Sunday, June 17, 2012

Outrage of the Week: your job or your vote

You probably recall all the arguments about the federal deficit and the deficit commission and how it couldn't come to an agreement even though the media are acting like it did, repeatedly referring to “the report of the Simpson-Bowles Commission” even though that “report” came just from the co-chairs, not the whole commission.

Well, part of the deal establishing that commission was that if it could not come up with an agreement, there would be automatic cuts in spending of $1.2 trillion over the next ten years, split equally between military spending and domestic spending.

The clock is ticking on those automatic cuts, which are supposed to go into effect on January 1. Now, some in - and some out - of Congress are pounding the drums ever louder that we must not cut military spending. Everything else? Fine. Well, except our salaries and perks. But everything else, okay. You want to cut food stamps? Fine. You want to cut housing assistance? Fine. You want to cut school lunches, WIC, education programs, environmental programs, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, unemployment compensation? Fine, fine, all fine. But we must not cut military spending. In fact, in May the House voted to shift all the first year cuts in the military to domestic programs.

The move is likely to go nowhere in the Senate, leaving the fear merchants of the Pentagon still facing a 10-year, $600 billion, across-the-board spending cut, about 8% of its current budget. Note that is, again, a cut of 8% over 10 years, or about 0.8% per year.

That prospect of a less-than-one-percent cut per year has lead to a campaign using terms like “a heavy blow,” "gutted,” “devastated,” a “hollow force,” and "debilitating." Lindsay Graham actually stood on the Senate floor and said
The debate on the debt is an opportunity to send the world a signal that we are going to remain the strongest military force in the world. We’re saying, "We’re going to keep it, and we’re going to make it the No. 1 priority of a broke nation."
We can’t produce jobs for the unemployed, we can’t provide care for our sick, we can’t feed our hungry, we can’t afford housing for our homeless, we can’t aid our poor, but dammit it all, we will feed the hogs at the Pentagon!

While that's outrageous in its deceit, its lies, and its indifference to the effects on the millions of people who are of no concern to the elites, the real reason this is under the Outrage of the Week is how Pentagon contractors are doing their part in the effort.

Claiming they are facing economic uncertainty, those contractors are plotting to get Congress to block the cuts in the Death Machine by threatening to send out hundreds of thousands of layoff notices right before Election Day.

Todd Harrison, at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, notes that
You could do a layoff notice that just informs people they might be laid off, and you could do that very broadly. Do companies make the notices go to all of their employees, half of their employees or just the 10 percent of their employees who are likely to be affected?
The answer, I expect, depends solely on what they think will be best for their bottom lines.

Threatening peoples’ jobs in order to keep the gravy train running. That is hardly unprecedented - but it's still the Outrage of the Week.


No comments:

// I Support The Occupy Movement : banner and script by @jeffcouturer / (v1.2) document.write('
I support the OCCUPY movement
');function occupySwap(whichState){if(whichState==1){document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}else{document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}} document.write('');