Military Review

How America turned into a third world country. 2013-2023 ("TomDispatch" (USA))

How America turned into a third world country. 2013-2023 ("TomDispatch" (USA))The streets are now much darker, since the municipal government rarely has the money to cover them. National parks have been closed for several years in a row. Some of them are already divided and sold to the highest bidder. Reports of dilapidated or even collapsing bridges have become commonplace. The air, in one city after another, hangs dirty and heavy (and the number of cases of asthma and other pulmonary diseases in children took off), since funding that would allow to observe the standards of cleanliness of the atmosphere set by the Environmental Protection Agency is in the distant past. Public education is curtailed to a minimum, which makes good schools a luxury, and, according to the Ministry of Education, two out of every five students will not finish high school.

This is 2023 a year - and this is America through 10 years after a comprehensive budget cuts, the so-called sequestering, first began to operate. It went on for 10 years, without making exceptions for effective programs that are vital to the economic health of America, which already lacked funding, such as vocational training and repair of infrastructure facilities. It could not be otherwise.

If you go back to 2013 - at the time when the sequestration began to operate - no one knew what its influence would be, although almost everyone, across the political spectrum, agreed that it would be bad. It so happened that the first signs of the collapse, which a decade later turned the United States into a third world country, could be found surprisingly quickly, only three months after the start of the cuts. In this short space, several government agencies, such as the Federal Office of Civil aviation (FAA), after the scandal due to flight delays, demanded - and received - a special exception. Naturally, the Ministry of Defense, with its pathetic $ 568 billion to the wind in its 2013 budget, also joined the elite list. On the other hand, the pressing costs of education, environmental protection and scientific research were not spared, and in many communities the effect of this was felt surprisingly soon.

Sustainable public investment in the previous century was the key to US prosperity. Then they were considered the main part of the "social contract", as well as the elementary truth of the economy. As almost everyone was aware of in those days, citizens pay taxes in order to finance worthy initiatives that could not be effectively and adequately satisfied by the private sector. An example is roads and research. In the years after World War II, the country invested huge sums of money into its interstate highways and was widely recognized as the best education system in the world, and research in well-funded government laboratories led to inventions such as the Internet. The resulting world-class infrastructure, an educated workforce, and a technological revolution fed a healthy private sector.

Feverish austerity

However, in the early years of the 21 century, a series of fabricated arguments in favor of "austerity" that had been wound up for decades, captured the imagination of the nation. In 2011-2012, Congress, which seemed to have little else to do, made trillions of dollars into what was later called "deficit reduction."

Sequestering was a strange and particular case of this particular disease. These comprehensive abbreviations, approved in August 2011 of the year and launched on 2 on January 2013 of the year, meant a cloud hanging over Congress. The sequestration was not intended to put it into action, but only to make the legislators listen to the voice of reason - to work out a less daunting plan to reduce the deficit by completely arbitrary 1.2 trillion. dollars for ten years. As it is now known, they never came to their senses, and the sequestration did indeed take effect. Then, although Congress could cancel cuts at any time, the country never turned back.

This does not mean that cuts in federal spending at such levels in the 2013 year were devastating, although an already weakened economy would be harmed by any cuts. Rather, the sequestration turned out to be completely corrosive from the very beginning, since all government spending — from research grants for renewable energy and disadvantaged public schools to HIV tests — should have been cut equally as if it were all fat to be pumped off (cut off). The elimination of even the monitoring systems of possible natural disasters, such as river floods and volcanological services in earthquake-prone areas, has begun. Over time, the reductions became huge: $ 85 in the first year and $ 110 billion for each succeeding, totaling more than $ 1 trillion. cuts in ten years, to top it to other cuts that have already occurred.

Since the lawmakers approved sequestration as a law, they have had more than a year to think again. And yet they did not lift a finger to work out an alternative plan and did not even bother to notice the signs of the coming chaos until a few weeks left before the expiration date. Then they gave themselves a couple more months - before March 1 of the year 2013 - to come to an agreement, which they never did. All this, of course, ancient историяbut even a decade later this annals of stupidity is worth analyzing.

If you remember, they tweeted on Twitter when Rome burned. House Speaker John Beyner, for example, sent out dozens of tweets to say that the Democrats are responsible: “The president suggested a sequestration, had 18 months to set priorities in cuts, and did nothing,” he wrote, as a rule, although no less than the rule - did nothing. For his part, the leader of the Senate majority, Harry Reid, wrote in a return tweet: "It is not too late to prevent threatening cuts in the sequestration, for which the overwhelming majority of Republicans voted." And it has become a model for a ten-year American political impasse, which has not been overcome to this day.

