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Progressive Caucus Announces Opposition to 'Wasteful, Bloated' $740 Billion Pentagon Budget Proposal

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/19/progressive-caucus-announces-opposition-wasteful-bloated-740-billion-pentagon-budget

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Good for Jayapal, Lee and Pocan. I did another Democratic socialist running against Pelosi–Shahid Buttar–a small favor by another contribution. Republicans are up in arms over another possible term of Trump so should the nominally “democrats” be busy eradicating republicans from their midst.

Seriously, we need to start organizing for the resuscitation of the real left in US America.

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A huge BRAVO to these dedicated and sane, uncorrupted advocates who put nation and people first, not war or profiteering!

As a response to much-needed massive cutting and redirecting Pentagon obscene funding, look for the war-whore Dems and R’Cons to scream about our military being under-funded and weak or unprepared or some such absolute garbage - Military waste and fraud alone could fund years of military adventurism!

The bottom line is what Eisenhower and Smedley Butler knew and tried to warn and teach us about - but we failed and were betrayed by politician servants of the MICC and for-profit war - the arms industry of death and its massive theft from our civilian republic to fund the arms industry for-profit wars, and obscene waste and fraud corruption!
yeah, a $1500 toilet seat and $500 hammer only the very tip of an iceberg the size of Canada!

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Reduce by 10% ever year until they can pass an audit.

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“How can it be that we have enough to spend more on defense than the next eleven countries combined, but we don’t have enough to make sure every American child has a roof over their head and enough food to eat?” Sanders wrote. “A great nation is not judged by the size of its military budget, it is judged by how well it treats its weakest and most vulnerable citizens.”

Howcum someone who says such inspired words for the American people not be able to run further for their President’s chair? I’m baffled…

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The Pentagon never was a market economy organization. It always has been about socialism for the rich and the well-connected.

I’ll say one good thing about the Pentagon. When the military needed a secret weapon, it never once sat around waiting for the market economy to develop the secret weapon. It built its own labs.

In this hour of covid-19 emergency (at least for the “stupid is as stupid does” states), I call on the government to build its own labs and employ people. I call for inventors to be paid for any meritorious innovation delivered to their door. I then call on the government to hire people to winnow the good ideas from the flawed ideas and the merely dumb ideas. Finally, I call for committees of engineers to be hired to push the innovations forward, to find show-stopping engineering arguments why a particular innovation is going to crash and burn, and to find ways of salvaging a flawed idea. People can do quite a bit of this work at home or on zoom.

On the list:
How are we going to partition existing schools into small pods so that if a student is infectuous, only ten or twelve other students have to quarantine? Use plexiglass? Can all teachers use plastic face shields? Do all classrooms need negative air pressure? Do teachers need microphones and really good speakers so that they’re not potentially aerosolizing viruses when they project their voices to the back of the room. How do we clean aerosolized viruses out of the HVAC ducts? Can ultraviolet-C light bulbs safely disinfect bathrooms? This stuff isn’t rocket science.

One more catastrophe: People who are 20 years old are facing chronic worldwide agricultural failures in 40 or 50 years. Look at the blueprint above and copy it for the climate emergency before human civilization goes off the cliff, not after, and right now we’re staring “after” in the face fast.

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The “National Security” budget of the U.S. Empire exceeds ONE TRILLION DOLLARS a year when the nuclear weapons budget in the Energy Dept., the military parts of NASA, the budgets of the 17 intelligence agencies, the infamous “black budget”, so-called “contingency” expenses (for our endless wars), and other hidden items are added in, as they should be. So a 60% cut to this bloat is what progressives should be demanding, not 10%, if only to begin to end the nightmare of the evil U.S. global empire of mass murder and resources theft and depletion.

But spending on needed social programs is NOT dependent on cuts to the bloated imperialism budget. Progressives and liberals alike must read The Deficit Myth by economics professor Stephanie Kelton and begin to view our spending needs as FDR did in 1932 through 1944. Deficits did NOT matter when the U.S. was in its direst straits ever in those years due to the Great Depression and World War II.

