The Trump War Budget & Liberal Hypocrisy

by David Samuels
This column appears in the March 23 – 30 edition of the Hartford News.
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Action Alert: Support the Meagen Hockaday and Trayvon Martin Acts!
The Meagen Hockaday Act has been officially filed: S.B. No. 440
Visit our No Sellout blog for details on how you can support this police reform legislation.
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The Judiciary Committee has raised H.B. 7258 introduced by House Majority Leader Matt Ritter.
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Community Update: Mike Brown
The new Mike Brown video isn’t shocking to anyone who is familiar with the underground economy, which flourishes in low income communities of color. People with no money go into neighborhood stores and work out deals for goods or cash. In 2010 ColorLines reporter Seth Freed Wessler did an investigative piece on welfare recipients in Hartford, who are forced to sell food stamps on the black market to pay for basic necessities. Bodega owners and employees are involved in these transactions.
Black Agenda Report commentator Glen Ford talked to The Real News Network about the video, which contradicts the Ferguson police narrative that Mike Brown robbed a convenience store before he was lynched by officer Darren Wilson.
“We see that the police have no problem – they specialize in spinning selected pieces of evidence, or even non-evidence, to back up the righteousness of their subsequent actions. And we see how what could have been, just a rather innocent episode in an informal economy in the poor neighborhood, gets turned into something quite insidious, and deadly. That’s one aspect. But the other points, and I think it’s even more important, is that even if the police spin on the events in …that store were true, even if they were true, they provide no justification whatsoever for the actual crime that took place. And that crime was the murder of Michael Brown by the police — the murder of an unarmed Michael Brown by that cop.
“That is separate from, and cannot be used; the events in the store cannot be used as a predicate to justify that killing. But we see that, in fact, is in sync with police procedures. With the whole mentality, the whole story line that’s created by not just the police, but their allies in the media and in political office who paint a picture of these deadly young black folks who are plundering communities, and are always in a state of lawlessness, and need to be encountered with deadly force by police all of the time.
It’s a character assassination, not of Michael Brown, specifically, because his actual identity is not important to these cops, but a character assassination of black young men, period. To show that they are at any moment, deserving of death.”
Policy Watch – Trump Budget Triggers Liberals’ Selective Outrage
Liberals are screaming about President Trump’s despicable human services budget cuts; many of you didn’t have anything to say when Barack Obama did the same damn thing. Many Connecticut liberals have been silent about Democrat Gov. Dan Malloy’s human services cuts.
Black folks, liberals’ reaction to President Donald Trump’s unconscionable human services budget cuts is a prime example of why the Democrats should not get any votes from people of color in 2018. These hypocrites didn’t have a problem with how the Clintons dismantled cash assistance and fueled poverty in urban neighborhoods, with Bill’s 1996 racist welfare bill. They were fine with Obama slashing human services funding during his presidency. This selective outrage is all about returning the Democrats to power.
Ralph Nader broke down the Trump budget during an interview with Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman. “Well, so much for Donald Trump’s campaign promises to the forgotten men and women of America. They’re the ones who are the big losers, as you pointed out with your many examples of these budget cuts. Overall, this is a budget that reflects corporatism, militarism and racism. The mask is off Donald Trump, his braggadocio, his lurid promises, his assurances that everything will be safe, and people will have—all people will have health insurance, and there will be plenty of jobs. The mask is off. The fangs are now out. And he is collaborating with what is, on the record, the most vicious, ignorant Republican Party in its history, since 1854. Senator Robert Taft, a conservative in the Senate in the 1950s, would have been astonished at the viciousness, the corporatism, the militarism, the racism of these Republicans, with few exceptions.
Now, when you go into this 50-page-or-so budget—the details will all come out, Amy, in May, in a bigger budget. When you go into it, you see that Sean Spicer’s daily assurances, that they want to go after what he calls inefficiency, waste and government duplicity, leaves out hundreds of billions of dollars of corporate fraud on the taxpayer. For example, they talk about the need to cut healthcare in this way and that way and push 14 million people off the health insurance rolls in a year, and 24 million by 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office, or thereabouts. Just look at this. He says he doesn’t—he doesn’t want to fund programs that don’t work. OK. Almost $10 billion a year, since Reagan—a year—is spent on a total boondoggle project in the Pentagon called ballistic missile defense. It doesn’t work. It won’t work. We’re talking about the intercontinental ballistic missiles. The Society of Physicists, which includes physicists who consult with the Pentagon, have said that it won’t work, it’s too easily decoyed by balloons. There are a lot of other easier ways to get nuclear weapons in a country than this way. And yet, as a corporate welfare program for Raytheon, Boeing and others, it goes on every day. Now, this is a budget inside the Pentagon that’s bigger than the entire budget of the Environmental Protection Agency. So, you see they’re not going after the corporate crime, the corporate waste, the corporate fraud, that lathers itself throughout the federal budget.”
The following 2010 World Socialist Website analysis of Obama’s budget is similar to Nader’s observations on Trump’s budget plan. Where was the liberal outrage?
Obama budget: War, debt and cuts in social services
By Patrick Martin
February 2, 2010
The Obama administration’s budget for the 2011 fiscal year, unveiled Monday, projects massive US government deficits for the next decade, fueled by gargantuan military spending and the impact of the financial and economic crisis of American and world capitalism. The US national debt is projected to more than double over the coming decade, increasing by $8.5 trillion.
Administration officials also revealed that for the current fiscal year, which ends September 30, 2010, the federal deficit will approach $1.6 trillion, by far the largest ever, and nearly 11 percent of total US gross domestic product. This is up sharply from the $1.35 trillion estimate last week by the Congressional Budget Office.
The mushrooming deficit for the current year is largely a byproduct of the worsening economic crisis, which has simultaneously depressed tax revenues and forced the expenditure of much greater sums for unemployment compensation and other mandatory programs.
The amount Obama proposes to spend on “job creation” in the 2011 budget, only $100 billion, is a drop in the bucket. If it was translated entirely into jobs, with no overhead costs or business profits, it would mean two million jobs paying $50,000 apiece—in a country with an estimated 20 million unemployed or underemployed.
As it is, however, not a penny of the $100 billion is for hiring workers. It consists largely of tax cuts for businesses that hire workers or raise their pay, extended unemployment benefits, and aid to state and local governments.
While the White House seeks to focus attention on the so-called job creation initiative, this spending is dwarfed by the real priorities of the administration—the gargantuan military establishment, and interest payments on the national debt, which go disproportionately to the wealthy and to foreign creditors.
The budget calls for an additional $33 billion in war funding for the current fiscal year, to pay for Obama’s increase of 30,000 troops in Afghanistan, and for a total of $159 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan combined next year. Together with the $549 billion in the regular Pentagon budget, this brings total direct US military spending in FY 2011 to more than $708 billion. There is considerable indirect spending, including nearly all the budget of the Department of Energy, which operates the nuclear weapons manufacturing process.
Counting the additional funds requested this year for Afghanistan, total US spending in 2010 and 2011 for the two wars will come to $322 billion, compared to $354 billion in the final two years of the Bush administration. “
Militarism, corporatism and racism is not cool when the Democrats do it. Liberals’ hypocrisy regarding the Trump budget is so obvious, it’s sickening.
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