We are now approaching what analysts call the “fiscal cliff”. This is a measure that will cut a little from our massive federal budget, increase taxes on everyone, and raise the debt ceiling in order to keep the status quo going. That’s if Congress doesn’t act beforehand to come up with an actual budget.
Of course, we can’t hope this to happen. The only thing we can actually do is protest. Protest the insane spending. Protest the inhumane taxation. Protect the unconstitutionality of every single action taken by our federal government and the loss of a true system of checks and balances. Because it is easy to reduce the size of the federal government and pay down the national debt. All it takes is a series of simple and easy steps, most of which have no influence on the American people.
As part of our series on such steps, we will now talk about ending the Compact of Free Association, or CFA. The CFA is a contract between the United States, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshal Islands, and the Republic of Palau. According to this association, managed by the Office of Insular Affairs of the Interior Department, US taxpayers are to send millions of dollars every year to the three Pacific nations, in exchange of which the US military is given a monopoly over the defense of the area encompassed between the islands.
It is not a real trade off, as one may observe. It’s actually a loss for the main players of this contract, American taxpayers. The government has managed to give extreme powers over the strategic Pacific Ocean to the military-industrial complex and, at the same time, take millions of much-needed dollars away from our economy, while pretending it is an equal contract. There are virtually no winners in this, besides military contractors and neoconservative policy makers.
But what about those that live in these countries? Well, it’s simple. The Compact gave away $172.9 million in 2012 to the Marshal Islands and Micronesia, and signed a $250 million aid contract with Palau, to be distributed until 2024. What happened to the money? Infrastructure, education, technology, and health care are not a great progress. Half of Micronesia’s population has no Internet access, despite millions spent in satellite technology. This leaves a lot of room for millions of dollars lost in corrupted contracts with local tribesmen and contractors befriending local governments.
And how about the US military? Having a monopoly over these countries’ defenses, the Department of Defense can contract quite a lot to keep its hegemony working. Arm stockpiles, strategy companies, geopolitical groups can all be receiving some money thanks to the CFA. Even worse, the Pacific Islands offer a great recruiting ground for the military: there is a higher soldier to civilian ratio in the Marshall Islands, Palau, and Micronesia, than in any part of the United States.
And to those that are wondering what would happen without any US aid to those countries, the answer is easy. China has itself been investing millions not Micronesian coffers with the hope they will take over the defense monopoly once the US are gone. But this is far from a guarantee: the United States were given the right to operate the CFA because it had been leading the United Nations Trusteeship in the Pacific up to that point. China would not be taking over a position it had already been participating in the making, it would rather try to take over an hegemony through bribes.
The Compact of Free Association needs to be done away with as soon as possible. It is a contract filled with imperialism and corruption that wastes taxpayer money while damaging the lives of many islanders. It prevents independent states to form their own militaries, leave alone the opportunity to develop private alternatives to the defense sector. This simple measure would save American taxpayers as much as $189 million a year.
Day 4 Summary
Leave NATO = $800 million
End CPB funding = $445.2 million
Privatize NASA = $17.8 billion
End the CFA = $189.5 million
(Total saved = $19,234,540,000)