Of course whether the nice rhetoric will survive making deals with Republicans who don't give a rat's ass about community or anyone but their rich sponsors ... well, we'll see. It is hard to trust this guy; the fruit hasn't yet matched its promise.
What was completely missing from the budget message was any sense that putting the U.S. fiscal house in order MUST involve cuts in our crazy expenditures on the military.
- Where's the money for our new war in Libya coming from?
- Why are we still killing and being killed in Afghanistan where neither Afghans nor the U.S. people want us there?
- Why do we need to pay out 42 percent of the entire global expenditure on war and war preparations? We're rich, but not that rich. The world can be dangerous, but does all that armament make it more or less dangerous.
Most people in the United States think we spend something like 25 percent of the budget on foreign aid. Not true; the real amount is less than one percent. If you add together current wars, the standing military including its hardware, and debt owed to pay for past wars, what we call "defense" spending is something more than 50 percent of the budget. (Chart is for 2009 by way of WRL. Doubt if it is more than a percentage point different one way or another for this year.)