The beginning of ruin

The March 1 day came ... and passed, so the budget ax began to descend.
At first, things didn't seem so bad. Yes, the cuts were not as ubiquitous as expected.

The meat industry, for example, protested because the dismissal of sanitary inspectors slowed down its production lines, and therefore Congress patched the problem, and sanitary inspectors spared. But besides meat producers, there was a feeling that, perhaps, cuts in the end were not so bad. The cuts had to be carefully and thoroughly, based on the formula, in order to get the desired result - $ 85 billion cuts taken from the ceiling in the 2013 year — and no one knew exactly what could happen to each individual program. In April, more than a month after the start of cuts, the White House unveiled a presidential draft budget for the next year, an annual milestone document, usually containing detailed information on federal expenditures of the current year. But on thousands of pages of documents and tables, the new budget ignored the sequestration, and thus reported the meaningless 2013 figures of the year, because even the White House could not say exactly what impact these cuts would have on programs and public investment throughout the country.

It so happened that it did not take long to see results. The first circles actually began to spread rather quickly. Having lost some of the government funding, cancer clinics in New Mexico and Connecticut stopped accepting patients. In Kentucky, Oregon and Montana, shelters for victims of domestic violence have reduced activities. In New York, Maryland and Alabama, state lawyers were dismissed, which restricted access to justice for low-income people.

In Illinois and Minnesota, public school teachers were fired. In Florida, Michigan and Mississippi, “Head Start” (Educational and medical program to help children from low-income, mentally retarded, and disabled people funded by the Administration for Children, Youth, and Families; exists with 1965 - approx. Transl.) - reduced the school year, while in Kansas and Indiana some low-income children simply lost access to this educational program. In Alaska, a drug treatment clinic was closed. Across the country, the Meals on Weels program has cut 4 a million meals for needy old people.

It was only when the FAA extended layoffs to its air traffic controllers that public anger began to threaten to reach its boiling point. Long queues and flight delays at airports followed, and people became enraged. And not anyhow, but those who had access to members of Congress. In Washington, which usually baffled the most usual procedure, lawmakers took a dizzying pace, spending only five days to enact a special law to solve this problem. In order to avoid the dismissal of air traffic controllers and reduce the waiting time for air passengers, they allowed the FAA to spend funds intended for the repair, reconstruction and modernization of airports.

Flights for some time were left alone - at least until the runways collapse and collapse. (Of course, remember the 2019 scandal of the year at Cincinnati International Airport, when a bright young candidate for the Senate met her demise in a tragic incident during the landing).

And then, of course, he asked for the exception and the Pentagon. We are talking about the military monster of the planet Earth, which in 2013 on a global scale accounted for 40% of military expenditures, which exceeds the expenditures of its closest 10 military rivals combined. He also wanted a special exemption from some of the cuts falling on his share.

Sanitary inspectors from the meat processing industry, the FAA and the Ministry of Defense enjoyed special treatment, but the rest of the nation, as history textbooks recall, was not so lucky. Children from middle-class and low-income families saw even more scarce resources for schools that closed the window of opportunity. Young people, the elderly and the infirm have found themselves in front of endangered access to basic resources, such as medical care or just a hot lunch. Federal grants to the states have dried up, and in the state budgets there is less money for local priority needs - from the police to modest street lighting.

And remember that just at the time when the budget cuts began, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere overcame the threshold of 400 particles per million. (Climatologists have long warned that for human safety, this concentration must be kept at a level below 350). Unfortunately, as with the breakthrough research that led to the emergence of the Internet, doing big things requires money, and the long-term effects of reducing environmental costs, extensive research and basic infrastructure meant that the US government could do little do something to prevent extreme weather events, which in 2023, have become such a part of our world and our lives.

Looking back from a country that is currently in a state of permanent crisis, it is clear that the Rubicon was moved in 2013 year. Then there was still a chance to reject comprehensive budget cuts, which would undermine national construction based on solid public investment and joint prosperity. At that crossroads, some struggled against austerity. Losing that battle, others defended a smarter approach: to close tax holes, to increase new revenues, or to reduce waste in health care, or to impose a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, or to reduce unreasonable expenses at the Pentagon. But too few Americans - besides having too little influence - have spoken, - and Washington has not heard.

