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:
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.