28 January 2010

Plenty of money for the Pentagon, but not for the sick or the poor

President Obama was good last night. In his State of the Union Address, he said the right things most of the time. But we always knew that he is good at speechmaking. And I remain cynical, because I've had so many disappointments in the past year.

I will not use this blog post to editorialize on the entire speech. I will leave that to the other pundits. For now, I want to talk a bit about an issue that has been bothering me since I first learned about it earlier this week, and which Obama brought up to a very limited extent last night (just enough to try to spin the positive while ignoring the negative).

Obama, you see, is now bowing to the deficit hawks and calling for a three-year plan, beginning in 2011, to freeze "discretionary" spending for some domestic programs.

At the same time, he assures the war hawks that money will still flow freely to the Pentagon for war and occupation of foreign lands.

Yes, there's still plenty of money to fund death and destruction, according to Obama. We just need to freeze the money that goes to government departments like Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development -- you know, the ones that help people (especially the poor, the sick, and other vulnerable members of our society).

This is how Obama has arranged his priorities, apparently. Is he really that far removed these days from the South Side of Chicago?

This is not the kind of change I can believe in.

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