Thursday, January 29, 2009

A "Stimulating" Discussion

So, the US House passed President Obama's Stimulus bill; now it moves onto the senate. I downloaded the entire text of the bill -- all 647 pages! It's a difficult read as most of the text is in legal mumbo jumbo. It's hard to understand, particularly because most of the earmarked funds are for broad (and vague) categories.

One thing jumped out at me though. Despite the fact we already have the largest military budget in the world, nearly $5 billion of the package is for the Department of Defense. Since, according to the War Resisters League, over 50% of the $2,650 billion 2009 US federal budget is for military-based expenditures, why on earth is there even one penny in this package for anything having to do with the military?

Why is it that ONLY $100 million is earmarked for the WIC program and slightly more, $150 million, for emergency food programs? Even Head Start comes out on the short end of the stick with a paltry $1 billion.

Americans are hurting and hurting badly. One of the chief reasons that our social safety net has been torn to shreds is because of the egregious amounts of taxpayer dollars being expended on two unethical wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. So, if the military-industrial complex is one of the leading factors that is steering our nation toward financial insolvency, why is the military receiving a larger share of the pie than programs like WIC or Head Start?

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