Hypocrisy happens in high places.

Most folks are honest; this tricks them into a belief in the bedrock honesty of others, especially those who make bold public statements. How could someone lie in a public statement? Most folks know they would not want to live with that embarrassment when the truth inevitably came out.

And yet we get fooled again. And again.

George Santos claimed his mother died in the 9-11 attacks. She did not. He claimed his grandparents survived the European holocaust. As we all know, his shenanigans have been extraordinary.

From Trump’s incessant and continuing lies to the fictions spun up on Fox News, we are awash in a gaslighting culture from the right that cannot seem to stop its relentless daily “flooding the zone.”

But this is the chop on the surface. What about the current underneath? Where does the political left join the political right in framing profits as patriotism, bloodshed as glory, immiseration as inspiration?

Military budget more sacred than your savings?

Here we are in yet another crisis of our own making (well, made by the people we freely elected), the debt ceiling debacle. At the actual nut of the problem is the military budget.

Why? Because it seems to be literally more sacred than the money the government takes out of your paycheck for your retirement, Social Security.

Just ponder the headlines.

Forbes: “Republicans Plan To Cut Social Security – Will Voters Let Them?”

Time magazine: “How Biden Got Republicans To Run Away From Their History of Pushing Social Security and Medicare Cuts”

The fight is on, even as your paycheck shows the deductions made to the Social Security fund. That is your money, not Congress’s to play around with. And yet it’s a public debate now.

On the other hand, find me the politicians who are calling for cuts to the biggest budget item by far in the pool of your tax dollars that we do give Congress the right to divide as they see fit, discretionary spending. That would be the Pentagon budget, of course. There is pretty much radio silence on that topic. Where there are minor quibbles it’s usually about how much to increase it, not whether it should be cut.

Back in the day, Ronald Reagan’s head of his Office of Management and Budget, David Stockman, in an interview in The Atlantic, talked about the defense contractors and noted, “The hogs are really feeding now.”

Fast-forward to today and those hogs are breeding and feeding, gorging on your tax dollars, and yet the Pentagon is so reckless and eager to spend that they cannot pass an audit, year after year.

So the bloated Pentagon budget, some $816 billion officially, is far more than every hostile foreign power combined, and yet in reality is much more than that, since military costs are also absorbed into other budgets, such as Veterans Affairs, Dept. of Energy, and NASA, amongst others.

Where is credit due?

Into all this comes the fatuous self-inflicted threat of a default to the US full faith and credit because Republicans won’t honor past expenses they voted to make. If a Dad does that he’s a deadbeat Dad. If a contractor does that to a subcontractor, expect a lien. Do that do a neighbor nice enough to sell you an appliance that you never paid for and he’s going to see you in small claims court.

Deadbeat Republicans never met a weapons system they wouldn’t vote for but now that the bill is here they want to dip out. Gullible Democrats also voted for those military boondoggles but at least they want to honor those debts.

Republicans are, as usual, aiming to cut programs that really serve human needs, but the budgets they seek to eliminate are so small the Pentagon would regard them as rounding errors. They want to cut Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program? No food for poor kids! More caviar for Raytheon war profiteer executives!

It is long past time to really pare down the DoD budget. We should not have sophisticated weaponry all over the Earth, under the seas, and in space while families are living in tents in the snow on sidewalks and while health care is still not available to all. Can we unite for peace and prosperity?

Dr. Tom H. Hastings is Coördinator of Conflict Resolution at Portland State University and PeaceVoice senior editor.

(25) comments

David Collins

Yes they are but always been that way and not about to change any time soon . Of course , both sides are guilty . A fact conveniently left out by the author and a prerequisite for the editor to post this article . Comes with the territory .

Anyone keeping score will certainly agree that the left “Ds” have a commanding lead on this subject . Then , it is like saying that he is worse than I am .

Go figure !


Eisenhower warned us decades ago about the military industrial complex, Take the f35 plane, the military did not want it, still does not want it. It has been pushed through, along with billions in other projects by powerful elected officials who have either a personal stake or the assembly plant is in their district, or both. With russia/ china/ n korea iran iraq Somalia and a host of others wishing us ill we do need a strong and smart defense. What we have is a bloated and antiquated system, beset with corruption. As the federal fiscal yr closes every agency in govt burns up their budget lest they lose that funding next yr. We did it when i was in the service 40 yrs ago we do it now. August and september is "christmastime" The nature of warfare is changing, million dollar missiles to shoot down a thousands dollar balloon? who made that decision?

