Faking the Funk (Town Hall Meeting Protesters)

I’m a child of the late 60’s, 70’s and 80’s as far as my formative years go.  Of course, those of us who grew up during that period remember the progression of popular music from the Motown sound to the funk sound of the 70’s with Parliament and Funkadelic.  Along the way, there arose those who were not among the original funkmeisters but tried to play themselves off like they really were down with the P-funk. Eventually someone coined the term “faking the funk” to describe those folks who were just trying to make it appear that they were down, but were just faking it.

Such is the case with the right wing nutjobs who are disrupting the town hall meetings being held around the country to discuss Obama’s health plan.  Ostensibly, these protestors claim that they’re highly upset because, once again, Obama and the democrats are supposedly taking their tax money to support some wealth redistribution scheme.    Let’s dismantle this silliness.    Please take a moment to study the following graphs.  They depict US military spending compared to the rest of the world and provide a breakdown of how your federal tax dollars are spent:

How Your Taxes Are Spent
How Your Taxes Are Spent

How Your Taxes Are Spent

 

US Military Spending as a % of Worldwide Military Spending
US Military Spending as a % of Worldwide Military Spending

US Military Spending as a % of Worldwide Military Spending

Looking at the charts, we see that in 2009, forty-four cents of every dollar you pay in taxes goes to pay for military spending and our nation accounts for nearly half of all military spending done worldwide.  Further, many of the nations on the chart have their military spending being driven by our nation as they frequently buy weapons from us. I might also add here that much military spending is totally discretionary.  That means that the president and congress can decide not to allocate so many of our dollars to military spending.

 As you see, about twenty cents of your tax dollar currently goes for healthcare.

Now, let me ask you a question– if you had the choice between getting healthcare or making a few bombs that you’re just going to stockpile just in case someone jumps bad with you, what would you choose?  As for me, I’ll choose healthcare and cut down on the bombs.  If we didn’t make another bomb for the next five years, we’d still have enough weaponry stockpiled to annihilate any adversary.  Our nation has more of every weapon-nuclear, biological, chemical and etc-than any potential adversary.

 Those on the right wing point to Canada’s healthcare system as something we don’t want to have.  They frequently point to Europe’s socialist systems as something we don’t want to have. We may or may not, but merely pointing to these systems misses a major issue notwithstanding any failings they have. Canada and Europe can take their citizen’s tax money and provide things for them in return because the social welfare of the people is not in competition with bloated military budgets.  The brutal truth is this—it’s our military spending that allows them to do this.  Since they reside under our “protective umbrella”,  they don’t have to engage in wild military spending.  Effectively, the American taxpayer is paying for Canadian healthcare and Europe’s socialism while our own healthcare systems, educational systems, physical infrastructure and etc. are going to hell in a handbasket.  

 Now, if I were going to go and disrupt a town hall meeting about excessive spending, this is what I’d be talking about.  Anyone looking at the numbers with a modicum of understanding knows that you start with the biggest piece of the pie when talking about cutting spending.  If these people are really upset about excessive spending, then the first thing they’d be mad about is effectively paying for the Canadian healthcare systems while their own goes wanting.  The fact that they’re not speaks volumes about their motivations.  These people are faking it and this has nothing to do with healthcare.   

 Unfortunately in our nation, increased spending on social welfare is going to butt heads with powerful oligarchic interests mainly because that means that less of the federal budget is going to be earmarked for them.  The protestors are their unwitting pawns.

 My continual disappointment with the American media is their failure to put the issues of the day in context and the extremely superficial brain dead treatment of them.  The real story is what I’ve outlined above.  The best position on the so called ” breaking news” is to look left when the press is trying to divert your attention to the right.  The area where they fous your attention is rarely the real story as is the case here.

  • http://threeconservativebros.wordpress.com/ Timmy K

    “The real story is what I’ve outlined above”

    No, the story is actually about our health care.

    “These people are faking it and this has nothing to do with healthcare”

    You think all these people are rallying for military spending?

    If you would like to breakdown how our country should spend its money then go ahead. I’m assuming your a Obama supporter, then criticize him and the democratic congress that has been approving these budgets. Why blame town hall protesters for something YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS are controlling.

    • Greg L

      Timmy, thanks for your comments, but please don’t let the facts get in the way. As I said, if these folks were all concerned about spending then they’d be raising hell about spending nearly half of their tax dollars on the military. The fact is that they’re not, so that means their motivations are questionable on the healthcare question.

  • Pastor B. T. Hailey SR

    Greg,
    Thank you for raising the consciousness of the community regarding this issue, and the tactics employed to create a “smokescreen” to hide reality. The reality is America has become a militaristic empire and has no intentions to reverse this fact
    Authentic affordable health care as it should be for all Americans will never be a reality. This would cause, as you have shown, our government to dismantle its corrupt appropriations of our tax dollars.

    The media unfortunately has become the pawn of the empire, rather than its critic, and therefore the masses are subject to improper propaganda which subtly promotes the agenda of a system designed to maintain the status quo.
    It will take information outlets such as this to properly inform people, and to provide them with solutions.
    Thanks again for trumpeting the truth.

