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100% of us.

To keep our country safe, we depend on the best men and women soldiers in the world.

To keep our homes and streets and roads safe, we depend on our police and fire and highway patrols.

To keep our money safe, we depend on the FDIC, the Federal Reserve the U.S. Treasury and other federal agencies who maintain safeguards and rules that keep our financial systems running smoothly.

To keep our food safe and well supplied, we depend on food inspectors at the Department of Agriculture and U.S. Customs and Departments of Commerce and Transportation.  The national weather service and EPA also make a difference in the water we drink and the food we eat.

To keep our health as safe as possible, the Center For Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health play major roles in monitoring and recommending our responses to health epidemics like flu and polio, HIV and new strains of bacteria. We all depend daily on their continued research and response to these health issues as well as new treatments for illnesses.

To keep our public and private sectors functioning well, we depend on a world class educational system, from pre-school, to the finest graduate programs imaginable. We could not begin to compete or properly staff the above government agencies without the best education possible.

There are many, more specific examples of how, every day, all of us, 100% of us, depend on the government.

An exhaustive list of ALL the ways government benefits its citizens, from favorable tax breaks for investors and well-connected corporate interests (see F-35 and big Pharma) – an exhaustive list that honestly includes the wealthiest beneficiaries of governmental largesse would clearly demonstrate that rather than some specious 47% of Americans dependent on the government, that the number is actually much, much closer to 100%.

And the 100% truth deserves to be spoken for all to hear.  

And what we all can agree on is that we want the government that we depend on to be as successful as it can possibly be.

To want that success fairly, for 100% of Americans, ought to be the common ground we all seek in our relations with one another.

It's an ideal, to be sure, but our country was founded on them...  

Originally posted to Beastly Fool on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 12:19 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Plus, Romney needs gov't to keep us from taking (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyWH, radarlady, Matthew D Jones

    his money.

    But when the Revolution comes, ...

  •  I agree with you so completely! (8+ / 0-)

    I always wonder why people have no appreciation for roads, libraries, schools, snow plows and of course, our amazing military.  People seem to think they get nothing in return for their taxes.  Would they prefer to have all toll roads everywhere?  

    •  we get stuff in return, (6+ / 0-)

      but a lot of spending goes to things that people believe it ought not go to.  "the.government produces a lot of good" and "the government wastes a lot of money" aren't incompatible statements.

      •  The Iraq War cost 2 trillion dollars! (5+ / 0-)

        Along with over 4000 of our troops and probably several hundred thousand Iraqis.

        Since this was a war for oil that was supposed to pay for itself, why don't the oil companies pay for it?  Ah, corporate welfare is OK.

        Talk about wasted money that no Republican want's to talk about.

        •  Not only should they pay for the war (6+ / 0-)

          there ought to be some way for them to pay for the air pollution and the health effects of our using oil based products on our health and on the environment...

          The only reason they get the preferential treatment from Washington is because of the lobbiests - everybody knows this.  Remove the lobbys from the equation and you might have honest elections and legislation within two or three cycles.

          Imagine honest redistricting, honest debate on climate change, on voter registration, on universal health care, on tax equity...

          "...the Constitution of the U.S. is an entitlement for everybody." - Jim Clyburn

          by Beastly Fool on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 11:33:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It's not that they don't appreciate them (7+ / 0-)

      It's that they believe that these good things are just part of the landscape. No one paid for them, they are just 'there.'

      They think government spending is foreign aid (25% of our federal budget) and that the government spends more on welfare programs for freeloading moochers than it does for social security or national defence.

      Now, as with abortion being 90% of Planned Parenthood's services, neither of these things are intended to be factual statements. But they are intended to show what people of the right wing persuation have been led to believe. And, given that they believe that, johnny's 'the government wastes a lot of money' idea doesn't take a whole lot of persuasion.

      Saint Reagan convinced people that government was the problem. Ever since his maladministration, the question has been whether we should spend money or not. That's the wrong question. We are going to have a government, it will spend money. The correct question is what we should spend money on.

      Our plutocratic masters do not want us to ask that question, because today's answer is: we spend it on coddling them.

