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Guest Post: Programs That Should Be Cut - But Won’t Be Cut - From The Federal Budget

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Brandon Smith of Alt-Market blog,

Washington is laying on the malaise pretty thick lately over automatic budget cuts set to take effect in March, with admonitions and partisan attacks galore.  Of course, those of us who are educated in the finer points of our corrupt puppet government are well aware that the public debate between Democrats and Republicans amounts to nothing more than a farcical battle of Rock’Em Sock’Em Robots with only one set of hands behind the controls.  The reality is, their decisions are scripted, their votes are purchased, and they knew months ago exactly how America’s fiscal cliff situation would progress.  The drama that now ensues on the hill is meant for OUR benefit and distraction, and no one else. 

The Obama Administration warns that “sequestration” (austerity) will result in a return to recession for the U.S.  News Flash, folks!  The country never left the recession that officially began in 2008.  Sorry to burst that inflated recovery hopium bubble…

Janet Napolitano warns that cuts will result in a greater risk of terrorist attacks.  Apparently, an extra $85 billion per year buys us complete safety from the Muslim boogeyman, though the DHS has been far more concerned with “homegrown extremists” (people like me) than Al-Qaeda lately…

The White House and DHS has warned that funding for border control may be diminished, and the southern border will be left “wide open” to infiltration.  Apparently, the White House is not aware that the southern border is ALREADY wide open.  If they were truly concerned about the porous border, maybe they would refrain from decisions to release over 10,000 illegal immigrants from holding before cuts have even been finalized, sending a clear message to Mexico that there will be no consequences for anyone sneaking into the U.S. without permission…

The DOD warns that cuts to defense will result in a weakened military posture for America, and yet, our posture has already been greatly weakened by our numerous illegal wars in the Middle East (some overt, some covert).  I have yet to see any tangible assessments on how our continued presence in Iraq and Afghanistan has made our nation safer…

Let’s put all of this into perspective; America’s current annual deficits have exceeded $1 trillion for the past four years.  Our official national debt has expanded nearly $7 trillion in the span of five years.  Through QE3 (QE infinity), the Federal Reserve is now pumping over $85 billion (that we know about) per month into our financial system.  And in March, the federal government is being asked to cut $85 billion over a span of six months?

It sure seems like a drop in the bucket compared to the massive expenditures already taking place.  Yet, these moderate cuts are being heralded as a sign of fiscal apocalypse by the White House and others.  Why?  Because America has reached the point at which any disruption in government liquidity will damage our recovery fantasy, and the establishment is acclimating us to the coming crisis so that we don’t immediately take up our torches and pitchforks.  The lie is so tenuous, that the fiat must forever flow, or the illusion crumbles.  Not only must spending continue unabated, it must also EXPAND with each passing year in order to handle the growing liabilities of entitlements and interest payments on capital already borrowed.  Even the smallest of cuts could indeed send our economy into a tailspin (with a little help from the Federal Reserve and reduced currency creation), because that’s exactly how desperate our circumstances are. 

Of course, the establishment plans to make matters worse by applying cuts where they will be most painfully felt by the populace.  The fear mongering is reaching fever pitch with threats of wide open borders, weakened military superiority, lost government jobs, unemployed teachers, etc.  But let’s imagine, just for one blissful moment, that the government was NOT utterly criminal and subversive; what kind of cuts would an honest government make right now in order to counter the dangers of debt disintegration and dollar devaluation?

…I really don’t know because I’ve never lived under an honest government.  I have little personal experience in how one would behave.  However, here is what I would cut from the budget…

Unnecessary Foreign Aid

Will some cuts be made to foreign aid after “sequestration”.  Yes.  But nowhere near enough.  The U.S. spends around $50 billion a year on foreign aid, including $3 billion in “direct assistance” to Israel (meaning they get a lot more money and equipment through indirect means), $2 billion to Iraq, $1.7 billion to Pakistan, $1.4 billion to Egypt, $1.2 billion to Haiti (actually, the Hatians are the only people on the list so far that actually need the money), and $1 billion to Kenya (…Kenya?).  The list goes on and on.  Even Mexico gets around $400 million a year in foreign aid from the U.S.

The establishment has conditioned the general public to consider any suggestion of cutting foreign aid to be taboo.  Politicians on both sides of the aisle will wail and scream at the thought of reducing aid to Israel or other Middle East nations.  That said, the bottom line is that we cannot afford it.  You may believe every dollar to these countries results in the thwarting of evil doers and the filled bellies of orphan children.  It doesn’t matter, because we can’t afford it.  You may believe the whole of America’s international reputation and diplomatic sway hangs in the balance over foreign aid expenditures, but this is irrelevant, because we can’t afford it.

The most detrimental threats to the U.S. are INTERNAL and financial, not external, and cutting foreign aid would alleviate those detrimental threats by about $50 million dollars.  I’m a little tired of hearing how America is supposed to “export democracy” and keep its fingers in the cookie jars of nations around the world.  This is a globalist philosophy that has never borne fruit and never will.  It is time to bring the money back home where it might actually do some legitimate good.

Occupation Wars

The Neo-Cons played the American people like a banjo for nearly a decade claiming first that the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were necessary in order to defuse Al Qaeda influence.  Then, when we realized that the resource rich fields of the Middle East were the true target, rather than the “terrorists”, they changed their tune and claimed that now it would be “irresponsible” to leave the region, regardless of the fallacy of the mission, because if we did innocent people would be left to chaos and ruin.

