money for a new embassy complex in Baghdad, saying it would confine the emergency spending authorizaiton to emergency expenditures, not lavish new compounds in foreign countries.
Of this restriction, the executive monster grumbled:

QUOTE: statement, the White House expressed concerns about the reductions, particularly for the fortified U.S. diplomatic compound. "Postponing construction will delay moving our people into more safe, secure and functional facilities," the White House said. END QUOTE.

Here is a summary of the money and where it's going.

Excluding the latest spending package, Congress has approved $228 billion since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks for the two wars, the Pentagon's other efforts to hunt terrorists and rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan. That's according to tracking by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, which writes reports for Congress.
Other spending in the House-passed bill includes:
$656 million in direct assistance for relief and long-term reconstruction for Indian Ocean countries recovering from the Dec. 26 tsunami and $222 million to replenish U.S. military accounts tapped earlier for initial tsunami aid.
$590 million to train police and battle narcotics in Afghanistan.
$580 million for international peacekeeping missions, most of which is for Sudan.
$200 million in economic assistance for the Palestinian Authority. END QUOTE.

Where the money is going and what it is doing is important, but I think just as important, is where it is not going and what it is not doing.
A while back, I made a post about the deteriorating infrastructure.
Not one penny of this money will help re-build it.

Here is another piece of evidence that things at home are not so good.
It's an editorial, but editorials amount to valid observations of the larger society. If they were not, they would not be read.
The United States likes to boast that it's the most powerful nation in the world. But you would never know it from the child poverty rate. While children in Nordic countries are the least impoverished among the developed nations, America's children, to its disgrace, are among the poorest. Adding to the humiliation is that few strides are being made to pull our children out of poverty. END QUOTE.

Not one penny of the 228 billion pledged for imperialistic expansion under the guise of a war on terror will go to solve this national problem. A problem that glares in front to the eyes of the world.
A single-payer healthcare system would be a nice thing to have, with coverage for every citizen. But we will not get it. Not in the foreseeable future.
How about food for the hungry?
Homes for the exposed, unprotected and forgotten?
How about mass transit?
The private sector cannot profit in these areas, so nothing will be done.
Again, we come to the topic of public investment. The refusal to increase and direct money toward public investment is the chief failure of our one-party state.
I have said it before, I believe the function of government is to serve the people.
I also believe that this is more evidence of the dehumanization of American society.

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