Come on, no whining, please. We must all tighten our belts severely - to pay off those tax cuts for the rich. And please consider that illicit spying on millions of Americans costs plenty. The line item on overseas torture camps is sky-rocketing. Genocidal contractor wars in the Middle East alone have warped the debt ceiling beyond recognition. Eliminating "useless eaters" is therefore fiscally responsible, founded on solid Republican "principles." Let's SLASH dead meat from the rolls and channel all revenue to CEOs, Wall Street, NSA, CIA and the oil industry. Thank ye, Jesus -- and Koch Industries, too -- for restoring sanity to the Land of Hungry Synapses. - AC
US Intelligence Funding Doubles Since 9/11
... President Barack Obama's administration budget proposal for fiscal 2012 includes a request for 55 billion dollars for the CIA and other civilian intelligence services.
This marks "the first time that the amount of money being sought for US spy agencies has been disclosed," Greg Miller wrote in a Washington Post blog on 14 February 2011.
The figure represents a 4 per cent increase over the 53.1 billion dollars that the government spent on intelligence gathering in fiscal 2010. ...
The total of just over 80 billion dollars that the US spent on its various spy agencies in fiscal year 2010 was double the amount in 2001. Critics of funding increases for the spies say a major factor has been the creation of new intelligence bodies, which now total 17 separate entities. The CIA alone is believed to employ some 20,000 staff. The cost of the huge numbers of private contractors working in the intelligence business has also rocketed since the 9/11 attacks. ...
Pending Cuts to International Food Programs Threaten Lives and Global Security
The World Food Program USA has released the following statement on proposed cuts in food aid funding:
The proposed cuts in U.S. international food aid announced by the House Appropriations Committee would significantly increase hunger among children and other vulnerable people and decrease the U.S. government’s ability to address instability arising from record food prices. H.R.1, the proposed Full-Year Continuing Resolution for FY 2011, includes a 41 percent cut to P.L. 480 Title II (from $1.69 billion to $1.003 billion) a 52 percent cut to the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education Program (from $209.5 million to $100 million) and a 50 percent cut in International Disaster Assistance (from $860.7 million to $429.7 million), which provides cash to meet emergency food needs.
Cuts of this magnitude would eliminate feeding programs for about 18 million of the world’s poorest and hungriest people. Approximately 2.5 million young children in school benefiting from McGovern-Dole would lose their daily school meal and with it, their chance for a better future. Another 15 million people, primarily women and children, suffering from hunger as a result of conflict and natural disasters would lose access to the lifesaving food provided to them through Title II. In addition to undermining our ability to respond to immediate emergencies, proposed cuts to the Development Assistance account will significantly undermine our efforts to implement sustainable solutions to food crises and instability.
These cuts would hit as rising food prices are making the world’s poorest people even more vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition. Many of these cuts would occur in countries where the U.S. has vital national security and foreign policy interests, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan and Haiti. In January, food prices rose to levels even higher than those recorded during the devastating 2008 crisis, when more than 30 countries experienced protests and unrest tied to skyrocketing food prices that pushed more than 100 million additional people into hunger. As record food prices once again provide a spark for riots and instability across the Middle East and Northern Africa, we fear that these cuts will have significant consequences for global security.
We urge the House of Representatives to maintain the longstanding bipartisan support for our vital global hunger programs. This means supporting all elements of the U.S. government’s global food security effort, including emergency food aid, agricultural development focused on poor farmers and targeted nutrition interventions for the world’s most vulnerable people. Otherwise we will see more suffering, hunger, and loss of life among millions of the world’s poorest people, as well as increased unrest and instability across the developing world.
The following organizations endorse the above statement: Alliance to End Hunger, Bread for the World, CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Congressional Hunger Center, Mercy Corps, Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, World Food Program USA, World Vision.