Ultimately, the Neo-Cons never cared about the innocent citizens of Iraq or Afghanistan, they only cared about manipulating the American public into acquiescing to continued occupation, and that is exactly what they did.  Today, the Obama Administration carries on exactly where the Neo-Cons left off, using the same propaganda and the same lies with a new face and a new presentation. 

Original cost estimates of the two invasions were around $100 billion for a two year involvement, and the American people were assured that this was all that was needed.  Today, over a decade later, the costs have escalated to at least $4 trillion (Obama's claim of a $1 trillion price tag is an outright fabrication), and still have not abated.  If the government truly wanted to save massive amounts of capital and shield the populace from debilitating service and entitlement cuts, they would bring the troops home; ALL OF THEM, and stop flushing money down the toilet in the Middle East.

Instigations Of Foreign Insurgencies

Why is the Obama Administration continually pouring money into the coffers of Middle Eastern insurgencies led by Al Qaeda operatives that supposedly hate the U.S.?  They did it in Egypt, they did it in Libya, and now they are doing it in Syria.  Is Obama an idiot, or, is there a greater purpose at work?  Is the goal to deliberately destabilize the region, or are they doing it out of blind hubris and stupidity?  In either case, all the money being showered on these civil wars is a wretched waste, and should be stopped. 

TSA Thugs

The Transportation Security Administration is the most hated institution in America.  It is reviled across the country and its dubious purpose is questioned by almost everyone.  Americans, no matter how uneducated and oblivious, still do not like being molested by blue gloved bureaucratic freaks with preexisting criminal records.  We do not like having our small children molested by them either.  We do not like being irradiated so that our naked pictures can be stored in a central database.  We do not like thugs, brown shirts or blue shirts, ordering us around and looking down their noses at us.  Frankly, Americans have a history of shooting those kinds of people…

DHS head Janet Napolitano has already released warnings ahead of budget cut decisions stating that the TSA may be on the chopping block, and that this would put American travelers “at risk”.  I highly doubt that this is the plan, though…

The TSA is not meant to protect the citizenry in any way.  It is a conditioning machine for the masses, and nothing more.  It is designed to inhibit our natural rebellion against personal search and seizure tactics, and make us apathetic to deeper intrusions into our privacy.  That is all.  I find it highly unlikely that the establishment would dismantle such a useful tool of oppression.  But, if Napolitano is sincere, then I say go for it Janey, do your worst!  Abolish the whole damned agency, because if you don’t, eventually, we’ll do it for you.

The Criminal ATF

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms has a long history of questionable and often illegal activities, usually ending with the murder of civilians with dissenting views.  However, the latest snafu involves a much larger conspiracy, culminating in the agency being caught red handed feeding American weapons to violent Mexican drug cartels in an effort to stigmatize gun ownership in the U.S. and to wrongly attribute deaths in the border region to American gun dealers.  This debacle is known as “Fast and Furious”.

Eric Holder, Attorney General of the U.S. and a staunch proponent of the ATF, has defended the Fast and Furious agenda to the point of contempt of Congress.  Holder is a gun control advocate and key player in the current attacks on the 2nd Amendment, despite his habit of protecting agencies that feed weapons to psychopathic drug lords. 

Any agency with this much schizophrenic disregard for the rights and safety of Americans should be wiped from the ass-end of history.  It also has an annual budget of $1.2 billion, which could be spent in far better places, to be sure.

Big Brother DHS

What exactly does the Department of Homeland Security do that the FBI and the CIA did not already do before its inception?  The great lie spread in the wake of 9/11 was that various alphabet agencies were not “in communication” with each other, and that intelligence gathered was not “reaching the right people”.  Of course, Bush had received several warnings pre-9/11 of impending attacks, and the FBI and CIA on more than one occasion had the opportunity to apprehend Osama Bin Laden, but were thwarted by the Administration itself, sending a clear message that the government catches “terrorists” only when it WANTS to catch a terrorist.

The DHS was established as a means to centralize information sharing, but it has become much more.  It now encompasses and directs much of the internal law enforcement outfits of the U.S. through so-called fusion centers, and even plays a growing role in external matters.  Much of the analytical paperwork coming out of the agency, though, does not deal with foreign enemies like Al Qaeda.  Rather, the agency is almost obsessively focused on “domestic threats”, like returning war veterans, Constitutionalists, gun rights champions, Ron Paul supporters, and Liberty Movement activists. 

In the end, the DHS is intended to combat a specific opponent, and that opponent is obviously the American people. 

The DHS is set to absorb $2.6 billion in cuts if sequestration goes though, causing the organization to spew dire prophecies of doom.  Yet, the DHS is projected to have a $9 billion surplus by the end of 2013, and apparently has enough funding to place orders for over 2 billion rounds of combat ammunition (not for training purposes, sorry disinfo-agents).  I say cut the head off the beast.  Remove DHS, save American liberties, and spend those billions elsewhere.

Gitmo-Style Black Sites

I find it highly distasteful and disturbing that the U.S. government is operating black sites like GITMO where they can torture and murder in obscurity, rather than having to answer to the public, all while instituting these activities in our name.  The common argument is that these prisons are necessary to isolate the most volatile of villains, and obtain vital data in the war on terror.  Well, despite what you may have seen in the movie ‘Zero Dark Thirty’, torture rarely if ever produces reliable and concurrent intel that can be acted upon to prevent any impending attack, or apprehend any enemy agent.  And, after what we saw at Abu Ghraib, the government has proven itself absolutely untrustworthy to handle incarcerated prisoners in any capacity, let alone in places where independent oversight does not exist. 

