[HCCN] fw: Fighting over the crumbs

Judith Robbins JUDY at ROBBINSandROBBINS.com
Thu Mar 3 19:48:13 EST 2011

Published on Thursday, March 3, 2011 by GRITtv
Fighting Over Crumbs Left from Military Spending
by Laura Flanders
There's been a joke going around the labor protests. It goes  
something like this:

A union member, a CEO and a Tea Party member are sitting at a table  
with 12 cookies. The CEO grabs 11, turns to the Tea Partier and says  
“The Union's out to take your cookie!”

I've been thinking that the joke applies pretty well to another  
situation. For instance, the military. Our military spending grabs 11  
cookies and leaves us all battling over the 12th.

Christopher Hellman at TomDispatch added up all the military-related  
spending in the budget and came to a startling number: for fiscal  
year 2012, the actual military budget is something like $1.2 trillion  

Trillion with a T.

Just to put that in perspective for a second, a million seconds is 12  
days. A trillion seconds is 31,688 years.

So after all that cash is gone, what are we left with? Not a whole  
heck of a lot for the rest of us. “Discretionary” spending is nearly  
40% of the budget, but if Hellman's numbers are accurate, that $1.2  
trillion eats up nearly 90% of discretionary funds, leaving just 10%  
for the rest of us. (That doesn't include mandatory spending on  
things like Social Security and Medicare, which are separate.)

To be fair, Tea Partiers have called for military spending cuts, too.  
Rand Paul, hardly a progressive, pointed out that you could cut all  
of the non-military discretionary spending and not balance the budget— 
and Politifact rated it True.

The point behind the joke still holds, though. Instead of fighting  
over the last crumbs, maybe it's time to team up and grab some of the  
cookies back from the people who've been hanging on to far more than  
their share.

The F Word is a regular commentary by Laura Flanders, the host of  
GRITtv and editor of At The Tea Party, out now from OR Books. GRITtv  
broadcasts weekdays on DISH Network and DIRECTv, on cable, and online  
at GRITtv.org and TheNation.com. Follow GRITtv or GRITlaura on  
Twitter and be GRITtv's friend on Facebook.

"How is the War Economy working for You?" -- Veterans for Peace

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