You can see it in the eyes of veteran Indian policy makers all across America because most of them have been there and done that: they are survivors of the federal budget ax.
In a lot of ways there are cuts that must be made because this federal administration is in financial trouble, but it wasn’t the American Indians that put them there.
We all know it was the unloosening of so many federal rules and regulations in the Wall Street arena that set off the bulls. When Wall Street’s secretive banks began to crumble it was the feds that opened the loopholes that had to bail them out while we out here in the boondocks sat back and watched in horror. It was like watching a melt-down on Three-Mile-Island.
The truth about to be revealed to the Indian nations is that when the budget cutting begins, the first programs and institutions taking the first snips of the scissors are the programs without a large constituency. In other words, the budget sharks go for the easily available victims first: Indian tribes and welfare programs. This is the path of least resistance. Nobody gives a damn because most Americans, especially the next weak victims in line, have already wiped the sweat from their brows because they just got a short reprieve.
Congressional leaders in both parties reported strong increases in their net income last year. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reported the biggest gain for 2009. Her worth jumped by $9 million to roughly $21.7 million last year. The reason: The Dow Jones Industrial climbed nearly 4,000 points in 2009 after diving to 6,626 points on March 6, 2009. For the calendar year it gained more than 1,600 points in 2009. There are a lot of sixes in those gains for the sake of the superstitious.
Most of us wonder how the Stock Market can climb over 12,000 while unemployment remains so high. There are an awful lot of Americans not working and yet the stock market players just keep bringing in the cash. Are we living in two different Americas where one segment is making tons of money while the other continues to lose jobs, homes and a future?
Al-Qaeda watched and studied America for more than 20 year and then decided that the best and only way to destroy a capitalistic society was to destroy its foundation of capitalism. When Al-Qaeda launched its attack on the twin towers of capitalism on September 1, 2001 it was making good on the job that failed 10 years earlier. With its vast resources in security, America knew another attack was imminent and yet was totally unprepared for 9/11.
How does one explain such incompetency in a government agency that is supposed to protect America?
And if another attack occurs, and it will, and this one using atomic weapons that destroys and kills many more Americans than 9/11, what does America do? It cannot retaliate on any one country because Al-Qaeda is not a country. It is scattered all over the world. Our intelligence agencies have proved to less than competent. It seems like they were sitting on their thumbs when so many Nations in the middle-east began to crumble. And yet America is paying millions of dollars for these agencies to protect us?
All of these things are tied into the budget cuts and the Tea Party candidates are about to get a lesson in how the government in charge works. All of the money pumped into security was wasted (a place to cut?) because the Spy v. Spy we set loose couldn’t find their own coat tails with a flashlight and a coat hanger.
President Barack Obama stepped into office and was handed a key to a giant barn and a shovel. When he opened the barn he found a pile of crap two miles high. He started to shovel and then the auto industry started to crumble. Not all of it, just those that were poorly run: GM and Chrysler. Ford did not need one penny of bail out money and they are never given the credit, but instead were rolled into one failure with “the failed auto industry bail out.”
Obama had to use his shovel to clean that mess up and is now accused of the auto industry bailout by the very Republicans who brought this down on his head.
All of you folks keep some of the news article from 2008 close at hand because as that year closed out it was the George W. Bush Administration that was trying to hold back the floodwaters to keep the banking industry from sinking in the mire.
They finally handed the shovel to Obama and said, “We’re out-a here,” without even a wish for good luck.
Tim Giago, an Oglala Lakota, is the editor and publisher of Native Sun News.
He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard with the Class of 1990. His weekly column won
the H. L. Mencken Award in 1985. He was the first Native American ever inducted
into the South Dakota Newspaper Hall of Fame. He can be reached at
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