What politician will raise their head from the trough and say ENOUGH?


1. What's up with the Tideland News? Seems as though I am constantly reading some article from a writer from Portland, Chicago, or Seatle. Really?

2. The main responsibility of the GOVT is to protect it's citizens from foreign aggression. You do that with a strong military and that is not cheap to do.

3. IMO most politicians tell lies, and I would like to see Santos return to civilian life. but the people of NY did vote him in. Best I can recall our POTUS has told some whoppers himself.

4. If we could work on reducing the tremendous amount of waste in the Govt. and stop sending billions and billions of dollars to every other country in the world we would have plenty to spend on things we need.

David Collins

What’s up with the Tideland ? Been that way since Brad defected to the mothership . Unable to author an opinion here so outsourcing it is . Side benefit is the other guy totes the blame or praise, depending on how the reader swings .

Think of it like reading the NY Post vs NY Times . Something for everybody plus a proven award winner from the fair and balanced crowd on the planet of Chapel Hill . So , you can be sure they are spot on every time with absolutely no agendas to grind . Did I mention that there is not a hint or even a smidgen of bias/favoritism in any article here ?

What’s not to like about the wrapper ?


Plenty to spend? There is the annual budget deficit, then there is the national debt. The national debt currently stans at 31 trillion. To actually grasp that number, let's think of dollars as time, specifically seconds.

A million seconds is 12 days. A billion seconds is 31 years. A trillion seconds is 31,688 years.

Let that sink in. The current budget fight, cutting foreign aid, a work requirement for food stamps.. that is feel good talk to keep " the base" engaged. Plus such suggestions are foolishment, most of foreign aid either directly benefits American workers, or disposes of stored usually foodstuffs. Shall we let millions of tons of usda bought wheat rot in a warehouse to prove we are serious about budget cutting? Who will provide daycare so food stamps recipients can keep getting their 6.82 per day per person? Sheesh.


Could use some those food stamps myself and not really sure about the "base", don't think I belong to that although I'll check on it. And I definitely don't want those millions of tons of usda bought wheat to rot in a warehouse, just wishing that some of the money sent to places like the ones listed below could be kept at home. And I might be able to assist with daycare if it would help get me some of those stamps.

1. Iraq: $5,281,179,380 (for conflicts, peace and security)

2. Afghanistan: $5,060,306,051 (for conflicts, peace and security)

3. Israel: $3,113,310,210 (for conflicts, peace and security)

4. Egypt: $1,239,291,240 (for conflicts, peace and security)

5. Jordan: $1,214,093,785 (for conflicts, peace and security)

6. Kenya: $1,143,552,649 (for population policies and reproductive health)

7. Ethiopia: $1,111,152,703 (for emergencies)

8. Syria: $916,426,147 (for emergencies)

9. Pakistan: $777,504,870 (for conflicts, peace and security)

10. Uganda: $741,326,448 (for population policies and reproductive health)


Any info on how much of that was surplus that supported the us defense industry? how much was usda surplus? It is a lot of money, was it well spent? Shall we let the world crumble around us in favor of america first? Such policy questions are beyond my pay grade. but i am willing to listen to others cogent thoughts.

Jackie Gleason

Tom Hastings: Coordinator of Conflict Resolution at Portland State and Peace Voice Senior Editor. Has the man ever had a real job? Talking about living off the Government /Taxpayers dime? Stellar Job for the Bilgeland News. Continuing to bring us leftist political puke from the left coast. Would be interesting if we asked someone from the opposite side with a real job and better earring to give us an opinion on say the last two years of lying at the hands of our present democratic leadership and wait until the Republicans have all branches to blast them.


if memory serves the republicans has the house senate and white house from 2016 to 2018. The main accomplishment was to add almost 2 TRILLION to debt via perm tax cuts to the wealthy, with a temporary pittance to the middle class. DJT added almost 7 trillion to fed debt. ( a one admin record) During that whole administration, we heard nary a word about budgets, fiscal responsibility, no the other party is back in power and suddenly the GOP is worried about money?

