We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Two-Faced Washington

Click here to access article by Tom Engelhardt from Tom Dispatch.

The author does a pretty good job of teasing out the duplicity of our ruling class in its media extravaganza called "The budget Crisis" in order to get the public to accept cuts to health, education, welfare, Social Security and Medicare. Meanwhile the Pentagon plans to continue war making and occupation of other countries as usual. And, there are no tax hikes. The ruling class much prefers lending the government money, burdening the American public with more debt, than paying taxes.

Yes, there have been noises about cutbacks in the Pentagon budget, but this is also more about deception. The author finds evidence of this:
The “cuts” in the White House proposal, that is, will only be from projected future Pentagon growth rates.  Nor were the “savings” of up to one trillion dollars over a decade being projected by Senator Harry Reid as part of his deficit-reduction plan cuts either, not in the usual sense anyway.  They are expected savings based largely on the prospective winding down of America's wars and, like so much funny money, could evaporate with the morning dew. (In his last minute deal with John Boehner, President Obama's Pentagon "savings" have, in fact, been reduced to a provisional $350 billion over 10 years.)
When one understands the amount of effort going on in Washington to hide the realities of a war machine owned and profited from by the capitalist elites, one certainly cannot expect to uncover the real facts easily. At the time the deceptions are occurring, one can only read between the lines and scrounge for bits of information. For example, after considerable time looking, I found this rare gem at Politico:
...a solution to the impasse: Redefine “defense” cuts as “security” cuts to include homeland security, veterans affairs and foreign aid, diluting the impact on the Pentagon.
Such accounting tricks are often used to disguise Pentagon funding. Much of their budget is found in other departments, their favorite being the Department of Energy. See this, this, and this

And, a budget is only sort of a promise to spend. When the time comes that the ruling class wants to wage more wars, there is never any serious debate in Congress. They just pass supplementary bills to provide more funding as they did in Afghanistan and Iraq. They no longer bother going through the Constitutional requirement of asking for Congressional approval.