War Is Making You Poor

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  1. kerryg profile image83
    kerrygposted 14 years ago

    Alan Grayson is one heckuva BAMF. I doubt this will get passed, but it's a fascinating idea.

    Grayson's speech:

    Mr. Speaker. Today I introduce H.R.5353: the "War Is Making You Poor Act." The "War Is Making You Poor Act" does three things: first, it requires the administration to carry out the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with only the $549 billion set forth in the president's budget for defense spending, without the additional $159 billion the president has asked for, for the sake of these so-called emergency wars, which now stretches into nine years in one case, and seven years in the other. My view is that $549 billion is enough for these wars, and whatever wars the president plans to engage in.

    Secondly, it takes the money saved from the wars' separate allocation and it uses it for a very important purpose. With the economy the way it is, people in America are suffering. It takes that money -- or 90 percent of it -- and it uses it to make $35,000 of everyone's income in America tax free, and $70,000 for married couples. Let's be clear about that; let's be clear about what I said. With the money saved from the "War Is Making You Poor Act," we could give $35,000 of every American's income tax free, and $70,000 for married couples. And in addition to that, it takes the remaining money and reduces the federal deficit and the federal debt. I think those are three things, all of which need to be done, and this bill brings them all together.

    Let's start with the fact that the administration has asked for $549 billion to basically keep the lights on in the Pentagon, and beyond that asked for another $159 billion for the wars. Let's see exactly how much that means. On this chart here you can see that the U.S. military spending is as much as the entire rest of the world combined. And in fact, the ones who come in second are our NATO allies in Europe, who I don't expect to be attacking us anytime soon. Beyond that, you have to go all the way down to China to get to any country that is conceivably ever going to be a military enemy and we outspend China by almost five to one.

    Beyond that, we get into our allies in East Asia and Australia and you have to go all the way down to Russia, who we outspend almost 10 to one, before you get to any country that could conceivably be a military opponent. Why is this necessary? If we're going to have military spending that amounts to this much -- half of all the military spending in the world -- do we have to have on top of that another $159 billion -- on top of that base budget -- for the wars? I think not. Particularly when people in America are suffering. So I believe that the thing we have to do is take that $159 billion the president has set aside -- I'm not saying he has to stop the wars, we're not giving a cut-off date for the war. We're just saying that you need to fund it out of the base budget of $549 billion. And we take 90 percent of that money and give it back to the American people.

    And I think most people would be surprised to learn that that is so much money that we've been spending in the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq that every single taxpayer in America would be able to get his first, her first, $35,000 of income completely tax-free. You won't see dollar one of tax, until you make more than that. And in fact, almost a third of Americans don't make more than that, so they will simply be excused from the federal income tax system, and all we need to do is to stop separately funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Now, I've heard many complaints from the people on the other side, and some complaints from the people on our side about the federal debt and the federal deficit. Here's something concrete that you can do. If this bill passes, we'll be able to reduce the federal deficit by $16 billion. You don't have to take my word for it, it's been scored by the joint committee on taxation. The joint committee on taxation staff has determined that the tax cut that's needed to give every single person in America $35,000 tax-free, would cost less than the wars, and would leave after that $16 billion. Mr. Speaker, this is an idea whose time has come. It's time for the American people to see that there is no longer any need to go beyond the base, exorbitant defense budget that's presented to us by the president, not withstanding the fact that there's a war in Afghanistan and a war in Iraq. It's simply not necessary; you can see for yourself that enough is enough.... $549 billion is plenty, especially when we're using a Chinese credit card to pay for it. So I ask for your support Mr. Speaker, and I hope the chamber will consider the h.r. 5353 "War Is Making You Poor Act." Thank you.

    source (with lots more details on the bill) : http://www.alternet.org/story/146973/re … age=entire

    1. ledefensetech profile image68
      ledefensetechposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Most of that is bunk.  Check out IOUSA, which was a documentary made by the former Comptroller of the US.  He's the head accountant of the United States.  The Comptroller's Office is a part of the legislative branch of the government, but unlike the CBO, they use actual facts and figures, not those given to them by the politicians in Congress.  Even if the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were to end tomorrow, the only effect it would have on the deficit is to reduce it by 1%, hardly the tax free for people making under 35,000 a year.  Which, by the way, is another untruth since only about half the population pays taxes anyway.  Why do you think the criminals in the current administration floated the idea of a VAT tax?

      It's all a moot point anyway.  Until and unless you take away the governments ability to print money and create credit, you'll never be able to keep a government from deciding to go to war.  What proof do I have of this?  World War I.  When the Great War broke out, may people, especially in the US, figured the war would last about six months.  Why?  The gold reserves of the various European powers would run out after that time and they'd be bankrupt.  War is expensive after all. 

      So what happened?  The Allied powers went, cap in hand, to Wall Street to get credit to fight the War.  This was duly given with pressure from Wilson's White House, which is interesting because he claimed to try to keep us out of war.  You don't stay out of a war by aiding one of the belligerents.  This is the genesis of the "war profiteers" attack that politicians of the 1920's liked to make against "evil" capitalists.  Ah, they heady days of Progressivism. 

