$500 Billion For Six Months: Senate Funding Bill Continues War & Welfare
The corporate-owned parties in the US have more to lose in an election year than gain by being stubborn stalwarts of their own agendas. Unlike the fiasco of 2011, in which the fiscal cliff seemed like an edge over which the ship of state would certainly fall, in 2012 the overstretched US budget was not suspended, as both military projects and welfare programs are set to continue. Senate lawmakers voted to approve half-a-trillion bill to finance the federal government for six months from October 1.
Rand Paul had earlier slowed passage of the funding bill after the US Senate easily overcame a preliminary procedural hurdle on the $500 billion bill Paul introduced a measure cutting aid to Pakistan, Egypt and Libya. Not only did all Democratic lawmakers in the Senate oppose Paul’s proposal, but so too did many of his own party, including John McCain and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. In a tight election year, neither party wants to appear to radical or be blamed for not working together with the other party. Neither party wanted to make an already stressed population more nervous and hurt their chances in the election.
The media, neither, wants to rock the boat too much, and failed utterly to tell the people what it is exactly Rand Paul spoke during his filibuster which, although it only lasted a short while, was blamed as an impediment towards efficient voting on the funding bill. During his filibuster, Rand Paul said of war:
I think there is such an eagerness…to think through the issues of war and that’s how we get into this…our soldiers are not inanimate clay that we put on this master board of chess, this geopolitical chess game to move around. These are young men and women who live in your neighborhood, who live in the neighboring town and when i think about war, when i think about this resolution…I think about those young men and women and my commitment that i’m not going to war with out absolute provocation.
Paul also riffed against foreign aid going not to poor people in foreign countries, but to oppressive dictators.
Nonetheless, the vote ended Paul’s brief delay on Saturday night, as expected. The bill passed, and will fund most federal government agencies and departments for the first six months of the 2013 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. The vote took place after midnight following a delay of more than two days due to infighting between Republicans and Democrats about measures unrelated, neither of which passed to become law.
The items to be funded for the next six months represent approximately one-third of the overall federal budget – much of the rest is comprised of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security that are renewed each year without congressional action. Instead, the bill covers the more superfluous, and nefarious, aspects of government. Such as the $45 billion for the war in Afghanistan for six months as well as other overseas military operations for the six-month period. $3 billion for FEMA is also included. The bill will extend an existing pay freeze for federal government workers and members of Congress.
According to Dollar Vigilante’s colorful graphic, this means that approximately 250 million US citizens will continue their lives unabated – short of war or disease – until a slew of austerity measures go into effect on January 2, 2013, which will see $110 billion begin to be cut from the budget over many years. Federal transfers to state government to help pay for assistance to lower-income individuals and families will continue under the legislation. Food stamps, for example, will be funded by the bill as more Americans than ever are on welfare.
When Congress returns, they will have to settle on what to do about the numerous tax measures that expire at year’s end, as well as a way to handle a scheduled $110 billion in federal spending cuts that under the current law are set to begin in January. In the meantime, here is a list of all nearly 500 government agencies:
1 Access Board
2 Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
3 Administration for Native Americans
4 Administration on Aging (AoA)
5 Administration on Developmental Disabilities
6 Administrative Committee of the Federal Register
7 Administrative Conference of the United States
8 Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts
9 Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
10 African Development Foundation
11 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
12 Agency for International Development
13 Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
14 Agricultural Marketing Service
15 Agricultural Research Service
16 Agriculture Department
17 Air and Radiation Hotline
18 Air Force
19 Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (Treasury)
20 Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau (Justice)
21 American Battle Monuments Commission
22 AmeriCorps Recruiting
23 AMTRAK (National Railroad Passenger Corporation)
24 Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
25 Antitrust Division
26 Appalachian Regional Commission
27 Architect of the Capitol
28 Archives (National Archives and Records Administration)
29 Arctic Research Commission
30 Armed Forces Retirement Home
31 Arms Control and International Security
33 Army Corps of Engineers
34 Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Interagency Coordinating Committee
35 Atlantic Fleet Forces Command
36 Bankruptcy Courts
37 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation
38 Bonneville Power Administration
39 Botanic Garden
40 Broadcasting Board of Governors (Voice of America, Radio|TV Marti and more)
41 Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade (Treasury)
42 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (Justice)
43 Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
44 Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection
45 Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
46 Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
47 Bureau of Industry and Security
48 Bureau of International Labor Affairs
49 Bureau of Justice Statistics
50 Bureau of Labor Statistics
51 Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
52 Bureau of Prisons
53 Bureau of Reclamation
54 Bureau of the Census
55 Bureau of the Engraving and Printing
56 Bureau of the Public Debt
57 Bureau of Transportation Statistics
58 Capitol Visitor Center
59 Census Bureau
60 Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
61 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
62 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
63 Central Command (CENTCOM)
Ok, let’s stop there. The rest are here.
Overshadowing the whole affair is the likelihood of US default on debts, hyperinflation or collapse. The US political system has proved determined to overcome the struggles it faces as demise-of-the-state globalists atop state-subsidized transnational corporations who have gutted the nation through welfare and outsourcing. Thankfully, Barack Obama did not prove to be as enthralling a personality as his campaign days signaled, which is really a testament of the power of truth. The US public is extremely skeptical of its current masters. Otherwise, a wave of personality cult could sweep the US into a global rendering of genocides gone by, only much larger in scope.