NEWS ARCHIVE - OPINION FROM THE LEFT

How to Spend the Money being Wasted on “Defense”: Joshua Holland

Saturday, June 04, 2011
How to Spend the Money being Wasted on “Defense”: Joshua Holland
Since the attacks on September 11, 2001, the U.S. government has committed trillions of dollars towards defending the country from future terrorist assaults. In the process of spending $7.6 trillion to guard national interests, Washington has shortchanged critical domestic programs. This has got to stop, argues Joshua Holland, editor and senior writer at AlterNet, who, using figures compiled by the National Priorities Project, offers up some alternative ways to appropriate defense and homeland security monies.
 
Fill the Medicare Gap: If Congress redirected just one-fifth of the budget increases from 2000 to 2011 for defense spending, it would be enough to eliminate the long-term budget hole in the Medicare program.
 
Fund Head Start for 15 Years: Instead of 10 years of warfare in Afghanistan, the U.S. could have secured 15.6 years of early childhood education and support through Head Start for the same price.
 
Insure the Uninsured: Another way to spend the Afghanistan war chest would be on the uninsured. The budget for fighting the Taliban is enough to cover every American without health insurance for 1.7 years.
 
Help State Capitols: A total of 46 states are facing budget shortfalls this fiscal year. Collectively, they need about $130 billion. Ending the war in Afghanistan and getting entirely out of Iraq would save $170 billion—more than enough to wipe out the red ink from Albany to Sacramento.
 
Instead of Iraq…: Even with the end of combat operations in Iraq, the U.S. is still spending $50 billion annually to maintain a large contingent of troops in the country. For this same amount of money, Washington could ensure a year’s worth of health care for 24.3 million poor children, or salaries for more than 725,000 elementary school teachers or nearly 830,000 firefighters.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
 
 
Workers Laid Off, Executives Paid Off: Amy Goodman
Friday, December 19, 2008
Workers Laid Off, Executives Paid Off: Amy Goodman
"The $700-billion financial bailout package, TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program), was supposed to mandate the elimination of exorbitant executive compensation and “golden parachutes.” As U.S. taxpayers pony up their hard-earned dollars, highflying executives and corporate boards are now considering whether to give themselves multimillion-dollar bonuses. According to The Washington Post, the specific language in the TARP law that forbade such payouts was changed at the last minute, with a small but significant one-sentence edit made by the Bush administration."
 
 

Workers Laid Off, Executives Paid Off, Bernard Madoff (by Amy Goodman, Truthdig)

 
Obama's Corporate Educator: Henry A. Giroux and Kenneth Saltman
Friday, December 19, 2008
Obama's Corporate Educator: Henry A. Giroux and Kenneth Saltman

“Barack Obama's selection of Arne Duncan for secretary of education does not bode well either for the political direction of his administration nor for the future of public education….Duncan, CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, presided over the implementation and expansion of an agenda that militarized and corporatized the third largest school system in the nation, one that is about 90 percent poor and nonwhite. Under Duncan, Chicago took the lead in creating public schools run as military academies, vastly expanded draconian student expulsions, instituted sweeping surveillance practices, advocated a growing police presence in the schools, arbitrarily shut down entire schools and fired entire school staffs.”

 
 
China Buys Naming Rights to U.S.: Andy Borowitz
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
China Buys Naming Rights to U.S.: Andy Borowitz

"We get 1.4 trillion dollars, and all we have to do is change our name to ‘Panda Garden,'" Mr. Bush told reporters at the White House. The president said he decided to make the extraordinary deal after being shocked to learn that the U.S. was in a recession, when it was reported yesterday in Duh magazine.

 

China Buys Naming Rights to U.S. (by Andy Borowitz)

 
Obama Drops Windfall Profits Tax for Oil and Gas Industry: Lloyd Chapman
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Obama Drops Windfall Profits Tax for Oil and Gas Industry: Lloyd Chapman

During the course of the 2008 presidential election, the Obama campaign called for a windfall profits tax on the oil industry as a means of subsidizing a $1,000 "emergency" rebate for consumers struggling with surging gas prices. However www.change.gov, which houses the Obama-Biden transition agenda, was recently cleansed of any mention of such a tax. (pre-change, http://www.asbl.com/documents/Economy_Change.pdf ; post-change, http://change.gov/agenda/economy_agenda/ )

 

Obama's Change.gov Website Drops Small Business Promise (by Lloyd Chapman, Huffington Post)

 
Saving the Big 3 for You and Me: Michael Moore
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Saving the Big 3 for You and Me: Michael Moore

You could buy ALL the common shares of stock in General Motors for less than $3 billion. Why should we give GM $18 billion or $25 billion or anything? Take the money and buy the company! What I'm proposing has worked before. The national rail system was in shambles in the '70s. The government took it over. A decade later it was turning a profit, so the government returned it to private/public hands, and got a couple billion dollars put back in the treasury. What's good for General Motors IS good for the country. Once the country is calling the shots.

 

Saving the Big 3 for You and Me (by Michael Moore)

 
10 Republicans Who Should Go Away: Ben Cohen
Sunday, November 23, 2008
10 Republicans Who Should Go Away: Ben Cohen
There's no need to go on about how wrong Bill Kristol has been on just about everything. Just read this quote from an article he penned on the eve before the war in Iraq:

"We are tempted to comment, in these last days before the war, on the U.N., and the French, and the Democrats. But the war itself will clarify who was right and who was wrong about weapons of mass destruction."

 

Case closed.

 

10 Republicans Who Should Go Away (by Ben Cohen)

 
Is Obama a War Hawk?: Jeremy Scahill
Friday, November 21, 2008
Is Obama a War Hawk?: Jeremy Scahill
The more we learn about who Obama is considering for top positions in his administration, the more his inner circle resembles a staff reunion of President Bill Clinton's White House. As news breaks and speculation abounds about cabinet appointments, here are 20 people to watch as Obama builds the team who will shape U.S. foreign policy for at least four years.
 
 
Do Bailout the Auto Industry: Bob Herbert
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Do Bailout the Auto Industry: Bob Herbert
It’s easy to demonize the American auto industry. It has behaved with the foresight of a crack addict for years. But even when people set their own houses on fire, we still dial 9-1-1, hoping to save lives, salvage what we can and protect the rest of the neighborhood. It’s not just General Motors or Chrysler or Ford. The U.S. auto industry is the cornerstone of American manufacturing. It supports millions of jobs, directly or indirectly, in a vast array of businesses.
 
William Ayers Speaks
Saturday, November 08, 2008
William Ayers Speaks
During the 2008 presidential election campaign, Hilary Clinton, John McCain, Sarah Palin and Republican Party spokesman Sean Hannity used as one of the centerpieces of their attacks against Barack Obama his connection with alleged unrepentant terrorist William Ayers.  Now that the election is over, Ayers gives his side of the story.
 
 
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