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 11:01:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The flipside to this is: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Beastly Fool, Hangpilot

      Endless wars- Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Pakistan that include war crimes being committed in our names

      Institutionalized corruption- Michael Taylor of Monsanto, Tom Vilsak of the USDA, Timothy Geitner of Fed Reserve, and let's not forget the list of Goldman Sachs employees that have taken over our government.

      Lest we forget The Banker Bailout "Deals", the Mortgage Fraud Deals, the War on Whistleblowers, The Racist Drug War, The Pentagon waste and fraud that includes $2.3 trillion never accounted for.

      And you ask me to be happy about roads that are falling apart, bridges that are nearing collapse, schools that condition our children into being "the worker of tomorrow"?

      As for your position about "wanting toll roads everywhere", here in New York, we already paid for them.  We agreed to pay for their construction and upkeep only to have the State turn it into a quasi-private, for-profit corporation.  We agreed the tolls would come down after it was built and paid for and funding for lifetime repairs were complete.  It took a Tom Golisano suing the State to get the illegal tolls removed into downtown Buffalo, they operated for over 10 yrs longer than they were supposed to, stealing millions from drivers here.

      As for taxes, no one I know has a problem with paying taxes for legitimate purposes.  There are over 4 million public sector workers that I cannot vote out of office.  See my personal experiences with just one of them a few years ago, here.

      We once had the most efficient, productive and helpful government known to humanity.  One that held criminals accountable, defended and protected the poor and disenfranchised.  One that tried to ensure equity under law.  One that did the right thing.

      Today we have a rotting corpse of deceit, corruption and Orwellian doublespeak.

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 04:56:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  question----- (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        There are over 4 million public sector workers that I cannot vote out of office.
        How many managers of global mega-corporate too-big-to-fail behemoths who are larger, richer, more powerful, and directly control the lives of more people than any national government, can you vote out of office?
        •  Good Question....every single one of them. (0+ / 0-)

          How's that? By the goods and services I chose to purchase or not.

          The one exception is my mandatory checking account.  The expenses of not having one are extreme, imo.  The company I work for refuses to give paper checks any longer and even if they did, I'd still have to go to the bank.

          What's keeping these megacorps alive is our tax dollars, nothing more.  Tax dollars that the Fed prints out of thin air that devalues the exchange of my labor.  

          IN my short lifetime, the value of the dollar has "officially" lost 6 times its value.  Meaning I'd have to work 6 full-time jobs to buy the same goods and services I did just 40 yrs ago.

          Without our government bartering our labor away, they couldn't continue their unfunded wars and crimes against all of us.  

          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

          by gerrilea on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 06:50:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Would you prefer to commute (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Beastly Fool, Chi

      in a world without public snowplowing or traffic lights? How about if those things were privatized? It'd cost ten times more money, and you'd have no control over it.

      I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

      by CFAmick on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 07:25:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "amazing military" . . . ? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, jm214, gerrilea

      What's so "amazing" about wasting billions of dollars on exotic expensive weapons to fight a Cold War that's been over for 25 years, while sending young people to get blown up by roadside bombs in two useless wars which we lost (and never paid for)?

      I remember when liberals and progressives were OPPOSED to imperial militarism, not FANS of it . . . .


    •  very dangerous attitude (0+ / 0-)

      So you're dependent on this government that:

      1. Invades or meddles in other countries' affairs and sets up shop where we're not welcomed because we have strategic interests (oil, resources, etc) there for the highest bidding multinational corporations to exploit and profit off of?

      2. Gives 99.9999% of its citizens crumbs to keep their mouths shut while handing out trillions of our tax dollars to Wall Street financial welfare queens like Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein to basically fuck us up the ass each and every day?  And then threatens/abuses its citizens with force or jail time for something as minor as smoking weed or forgetting to report an extra $1,000 income or "illegally" downloading music or film or a book?

      3. Gropes you at the airport, listens to your phone conversations, reads all your emails/texts and then puts YOU away for good if you whistleblow on some corrupt assholes?

      4. Puts criminals like Holder and Bernanke in charge to make sure you remain powerless while they protect and enrich the powerful?

      And much, MUCH more?

      WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?  The people are NOT dependent on this government.  The government is dependent on your weak mind and your herd-like attitude so that they can keep funding their criminal enterprise going.

      Please...Wake the fuck up before it's too late!