Didn’t Obama make a campaign promise in 2008 to shut down GITMO, by the way?  Why not do it now, save the country some cash, and end a disgusting and immoral practice that demeans the whole of our society?

Domestic Drone Programs

Why does the federal government need 30,000 drones in the skies over the heads of American citizens?  Why is this being pursued?  If the government seeks to make war on the American people, then by all means, admit that this is the goal and at least we will know the rationalization for spreading a spider’s web of remote controlled technotronic death from sea to shining sea.  This is the only POSSIBLE purpose that such a fleet of drones could serve.  If this is not the reason for the escalation of drone activity, then there is no logical reason, and they should be perfectly willing to end these programs, saving the U.S. millions if not billions of dollars.

Corporate Welfare

Long before the banker bailouts and the "too big to fails", government has been pouring free money into the coffers of international corporations that were already claiming billions in capital.  This welfare has reached epic levels; around $93 billion by some estimates.  Why?  Maybe because the establishment knew years ago that these companies were headed for debt implosion.  Or, maybe because D.C. is a revolving door and corporate vampires like to spend time in the public sector bleeding taxpayers dry.  I don't know.  What I do know is that whatever purpose corporate welfare was supposed to serve, it failed.  We are in the midst of the most extensive economic crisis of all time, and many of the companies that received welfare for the past couple decades are debt addled failures that provide little in job creation.  It's time to cut our losses...               

The Obama Family’s Extravagant Vacations

All this panicked discussion on budget cuts, yet, no one seems to be talking about reducing the most frivolous of expenditures.  The Obama family’s four trips to Hawaii alone have cost Americans tax payers at least $20 million (this is a very conservative estimate)!  Why is the nation pounding its collective head against the wall over extreme national debt obligations while this joker and his overprivileged family are spending a thousand times more on each of their vacations than any other citizen?

Hey Obama, try a trip to Florida, you money swilling bastard!  Maybe you could squeeze it in for under a million?  Take a swim in the Everglades perhaps, the water is fine…

One Day Soon, Everything Will Be Cut…

If Americans are frightened of a small budget cut of $85 billion, imagine what they’ll do when they realize this is just the beginning of the avalanche.  It will not be long before our foreign creditors turn away from the Dollar and begin using alternative currencies like the IMF’s SDR basket.  At that point, the purchasing power of the Greenback will be severely suffocated, and the numerous social services the public enjoys today will be buried as well. 

Some people might question why I did not include any entitlement programs or social support in my list of needed budget cuts.  I would only point out that such programs are not long for this world anyway, and though most of them shouldn't exist in the first place, the expenditures listed above are even more peripheral.  The feds will keep welfare going for as long as possible, in order to subdue public response and soften collective rage, but there will come a time when the food stamps, medicare, disability payments, and other subsidies will suddenly stop.  EU members like Spain are a perfect example, stealing over 90% of social security funds in order to maintain a façade of solvency, while others are raiding retirement funds and employee pensions, all because austerity measures are exhausting entitlement pools.  This is where the U.S. is headed, and it cannot be avoided.  Not through fiat printing, or any other nonsensical strategy. 

My goal was to merely point out that there are plenty of irrelevant federal appendages out there that could be amputated, but probably won’t be, while other more useful programs will come under fire.  In the end, the budget cuts are not about saving money; they are about social maneuvering and political gain.  They will be used as an excuse for everything, and will produce nothing favorable, not because cuts are not needed, but because the people in charge of them are not trustworthy.


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Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:17 | 3291213 Zap Powerz
Zap Powerz's picture

Cut nothing. Spend moar!

Accelerate the collapse.

Lamp posts and lots of rope.

Eliminate the dead weight.

Start over.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:37 | 3291270 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Cut the Federal Government Program out completely.

It's unnecessary.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:44 | 3291287 prodigious_idea
prodigious_idea's picture

"Spend more"


Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:55 | 3291562 Hacked Economy
Hacked Economy's picture

"...The White House and DHS has warned that funding for border control may be diminished, and the southern border will be left “wide open” to infiltration.  Apparently, the White House is not aware that the southern border is ALREADY wide open..."

Uh, let's not forget that the Obama administration has already decided years ago to put their hands up in surrender and simply post signs along certain areas of our Southern border, in which AMERICANS are warned to stay up to 50 miles away from the border for their own safety.  We already gave up that stretch of land, so why bother funding officers to pretend that they're protecting it?  If you give just one-tenth of that money to the civilian volunteers who are already sheepdogging that land, they'll get better equipment and we'll have new people doing that same job who actually care about securing the border.

...but I digress.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 17:32 | 3291717 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

Bring on this fucking collapse and let's get it over with.   


Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:49 | 3291300 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

Paraphrasing Ron Paul:

A) We can take our medicine and cut things now, the way we choose, in an orderly and less-disruptive fashion

B) We can pretend all is well, and reality will assert itself chaotically in the future and make its own cuts

Either way, the system will not continue as we know it. As LoP so often points out, "that which cannot be sustained, will not be sustained."

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 18:07 | 3291806 monoloco
monoloco's picture

And when the shit does hit the fan they can conveniently blame it all on the sequester.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 19:26 | 3292040 HurricaneSeason
HurricaneSeason's picture

Nah, they're going to try and do a budget this month. That's where they figure out, months in advance, how much they're going to spend and on what. They haven't tried that in YEARS! If they try to go that far off the reservation without serious help from private sector intelligence, watch out! They'll have a budget to blame it on.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:53 | 3291318 DavidC
DavidC's picture

It would be hugely ironic if the "Panic" cries of austerity actually caused the population to do so, thereby precipitating a big fall!


