The current president sent out the first volley Wednesday in what will be the upcoming budget discussions. As former Vice-President Joe Biden once said
“Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.”
And as always the values of the Republican Party are to make the rich richer the poor poorer and to ignore the real problems that are no longer something that could happen in the future.
While the president didn’t speak on spending Wednesday you can bet when the budget proposals are unveiled there will be the usual Republican ideas of starving the poor, screwing up the health care system, taking away Social Security and Medicare from the elderly. The same old inhumane ideas they always push.
At the same time there will be proposals to continue the useless and totally wasteful war in Afghanistan. There will also be plenty of money to continue our presence in 150 out of 195 countries of the world. There will be plenty of money to fight the ridiculous “War on Terror” around the world when they would be better controlled through intelligence and collaboration with other nations.
What there won’t be much money for is the real problems that will really affect Americans daily. The first of these is to study and initiate some real counter action to human caused climate change. Instead we will most likely have huge cuts to anything that has to do with climate change. Apparently our current government’s approach to climate change is to do more of what we are doing, then hope the effects will go away. Ain’t a gonna happen.
While we will be pouring more and more money into the war machine and cutting money to try to get a grip on climate change, coastal cities will continue to see ocean waters continue to creep into their cities. A Pentagon study last year identified climate change as a real threat to the world:
In a report outlining climate risks, the group state: “The military has long had a tradition of parsing threats through a ‘Survive to Operate’ lens, meaning we cannot assume the best case scenario, but must prepare to be able to effectively operate even under attack. Dealing with climate risks to operational effectiveness must therefore be a core priority.”
Recommendations to the federal government include the creation of a cabinet-level official dedicated to climate change and security issues and the prioritization of climate change in intelligence assessments.
Last year, the Department of Defense called climate change a “threat multiplier” which could demand greater humanitarian or military intervention and lead to more severe storms that threaten cities and military bases and heightened sea levels that could imperil island and coastal infrastructure. In January, the Pentagon ordered its officials to start incorporating climate change into every major consideration, from weapons testing to preparing troops for war.”
We will soon be paying huge dollars either through the government or through insurance for the recent disaster in Houston. New Orleans has not fully recovered from Katrina, the East coast has not fully recovered from Sandy and now there is another major disaster to add on. Will there be another one yet this year? Or perhaps next year?
With most of our populations living near the coasts it is not out too far out to believe that yet another major disaster could happen in the near future. Will Harvey cost us $200 billion or more? Can the US afford costs such as these on a yearly basis? What about the costs of the almost constant forest fires that seem to burn out west anymore? What about the droughts that have areas of our country in its grip?
And what about the rest of the world? As we continue to ignore climate change we have seen super flooding rains in such disparate places as Mumbai, Karachi, Istanbul, Nepal, Bangladesh, Houston, Niger, Sierra Leone, Yemen, Donegal Ireland, Windsor Ontario, Macau, Hong Kong and Mainland China.
This is not the time to cut taxes for the rich and plow huge amounts of money into our war machine and worldwide policing. It is time to get out of useless wars and reconsider our current military positions around the world. It is time to work on domestic problems that have been ignored for decades such as infrastructure upgrades. Climate change is accelerating the need for upgrading the aging infrastructure.
Let’s also take a real look at where terrorism is growing out of control. We can get much better bang for our buck through international cooperation with allies in fighting terrorist groups. At the same time it is time to get tackle the growing right wing terrorist groups that are a growing threat within our country.
We must also act on the true values as Americans and make sure that our citizens can eat and have access to medical care without going bankrupt.