The rest of this story, as you well know, is history.
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  1. svp67
    svp67 4 June 2013 07: 23
    Another "horror story", the purpose of which is to force action ...
    1. Refund_SSSR
      Refund_SSSR 4 June 2013 07: 35
      History does not know a single eternal superpower ... All previous hegemons fell apart. So what will happen? - this is not a question ... The question is "when will it be?"
      Well, the article is another variation on this topic.
      1. T-100
        T-100 4 June 2013 08: 46
        History does not know a single eternal superpower ... All previous hegemons crumbled.

        That's for sure. Here is ours, and 2 times, and in one century - the Russian Empire, the USSR. But as they say, we left, but promised to return, and we will return and restore order everywhere !!!!
      2. Was mammoth
        Was mammoth 4 June 2013 08: 50
        Quote: We refund_SSSR
        History does not know a single eternal superpower ...

        Russia is eternal! wink
      3. timhelmet
        timhelmet 4 June 2013 09: 57
        The only superpower is the Russians! Only at different times under different names. The bottom line is: two thousand years have existed, which means we will survive for the same amount (for starters).
        The rest - so-so, paprika.
        1. strannik595
          strannik595 4 June 2013 13: 25
          if the US cuts the defense budget to the size of the Russian one, they have a good chance to avoid the above scenario, but they won’t do it ........ which means the fall will be hard
  2. aszzz888
    aszzz888 4 June 2013 07: 38
    This is 2023 year - and this is America 10 years after the first comprehensive cuts in the budget, the so-called sequestration

    And in the present they have no better abandoned city blocks, cities ...
    For that, gentlemen, we fought for it.
    Every day is not Sunday!
    1. evgenii67
      evgenii67 4 June 2013 07: 52
      Hello everyone!
      Quote: aszzz888
      Every day is not Sunday!

      it will be more exact: Not to each asterisk mattress.
    2. Dilshat
      Dilshat 4 June 2013 11: 46
      Back in Soviet times, there was a joke that the West rots, but how it smells. The United States may leave, but not soon and not right. Most likely they will try to drag out more countries behind them. To slow down their fall. The main principle of the USA is to be stronger, we must weaken the competing countries while looking stronger. It's just not easy to become stronger for the USA.
  3. Orel
    Orel 4 June 2013 07: 46
    Nothing surprising happens. The United States is moving to the 6th technological mode, which inevitably leads to problems in backward industries, and as a consequence in the social sphere and the economy as a whole, but this cannot be avoided, it just doesn’t happen otherwise. The main thing is that their economy does not overstep and overpower such a transition, since a lot of money is spent on defense and war, and they could be allowed to reform the economy and production. Let's see what happens ...
    1. The comment was deleted.
  4. waisson
    waisson 4 June 2013 07: 47
  5. Lankov Victor
    Lankov Victor 4 June 2013 07: 51
    On the whole, the forecast is plausible - in any case, as the crisis develops, the standard of living of the "golden billion" will drop significantly.
    Recipes for overcoming the crisis are at the level of American knowledge of the economy. Naturally, nonsense.
  6. Eric
    Eric 4 June 2013 08: 37
    Wellcome to the Russia 2013! 80% of the communal infrastructure (announced at a meeting with the condom, oh president)!
    1. Eric
      Eric 5 June 2013 02: 22
      Who set the minus !? AND? Wash yourself with saliva, from discharge, stsy in the eye - God's race! Objection is there anything?
  7. My address
    My address 4 June 2013 09: 27
    If. For now they use old shulersky focus - will print green. That's when in the world at least a third will require exchanging green for liquid values, then the mericos will collapse like a black hole. Will get us, but at times less.
  8. timhelmet
    timhelmet 4 June 2013 09: 59
    And who instructed the cons and why? This is just reasoning.
    1. seller trucks
      seller trucks 4 June 2013 10: 53
      Quote: timhelmet
      And who instructed the cons and why? This is just reasoning.