      Congrats. You've been divided and conquered. We're all serfs now.

      by Smoke and Mirrors on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 11:22:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There's something in the air! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Beastly Fool, NancyWH, Orinoco

    I just posted my first diary- inspired by a vision of democracy for all...

    You hit on something that bothered me about framing OWS as the 99% v. the 1%. Even 1% failure is a sad state of democracy. It's 100% or it doesn't work.

    The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution. Paul Cezanne

    by MeToo on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 12:54:24 PM PDT

  •  Government OF, BY and FOR the people. nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Orinoco, radarlady, Beastly Fool
    •  But the vast, vast majority of us are against both (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the War on Terrorism (Brown People) and the War on Drugs (Minorities). So, what people are you talking about?

      I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

      by shann on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 03:02:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That the paradigm of it all (0+ / 0-)

        not 4 nickels to rub together..

      •  As I'm sure you are aware, those are the words of (0+ / 0-)

        Abraham Lincoln, in the Gettysburg Address and his meaning is clear: we are (supposedly) self-governing. The dependence on government described in the title of this diary, to me, means that we are dependent on ourselves. Self reliant, but in the collective sense that Paul Ryan, for example, hates so unreasonably.

        Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.
        Our test in these times is to persuade the anti-government factions represented by the tea party, the Reaganite "government is the problem" crowd,  to  rejoin our republic and our democratic processes, and cease their efforts to destroy our government.

        I assume you know their reasons as well as I do.  Basically, simple greed, hidden racism, hyper competitiveness, human nature.

        If you disagree with the Wars on Terrorism and Drugs  what are YOU doing about it? You, we are the people I am talking about. If you strongly reject these social wars and their ill effects, why don't you start one of those White House petitions? Post it in a diary, make your case, subscribe for signatures, I'd sign it.

        •  I have started White House petitions, and failed (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annominous, gerrilea, MeToo

          to pass the first threshold of getting 150 signatures for the particular issues I was promoting at the time. The PR aspect isn't a real strength for me, but I figure that practice, when I have something to contribute, will lead me to a moment when what I have to say will break through, and that will be the right time and issue.

          Each of us , just by participating here at Kos, is engaged with some level of interest, some degree of purpose. And simply by our returning and posting our thoughts here and there, we're more likely next time to answer some outrageous bigotry at a friend's party, or convince a friend to vote or rethink their positions.

          If one of us does this, then a dozen will sooner or later, and the numbers can only grow, along with the passion and knowledge. Those who remain stuck in older patterns of thinking will find themselves wondering how the rest of us became so articulate and well informed.

          And with the changing demographics and aging of us all, every issue will become more focused and detailed and pinned into place for the emerging 21st century consensus.

          And that includes much more awareness about where our tax dollars are going and what our government is up to.  We are all becoming more activist here every day, if only by the most incremental steps...

          "...the Constitution of the U.S. is an entitlement for everybody." - Jim Clyburn

          by Beastly Fool on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 12:09:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Following you now (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Sorry that subject line sounds kind of creepy, but I've just put you on my following list, that may make it easier for me to keep track of your work and active petitions. I'm not quite sure how people use that feature.

            Thanks for your efforts, sorry I missed your petition.

  •  Fed vs. State vs. Local (3+ / 0-)

    You erroneously conflate services from Federal, State and Local governmental bodies into one.

    To keep our homes and streets and roads safe, we depend on our police and fire and highway patrols.
    All state and local services.

    Schools.. all local with some state involvement and minimal to non-existent federal backing dependent on school district.

    Almost no one argues any of these things are bad or unnecessary.  What some of us smaller federal government types DO argue, however, is that some of these local/state functions should not be co-opted by the federal government.

    It is not a function of the feds to fund school repairs.. or pay for teachers or even worry about the condition of roads that are not interstates.

    •  Extensive federal subsidies fund state and local (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Beastly Fool, Hirodog, MeToo

      governments. That's something which is often downplayed. Much of the "local" funding for public/subsidized housing comes from Federal monies, as does a part of Medicaid. Yes, the states and localities collect taxes and sell bonds for revenue, but, they don't get there alone. Back when I lived in Alexandria, VA, the city comptroller would issue a multi-page financial statement to each of its residences. I made a point of sitting down and reading it, cover to cover, every year I lived in the Del Rey section of the city. Federal grants were on nearly every page. I don't know if your local governments make that information as easily accessible, but, if they do, read it over and see where the dollars really come from. You might be surprised.