      The Central Powers, without access to Wall Street, had to take a different path.  They simply opened up the printing presses.  That, and the embargo, was why Germany was in such dire straits after the war.  Plus the crushing reparations debt that was insisted upon at Versailles. 

      The common thread in all of this?  Credit.  So long as a government is allowed to go into debt, they can wage war when they choose and for as long as they choose.  Your answer is a simplistic one, but the real answer is simplicity itself.  End the central bank experiment in this country.  It's given us nothing but wars, depressions, recessions since it's inception.  End the governments ability to create money out of thin air and you'll end their ability to go to war at whim.

  2. MikeNV profile image68
    MikeNVposted 14 years ago

    The numbers are astounding!

    But what is "missing" is the fact the that cost of war... those dollars no matter how many billions go somewhere.  You see spent dollars go into the pockets of the people who create the equipment to perpetuate the war.

    You think those people are going to sit back and take a cut in pay?  Of course not!  If they have a 100' yacht then they want a 200' yacht.  If they have a $1Million wrist watch then they want a $5 Million wrist watch.

    There is no limit on the accumulation of material wealth.  And all that has to happen is the "People" need to continue to suffer so the wealthy can accumulate.

    I would like to see the money applied to eliminating the National Debt.  Has to happen at some point. I'd like to see fractional reserve banking abolished so people were not longer slaves to debt.  But hey I'd also like to see Phoenix Beat the Lakers.... but all my wishful thinking amounts to the same as Alan Grayson's... sadly it just isn't going to happen.

    But it's nice to think that we could actually be doing something useful in the lives of the "People" besides throwing money at a created agenda in order to feed more wealth to the obscenely wealthy.

    1. alternate poet profile image67
      alternate poetposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      WOW - The first time EVER I am able to agree with everything you say (and in a long post) !!   big_smile big_smile big_smile

      1. profile image0
        PrettyPantherposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        Me, too!  big_smile

    2. kerryg profile image83
      kerrygposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Hehe, I am not used to agreeing with you either, but I do here. The military-industrial complex is why I said I don't think it will actually be passed. Not listening to Eisenhower's warning was one of the biggest mistakes this country has made in the last 100 years. They're entrenched now, and our soldiers are dying to keep them in yachts and Rolexes. sad

  3. VENUGOPAL SIVAGNA profile image60
    VENUGOPAL SIVAGNAposted 14 years ago

    No doubt... war is creating poverty. But how to settle scores? When one man does a criminal act against a whole country and another country safeguards him, it is in all our rights to wage war against the country safeguarding him. If Obama want Osama, he should first quit Afganistan and wage war on Saudi Arabia. Then Osama will come out in the open and fall to the US troops like Sadam Hussein.

  4. Evan G Rogers profile image62
    Evan G Rogersposted 14 years ago

    yeah, this was a great move by Grayson. Unfortunately he's for spending in many other areas. But on this one, he hit the nail right on the head.

  5. optimus grimlock profile image60
    optimus grimlockposted 14 years ago

    time to drop a bomd, show the world we still got it!!!

    1. alternate poet profile image67
      alternate poetposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Ah yes - the lets bomb someones family that we don't know or care about and then bleat about terrorists when he comes after us.  Good idea!

      1. rhamson profile image69
        rhamsonposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        It is funny how bombing creates amnesia for the dropper but the droppie never seems to forget.

    2. MikeNV profile image68
      MikeNVposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      That's a terrific idea!

      In the late 70's China tested a nuclear weapon.  And there was HUGE concern in the United States that Fall Out from that test would be carried by the jet stream over the United States.

      So lets nuke em right?  And by THEM I mean US.

      Surly that's the way to show the world just how smart we are.

      --------------------- Education -------------------------------

      A 1991 book, "Radioactive Heaven and Earth," released by International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) has given the following amounts of radioactivity as having been released from Lop Nor.

      The total amount of plutonium-239 released to the atmosphere as a result of the 23 atmospheric nuclear tests is estimated at 3,300 curies, approximately 48 kilograms in weight. One millionth of a gram of plutonium-239, if inhaled can cause cancer. The amount of plutonium-239 still contained within the Lop Nor site as a result of underground nuclear testing is estimated by IPPNW as 1,800 curies (25 kilograms).

      A further two million curies of caesium-137 and 1.3 million curies of strontium-90 have also been released into the atmosphere. The radioactive half-life of these materials are 30 and 29 years respectively. Caesium-137 concentrates in muscle tissue, but normally passes out of the body in two years. Strontium-90, however, attaches to the bones and thus stays in the body giving radiation doses over a longer period of time. The above figures are exclusive of the shorter lived fission products, such as iodine-131, which has a radioactive half-life of eight days, which would have also been released.

      1. rhamson profile image69
        rhamsonposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I don't know but I am glad he is not in charge of the bomd .... er bomb. smile


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