Moral and Fiscal Bankruptcy

Moral and Fiscal Bankruptcy“While the US government squanders $400 per gallon of gasoline in order to kill women and children in Afghanistan, many millions of Americans have lost their jobs and their homes and are experiencing the kind of misery that is the daily life of poor third world peoples. Americans are living in their cars and in public parks. America's cities, towns, and states are suffering from the costs of economic dislocations and the reduction in tax revenues from the economy's decline. Yet, Obama has sent more troops to Afghanistan, a country half way around the world that is not a threat to America. It costs $750,000 per year for each soldier we have in Afghanistan. The soldiers, who are at risk of life and limb, are paid a pittance, but all of the privatized services to the military are rolling in excess profits.” US Joins Ranks Of Failed States by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS US is rapidly unraveling economically as unemployment skyrockets, US industry is in major decline, most of its jobs have been outsourced and sent off shore, over one hundred banks have failed thus far this year, personal and commercial bankruptcies are on the rise, defaults foreclosures and homelessness increases daily. Local state and federal governments are all facing serious revenue shortfalls and in many cases insolvency as they tax their citizens, raid their pension and Social Security funds to stay afloat. A recent Pew Center on The States report indicated there are at least nine other states facing the same fiscal disaster that is ravaging California. “This examination by the Pew Center on the States looks closely at nine states, in addition to California, that are particularly affected. All of California's neighbors—Arizona, Nevada and Oregon—and fellow Sun Belt member Florida were severely hit by the bursting of the housing bubble and landed on Pew's top 10 list of recession-stricken states facing a similar set of fiscal difficulties. A Midwestern cluster comprising Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin emerged, too, as did the Northeastern states of New Jersey and Rhode Island. These state's budget troubles can have dramatic consequences for their residents: higher taxes, layoffs or furloughs of state workers, longer waits for public services, more crowded classrooms, higher college tuition and less support for the poor or unemployed. But they also pose challenges for the country as a whole. The 10 states account for more than a third of America's population1 and economic output. And actions taken by state governments to balance their budgets—such as tax increases and drastic spending cuts—can slow down the nation’s economic recovery.Close behind the 10 states on our list were states such as Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, New York and Hawaii. (The full 50-state scorecard is included in the Appendix on page 65.)New York’s revenue decline, for example, was steeper in the first quarter of 2009 than in allbut four states, and its fiscal year 2010 budget gap was sixth-worst in the nation. In fact, allbut two states, Montana and North Dakota, confronted budget shortfalls for fiscal year2010, with some facing their largest deficits in modern history—an indication of the breadth of the recession.4 States overall struggled to close an estimated $162 billion in gaps for fiscal year 2010; since July, that tally has grown by nearly $16 billion.5 Tax collections in all 50 states for the first quarter of 2009 were down a record 11.7 percent from 2008.6 Meanwhile, the unemployment rate was 9.2 percent nationally during the second quarter of 2009 (the latest figure available at the time of our examination), with 12 states suffering from double-digit jobless rates. That rate was up from 4.8 percent when the recession officially began in the fourth quarter of 2007.7” Pew Center On The States States in Fiscal Peril Executive Summary are tough in the US of A. despite the Obama administration and the media's claims the economy is turning around. Those claims are lies as far as working folks are concerned. Main Street is hurting, people are living in their cars, sleeping in tent cities, moving in with relatives and homeless shelters. Meanwhile Wall Street and the military industrial complex are enjoying humongous profits.“For the first time, the war in Afghanistan in the next budget year will cost Americans more than the war in Iraq. By the end of the next fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1, the total military budget costs for both wars will have exceeded $1 trillion. That's more than the cost of the Vietnam War, adjusting for inflation, or any other US war except World War II ($3.2 trillion in 2007 dollars). A trillion dollars is hard to imagine. Think of it this way: If you had an expense account good for $1 million a day, it would take 2,935 years to spend $1.071 trillion, which is the actual estimate for the war's price tag by Travis Sharp of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation in Washington. He reckons the two conflicts will have cost the typical American family of four roughly $13,000 by next year. Wars, even counterinsurgency conflicts, are expensive in lives and dollars. Why is Afghanistan getting so expensive? The US is sending more troops, of course. It also costs about 50 percent more to keep a soldier in Afghanistan than in Iraq, says Linda Bilmes, a Harvard University economist. In sharp contrast to flat, urbanized Iraq, most of Afghanistan's population lives in rural, mountainous terrain with few good roads to link them up. Officially, Afghanistan war costs are budgeted at $65 billion for fiscal 2010, somewhat more than the $61 billion for the Iraq war. ” ECONOMIC SCENE: Afghanistan will cost US more than Iraq The Christian Science Monitor 09-15-09Keep in mind it costs $400 for a gallon of gasoline to fuel the military vehicles in Afghanistan! Are we being ripped off or what? Most people can't even remember why the US invaded Afghanistan in the first place. Where is Osama bin-Laden, does anyone care or is the war just a giant rip off to keep the opium flowing and protect the oil and gas pipelines being built across Afghanistan?! We know Bu$h and Congress took us into Iraq based on lies and bribes yet they are getting off Scott free. Being a war criminal has no consequences! What does that say about us? Now Obama is expandingBu$h's wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Columbia at the expense of every day citizens. (The Nobel Commission actually awarded a warmonger the Nobel Peace Prize!??) This only makes sense if the US is a rogue state totally debauched to the point only the rich benefit from imperialism and wars while the rest of us struggle to keep our head above water. As Tupac Shakur sang, “You know it's funny, when it rains it pours, they got money for wars but can't feed the poor.”There was a time Africans in America were the moral compass for this country because we were outsiders not privy to the inner workings of the socio-political and economic order. Over the years men and women like Benjamin Banneker, Richard Allen, David Walker, Henry Highland Garnet, Frederick Douglas, Sojourner Truth, Ida Wells Barnett, Mary Church Terrell, Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X , Martin Luther King Jr Huey Newton and countless others stood tall for right, and the dignity and freedom of African people. Today the US is lost because we are lost. COINTELPRO and other government counterinsurgency programs have whittled our righteous leadership down to next to nothing and replaced them with wimps, pimps, hustlers and con men. The fascist Kleptocracy free from African morality and social pressure have successfully ushered in a police/warfare state in the US that makes Hitler (Bu$h’s grandfather Prescott and numerous other fat cats financed Hitler's rise to power in Germany) look like a choir boy.In an amoral, predatory, hypocritical global empire, justice often takes the form of irony since true justice is not part of the social and moral fabric. So its ironic a vampire nation like the United States where the rich and the leadership phlebotomize the rest of society, cause so much misery, pain, deprivation and death is collapsing under its own weight of greed, graft, corruption and depravity.-30-

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