By Margarita Mercure Hibbs
Everyone agrees that budget cuts are necessary. Everyone is asked to
participate in a shared sacrifice. Statements like Speaker Boehner’s
“So be it!” hit hard and appear to be delivered with indifference to the
actual pain of the people that will be impacted by Congress’ $61
Billion decision. The problem is that these cuts represent less than 2
percent of the deficit. They will not even come close to balancing the
budget. America's debt is $1.65 Trillion Dollars! This is not serious
deficit reduction. This is political posturing.
Military and Defense Industry budget is never under scrutiny. There is
constant pork barrel for manufacturing plants devoted to military
things that were long ago obsolete. B-2 Bombers and Sea to Land
amphibious transports are still being manufactured without regard for
necessity or cost, as just two examples. The industry is not asked to
retool and reinvent their plants or products for state of the art
improvements or alternative energy components or technologies. Ironic
isn’t it that the Torrance County government budget is managing
financially better since the tax revenue from the alternative energy
Wind Plant in the south?
The Auto Industry was asked to
become more energy efficient when it went seeking Government Loans.
These loans have since been paid off with interest to the American
taxpayer, and subsequently saved the industry and most of the jobs. GM
is now recalling the 2000 employees that were let go, back to work.
This is sustainability and innovation in practice. Why shouldn’t we
expect the same from our Military Industry? I am not saying that these
jobs should be eliminated. I am asking the following question. Would it
not be better to support their transition to creating and building
components that ensure our independence from foreign oil and bring our
men, women and resources home?
Now the GOP tells us that
cutting Department of Justice Funding is necessary. This is
particularly interesting from a party that has told us that they are
“tough on crime”. According to Conservative politicians and
spokespeople like, Tom Tancredo, Jan Brewer and Susana Martinez, Border
States like New Mexico are under attack from the rampant and unchecked
drug cartels from the south. Having raised two boys who were abandoned
by drug addicted mothers; I can assure you that I understand the
problems and challenges created by drug-infested communities, first
Every mayor, county commissioner, judge, police
chief and sheriff in rural America should be very worried about their
Enforcement Department funding. In particular, the manner in which our
rural areas are going to be inundated with said drug trafficking should
be of major concern. For Torrance County, this has long been a
problem. Drugs permeate our schools, businesses and medical and
emergency health communities.
We know that when it comes
to begging for money, rural communities are low on the totem pole in
comparison to cities that have the funding to pay professional lobbyists
to beg on their behalf. The cities get the lion share of the funding.
Inevitably, crime will continue to move out to the country where there
is less law enforcement in vast geographic territories like Torrance
Here are the proposed cuts according to the House
Appropriations Committee. Most of these cuts are in the Department of
Justice programs, where funding for the states comes. The bill will also
include the elimination of the COPS hiring program altogether.
ONDCP - $69 million
BJA Programs - $256 million, from a baseline of $1.48 billion
OJJDP Programs - $2.3 million
Drug Intelligence Center - $11 million
Law Enforcement Wireless Communications - $52 million
US Marshals Service - $10 million
FBI - $74 million
State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance - $256 million
Juvenile Justice - $2.3 million
COPS - $600 million.
know if we follow the money and dissect the language, their agenda is
revealed. This agenda no longer rests on our interests, but instead
benefits attorneys, administrators, insurance industry executives and
corporations that care little about us. God help the taxpayer that is
not wealthy and connected. That now means 98% of us.
have a Wall Street and Banking industry that has been found culpable for
the economic duress that our country is in and not one of these
criminals has been indicted. We taxpayers know that they will skate.
Apparently, white-collar crime is above the law and is now completely
politicized. As we file our taxes, we are told that we should be okay
with the many corporations that do not pay one dime in corporate taxes
to our country because of instruments like NAFTA and various tax cuts
for the extremely wealthy given by the GOP controlled Congress during
the Bush Administration.
The premise is if they get to
keep more of their money, they create jobs. The fact is that over the
last 12 years they have not created many jobs here in America. The
response of course is “Margarita, it’s legal. So what?” Yes, it is
legal, but is it moral and patriotic that during the worst recession of
our time, and the fact that we are at war on three fronts, that small
communities and poor people continue to shoulder so much of the burden
of this philosophy? This is not acceptable! This is not “Shared