Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Is Our Economy Based on War?

With the healthcare debate stirring up fiscal conservatives and even some Blue Dog Democrats who worry about the long-term costs of health care reform, Obama has announced that any bill he will sign will be "deficit neutral", which shows the lengths any politician will go to ensure that they are not irresponsible, tax-spend bueauracrats sitting in Washington "redistributing" wealth around the nation. As if our national debates weren't skewed and slanted enough, the fact that any health care bill has to be "deficit neutral" while we continue to spend billions of dollars in pointless, brutal, and, ultimately, counter-productive wars overseas is a terrible indictment of our political discourse. The Obama administration is even contemplating escalating the war in Afghanistan, and military leaders, particularly Obama's hand-picked man to run the show in Afghanistan, General Stanely McChrystal, have put pressure on the administration to deploy more troops and more resources to Afghanistan. So, while it is perfectly OK and fiscally responsible to advocate and prosecute war in foreign countries thousands of miles away and literally hand over billions of dollars to the most irresponsible and criminal financial institutions in the history of this country, any health care reform bill that is not "deficit neutral" is irresponsible and foolish. Does it sound like we have our priorities in the right places to you?

Below is a conversation Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! and Jo Comerford had today regarding our insane military spending and where we place our priorities:


  1. Deficit neutral doesn't mean that we aren't going to be spending ungodly amounts of money.

    It can reasonably mean three different things:

    1) There are going to be large tax increases to pay for the bill.
    2) There is going to be a huge amount of burden-shifting (i.e. requiring medical plans to cover certain things so that premiums will go higher and defray government costs).
    3) We are going to cut Medicare.

    It's also worth noting that military spending, including the wars, is only about 17% of the federal budget. I think it should be cut dramatically, but it's not the source of our fiscal problems. Cutting the entire military budget wouldn't even come close to eliminating the deficit.

  2. Not spending billions of dollars on useless, counterproductive wars overseas under dubious pretenses (especially with regard to Iraq) will surely help our budget deficit. My point is the shape of the debate: spending money on ensuring that American citizens have quality healthcare, which some (including myself) view as a human right, versus spending money on war. Which should be the priority here? Surely we can agree on the former...