THE NUMBERS GAME
What's missing from the "fiscal cliff" discussion is spending on wars and the Pentagon.
How can you essentially remove those numbers from the debate and think you can find a solution? Some groups across the country are now publicly protesting against cuts in Medicare and Medicaid but refuse to say a mumbling word about military spending? Are they truly looking out for the interests of their beleaguered constituencies? Or are they ultimately on a short leash that is being held by the political party of the president who does not want these connections to be made?
Admittedly Obama has proposed meager cuts in the military budget over the next 10 years - which can always be reversed by future presidents and Congress. But it is chump change.
One analyst writing for The Nation reports, " As budget wonks comb over President Obama’s outline for fiscal year 2013, a startling White House plan has become clear: the administration is seeking to undo some mandatory cuts to the Pentagon at the expense of critical domestic programs. It does so by basically undoing the defense sequester that kicked in as a result of the Congressional supercommittee on debt. This wasn’t a featured part of the White House budget rollout, and for good reason—it undercuts the administration’s carefully crafted message of benevolent government action and economic fairness."
Let's tell the truth about the real budget solutions. Yes taxing the rich is important but will hardly put a dent in the fiscal crisis. We are going to have to seriously cut Pentagon funding or destroy social progress. Shouldn't "progressive" groups say that in public?
Let me end with a quote from the birthday boy Noam Chomsky: “Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it's from Neptune.”