I am sure banning drag queens & books will erase the debt eventually, lets try another tax cut for the wealthy that always stimulates the stock market ( and not much else)

David Collins

$6.82 per day X 42.3 million in 2021 = $288,486,000 each and every day ? Piece of cake ?

Anyone realistically think that daycare will put these folks back to work ? Sure it will . Back to working on what put them where they are now . Always exceptions but darn few .


let them eat cake? Are there no workhouses for the Poor? I agree the whole food stamp system needs updates, first one being no soda, no prepared food, no multiple householders all drawing benefits, no items over $5. a lb.

David Collins

Thought this was about Hypocrisy and Lies ?

Sure do have have the heavyweight champ on our hands . Every time the mouth opens a lie falls out . Fossil fuels bad , the death of us all . Only to pivot to encouraging more drilling in pristine Alaska along with other locations and buying up the banned Russian oil . Poor old bungles . Just …eh … ugh ..darn it , you know what I mean . Stumbling , bungling and tripping down the pothole filled road . Build back better ? Where that be ?


Workers look at your pay check and then look at your grocery bill. You're told inflation is 6, 7, or 8%. Does look and feel more like it's 100%?


The inflation rate is across all sectors of commerce, not just fuel or groceries. If you only look at egg prices, you get a distorted view of the overall rate. It is not a diabolical plot by hillary,sorts, and of course Obama. It is supply and demand.


In the case of eggs, supply and demand is BS. Same supply and demand 2 years ago as today; inflation is the enemy.

David Collins

Actually I have noticed that egg prices have come down , unless you are predisposed to purchasing designer eggs . You know what they are . Then there are those who only buy sustainable , organically grown , PETA approved , boneless chicken breasts at $12 each +or- as well .


Wonder what percentage of working folks care that other sectors help your inflation narrative before they eat and have transportation to work to eat? When is the last time you experienced this kind of inflation? So, don't eat eggs? What then chicken?


You will never find an honest politician or a politician that isn't a hypocrite. Putting too much trust in political figures is what has destroyed this country.


Perhaps your chosen information sources did not mention an outbreak of avian flu and the wholesale slaughter of infected flocks? That is what reduced the supply of eggs. Egg prices are coming down as supply increases. The 100% grocery inflation rhetoric is just that, pure nonsense. Yes groceries are a Lil higher, gas is up again, and despite tech layoffs and banks that got into crypto have cash problems the economy is weathering the storms. Now after the too big to fail crash, that was arguably caused by gop deregulation of financial services,the Dodd/ frank legislation was put in place to reregulate then to prevent that from happening again. In 2016 that was rolled back. There should be some common sense middle ground between govt regulation, and corporate profit. I certainly trust say.. usda inspectors over plant managers when it comes to food safety?

How about you?


Like the financial wizard who advises young folks or anyone else needing to be more frugal to eat beans and rice one day then rice and beans the next whether or not in inflationary times. Not there yet but who knows what JB and handlers economic model will lead to.


A "lil higher" is even more nonsense.


Didn't your finance genius Barney say the regs roll back had nothing to do with it?

David Collins

Yes , the flue and what came with it is real and old news . Higher prices for animal feed and trucking mixed with “ environmental / ethical treatment added to the end user cost as well . Groceries a “little” bit higher ? Depends on one’s definition of little . In today’s bag , fruit up 70% . Crackers $2.00 / box increase . Don’t even look at laundry products . Fresh meat and seafood , just walk on by . Frozen , hold your nose and do not look . A trip to Sam’s Club is in our future .

Banks ? You mean SVB and its clones ? They don’t have a problem , we have a problem i regardless what bungles and the toad try to pitch . Comes out that Frank , of Dodd/Frank fame , just happens to work at one of those speculation banks . Imagine that ! Remember , old bungles was supposed to undo all that Trump did . OOPS , missed that one . Buttttt , everything is just fine , until the next bungle .

Only 20 more months to go . Plenty of time for more mismanagement from the bungles crew . Popcorn anyone ?


Suspect Icahn has it right about corporate governance.


Incoming comments are devolving into the same people arguing the same points over and over and attacking each other. Time to close this one. WEB EDITOR

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