Fri, 03/01/2013 - 23:52 | 3292634 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

What if things were BETTER without all that government interference?  Be a shame if people thought we ddin't actually NEED TSA, Homeland Security, the ATF ... and the list goes on.....

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:24 | 3291435 nabi
nabi's picture

You forgot pitchforks.  Makes the use of rope much easier...

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 19:28 | 3292047 HurricaneSeason
HurricaneSeason's picture

I got lots of rope, is now the time to sell?

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:20 | 3291219 gbresnahan
gbresnahan's picture

You could start by shuttering the US Postal Service.  Let UPS, Fedex, and others pick up the slack.

The US Postal Service is glorified welfare.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:30 | 3291258 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

But, but, but.....the Postal Service is explicitly laid out in the "damned piece of paper" that no one in Capital Hill pays attention to!  How dare you!  /sarc

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 17:03 | 3291594 Hacked Economy
Hacked Economy's picture

Let the USPS price things as they need to be in order to run a business (and at least break even), and then let the market work its magic to let everything find its new place.  Larger parcels are cheaper via UPS or FedEx, but the Post Office can/should continue to handle classic snail mail.  Eliminating Saturday delivery is perfectly acceptable and shouldn't really make much of a difference overall, as people will adapt.  If the price of a stamp needs to go to 60 cents, then so be it.  Maybe we'll get less junk mail (which I promptly toss in the trash without reading, anyway).  The USPS will get a lot more respect from the masses if they start conducting themselves in a responsible manner.  Besides, my local postman is a cool guy...I don't have a prob with him, just the derps at the top of the food chain.

Next on the chopping block should be those stoopid-high pensions, and union-mandated tenure. 

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 17:28 | 3291705 smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

and i have experienced packages of value sent and received, opened with  missing happened the other day...the proper envelope was delivered, cut open and empty....that will be the last i ever use the thieving usp employees for anything of value...i understand shit happens...but it is a high percentage now and if its happening to me it is happening to many others....all the fucking cameras and tracking numbers but they dont seem to work when they are fucking pointed at the gestapo.....

and when you go to state your complaint, you are made to feel so welcome that you dont even mind the anal cavity search as part of filling out the form....

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:35 | 3291265 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

I don't even get fucking mail delivery until after 6 P.M. anymore....used to show up around noon pretty regularly, or at least by 2. So doing any business relying on the daily mail is now impossible....shut them down and save what, $50 billion a year?

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 18:05 | 3291798 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

Wow, some pretty fearful postal workers down-arrowing today...   lol!

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:44 | 3291289 pods
pods's picture

Except the Post office is actually a delegated responsibility of the government.

Why not asscan the 99% of the government which was NEVER authorized first?


Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:39 | 3291489 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Why listen to what some aristocratic plantation owners tell you is best for you?

Why go against the free market cause a piece of paper tells you to?

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:55 | 3291561 pods
pods's picture

No, the piece of paper was what the GOVERMENT is allowed to do.  

The 99% is what the government tells ME what to do.

Big difference.


Fri, 03/01/2013 - 17:13 | 3291637 Hacked Economy
Hacked Economy's picture

That's probably the comment of the day, pods.  Your three-sentence statement would be an appropriate summarization of the reason why most of us ZH'ers are here (minus the trolls LOL).  I give you a hearty thumb-up and my encouragement to re-post it verbatim as much as you like for future articles.  :)

99% of the laws/regs/restrictions today are in addition to the Constitution and superfluous, unnecessary for the success of a healthy, free society.  You know how many federal felonies, for example, there were back in the 1780s when the USA was born?  FOUR

How many federal felonies exist now?  OVER FOUR AND A HALF THOUSAND

Always remember that the simplest definition of government is:  "an agreement among men".  Nothing more.  Once that agreement fails, the game changes.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 18:33 | 3291890 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

+1 Big difference indeed, pods. Good on ya..

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 19:04 | 3291964 sharonsj
sharonsj's picture

Oh, yeah, that's really gonna help--spending $5 to mail a letter instead of 50 cents.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 21:14 | 3292257 prodigious_idea
prodigious_idea's picture

Right, and the death of direct mail marketers (perhaps the top source of revenue for the USPS) means it will cost a mere $5 to mail an envelope across the country with UPS/FedEx.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 22:09 | 3292369 LongBallsShortBrains
LongBallsShortBrains's picture



Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:21 | 3291221 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Cut anything you want bro. But please save the drones.

<Do it for the kids.>

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:21 | 3291230 Frozen IcQb
Frozen IcQb's picture

Politicians will continue to spend until WW3 is declared because they will be able to lay the blame elsewhere. History always repeats itself.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:24 | 3291237 e_goldstein
e_goldstein's picture

Good article, but you forgot TOTUS green fees.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:29 | 3291239 HD
HD's picture

 I'm not greedy. At this point I'd be happy if they just eliminated the DHS and the Utah Data Center (thus restoring a few of my rapidly disappearing civil liberties)...

If you have a few minutes - this article is worth a read.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:29 | 3291252 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Sure, absolutely no cuts at all to DHS drones or spying centers or weapons and armored vehicles purchased by ObaMao's 'civilian army' which he will be rolling out against all of us soon.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:38 | 3291276 blu
blu's picture

Just waiting for the right crisis, is the feeling I get these days.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:30 | 3291242 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Obamabots : budget has decreased... compared to GDP!

Obamabots : deficits don't matter... Krugman said so!

Obamabots : budget is actually not increasing... if you count inflation!