A sovereign nation with its own fiat currency is NOT the same as a household nor a state and local government, all of which must balance their budgets. The U.S. cannot “go broke”, so it MUST and CAN spend what is needed for M4A, GND, mitigating the Climate Crisis, and ending poverty, homelessness, inequality, and unemployment.

As no less a RethugliKKKan as Dick “Darth Vader” Cheney admitted after the Reagan years, Reagan showed that deficits don’t matter. The deficit myth is a trap that RethugliKKKans, with their tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, long ago laughed at, but which still terrifies timid, uninformed progressives, liberals, and Democrats.

Stephanie Kelton, author of The Deficit Myth, was economic adviser to Bernie Sanders, so even he knows the truth about deficit spending by the federal government, but he has been cowed into submission by the trap of that myth.

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I think it’s SO bloated that we can reduce it by 15 or 20% for the first 5 years
But I can go with 10%

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Agree. I’ll call your 60%, and raise you @nineteen50’s 10% per year after that, every year they can’t pass an audit.

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But Russia! But China! But Covid! But BLM! But Antifa! Americans are so frightened now that it is far more likely that the defense budget gets INCREASED. And besides, defense spending doesn’t need to be decreased to allocate money for pandemic relief anymore than it was for the trillions in corporate and oligarch bailouts.

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Well, I guess you already know that the Pentagon has NEVER passed an audit, but too few Americans do know that.

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Great suggestion!

Oh, no! A tweet from the Progressive Caucus. No doubt, Nan, Chuck, Mitch, Kevin, Trump, Wall Street and the military-industrial complex are shaking in their boots, for nothing terrifies them more than the Progressive Caucus getting its back up. Well, not really. Truth be know, they’re probably more afraid of PeeWee Herman than the feckless and totally inconsequential collection of faux progressive sheepdogs known as the Progressive Caucus. Tweets from the Progressive Caucus mean about as much as the word of Donald Trump. What a joke.

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How many followers do you think Ghandi started with?

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I share your skepticism. But the Progressive Caucus has enough members to hold any piece of legislation hostage until their demands are met. Having taken a public position on this, we’ll see if they have (pardon the vernacular) the huevos to hold up the legislation until they get what they claim they want.

The Tea Party, though lacking in any rationality, certainly proved it can be done. The question is whether the Progressive Caucus learned anything from watching that experience.

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Sanders is a moderate democrat and I think he would make a great President-----but the war machine wants more----and this is why Sanders was stopped ------but then I am a Warrren supporter because she knows or has an understanding of how far the evil shit goes. Bernie had the nomination----it was stolen------they only get better at it.

The question for Biden----do you want to be an Obama-----really did nothing------or would you like to be Johnson-----remembered for real change—hard to believe.

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Correct, according to Professor Mark Skidmore and Catherine Austin Fitts, the last to try an audit as far as I know, claimed the accounting software used by the Pentagon was developed by a defense contractor, (Northrup Grumman I think), to purposely keep different departments computer systems within the Pentagon from “talking” to each other, making an honest audit impossible.

Oh, I agree that they have the capacity to meaningfully influence what’s happening in Congress and the country. But the record is clear. Their lack of integrity and commitment to the little guy and gal makes them progressive voter sheepdogs for the corrupt Democratic Party and not much else more other than serving up a lot of crap for CD to publish. At least the loony members of Tea Party were committed to their crazy ideas. These PC folks are committed to keeping their worthless jobs. I wish it weren’t so, but investing in those folks is an exercise in losing ground.

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I certainly agree that making an audit impossible was the objective, or at least the illusion was the objective. I don’t buy that it can’t be done. Each of those systems has “inputs” in the form of money coming in and “outputs” in the form of money going out. When an output from one system is an input to another (i.e. a transfer from one system to another, that can be tracked. In short, an audit can be done, but the PTB (the Pentagon, contractors, Congress, the Executive branch), don’t want it to be audited and are happy to declare the whole mess “unauditable”.

A la, “Nothing to see here, move along.”

I guess we’ll see in this case. You may well be right.