In the slow-moving Congressional drama playing out now in Washington we have the opposing forces of life and death in a confusing juxtaposition.
We’ve heard endless streams of data about the $3.5 trillion “human infrastructure” bill and what is in it. To cut to the chase, it is all about investment in things that have to do with us, people. Creating jobs in growing industries like renewable energy, finally getting our sorry asses in gear on countering climate change, bringing the rampant price-gouging of the pharma industry under control, expanding medicare and so much more. The last item alone would make a small dent in advancing medical care in the US which is financially the most backward of any industrialized country.
The opposition of course says, we can’t afford this and exclaims how they will stand on “fiscal principle” and oppose this bill. The forehead slapping insanity of this argument utterly ignores that those opposed were also in favor of the blank check given to the forever war against terror in Afghanistan which we just finally withdrew from. We spent about $2 trillion in Afghanistan. We spent another $2.4 trillion in Iraq—a war which was also based entirely on a series of lies. These are expenditures over and above the Pentagon budget which is now over $750 billion per year.
What is missed by all the opposing voices to these infrastructure bills is that these expenditures are to span a period of 10 years. So we’re talking about $350 million annually, less than half of the current Pentagon budget.
If you find yourself saying, “What the hell is wrong with that?” You are not alone and the answer is NOTHING.
In fact, the human infrastructure proposal is less than the money we wasted on those wars. And believe me, there is nothing unpatriotic about calling those wars waste. Aside from the goal of taking down al qaeda, the twenty-year mission creep in Afghanistan of “trying to instill Democratic institutions” and the invasion of Iraq to take down Saddam and his non-existent WMDs were both profit driven at their core. Those vast trillions went largely into corporate accounts in the defense community.
Think about that for a moment. The shareholders of defense companies because wealthy beyond belief from the unending stream of weapons and death for the past 20 years. Of course, this has gone on for a LOT longer than 20 years, but we’ll keep our comparison here for now.
Now we are in the final argument stages of pushing through something unheard of in our times: a vast infrastructure package designed to improve the lot of everyday Americans and push back—finally—against the rising tide of climate change. And where does the opposition come from? From those who profit from war, from fossil fuels, from high drug prices.
When will enough be enough for these, the wealthiest—who oddly enough seem to profit from the travail of others.
War and death profits for the few or prosperity and life for the many—this is the real choice facing Congress. We are talking about an investment. One expects a return of profit from an investment. Do we want that profit to be from life? Or do we want to keep the status quo of “not being able to afford life” because too much has been spent in the opposite direction.
What should you do? Call every Member of Congress and tell them what you want. You are the boss.