Tuesday, September 24, 2013

USA Can't Afford Food Stamps But Can Buy Missiles at $1.4 Million Each

According to a National Education Association legislative alert this week:
The House...passed the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act of 2013 (H.R. 3102), which would slash food stamps – officially the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – by nearly $40 billion over the next decade. The cuts come at a time when 21 million children rely on SNAP for food, and one in five children in America lives in poverty. The enrollment of low-income children in school meal programs would be undermined and 210,000 children would lose access to nutritious meals at school. 
The NEA would like to spin this as a "bad Republicans vs. good Democrats" issue noting that the vote split along party lines, but they willfully overlook the fact that corporate welfare for the "defense" industry continues to gush along with full support from Democrats in Congress.

The partial cost of the "limited, surgical"(sic) strike on Syria that President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry, both Democrats, were so keen to get started can be partially quantified using the price tag of the weapons of mass destruction that would be involved.

The missiles on warships now waiting in the eastern Mediterranean include Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles which cost $1.4 million each, Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missiles which cost $$900,000 each, and Joint Standoff Weapons that cost $285,000 each. (Thanks to Vice for the price tags.) How many hot breakfasts for poor children would that buy?

Then there are the expensive airplanes on order for Afghanistan, "four Lockheed Martin Corp C-130 cargo planes and 20 A29 Super Tucano planes built by Sierra Nevada Corp" according to Reuters. Afghanistan is the war Obama thought was a smart investment, the war whose costs will continue to climb for decades to come according to economist Linda Bilmes.

What's the problem? Corporations bribing politicians to spend our tax dollars on their products.

At the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine last weekend Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's offered this Rube Goldberg device designed to stamp your bills with a slogan in red ink: NOT TO BE USED TO BRIBE POLITICIANS. Ben urged fairgoers to circulate the bills widely.

Tine to bring our war dollars home: stop using our taxes to kill people, and re-direct the immense savings toward caring for children everywhere.

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