      •  This, however, is a bug, not a feature (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Beastly Fool, gerrilea

        Yes, I realize how insidious the federal government is.  It tries to insert itself into nearly every facet of our lives.  Even very small federal contributions to a certain local service gives the feds regulatory control.

        Medicaid is a federal program.  Certain housing programs are federal.. that's fine.

        What I am talking about is attributing to the federal government services that are traditionally, and still mainly, functions of local governments - i.e. local road maintenance, police, fire protection, schools.  In most communities, these are funded 90% or more locally, and should remain so.

        •  Let's Get Some Things Straight (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Beastly Fool

          The average federal employee is doing a job as guided by Congress of political appointees from whatever administration is in office.  We do our best despite them, but have an obligation to follow their guidance. The media tends to forget this and then we Federal workers are identified as the problem and are thus called "insidious".  That's bullshit.

          Let's not confuse the good work done by the rank and file Federal employee with the often inept work of our elected officials and their political operatives, who I hope we can all agree, are at an all time low when it comes to effectiveness.

          This federal employee thanks you for your understanding.  I chose to pursue my career to serve the public, and I am proud of the good work that my colleagues do for all of us.  We do an awful lot nowadays with minimal staffing and very tight budgets.

          Those who don't like government should move to Somalia.  

          •  I had respect for your posting up until the last (0+ / 0-)


            It's not about "not liking government', it's the redundancy, waste and failure to accomplish goals.  Goals that should help every single American in some fashion.

            When we provide food stamps, housing and support for the most needy, it should go to them, without the bloat of bureaucracy.   You may "X" and the average wage is "Z", here's the difference.  Simple.

            Better yet, end our participation in NAFTA, GATT and the WTO and tax the hell out of any company that offshores jobs.  Put tariffs in place that raise the price of foreign manufactured products to fund these these "benefit" programs.

            We have to start making things again if we are to restore "the American Dream".

            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

            by gerrilea on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 07:05:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  A thoughtful response, but (0+ / 0-)

              rife with generalizations and talking points--bloat, waste, failure...sure these things happen, but tarring government with these terms in a generalized fashion just keeps the meme that "government is bad" alive.  We need to reframe the conversation, because responses like yours are exactly what the John Birch Society Republicans want you to say.  

              •  What others want is immaterial to what I believe (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Bon Temps, andalusi

                I may from time to time agree with others on somethings however.  I come here to DK to share those similarities and often times, the differences.

                The muddying of the waters by equating my position to "the John Birch Society Republicans" isn't productive.  It shows a manipulation of "the conversation", very limiting one dimensional "reframing".  

                Our government is "bad".  As I've stated various times, there is no escaping this reality.  The war on whistleblowers, the racist war on drugs, the unfunded wars for the profits of Kellogg Brown and Root, Exxon Mobil et. al.  The crimes it enables and then hides, obfuscates and never prosecutes, ie torture, indefinite detention, the banker "bailout", the mortgage fraud, telecom immunity, congressional insider trading, etc.

                There are over 4 million government employees that I cannot hold accountable.  The crimes of our police are a big one for me.  The crimes of the board of elections is another. The crimes of the SEC yet another. The "parties" we have control what the "conversation" is to keep themselves in power.  Why didn't anyone during the Presidential Debates ask real questions?  Such as the crimes I've pointed out above?

                Recall during a Kerry speech a young college student was beaten and tazered and then arrested for asking him a real question.  Why do we allow those "free speech zones" again?  A Bush Crime Syndicate creation?  Why wasn't that criminal cabal prosecuted?  The Innocence Project, the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundations are the only ones trying to hold our criminal government accountable.

                Can you not understand this?  Why does it take private citizen activists and their grass roots associations to get things corrected again?  Why?  This reveals how corrupt and "bad" our government has become.  The fact that we have to organize privately against it.

                We gave you guys a set of instructions, follow them.  When you don't, you should be prosecuted, removed from your position and never allowed to work for the government or make money from it, ever again.

