Waiting for Shutdown with govtrack.us

I’ve recently discovered govtrack.us, which I used to track S.J. Res 21, Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against the Government of Syria to Use of Chemical Weapons.  But I just learned today that you can sign up and receive daily emails on the activities of any U.S. Representative!  As it looks like we are headed for a government shutdown, I doubt I’ll receive that much email. 😉

I’m also tracking H.R. 2818: Surveillance State Repeal Act.  The website is well designed and it’s a great way to stay up-to-date with your elected officials.

Don’t fear the sequester

Yesterday, after failing to come to any consensus on a new budget, President Obama initiated the sequester. Honestly, I don’t understand the reaction to this “devastating” act. Our national debt is substantial and we are spending more than we are saving so to speak. The options are simple: increase revenue (taxes) and/or reducing spending.

I’m not sure what’s involved in the other cuts, but I agree, in general, with defense cuts. Source article here.

There is a lot of animosity against not raising taxes for the wealthy. Certainly, this increases government revenue. But do we need to spend so much? The President specifically called out that Navy shipbuilding will be affected. People may lose their jobs, which is unfortunate. But why do we need so many ships? As an ex-Naval officer and defense contractor, the defense industry can certainly trim the fat. The military by and large does what it’s told, with the resources it’s given. But the populous needs to keep them in check. Having been to Afghanistan, albeit briefly, I am not sure the progress made there is worth the price we are paying. There is a great TED talk by Rory Stewart about leaving Afghanistan (in 2011) and how the surge only increased the violence in the country.  His book, was the best preparation for going my deployment to Afghanistan.

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