Tuesday, August 02, 2011

What in God's Name?

The Republicans and the Democrats in the United States have been playing economic Russian Roulette over the debt ceiling for the past few weeks. I'm no expert on this, needless to say, but I am less than impressed by the partisan politics which seem to take precedent over the best interests of the nation.

Some religious leaders have spoken out and gathered for prayer in various communities, concerned that the poor and marginalized will bear the brunt of cutbacks, as is so often the case. It's a good thing someone is acting as a voice for the voiceless.

Meanwhile it seems that the proverbial elephant in the room is being ignored. Military spending represents about 20% of government expenditures. It's estimated that about four trillion dollars has been spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, making these wars more expensive than WWII for the Americans. That amount is triple what was approved, and most of it is borrowed money.

Where in God's name is the morality in all this? How can a nation which insists that its leaders profess faith of some kind, with Christians getting the inside track, reconcile what is happening?

Have you been following this drama? What is your reaction?


johnny said...

4 trillion dollars! Think about what that kind of money could do for their health care, education or poverty.

IanD said...

I feel badly for the average American citizen through all of this.

The mess that their economy is in is largely due to reckless Bush-era tax cuts for the rich ($1 trillion, folks!), the two wars you mention, and an ill-timed expansion of Medicare for certain prescription drug coverage. All of these problems pre-date the present administration, and it's infuriating to see the Republican side that induced these crises now positioning themselves as the SOLUTION to these problems! Their posturing during the debt ceiling debate was both ludricrous and cynical. How the White House caved in to these people, I will never know.

(Incidently, I always point out to conservative friends that the only president to run a surplus since the Eisenhower era was Bill Clinton, and he did so with a mix of program cuts AND tax increases!)

The morality in all of this? It's absent. Or, it's buckling under the simple fact that all levels of American government have been infected by corruption, graft, greed, bribery and the undue influence of corporate lobby groups.

How else can you explain the dimissal of climate change, the rising income gap between rich and poor, the loss of a middle class, the onset of the housing crisis and other issues?

Since the Reagan revolution began over thirty years ago, Americans have seen their government turn on them in favour of lining their own pockets, protecting the vested interests of the wealthy and hurting those that can least afford it.

sjd said...

You've hit it Bang On Ian!
They don't give a hoot about anyone but themselves.

lionlamb said...

Thanks guys. The vote to raise the debt limit is something like the sixty fifth since the 1960's. Something is terribly wrong when military spending is sacrosanct but social programs suffer.

As with sjd I agree with you Ian. I will be speaking about the dysfunctional family of Joseph and his brothers on Sunday and the US government really does seem to be a whopping big dysfunctional family!