                We once had the most effective and efficient government known to humanity.  One that helped Americans.  I want that back, thank you very much.

                The conversation needs to be how do we do this.  And the only way forward is to admit and face the problem, not deny and obfuscate it.  We should revisit the actual goal of why we created this government.  

                I do not want anyone else telling me what I can or cannot eat, grow or do.  I do want to know what it is I am eating.  If a product can hurt me, I want to know.  Let me decide if I will ingest it.  I don't want to be told to buy a for-profit service that does nothing for me.  I want a government that will hold my fellow Americans accountable when they inflict harm upon me or invade my rights to clean air, water and soil.  Not a government that says if you pay me, you can do whatever you want. And if you become "too big to fail", we'll take the money from the American people and perpetuate your fraud and crimes.

                We have real problems and maybe this posting will help you understand where many of us are coming from, those of us that call ourselves Progressive Democrats.

                -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

                by gerrilea on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:39:25 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  the problem though is that as soon as the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Beastly Fool, jm214

      "government bad !!!" kookers get elected to local and state office, they immediately begin dismantling those, too.  

      What the kookers want is NO government, at all. Other than to bomb people or put them in jail.

      Freedomz and liberteez, and stuff.

      •  I don' t know if I agree with that, really. (0+ / 0-)

        Once they get into office they destroy the programs by intentional mismanagement.  Then they can claim to the taxpayer, "private business can do it better".

        The problem is that government has become criminal.  Hold elected officials accountable with tar and feathers or jail time.

        If you don't do the job we hired you to do and it's intentional, get the tar and feathers out, if it's really bad, prosecute them.  Ban them from any government jobs and/or contracts for life.

        -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

        by gerrilea on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 07:09:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I live in Florida (0+ / 0-)

          Every single day, I see the results that happen when anti-government libertarian kookjobs get to make decisions on funding state and local governments. It's why we are laying off teachers, closing down parks, and shutting down libraries.

          •  Odd isn't it? Yet they won't prosecute the (0+ / 0-)

            criminals for what they've done.  The intentional acts to undermine the very fabric of our social compact, ie the constitution.

            They won't defund the Military Industrial Complex or the Prison Industrial Complex.  They won't hold the criminals on Wall Street accountable. They won't hold the telecoms accountable and they surely won't hold the Bankers and the Federal Reserve accountable for their crimes of driving the majority of Americans into perpetual poverty.

            They've misdirected their anger at the wrong targets, imo.

            I don't think I'd call them "kookjobs" however.  The allure of freedom is very enticing.  They've been hoodwinked and conned into believing "freedom" is defined as "no government".  They forget that their rights end where mine begin and to have a "civil" society we must have a neutral arbiter when we transgress each others rights.

            The examples of cutting teachers, libraries and parks only reveals how truly limited our local officials are.  That's all they can cut.  It doesn't change the underlying problems, the institutionalized racist police actions and/or criminal mentality that our "officials" have.  

            When the population wakes up and find our country has been sold to the highest bidder or the "most connected" then they'll be put out of office too, I hope.


            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

            by gerrilea on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 07:03:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I MEANT to conflate them. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Let me explain briefly.

      As a child growing up in the 1950s, my father held the government, and all who represented the government, in contempt.  It was small time, but he sold MARGARINE across state lines to Minnesota, where it was not allowed because they were protecting their BUTTER industry. It sounds absurd today, I know.

      Jump to his death in 1978, when I was told he'd spent time in prison, in Minnesota, for writing bad checks. The contempt he learned for government generalized to ALL forms of government, and he passed it to all his kids.

      I felt contempt for the police (and the feds) during my drug days, and when I became politically aware, the 'fascists' running the government also became conflated in my mind.

      I observed along the way that this conflation, this generalization, is the experience for many less educated, less activist, less political among the public. The gummint is the gummint, and that's that. Pay yer taxes and don't complain TOO much.

      So part of what we have to do to change things is to clarify what's actually happening with the government, who the players are, how it's affected by the lobbys and media, and continually revisit the how of the public's actual perception and experience of our government, our shared enterprise and continuing experiment in social justice and liberty...

