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Monday, March 20, 2017

A budget is a moral document

      Like a lot of liberals these days I am re-reading George Orwell's book "1984."  While this 1946 book is interesting in the ways it saw the government controlling the thoughts of its citizens with pre digital technology such at television and vacuum tubes it has given us a vernacular that describes our "alternative facts" world today.   Orwell's book uses words like "doublespeak" and "realspeak" to show how to distort reality and facts.
      Trump's budget requests need to be looked at with some reality.   What is being proposed is a 10% increase in defense and homeland security spending and a matching reduction in non military spending.  As Trump states, " We will be substantially upgrading all of our military, all of our military, offensive, defensive, everything. Bigger and better and stronger than ever before..."  We are presently spending the same amount as the next largest 8 countries military budgets.  We need more to be safe?
      By cutting the rest of the non military budget we should look at where we stand in this Country in relation to other countries in non military areas.  In the area of health care for our citizens we consistently rank below other developed countries for health outcomes despite spending double what other countries spend.  In a report by the Commonwealth Fund we came in 11th out of 11.

"11 nations studied in this report—Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States—the U.S. ranks last, as it did in the 2010, 2007, 2006, and 2004 editions of Mirror, Mirror..."

    We rank seventh in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science.  So the budget calls for a 14% reduction in the Department of Education.  We're 49th in life expectancy and 178th in infant mortality.  So the proposed budget calls for an 18% cut in the Health and Human Services budget.  Add to this an almost 6 billion dollar cut to NIH and you see how growing our military industrial complex impacts our quality of life.
     Elections do have consequences.  Even ones that ignore the popular vote. Now you know the winners ( military/industrial complex) and the losers (the rest of us).

     If you want to see the biggest losers just look at the 31% decrease to the EPA and the 29% decrease to the State Department.  I would guess those cuts will be reduced if there is any sanity in Congress.

    Petition to cut off health insurance to members of Congress.

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