      who-who? Ukrainians, who else, the history of Ukraine is hundreds of thousands of years old
      1. alexkross83
        alexkross83 4 June 2013 13: 45
        And they think that Russia should have history only, and Ukraine lived a common history with it .... but this is from excessive nationalism and lack of education :-)
  9. Standard Oil
    Standard Oil 4 June 2013 10: 21
    Americans can no longer see and cut and distribute their green toilet paper because it is cut and distributed so much that it will only get worse because it is impossible to pay off debts with debt forever. and forward, and now there is only a story about terrorists left, and even that one has already left and left. And now they just have to remove the sheep’s skin and show the essence of the wolf to all of them thereby acknowledging the truth of the communist propagandists, or crawl away to a quiet damp place and give their ends .
  10. Wolland
    Wolland 4 June 2013 10: 38
    It's time to disperse these western dogs ... they are now in the time of our 90s ....
  11. vvp901
    vvp901 4 June 2013 11: 13
    Another confirmation that those who strive for power is always not enough for them, and the rest just become hostages of these processes. Until they see clearly. To ensure that they don’t see as long as possible, new technologies of deception are being developed. Sooner or later, the fraud is revealed and no technology already saves deceivers from responsibility for what they have done. What will be the responsibility of the Anglo-Saxons to the world? It seems America is being pushed to answer alone for all the sins of these globalizers!
  12. alexkross83
    alexkross83 4 June 2013 11: 59
    Let them return at least Alaska to us, we will help to extend it and build there even two narcological dispensaries .... and also a reservation for the Republicans :-)
  13. washi
    washi 4 June 2013 13: 02
    Throwing slogans is certainly beautiful. No wonder they say: Pi .... like Trotsky. By the way, a protege of his relatives - financiers of the USA.
    So long as We do not prove in word and deed that we have better than them we can’t live in peace, but we will survive
    1. alexkross83
      alexkross83 4 June 2013 13: 41
      Here you are now dear, throwing slogans and saying, let’s prove, by deed, but besides pi ... there is nothing more in the internet and you can’t :-) what are you doing and most importantly to whom are you going to prove something? And with a sense of humor you are not doing well :-) relax ... and have fun ... and most importantly, when you write comments, read the material first :-)
  14. Grigorich 1962
    Grigorich 1962 4 June 2013 13: 12
    each of us is obliged to stick an aspen stake in the decaying body of the American economy. And every Russian should start small. Contribute to a common righteous cause. And let everyone choose his own path ..... I'm sure that there is an armada wishing !!
  15. Vtel
    Vtel 4 June 2013 13: 50
    Posted by Mattea Kramer and Joe Comerford

    Interestingly, it’s just scary, often the Americans are frightening us with America, whether we want to be vigilant or not. It’s that the USA is bending, bending, but it will not break, and it would not be bad. Now, if the printing station for the green pieces of paper had broken, then they would have definitely been khan, and of course it’s beautiful, but something is stressful.
  16. Alexey M
    Alexey M 4 June 2013 13: 51
    Quote: Grigorich 1962
    each of us is obliged to stick an aspen stake in the decaying body of the American economy. And every Russian should start small. Contribute to a common righteous cause. And let everyone choose his own path ..... I'm sure that there is an armada wishing !!

    Where are there so many aspens that every wishing person would have enough!? And an article of fantasy and only
  17. Goldkonstantin
    Goldkonstantin 4 June 2013 14: 10
    They have it all going to this, most of the population is already gradually losing access to education, medicine and social security. Health insurance is an unthinkable luxury for some travelers. And here is the sequestration - slow stagnation against the background of widespread immersion in tartarara. So it's not such a fairy tale. Let's see what will happen next.
    1. alexkross83
      alexkross83 4 June 2013 14: 27
      There was at one time Siberian tartaria ... let it be now American :-) :-) :-)
  18. Marconi41
    Marconi41 4 June 2013 14: 55
    An entertaining fantastic aligoria. But most likely, if something happens to the USA, it will not be so and not so fast. Moreover, the entire world economy will collapse with them. The consequences will not be very pleasant for everyone.
  19. knn54
    knn54 4 June 2013 15: 30
    -Vtel: Now, if the print stench for green pieces of paper had broken, then they would definitely have a khan ...
    $ is just a ticket from the Federal Reserve, and the Fed is a Private Jewish Office.
    These private owners don't give a damn about the USA, Israel and others. And for the sake of saving the buck, they will go to EVERYTHING.
    Russia needs to wait 5-10 years and remain as a sovereign and integral state. Yes, it’s difficult, because, apparently, the Russian Federation is the next object of information and, possibly, military aggression of the United States and its sixes. If Russia survives, it will return much that has been lost, not only in Europe, but throughout the world.
    Until it reaches the American Rams that the Ts.A.P simply leads them to the slaughter, the Yankees will not see a "bright future"!
  20. tank_kv1
    tank_kv1 13 June 2013 18: 01

    Join Marconi41
    With all my negative attitude towards the inhabitants of Tan, collapsing, the US economy will cause the collapse of the economies of many countries. First of all, the Chinese economy, and to whom do we sell our oil and gas? Accordingly, we are waiting for a crisis to visit us.