      "...the Constitution of the U.S. is an entitlement for everybody." - Jim Clyburn

      by Beastly Fool on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 12:23:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And government prints the money (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    which makes it possible for the 1% to hold 40% of the wealth. Scribble "One Dollar" on a piece of paper and try to use it to buy something or invest -- doesn't work. Think of money and the wealth it embodies as a public utility and things start to look different.

  •  hmm, what is it, exactly, that all those (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Beastly Fool, jm214, gerrilea

    "heroic troops" are keeping us safe from . . . ?

    The militarism has become so all-pervasive now in our society that even WE accept it as a "given".


    •  Thanks, the feedback here on the military is (0+ / 0-)

      more provocative and thoughtful than I anticipated.

      My wife made the point in a separate conversation that some of the 1%ers never have to worry here about having private militias, as the military and our local police provide pretty reliable security. Whereas the 3rd world wealthy probably need something more like their own private militias, at least in some countries.

      But the failings, and the abuses of our military, and of our defense contractors, these are points of shame that have barely been discussed, as the above video clearly states. It's criminal, and heartbreaking, and I can see where it can be seen as a dereliction of duty to our country to in any way downplay these largely untold sins.

      I am not the best messenger to speak to those, but neither do I want to be in denial.

      The present diary was written to point out that there is a 100% way for us to take responsibility for our country. It may not be easy, and our worst as well as our best may need to be reckoned with. But this will, in the end, be worth every effort we make to get clear on what we all can stand for - together...

      "...the Constitution of the U.S. is an entitlement for everybody." - Jim Clyburn

      by Beastly Fool on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 12:37:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  a conversation I had in Costa Rica . . . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Costa Rica has historically had one of the highest standards of living in South America---everyone gets health care, electricity, water and phone service, no matter how deep in the jungle up a mountainside you might live. In a conversation over some cold Imperials, a native explained why---Costa Rica disbanded its army in the early 30's and has never had a standing army since.  That meant that in contrast to the other Central American countries like Guatemala or Nicaragua, which could simply send the army to shoot the poor any time they got uppity, the Costa Rican government HAD no army to shoot anyone, and therefore has always been forced to pay attention to the needs of its people and provide them with the things they need.

        •  And noe the US military is there in force -- (0+ / 0-)

          Thousands of Marines, a flotilla of "littoral combat vessels," lots of Air Power, supposedly at the invitation of the CR government. Supposedly part of the Global War on Drugs. Maybe more accurately just another excrescence of the evil that ol' Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler characterized, after decades of "making the world safe for the predations of the United Fruit Company" and other early extra-national corporate "persons." His words and the picture he paints say it all:

          WAR is a racket. It always has been.

          It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

          A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

          In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

          How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

          Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few -- the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.

          And what is this bill?

          This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.

          For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out.

          An of course there's more, all totally current and applicable to what we call "war" and "defense" today.

          Keep an eye on what CENTCOM and SOCOM and AFRICOM and all those catchy obfuscations are up to. It's like trying to keep track of the metastatic spread of a horribly malignant cancer. And so many of us believe "they" are doing it all for "our" benefit...

          "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

          by jm214 on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 05:48:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I don't see any major elected officials saying no (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Beastly Fool


    In 2000 the share of GDP spent on government at the federal, state and local level was 32% during the Clinton administration, it is now 38%.  

    The real political battle is should, government spending go back closer to where it was in 2000, or should it rise further above 38%.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 11:02:25 AM PDT

  •  The most dependent of all on government (0+ / 0-)

    are the super wealthy.  Their wealth is built on monopoly power provided and enforced by governments.  This whole line of talk about "dependency" on government is fraudulent beyond words.  The big lie marches ever onward.  

    What's really insane is that the right wing thugs probably believe their bull, while convincing many others too.   It must be great to own the media and be able to bleat out lies 24/7.

    The Long War is not on Iraq, Afghanistan, or Iran. It is on the American people.

    by Geonomist on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 05:43:02 AM PDT

  •  We get a better value on taxes paid than (0+ / 0-)

    on almost any other expenditure in life, in my opinion.

    For the amount of money anyone pays, we receive an extraordinary number of beneficial things, like those mentioned above and so many others.

    James Michener wrote a piece which appeared in The Atlantic in the early 1990's to this same effect, saying that he felt the amount of money he paid in taxes was the best value for the money spent than anything else.

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