Jan 28, 2011
Were there a Santa Clause, the 67-minute, 30-secpnd wish list for America from President Obama would have come in handy. Meanwhile, as grownups, even though anointed with American Exceptionalism, we fall very short of affording the president’s wish list, especially since the numbers between our GDP and national deficit both hover perilously close at near $14.8 trillion, which frees up little extra cash.
We know as the president intoned that “we are part of the American family,” especially after the Tucson incident, but I had hoped the president could mention the human family since we live on a planet full of its members. And whether we bond or dream, are rich or poor together, we are also set apart as a nation by some good things and some very bad things, the latter never mentioned as such in Obama’s speech.
I would take umbrage with his compliment that, “America is not just a place on the map, but a light to the world” given our War on Terror in Afghanistan, which rolls in at some $380 billion, not to mention Iraq, where estimates range from $750 billion to Nobel-winning economist Joseph Stieglitz’s estimate of $3 trillion, which includes the many lost opportunities for business, human and national development. Pakistan, I have to figure, comes in at about $100 billion, given the presence of XE mercenaries, costs of remote-controlled drones, and other killing paraphernalia.
Of course, George Bush started the first two wars, illegally, preemptively with faulty proof, but Obama has picked up the Bush mantle with great gusto, escalating the Afghanistan war, the “dumb war” he was going to stop, and added the new Pakistan war. This as he boasted of 100,000 US troops leaving Iraq, which war is supposedly over now, though Sunnis (Hussein was one) are still being slaughtered by Shia Muslims with help from the Kurds. In other words, this US-wrecked country is wrecking its own remains.
The costs of these wars have contributed substantially to our $14.8 trillion national debt and impacted on our $1.5 trillion 2010 deficit along with the War on US by the financial industry. It seems like less than a dozen years ago President Clinton left President Bush a $265 billion budget surplus, with plans to pay down the national debt. Alas, the defense industry and Wall Street, two leeches on the ailing body of our nation, have helped to suck us dry and brought no cure.
Main Street’s struggle for capital for investment, education, healthcare, infrastructure, and the president’s wish list, has been hampered by a humongous lack of cash, which has been replaced by the Fed expanding credit, carrying it as if it were an asset, when in fact it’s debt, that is you have to pay it back, and with interest, a great amount of interest at this point. As of now, each of America’s family members, numbering nearly 340 million owe about $45,000 each to level our national debt.
This article was posted: Friday, January 28, 2011 at 8:28 am