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Friday, 29 August 2014 06:28

Tax Dollars for Oil Wars and Weapons Should be Spent on Improving the Common Good

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JACQUELINE MARCUS FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

aaaHomelessUSA(Photo: C.G.P. Grey)While weapon contractors, those ‘masters of war’, are raiding our treasury for multibillion dollar federal contracts, our middle-class economy is falling below the levels of third world countries.  Last night, ABC news did a report on homeless children in the United States.  Some American children are living out of cars with nothing more than green garbage bags to keep their small belongings in. These children were grateful to receive suitcases because living out of “garbage bags made them feel trashy.”  

Has it come to this? Shame on this government for turning the United States of America into a country that includes too many starving, homeless children, while less than a privileged group of companies is receiving billions of our tax dollars for weapons, and those weapons are used in turn to steal oil in the Middle East.

new report found that the nation's food pantries serve 620,000 families with a member in the military: “another troubling indication that service members battling against poverty must often rely on the generosity of our charities.”

Our tax dollars should provide adequate funding for middle-class and poor communities: schools, hospitals, roads, teachers, police, firefighters, and alternative energy among other expenditures that benefit the public good. However, when so many of our tax dollars are going directly into the bank accounts of weapon-surveillance contractors, and Wall Street banksters, you begin to understand why everyone else is left with a few scattered crumbs to fight over; you begin to see why the oligarchy encourages conflicts and divisions between blacks and whites, middle-class workers and immigrants, and so forth. After all, while everyone’s busy fighting, the biggest robbery in history is going down: big money is being stolen behind closed doors with the assistance of the White House and congressional friends of the oligarchy.

Read this excellent 2014 article, Big Money behind Wars, by constitutional professor and lawyer, Jonathan Turley:

In the last eight years, trillions of dollars have flowed to military and homeland security companies. When the administration starts a war like Libya, it is a windfall for companies who are given generous contracts to produce everything from replacement missiles to ready-to-eat meals.

According to a 32-page study by Oxfam titled Working for the Few

1,426 individuals have a combined net worth of $5.4 trillion.  About half of those individuals are from the weapon and oil industries, the other half play their multibillion dollar criminal scams at Wall Street with impunity.  

Rolling Stone reported that the top one percent own up to 37 percent of U.S. national wealth.

Read more about the horrors of concentrated wealth and the economic problems it is producing by Buzzflash at Truthout editor, Mark Karlin.

Let’s be clear: The United States government is in the war business primarily for oil.

The arms dealers don’t give a damn about who uses their weapons on whom, whether it is on Iraqis or on Americans—it is all about profits, and getting those multibillion dollar contracts. “For the Pentagon and arms dealers,” wrote Truthout editor, William Rivers Pitt, “an ancillary benefit from endless wars has been a huge stockpile of war weapons, which they have happily sold to police forces all over the United States, in communities big and small.” Certainly this is no surprise. They’ve been illegally spying on every single person in this country since 9-11.

So what is the alternative? What about societies that are not burdened by a gluttonous weapon industry?  Take a look at Sweden’s blended socialistic-capitalist system.   Most work hours are reasonable, benefits are good, free health care and college, no student bank loans, and much more. There is also a direct correlation shown that when poverty is reduced, violent crimes also decline. In general, Sweden’s taxes are invested in public services for their citizens, even if recent governments have moved a bit to the right. Teachers are highly valued; their generous salaries reflect a morally and politically fair system.

I am sure the US oligarchy would like to “eliminate” Sweden’s economic model. In addition to a media blitz on demonizing the word “socialism,” the best they can do is minimize mainstream media discussion of alternative economic models, so that Americans have no basis of comparison unless they take the time out to research the subject online.

“This country invests in tax loopholes for billionaires,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is trying to reduce student loan debt, “and forces college students to pay for them through higher interest rates on their loans. That makes no sense at all.” To repeat, far too many of those middle-class tax dollars go directly to the weapon industrialists, instead of being invested in public services like college education for ordinary, hard-working Americans. 

In addition, when Republicans and Democrats talk about cutting big government spending, they never mention cutbacks in subsidies for oil or in the multibillion dollar weapon contracts. What they cut instead is funding for public safety inspectors for our food and water; and for all the above mentioned public services. In a recent Huffington Post article, there is slide show of all the toxic oil catastrophes that have poisoned rivers, farm land and oceans since the 2010 BP Gulf tragedy, proving that negligence and a lack of federal funding for oversight is turning many areas in the US into toxic wastelands. .

The government-oligarchy-corporate media’s goal is to keep everyone focused on “enemies,” keep most people in the US distracted, uninformed, and in a state of financial crisis. Mean while Wall Street investors, weapon and oil contractors continue to steal our taxes, rape the earth, and raid our national treasures. The goal is to make sure that the people stay divided - because the oligarchy knows that when attention is focused on who’s responsible for creating all the misery and suffering, the people are going to rise up, and all the weapons and surveillance will not be able to hold back a tsunami.

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Jacqueline Marcus is a contributing guest writer for Buzzflash at Truthout.org. She's the editor of ForPoetry.com and EnvironmentalPress.com and author of Close to the Shore by Michigan State University Press. Her E-book, Man Cannot Live on Oil, Alone: Time to end our dependency on oil before it ends us, is available at Kindle Books.