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Trying to Keep a Straight Face in the Midst of Madness: The Debt Ceiling Kabal & Balance

08/10/2011 09:30 am ET | Updated Oct 10, 2011

I know! Government is here to waste our money by waging wars called protecting our national security and then also have enough left, sort of like left-overs on a plate, to actually serve the People themselves. A heaping helping for the military, and a teeny one for everyone else. Perfect for shareholders and a disaster for the People, the service of whom is the only reason for which the government was convened and maintained. Only.

It's like a game: Who can keep the debt ceiling from being raised while spending 5B/month on 4-5 wars and still be able to give the People the impression that their elected officials are serving them instead of their corporate funders, by serving up a sliver by allowing Medicare and Social Security to not be100% decimated. The spending on the two fave wars of the current and last Administrations have come to over 1.3 trillion dollars since 2001. And that's just what's reported. And we have more military activity excitingly, if not legally, in Libya, Yemen, a touch in Somalia and Pakistan of what's partially disclosed.

The U.S. spent some 685 billion in 2010 on war and 680 billion in 2009. For over a decade, our tax dollars have been going, not to providing desperately needed food, shelter, healthcare and education to Americans young, middle-aged and elderly, not to funding renewable and sustainable technologies and thereby providing much-needed jobs , but to killing people, soldiers and civilians alike, across the world. Deliberate fire, friendly fire, all kinds. What is respectable about this? Torture, rape, pillage, trauma and torment for anyone the great U.S. deems a terrorist. "The greatest nation" status has been downgraded, and not by Moody's or Standard & Poor's but in the hearts and souls of thoughtful, humane people. We need to re-define what it means to be "civilized".

Numbers are generated by the GAO but we have no idea as to their actual accuracy. In one instance that was "discovered", during the Bush-Cheney era, a billion dollars in cash in 100-dollar bills was flown to Iraq, delivered on a palette, sort of like so many bags of cement, for pay-off purposes. Did it 'pay off'? The big surprise was that it was stolen with no accounting for it. It's remarkable that this actually got into the TV news. Just a cool billion. Good Republican fiscal management alright! All we have to do is use a fraction of our imagination to figure how many similar kinds of episodes have happened similarly with our money, managed by our government, by both parties, over time. It's bi-partisan.

We are in a debt ceiling crisis we are told and the rating of the U.S. government, for the first time, is facing a downgrade. But Republicans are not so familiar with American history, going back even 10 years. Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin both proved their peculiar brand of historical interpretation not long ago rather unabashedly in public which provided a moment of head-shaking and incredulity that either of them could aspire to public office, let alone presidency, and know so little about U.S. history, political history at that.

Every single president of both parties makes regular requests to raise the debt ceiling. Republicans voted to raise the debt ceiling 19 times, by some 4 trillion dollars just recently during the Bush era alone. The Republicans also, during his reign, sank the country into a deficit from which it has never recovered, from, by the way, a surplus left by Clinton.

Yet it is the Republicans who give us the TV 'appearance' of being the fiscally responsible party! That's the party of Reagan too, wasn't it? There's nothing responsible about taking away basic survival services from needy Americans. It begs the question: killing abroad is a good use of taxpayer money, but to provide basic services to the taxpayer here at home, I mean feeding hungry children on the streets of the richest country in the world is a poor use of OUR money? Oh yes, it is Our Money!

By the way, since when did an elected official become trained in money management? Is it part of the curriculum to become a politician? What qualifies any politician, including the President, for making these kinds of decisions? In reality, none of them by training, except the household checkbook, have any training in this kind of thinking, planning and execution. I'm afraid that we've hired the dishwasher to be the chef and our meal has been spoiled with poor planning and soapsuds on the side.

Boehner tries to give the impression that he's doing something good for Americans by increasing the military budget but literally taking food out of babe's mouths? Because that is, in stark terms, what is happening. What is being debated in Washington literally comes to that. I think the Republicans forgot that the money they are seeking to 'save' is ours.

Economist Richard Wolffe tells us that in the 1950's,, a period of vast economic growth and stability for the U.S., corporations paid $1.50 of every $1. paid by individuals.*** Now? Corporations pay .25 for every $1. paid by individuals. Just to add insult to injury. Now we ask corporations, Obama-style, if they would consider paying more, pretty please?

Good thing that President Obama has several sides to his mouth as well. In the same sentence, he said that we need a "balanced approach" to spending, which means that we extremely slash social programs on the expense side and "beg" corporations to pay a wee bit more, without saying a word about how the expense of war skews the entire budget. Stopping the insanity of war in itself, let alone it being the big money-elephant in the room breathing down everyone's necks is not a subject on the table, Democrat or Republican. Nearly only Congressmen Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul seem to see this. Russ Feingold did and spoke out, and was voted out of office. The elephant is apparently "too big to fail", I mean, to not be fed.

In sum, we are looking at politicians who prefer the ideology that their corporate donors prefer no matter how insane and blatantly, adolescently self-interested and they grand-stand accordingly. It's a big charade and the Emperor and his Court, have no clothes. Yet defaulting on the debt is profoundly serious with powerful ramifications for our and the global economy, but the theater still goes on. Bad theater by the way. I'd want my money back. Maybe we should all ask. Maybe then we'd get the better performance.

Underneath it all, from my view, is that we are dealing with human beings who know not what they do, but hold power like a child being given a gun. The inherent schizophrenia is so obvious to many of us who glance into the D.C. Insane Asylum. To continue to fund war at all should be considered a form of insanity in itself, and if it is costing our own people the ability to live in their homes, to eat, to go to school, to work, there is something so fundamentally wrong there aren't words to express it.

It's like an alcoholic sitting at a bar downing martinis while discussing that it would be a fine idea to someday enter a rehab. program. But for every drink he takes, people are dying.

Dear President Obama and the rest of the shrewd cast of characters: if you want to balance the budget, stop the wars, close military bases, stop corporate subsidies, vastly reduce the military budget from .50 of every dollar to a fraction of that and declare a moratorium on foreclosures. And take a 50% pay cut. Stop thinking war and start thinking and feeling Peace. You will see a resurgence of the American People and the economy like you wouldn't believe. Support life, not its opposite.

Establish a Dept. of Peace as former presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich recommended years ago. To slash the military budget (Republicans pushed through a 17 billion-dollar military-spending increase this year with the help of Democrats) in itself, can balance the budget and eradicate the whole conversation about debt ceilings. And our neediest families in this 'richest' country in the world, except for spiritually, can actually eat. Then we'd be approaching some semblance of balance, psychologically and fiscally.

Tune into www.abetterworld.net every Monday at 6pm for a fuller explanation of how to achieve greater sustainable sanity and balance.