Obamabots : the greatest threat to America is the GOP.

Back during Bush, 70% of democrats and 60% of republicans cared about the deficit. Once Obama entered the WH, 20% of democrats and 90% of republicans care about the deficit.

Obamabots are REALLY a bunch of hypocritical political hacks, polls show it. Republicans are too, but to a lesser extent.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:01 | 3291344 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

The silence from most Democrats regarding Obama's warmongering and civil liberties abuses is what really grates my cheese.

Indefinite detention and assassination of Americans, kill lists, proliferation of drones? The leftist fuckers would have been burning up the streets if Bushy had done this shit. Kinda makes you wonder if this is like the whole "Nixon had to go to China" thing. Only a liberal who was supposedly a constitutional lawyer could successfully expand the police state to meet the designers' final goals.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:05 | 3291364 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

You're totally right. Even as Obama does things that totally go against the ``liberals`` values, they don't give a fuck since it's Obama doing it... bunch of hypocritical scum...

Corruption ain't the biggest problem in American politics, hypocrisy is. If everybody was forced to do what they say or else they get fired, fined and jailed for lying to the American public, things would be fixed real fast.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 18:27 | 3291869 Zymurguy
Zymurguy's picture

Okay to use fooking drones to keel terr'ists, brah - an' keel tons of civilians (babies, brah, and children and mothers and fathers attending funerals and all).

Not okay to stop millions of babies being keeled through abortion though, brah.

I don' fooking get it, brah.  The fooking liberals in the U.S. are fooked up!

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:32 | 3291461 Zap Powerz
Zap Powerz's picture


That is because democrats (and republicans) are statists.  They are neither liberal nor conservative because those words have lost all meaning now.  There are two groups of people.  Those that place their faith in the state, advance the state and will do anything, support anything the state does as long as its a guy from their team running the state.

The other group of people, of which I belong, believe in the cause of freedom.  The two groups cannot co-exist indefinantly.  One will destroy the other.  I dont know who destroys who, but I know one will be eliminated.  Right know the lovers of freedom are so far outnumbered that I worry about the near future.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:56 | 3291567 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Stop being so teleological. Every generation produces its own statists and its own "libertarians" - minarchists, anarchists, left and right libertarians, reformists, etc. The statists allow the others to exist because it costs them nothing, maximal statism has very nearly always won over minimal statism or anti-statism. One never "destroys" the other, they both arise anew with every single generation, and even within an individual's life, one's political philosophy can change.

The reason O can do openly what Bush had to obfuscate is that, first, Bush set the precedent and appealed to the right, so the right was coopted first, then, with the precedent in place, O appealed to and coopted the left. In truth, most of the right never had any problem with such things, most the left believed it did but in fact did not - they just required a little more finessing and O was the perfect guy to do it. The rhetoric of either party does not matter, as long as it not perceived to rapidly change drastically. What matters is the ideological and moral solidarity or sense of community, the sense of belonging and political orientation, the existence of enemies, possibly redeemable, who need fighting, and the narrative of self-righteousness charging the true believers with reshaping the world to their enlightened specifications. The specific content of party platform is totally irrelevant as long as the party provides the desired emotional and ideological experience.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 17:19 | 3291656 illyia
illyia's picture

U used BIG words. 2 BIG 2 undrstnd.

i m cnfused...


Fri, 03/01/2013 - 17:40 | 3291739 Straw Dog
Straw Dog's picture


"The rhetoric of either party does not matter, as long as it not perceived to rapidly change drastically. What matters is the ideological and moral solidarity or sense of community, the sense of belonging and political orientation, the existence of enemies, possibly redeemable, who need fighting, and the narrative of self-righteousness charging the true believers with reshaping the world to their enlightened specifications. The specific content of party platform is totally irrelevant as long as the party provides the desired emotional and ideological experience."

Profound. Explains party affiliation in a nutshell.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 18:13 | 3291823 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

Thanks for the Rube Goldberg paragraph, when it all can be condensed down to 'Mob Rule'.  All morality goes out the window in a winner take all, highly divided society.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 20:49 | 3292207 gmj
gmj's picture

There are followers, and there are leaders.  Society will divide itself into a sufficient number of groups so that everyone who wants to lead, can.

Sat, 03/02/2013 - 00:02 | 3292663 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

ahh, you've eloquently stated a political truth.

What matters is the ideological and moral solidarity or sense of community, the sense of belonging and political orientation, the existence of enemies, possibly redeemable, who need fighting, and the narrative of self-righteousness charging the true believers with reshaping the world to their enlightened specifications.

nice big club of ideologies to hide the actualities, aided by always referencing the far past (Founding Dads & their paperworks), or painting a future picture to appeal - no one can ever deal truthfully with the present, nor can they admit how they arrived in the present.  in other words, realities.

and, of course, your final line is appropriately in bold.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 18:18 | 3291831 ChanceIs
ChanceIs's picture

Please forgive, but I must do a little setting straight of the record.

First I was brought up in a Republican household, so I am in no small way to blame.

Now then.  I voted for Ronald Reagan because he was going to balance the budget.  He trailed David Stockman around with him to spout the numbers - not unlike Romney with Paul Ryan.  Reagan said that Jimmy Carter had piled up more debt than all the other Presidents combined.  He was correct.  Reagan got in there and had a "Road to Damascus moment."  He said, 'we can spend on the limitary and have butter too.'  David Stockman said....but....but...but...we said we weren't going to do that.  The Pubs collectively said, 'Shut up David.'  He was taken behind the woodshed and slunk out the back door by July of ReaganI.  By the time Reagan left, he had piled up more debt than all of the other Presidents combined. 

