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And, yes, I DO take it personally: A union member, a CEO and a Tea Party member are sitting at a table with 12 cookies
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Friday, March 04, 2011

A union member, a CEO and a Tea Party member are sitting at a table with 12 cookies

the only part of the following i have a quarrel with is where he says, "our military spending grabs 11 cookies"... it may seem like a small thing, but all of the money that nominally goes to the military actually doesn't... it goes to the defense contractors who are headed - mostly behind the scenes, of course - by our super-rich elites who are highly motivated to keep the rivers of cash flowing...
A union member, a CEO and a Tea Party member are sitting at a table with 12 cookies. The CEO grabs 11, turns to the Tea Partier and says “The Union's out to take your cookie!”

I've been thinking that the joke applies pretty well to another situation. For instance, the military. Our military spending grabs 11 cookies and leaves us all battling over the 12th.

Christopher Hellman at TomDispatch added up all the military-related spending in the budget and came to a startling number: for fiscal year 2012, the actual military budget is something like $1.2 trillion dollars.

Trillion with a T.

Just to put that in perspective for a second, a million seconds is 12 days. A trillion seconds is 31,688 years.

So after all that cash is gone, what are we left with? Not a whole heck of a lot for the rest of us. “Discretionary” spending is nearly 40% of the budget, but if Hellman's numbers are accurate, that $1.2 trillion eats up nearly 90% of discretionary funds, leaving just 10% for the rest of us. (That doesn't include mandatory spending on things like Social Security and Medicare, which are separate.)

on the plus side, i think it's critical for us to understand that the current fiscal dilemma that the federal government, states and municipalities find themselves in (to say nothing of the fiscal dilemma most of us average peasants find OURSELVES in) is a direct result of our slavish devotion to insuring those rivers of cash keep flowing to those already super-rich elites whether they be defense contractors, bankers or hedge fund managers... the full extent of the nasty picture is only beginning to dawn on the american people but, ya know, it ain't that difficult to see if you only bother to look...

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