Remember when we used to say, “Don’t trust anyone over thirty?” Well, I have a new mantra. Like Mulder said, “Trust no one.”
I was really excited to hear about “Coffee Party USA.” I signed up. And then, I went to their site. It is really polished. It talks about lots of action and it speaks to education. There I found a “disconnect.”
Their model indicates the military is 27.3% of the budget and that medical is 21.5%. I pose the same questions to them that I did to the White House. I could not see, in their description, anything attributable to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or the “action” in Libya. When those costs are added, the military portion becomes much larger, indeed.
When I look at the actual funding for the wars and their accounting, I see “nothing” under veterans. I can only then assume that “veterans health” is covered somewhere else. Stop. The cost of repairing lost limbs, PTSD, TBI, etc., are a COST that is directly chargeable to the cost of the wars. “Veteran’s” or “medical” are for the normal lifetime woes. Another cost of the war is found under USAID, which is hidden under another non-defense category. This again, then, increases the actual percentage of dollars spent, as it were, on military operations.
Before totaling these figures, I want to speak to so called Entitlement Programs. First we need a definition of entitlement.
entitlement |en’tītlmənt| (noun) the fact of having a right to something. • the amount to which a person has a right : annual leave entitlement.
In a convoluted sense, Medicare and Social Security are entitlement programs, in the sense that they are funds into which you have paid. You are entitled to draw funds out at a prescribed rate, just as you are allowed to withdraw funds from a bank account or annuity into which you have paid. They are NOT welfare programs. They are liquid. They are solvent. They are not broken. AND, they do not contribute, in any way, to the National Debt.
Understanding the above, then, I think that, upon careful examination, defense comes closer to 60+% of the Federal Budget. In so doing, it becomes easier to see that Defense is the driver of our National Debt. We will ONLY get our National Debt under control when our accounting puts all the “costs of Defense” in one place.
The reason I digressed from the “Trust Issue” was to show that “Coffee Party USA” cannot be trusted. Since their “Your Tax Dollar Tool” is their main education tool, it is clear they are not on our side.
About our side, I keep hearing from the Republicans that NPR is way to liberal and they must be “de-funded.” But, they are not de-funded. The other thing that I keep hearing is the Republican line on NPR. It is played as “news.” So and so said this and so and so said that. But the this and the that is always the Republican line. I seldom hear someone articulate the democratic reasoning. I know because when I hear, “We are borrowing 40¢ on every dollar we spend.” I want to throw up. I know because when I hear NPR, I want to throw up all the time. Most of their “news” sounds like it is scripted by the Heritage Foundation. I do not believe they will be de-funded anytime soon. I also do not trust them anymore.
Take “USA Today.” Given all the problems newspapers are having with subscriptions, did it occur to anyone to ask, where did they get their funding? When they started, their paper was free. FREE. Where did they get their funding? It cost really, really a lot of money to start a local paper and even more a regional paper. There is a reason most local papers start out as a weekly paper. I can’t get the N Y Times delivered down here in Florida. The N Y Times is an established paper. Yet, the first day that USA Today went on sale (oops, on free) it was everywhere at once and there were always enough of them. Who paid for that?
Here is another thing, you do not see that many color pictures in most papers because color cost more money. To get a black and white paper, the paper runs through one press, one time. Every time you add a color, it means one more run through a press. It also means someone has had to make an additional plate for that color. To get a regular full color picture, it means that paper has run through a press, at least four times. Do you remember seeing pictures in the paper where the colors do not fall where they are exactly supposed to fall? That picture is out of “register.” To keep a press in register requires careful monitoring. You don’t just turn the press on and come back in a couple hours. USA Today is all color. Who pays for that?
Gannett, the publisher, is big, but I can’t imagine any company big enough to open nationwide daily, with a full scale coverage of the news, in full four color on every page, and give it away until enough people might decide it is worth paying for. The only entities I can think of who can afford something on that scale is either God or some one as rich as she is. That leaves the Federal Government, the Koch brothers, or someone like Rupert Murdock.
Anyway you slice it, USA Today was started by someone with an agenda. They are selling a nationwide, full color, daily newspaper for 75¢. The NY Times can only do that for 8 weeks and then their price doubles for the remainder of the year. And, most of their paper is black and white.
So, when someone,like the Coffee Club USA, bursts on the scene and suggests that they can help give you a voice, give them a very close look. For my money, they look just a bit too polished too fast. The other thing is that we need to start doing things faster than Congress because they are about to give away the store, and, Buddy, that’s our store. We need to be able to move on our state capital at a weeks notice. So, start getting ready and when you get a phone call from someone you know, you will be able to go. Remember, trust no one. And remember, non-violence is the key to success. Ideas, not guns is the way to win. Do the right thing, but like Nike says, “Just do it.” The trigger will be when Congress actually takes up Health care, Social Security, Medicaid, or more war. We can’t all get to Washington, but we can show up like they did in Wisconsin. Get ready and trust no one.