Now comes one Dick cheney.  We all recall........"Deficits don't matter."  QED.

The Pubs have never cared about deficit.  Yes, they pay lip service to it.  We saw with Cheney in his collosal arrogance that even the pretense had been dropped.  So...F'em all and thehorse they rode in on.  Yes we may as well get it over with.  I am sure for me, that it will be "Buckwheats" from a drone and a dumpster.


Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:28 | 3291243 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Yes, if any 'cut' is actually made, it will of course be a cut to anything that actually does benefit the peasantry of course. 

DHS just purchased 50 million more rounds of hollow point ammo and a few thousand more top shelf decked-out M-4 rifles for themselves along with a bunch of armored's ALL BULLSHIT 100%!

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:31 | 3291260 HD
HD's picture

Now SheepDog let's be fair - this isn't China. When DHS shoots you they don't charge you for the bullet - IT'S FREE!!

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:47 | 3291295 pods
pods's picture

If you think about it, it is worse:

They bought the bullet with debt so any an all of your offspring will be paying for it for generations.


Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:37 | 3291480 DOT
DOT's picture

I already paid for that bullet and I want GovCo to put it in a lock box until they need to shoot me.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:21 | 3291423 MisterMousePotato
MisterMousePotato's picture

You lie. They are not "top shelf decked-out M-4 rifles." They are personal defense weapons. (PDWs.)

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:38 | 3291247 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

 "Janet Napolitano warns that cuts will result in a greater risk of terrorist attacks..."


This is true because if you cut ANYTHING out of the MIC, your own Praetorian government will retailiate against you & start explodin' buildings, shootin up schools, & flying planes into towers... Their crack team of investigators, risking their own life & limb] will run into the still burning buildings to fine pristine muzzie passports in the rubble & within 10 minutes, all the MSM outlets will have put together graphical artwork, flow charts, & have 2 dozen 'EXPERTS' in the cue to tell you we need to cozy up with Israel to bring the war to those crazy tear our wrists on their turf...

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:49 | 3291305 pods
pods's picture

Winner winner chicken dinner!


Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:20 | 3291420 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

It's kind of like what happens when you stop paying the Mob their protection money.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:37 | 3291484 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

it's EXACTLY like that...

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:35 | 3291261 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

The key here is the idea that our foreign creditors will begin to turn away from the dollar. Most people do not know that since our economy produces very little now a days, we have come more and more to rely on dollar hegemony as the source of US strength is the world. The reserve currecny status allows the US to spend without limit, to take in finished goods and resources in return for freshly printed green slips of paper. This is a fact, without that status, the only way we could import what we do would be to have an economy that could generate exports in equal amount to imports. Today that notion is IMPOSSIBLE!

To sum up, we threaten Russia, we threaten China, we put military bases near them, we transfer more planes and ship to be near their borders, we expand NATO into all the Middle East. We plan and prepare for the coming conquest of Iran. All these threats are causing other powers like the world's great manufactuer China and the world's great resource producer, Russia, and oil rich Iran  to work to dump the dollar. The BRICKS in general are fed up with dollar hegemony. They are slowly acting to dump the dollar as world reserve currency.

If the US dollar loses status as the necessary currency for trade in the world, we LOSE our ability to send freshly printed green toilet paper to China in return for all our apple products and we lose the ability to get oil from many nations other than out puppet gulf states like Saudi Arabia.

King dollar dies? America goes into total financial and economic meltdown. I think it would be hard to claim different, though some would do so. I believe the dollar can lose it's status and when it does we will get the ultimate wake up call. We have little economy left other than Health Care, Education and Military Spending. King Dollar makes all that spending possible, when King Dollar dies, the USA is in the shit!

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:53 | 3291319 marathonman
marathonman's picture

King Dollar is dead already.  The wars in Iraq and Afganistan dealt it the death blow.  China and Russia have been making trade deals outside of dollars for the last 4 years or so.  On the 'bright' side, just think how competive our wages will be when King Dollar is killed by the Bernanke.  Our standard of living will resemble Russia's after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  But 20 years later Russia is back in fighting shape.  The end of the world won't be that long, as long as you survive to see the other side....

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 17:20 | 3291659 Hacked Economy
Hacked Economy's picture

Remember that after seven decades of power and prominence, it took only two years for the U.S.S.R. to completely collapse and fragment.  And the collapse was economic (internal).

Sun, 03/03/2013 - 05:54 | 3294994 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

Remember the same people who met on Jekyll Island to create the Fed, also met a few years later to found the American International Corporation, which promptly funded the Bolshevik Revolution.

Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis. Welcome to the New World Order.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:02 | 3291343 debtor of last ...
debtor of last resort's picture

I believe it's ponziworld endgame. They know it, the dollar as greenback is not important anymore. That's why medicare/aid overspending is also not important. It's used for support from American voters to buy time to establish some form of state after the ponzi collapse, they are working on it behind the scene. And the US is not the only state that's working on 'something'.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:35 | 3291263 blu
blu's picture

Washington insiders will aim to cut programs Americans know and need so as to create the illusion that hard decisions are being made. The actual money involved is invisibly small compared to the actual budget, but the cuts will hurt Joe Average enough that he might be willing to increase taxes.

The monsters that are eating the budget alive and generating ginormous deficits will be swept behind the curtain.

This is not going to work. There is no more money to be raised by any means including taxation. There is no more energy left to keep this thing in the air.

