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View Diary: Durbin: Senate might not support Social Security benefits cut in fiscal cliff deal (164 comments)

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    •  And how about "Support Your Troops!"? Seen (6+ / 0-)

      this? Courtesy of Yves Smith at "Naked Capitalism?"

      "Stealth Target of defense spending cuts: America's highly-effective socialized-medicine provider, the VA system, and military benefits generally:"

      One element of the coming budget pact that is not getting the attention it warrants is a covert effort to gut military benefits by privatizing them. Privitization has rarely delivered on its promise of delivering better performance and/or lower costs. Indeed, in the military, it has served as an egregious ground for looting. And curiously the officialdom has chosen to turn its eyes to it.
      The manufactured fiscal cliff crisis means that more profiteering is coming to the military, this by fundamentally changing the relationship of soldiers to the armed forces. An article in Open Democracy describes how service members were once assured of a high level of benefits in return for the sacrifices made. But the military, which resisted the blandishments of neoliberals, started to succumb in the 1990s. Tellingly, the Army changed its logo from “The Army Takes Care of Its Own” to ““The Army Takes Care of its Own so that They Can Learn to Take Care of Themselves.” This reflected a basic change in attitude:

          The contracting out of the Pentagon’s support coincided with neoliberal efforts to combat “dependency” in the military. Policies forcing recipients of public assistance programs to achieve “independence” – largely through mandating employment requirements – had been gaining ground in conservative and neoliberal policy debates in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They also took hold in the military, where in the early 1990s the military retrenched its support for soldiers and their families. As the Army pulled back on spending for support services and contracted out services, for example, it also instituted programs to teach soldiers and their spouses “self-sufficiency.”

      The plum for privatizers is the healthcare and pension budgets:

          Instead of using the current government-contracted HMO/PPO model, called TriCare, military personnel and their families would receive health care vouchers allowing them to either purchase whatever health care plan they chose from an array of private sector providers. Instead of earning defined retirement benefits – pensions – soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines would each pay into privately held 401K programs – or simply take a lump sum of cash. In a win-win for corporate advocates, cuts to what they call the “excessive” and “burdensome” human side of the military will simultaneously fund greater spending on expensive weapons and communications systems. And under the pretext of providing “choice” to military personnel, the programs decrease total benefits and increase private sector access to government funds and the money of military personnel.

      On the healthcare side, this is simply an excuse for the medical industrial complex to get its blood suckers into the huge military budgets, for the VA system is vastly more efficient than private sector providers. [reciting a RAND study that proves it].


      Even the GIs who connect up at are starting to feel that they are the ones at which those expensive laser target designators and "smart" stealth weapons are being aimed.

      How many times do we have to be slapped in the face and hit in the head before we get it? Get what's being done to us? And get off that bullshit about "politics is the art of the possible"? Someone here mentioned general strikes as a way to get the attention of the Villagers, and other people say "Oh, no, that wouldn't be NICE."

      Do you all know how cancers work, and why people end up dying from the disease, shriveled and wasted as the tumors grow and prosper?

      Do you folks not get it? Or is the salting of subtle trolls among the writers here in kosland enough to sucker the rest of you/us into just accepting the theft and fraud and endless bleeding?

      "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

      by jm214 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 11:34:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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