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[豆知识] 【整理】2011-11-27&12-03 美国政府破产的故事 (2/3)

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So where is all that money going?Well,first the military takes the biggest chunk.Seven hundred and twenty-six billion dollars in 2011.Wow,we could build a lot of better future with that kind of money.Spending billions on fighter planes we don't need or wars with no end and then saying we are broke just isn't honest.It's like calling your kid from your billion-dollar yacht to tell you can't afford for her school lunch money.Then hundreds of billions more go to propping up the dinosaur economy.You know,the obsolete system we talked about in the story of stuff the one that produces more pullution,greenhouse gases and garbage than any other on earth and doesn't even make us happy.In so many ways it's just now working.But we are keeping it on a life support instead of building something better.A lot of that life support comes in the form of subsidies.A subsidy is a giveaway that gives some companies a lift over others.That's not necessarily a bad thing.We should help companies that are building a better future.The problem is our government keeps lifting up companies that are actually dragging us down.Everywhere you look along the dinosaur economy,you'll find these subsidies.They're spending subsidies where the government just gives our money away,like payments that benefit big \ business while helping drive family farms off a cliff.Or the less obvious version where the government foots the bill  for things corporation should pay for themselves,like cleaning up toxic chemical spills or giant livestock manure ponds.Or building roads that only go to one place like a new Walmart.Or paying for polluting and wasteful garbage \ that would never make financial sense to build on their own.Then there is tax subsidies which exuse big corporations from contributing their fair share,like the enormous tax breaks granted to oil and gas companies,even in times of record profits.These subsidies amount to billions we should be collecting and put into good use.And then there is a risk transfer subsidies where our government acts as an investment bank or an insurance company for corporations doing risky things like building nuclear reactors.If anything goes wrong,we have to cover for them.There is freebie subsidies where our government gives stuffs that belong to all of us to corporations for cheap or even free.That's billions more that we should be collecting but never see like permits to mine public lands granted a prices set in the mining law of 1872.Really,1872.President G signed this law to encourage settlement of the west.And News Flash:It's settled.And all this doesn't even count externalized costs.They don't show up on any s\ and could amount to trillions of dollars including all of the damage to the environment,public health and the climate that this dinosaur economy causes.Without laws that make these pulluters pay,we all pay with the loss of clean air and water of increased asthma and cancer.By the time we've handed out all of these subsidies,there isn't even enough money to pay our bills.Forget about building a better future.
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