The entire US economy is now set to implode in the most violent, destructive manner possible. By mid to late summer it will be clear how vast and extensive the destruction will have become. By fall the sense of horror will be palpable

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:39 | 3291277 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

Indeed Blu! And that is why the USA going to war on Iran is likely. Or even worse, a mass terror attack on US soil will be allowed to happen. Either will give the excuse to set lose the National Security apparatus against the American people. We will see these forces come down hard on any America who acts up, either due to anti war feelings, or due to economic hardship. The constitution no longer exists as a protector of our rights, congress trashed it with the Patriot act. We will become an active police state to maintain control when the government money runs out.

Hard times are coming!

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:37 | 3291271 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

The collapse started before Obama.  Obama poured billions into the markets in his first term to gain re-election.  Obama knew that if the markets tanked, he was out.


SP500 weekly shows this:


But Obama wants to deploy the same tactics for his next four years so he doesn't get blamed for the pending collapse.  Well now Obama can blame the cuts for the collapse - let's see if it works.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:40 | 3291279 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

I'll ask you kindly to quit shilling your moronic Elliott Wave subscription hackery on ZH

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:56 | 3291327 steveo77
steveo77's picture

Yeah that pop up that wont pop down is really annoying


Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:37 | 3291272 pragmatic hobo
pragmatic hobo's picture

DHS should be abolished. It is unconstitutional and it promotes terrorism.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:07 | 3291372 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

Government is not the solution .....

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 17:23 | 3291680 Hacked Economy
Hacked Economy's picture

A number of departments really should go, but I agree that the DHS should be the first.  We already have the FBI, CIA, and INS, so why in the world do we need another one?

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:38 | 3291275 marathonman
marathonman's picture

'Hey Obama, try a trip to Florida, you money swilling bastard!'  +1 X 10^50

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:42 | 3291282 goldnguns
goldnguns's picture

There once was a body called Congress

Whose mantra was "spend more more not less"

"See it ain't really OUR money"

The Bernanke thinks this damned funny

Cuz a drone is your only redress


With all apologies to the TRUE Limerick KING

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 17:48 | 3291756 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

A limerick is actually funny if you practice syllable conservation.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:47 | 3291297 dbTX
dbTX's picture

Term limits, bitchez!!

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:49 | 3291304 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

brandon - this essay is one of your very best....the united states is ruled by the very same wall street nazi oligarchy which established adolph hitler, started ww2, korea, vietnam, gulf war 1&2, 9/11, and many more crimes against humanity.....not to mention the murders of jfk, rfk, mlk, reagan, lenon and many others..

janet napolitano is 1000% nazi.

the rockefellers set up slave labor camps in poland and germany prior to ww2 - that same cabal is still at it in amerika....they supplied hitler with oil to the very bitter end of the war much of it being laundered in south america before going to germany.

in 2001 they blossomed, in 2008 they were in full bloom...


Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:01 | 3291313 medium giraffe
medium giraffe's picture


Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:54 | 3291323 natronic
natronic's picture

Yea this person sounds like a big liberal.  I agree there are things that should be cut.  Let's cut the EPA.  Let's cut Dept. of Education.  Let's do a flat tax and abolish the IRS.

but we know that will never happen

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:04 | 3291359 W74
W74's picture

A liberal yet he defeneds Ron Paul supporters while criticising the ATF?  I don't think so.  He sounded very libertarian from the get-go and that line simply solidified my assumption.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:04 | 3291360 Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture

Do the EPA or the FDA actually do anything besides waste money?  They spend a fortune promulgating rules and investigating, but anytime someone is actually harmed by pollution or food, they still sue the offender.  I thought the whole idea of these wonderful programs was to make a perfect world. 

Prior restraint is the most expensive option for controlling behavior, and in the case of these two departments, they actually do not prevent any harm.

The Dept of Education is a running joke.  Take half of the funds and block grant them to the states, and put the other half into paying off some of the debt.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 18:03 | 3291791 runningman18
runningman18's picture

There are a lot of programs that should be cut.  The guy can't list all of them otherwise the article would be fifty pages long.  Also, he destroys Obama, so, how exactly can you label him a "liberal"?

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 18:38 | 3291907 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

You had your chance, bet you went with Romney, eh?   And if by 'big liberal' you mean Brandon sounds like a Constitutionalist and you sound like a neo-con ass monkey, spot on!

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 15:57 | 3291332 Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture

My only problem with sequestration is that it needs to be 15 times bigger, and all in 2013.  That would be enough to balance the budget for the year.  $85 billion over mutltiple years is a joke.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 18:22 | 3291853 ChanceIs
ChanceIs's picture

Kind of makes yoou wish that Timmy Geithner didn't send that $20 billion to Goldman to make it "whole" when AIG couldn't make good on the puts AIG had sold to Goldman against itself.

There is the real terror.  With this sequester BS, Jack Lew won't be able to channel bi$$ions to the TBTFs.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:02 | 3291351 thismarketisrigged
thismarketisrigged's picture

i love the line '' hey obama, swim in the everglades, the water is perfectly fine''.


we should only be so lucky if he swam in the everglades

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:12 | 3291392 Mark123
Mark123's picture

I doubt any aligator would want to eat him....sad.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:03 | 3291354 michigan independant
michigan independant's picture

These people are years ahead of the public dialog. America is, and has been under ocupation.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:05 | 3291362 Clark80
Clark80's picture

The Transportation Security Administration is the most hated institution in America.

They've replaced the IRS??

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:08 | 3291377 Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture

Question:  How many actual terrorists has the TSA stopped, after spending billions of dollars, and impinging on the rights of every American who travels?

