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Nearly every state government in America is now mired down in massive debt and many are nearing financial insolvency so they are, naturally, looking to the Obama administration to help them restore stability just as was done to bail out the corrupt Wall Street financial sector. Talk about a complete mix-up in priorities; listen to this account of what is going on in our Congress as related to the issues of war funding versus needed funding for the states. This part of our story exposes our government in Washington for what it is; a cesspool of favoritism and corruption in which our elected representatives shamelessly grovel and feed at the trough of tainted campaign contributions from Corporate America while refusing to address the critical problems facing the American people.
President Obama, who had vowed to end the former Bush policy of requesting supplemental appropriations for the war, reneged on this promise (what else is new?) and recently requested additional war funding of $33 billion. The U.S. House, which doesn't like supplementals, went ahead and initiated legislation, but added $20 billion to the bill for state programs and services, for school districts to avoid teacher layoffs, for Pell grants to low-income college students, and summer jobs programs. It then was sent to the Senate.
The U.S. Senate proved that it is morally corrupted beyond repair; after minimal discussion, it returned the legislation to the House. However, in doing so, these so-called representatives of our democracy, led by the GOP but also aided and abetted by a group of spineless democrats, stripped all aid to the states but retained the entire $33 billion for the war funding.
At that very point, if he had the courage and conviction, our president should have sent this message to Congress: "We need the war funding to carry out our military objectives in Afghanistan, but we must also think of the plight of our states and their responsibilities to those in need; so I strongly urge you to pass the entire bill, including aid to the states." But, he did not! He will take the funds for war; he refuses to stand up for the states and the children.
The House, upon receiving the stripped-down bill, could and should have, with the majority control of the Democrats, voted it down and insisted that the grants to the states be restored. But it, like the Senate, once again took the easy way out, passed the legislation and granted President Obama (you will remember him as the Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2009) yet another supplemental appropriation to carry out his illegal, immoral war in Afghanistan.