    • Greg L

      Thanks Ben. You bring up a good point with reference to the corruptness of the appropriation of our tax dollars. I don’t necessarily fall in a neatly dictomized category of poltical thought as far as being liberal or conservative is concerned as depending on the issue I could fall either way or just be inbetween, but one of the big problems I have with conservatives is the argument around cutting “big government” and how inefficent it is. The argument around “inefficiency” generally relates to things of a social welfare nature. That argument rings true, but are we to believe that the same government that’s “inefficent” in the adminstration of something like healthcare is suddenly the paragon of efficency when it comes to military spending? How much money and equipment was just straignt up lost in Iraq?

      The corruptness of all of this military spending is compounded by the fact that US taxpayer dollars are funding the R&D that supports weapon sales to other nations and absolutely no one has anything to say about that.

  • Matt K

    You wrote:

    Our nation has more of every weapon-nuclear, biological, chemical and etc-than any potential adversary.

    Thank god! I would rather more than less,

    Matt

    Ps. Anyone know of where I buy a decent health insurance plan for a REASONABLE price?

    PSS: Why is our pres drinking beer with 2 guys from Boston?

    • Greg L

      Matt,

      Not sure if you’re kidding or not, but you do realize that there’s a relationship between a desire to have “more rather than less” weapons and the level of taxes and debt that you’re responsible for.

  • http://threeconservativebros.wordpress.com/ Timmy K

    “facts get in the way”

    Not letting them get in the way… just sticking to one point. unlike you who takes a discussion frames it in a different way and calls everyone else nuts.
    If you want to hold that discussion i am sure the republicans/conservatives would love to go line by line down the budget and cut stuff out. Im pretty sure that is party what they are doing now. You cant expect them to go to a town hall meeting about health care and scream about taxes and bailouts. Thats sounds like something you would do.

    • Greg L

      ” Not letting them get in the way… just sticking to one point. unlike you who takes a discussion frames it in a different way and calls everyone else nuts.”

      So I guess you don’t like my spin here huh? Well guess what? I don’t like you guys’ spin either moaning about what someone is trying to do to your healthcare when the main elephant sitting in the room gets ignored and never discussed. Why is it that the budget for military spending is sancosant and never ever questioned? Why is it that it’s never linked to crumbling bridges, educational systems, high taxes. lack of healthcare and the like? How come you guys can raise hell about healthcare but are deaf mutes when it comes to something that’s taking nearly half of your tax dollars?

      ” If you want to hold that discussion i am sure the republicans/conservatives would love to go line by line down the budget and cut stuff out.”

      As to your statement above, as I said to another poster, I’m not necessarily a liberal nor am I am red meat eating “rock ribbed” conservative. I like to look at what makes sense. What makes sense is balanced budgets most of the time and it’s you guys who ushered in all this crazy deficit spending starting with Reagan, so please don’t try to sell me on the conservative/republican support of “small government” and you guys’ effectiveness at fiscal management. The evidence is—the Bush years tell us what your ideas of “small government” mean.

  • http://threeconservativebros.wordpress.com/ Timmy K

    you are jumping all over the place. If you want military spending discussed blame the people who are responsible for it! The administration! Dont call people names that are trying to defend their health care because you think their is a more important underlying effect.

    i dont think any conservative is happpy with the way bush handled any part of the economy.

  • http://functionalculture.blogspot.com Constructive_Feedback

    Brother Greg L:

    Do you consider spending on “Homeland Security” as “Defense Spending?

    The reason for the skewed differences between the chart as presented by “Committee On National Legislation” and the others that I have found is that they lump more “spending classifications” into “Military Spending” than what other sites do.

    Despite this fact – I would prefer not to get into a ‘transactional” debate with you but instead challenge your “big picture” assumption.

    Basically you are asking “Would you prefer ‘health care’ or more ‘military spending’?”

    I believe that this is a false choice that disregards other, more fundamental questions and points of reality.

    I am supposed to accept as a given that “health care” is a NATIONALIZED entity. That each dollar spent on “military” is a pint of blood that will never be received as a transfusion for “The Least Of These”. It is interesting how people who make this argument don’t seem to be willing to note how many “hospital doors” are slammed in the face of those who need care by the LOCAL economic erosion that has transpired as “favorable people” took over the reigns of power in these places.

    As with the attempt to “nationalize” the indictment of the present state of public education – it is merely an attempt to “boil the ocean” so that the failures of a certain ideological machine to field a successful economic model where they have near unchallenged power per their previous victories.

    Think about it Greg L – the statement “Black people need health care and quality schools” can be transacted in one of two PREVAILING dogmas:

    1) “Black people need health care and quality education and we are going to FIGHT in the legislature and executive branches and courts until we are PROVISIONED with these entitlements

    2) “Black people need health care and quality education and we are going to leverage the INSTITUTIONS that we have placed favorable people into power, deploying effective franchise governance to bring this forth in the ecosystem that we have control over the human resources within to bring this to fruition.

    The differences of these two consciousnesses cannot be more clear.

    WORST YET – Greg L – which of these two models more closely represent your AUDIBLY delivered notion of “Disconnecting from the Grid”?

    Do you see that a REPAIRED CONSCIOUSNESS is evidenced by those who might agree that “Reparations are OWED” but they REJECT them because the DAMAGE DONE in receiving these artificial pillars of uplift – in dollar denominated currency is less VALUE than is the SYSTEMS OF ORGANIC DEVELOPMENT that will be more enduring than the “failed state” from which emanates the VALUE of the paper with green ink.

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