Answer:  Almost 1.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:10 | 3291385 Mark123
Mark123's picture

Oh no....didn't you know that America would be a smouldering ruin if not for the holy TSA!!!  The government told us that.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 18:05 | 3291799 runningman18
runningman18's picture

Yes.  But the IRS is a close 2nd...

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:09 | 3291378 Mark123
Mark123's picture

Cut and paste this article and email it to everyone you know....this is not perfect of course, but is one of the best I have seen in a  long time.  The first paragraph is particular:


"Of course, those of us who are educated in the finer points of our corrupt puppet government are well aware that the public debate between Democrats and Republicans amounts to nothing more than a farcical battle of Rock’Em Sock’Em Robots with only one set of hands behind the controls.  The reality is, their decisions are scripted, their votes are purchased, and they knew months ago exactly how America’s fiscal cliff situation would progress."


The same could be said of every political debate we are subjected to, right down to the elections.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:14 | 3291394 JR
JR's picture

“If they were truly concerned about the porous border, maybe they would refrain from decisions to release over 10,000 illegal immigrants from holding before cuts have even been finalized, sending a clear message to Mexico that there will be no consequences for anyone sneaking into the U.S. without permission…” –Brandon Smith

And the leading open-border Democrat on the “Gang of Eight” (accent on the word gang), Chucky Schumer, wants to make sure that the illegals know they are taken care of in the senators' immigration proposal. Said Schumer, after the senatorial gang offered up its immigration plan that drastically pushes America’s demographics toward third-world status, forever, at a Capitol Hill press conference:

“We’re not using border security as an excuse or a block to the path to citizenship. We just want to make sure—and this is very important both substantively and politically—that there is a secure border, and we’re going to work for that. [We want] to make sure the border is secure (with unmanned aerial (drones) patrolling the southern border), but not to use it as a barrier to prevent the 11 million [to 20 million] from eventually gaining a path to citizenship.”

Translation: amnesty!

It's the age-old problem: we will “try.” And it never happens. It’s the same flip every time; we will “try” to secure the border while we let the illegals in and transfer from you to them their “entitlements.”

Sat, 03/02/2013 - 00:44 | 3292754 JR
JR's picture

Great job of reporting! Thanks.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 16:43 | 3291511 Augustus
Augustus's picture

Will there be any Layoffs for the Obama Tsars?

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 17:23 | 3291677 pasttense
pasttense's picture

The big reason for foreign aid to Mexico and much of Latin America is the war on drugs. The OP should have addressed this directly rather than a negative kneejerk reaction to foreign aid.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 18:11 | 3291813 runningman18
runningman18's picture

The war on drugs is a failure, guy.  The article is correct.  If the government cared about stopping mexican drug cartels, they would lock down the border and stop giving them weapons.  Instead they just throw $400 million at the corrupt mexican government while using the cartels as a scare tactic against the American people.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 18:33 | 3291882 ChanceIs
ChanceIs's picture

If the governemnt cared about stopping Mexican drug cartels, it would legalize heroin, prohibit its use, sell it for 1/4 cost and send you out to harvest artichokes in the Central Valley every time you got caught with it in your system.  I would be happy to pee in a cup every time I needed to go to the hospital to take advantage of my ObamaCare benefits, if I knew that all of the druggies were doing the same at the ObamaCare emergency room and being sent to pick artichokes for me for a month or so.  Somebody (here?) posted a chart showing that ever since Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No," campaign kicked off, we had spent $1 trillion - that would be 6% of the current "public debt" - on the war on drugs with usage rates completely unchanged.

Sat, 03/02/2013 - 00:17 | 3292696 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

how can there be a "war on drugs" when those funds are sorely needed by the alphabet agency's shadow ops, and the banks make such profits from laundering the profits?

please.  there is no "war on drugs" - there IS, however, a massive effort to militarise the various "forces" from local city to state policing - drones for ALL!! - and this has been extremely successful. . .

it's not "on drugs" but it's certainly a "war". . .

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 18:15 | 3291832 cheetahbaby
cheetahbaby's picture

Uh, eliminate funding for the study that sought to explain why Chinese-made condoms for sub-Saharan blacks to fight AIDS are not being worn??
Duh. CB

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 18:36 | 3291902 max2205
max2205's picture

This whole government wastes so much budget money.   Just a jobs program now for office workers 


No dam building oroadad work for us lazy coots  

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 19:06 | 3291970 sharonsj
sharonsj's picture

Finally, someone who understands the problem isn't "entitlements."  Like giving a disable veteran less money is going to pay our bills.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 19:27 | 3292044 Bansters-in-my-...
Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

You' s slaves must be paying a hell of lots for barium and aluminum,and all those goodies that are blocking the sun out daily too.


Maybe could ask the boss to cut back a bit on that.

Like completely.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 21:55 | 3292339 mkhs
mkhs's picture

Quit your whining.  You get it free of charge.

Sun, 03/03/2013 - 06:29 | 3295008 bunnyswanson
bunnyswanson's picture

Global shortage of barium.  Delayed medical procedures. as a resut.  You have to ask yourself, why?   not something I have come across in 30 years in the business.

Fri, 03/01/2013 - 19:38 | 3292065 Bansters-in-my-...
Bansters-in-my- feces's picture


I wonder how much that HAARP and the Stratospheric Atmosphere Geoengineering is costing the slaves.?

Can't be cheap,they even come and spray neighboring countries daily.

Oh ya,that Solar Radiation Management (SRM) program thingy too.

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