I was watching the crowd at the beach on Saturday and everyone looked relaxed and was having fun. The children played in and out of the water, grown-ups watched them while others got the barbecues going or went for a swim.
Then I remembered about the budget problems in USA and how the administration is facing a very serious problem if it does not reach an agreement that will allow them to pay the national creditors.
I hate it when such thoughts interrupt the pleasantries of life. After all, even though every one of us will pay the consequences of the federal decision, there is not much that you or I can do about it.
So we can choose to follow the events, and make believe that it does not affect us.
But let us think for a minute. If US defaults its debts, foreign countries like China and UK will take steps to secure their moneys. Suddenly the dollar may fall and inflation may take over.
Also many of the benefits like Medicaid, Medicare, and other federal funding would stop until the situation is solved.
It does have a direct relation to summer food for children, vouchers, WIC and others.
It is also related to assistance to the elderly and all sorts of programs that receive federal funding.
If there is no budget, there are no moneys allocated for most programs.
So, there is nothing that we can do. We can only expect that the people voted in to take care of those decisions will leave aside partisan interests and really look to out for the needs of the people.
Nevertheless, we all have to acknowledge that even though a proper taxation to the rich is needed, there also needs to be more control on expenditures. Too bad that when expenditures cuts are considered, the biggest expenditure of all, that is war expenses, does not even appear in the discussions.
In 2011 military spending accounted for more than 58 percent of all federal discretionary spending. In the last ten years we have spent more than $7.6 trillion on military and homeland security according to the National Priorities Project. Even more, in 2002 CBS News reported that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld admitted, ìwe cannot track $2.3 trillion in†transactions.î Would any other department get way with such ëmissplacementí?
We also have to take into consideration that our economic competitors like India and China certainly like how we undermine our economic competitiveness by diverting trillions of dollars into war and weapons production while they bust their own economies.
Once more I look back at the people on that beach on Saturday, and I know for them, as for millions of Americans, real security comes not from fighting wars on foreign soil but from having their house or their job or their medical care and not been fearful of a new recession that would bring more lack of jobs and opportunities.
A month ago we were celebrating the many new graduates in the country. Under the current and future circumstances, how many of them will actually get to fulfill their dreams of going to college or getting a decent job?
Let us hope that we may all continue to enjoy the sun, the water and beautiful surroundings, but even though peace is a state of mind, there can be no peace if so many will be adversely affected by Washington.
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