In response to someone demanding an example of budget cuts made by the current US government:
The Administration's budget for fiscal 2003 proposes a cut of nearly $600 million or 80 percent in the COPS program, a federal-local partnership that promotes community policing and funds additional police officers and new technology. The proposed cut would eliminate all funding for hiring community-based and school-based police officers. Similarly, the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant program, which helps local police departments pay for hiring, training, and overtime for officers, as well as equipment purchases, would be merged with another program and cut by $200 million. And that is on top of the 25% cut the program suffered last year.In response to an assertion that powerful countries have always needed to spend a great deal of money on national defense:
Cuts in the Federal Budet for the Federal Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) has resulted/is resulting in the closing of three centers--the National Empowerment Center in Massachusetts, the National Mental Health Consumers Self-Help Clearinghouse in Pennsylvania, and the Consumer Organization and Networking Technical Assistance Center (CONTAC) in West Virginia.
Housing vouchers for low income families -- people who are working hard but whose basic living utilities and rent consume over half their below-poverty-line incomes -- have been cut back, eliminating as many as 137,000 people who may end up homeless as a result.
The Feds recently required a new smallpox vaccination program for the states to comply with, but they are not *funding* any of this, requiring the states to do so. Further, the Bush Bio-Watch program has begun sending vast amounts of material to various public labs for testing, but the Federal Government/Homeland Security only allocates $1 million per city where the testing is being done, a fraction of what the actual costs will be, and the states are still required to handle the testing, so the states will have to take that money out of other resources (which is happening a lot).
Thing is, of course, this wasn't always the way. The pattern was this: you build up your military at time of war, then you reduce the military during times of peace, keeping enough of a force in readiness so that you're not caught betwixt and between when something starts.JMS's words (c) 2003 synthetic worlds, ltd.
That's supposed to be the peacetime boom, when the defense budget is reduced and that money is redirected toward the civilian sector in creating jobs, fixing the infrastructure, building highways and cities and the like.
Now we're on a nonstop parade of military spending, no matter peace or war. Which was exactly what Eisenhower (a republican) warned about decades ago. He was either the one who coined the term "military-industrial complex," or he came along shortly afterward. He saw the alliance as a bad one, one of too much reliance at the cost of taxpayers, and was concerned that it would lead to this.
He was right.
This is what this Republican said in January, 1961:"Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.
Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."
It's a very depressing newspaper, first because of its reporting of the awful stuff that is happening in my name as a US taxpayer, and second because so many apparently intelligent people believe that the stuff that's happening isn't happening. (That part isn't so much in the quotes, but it's on the newsgroup.)