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B is for Blueberries and Budgets

B is for Blueberries and Budgets

Posted By Sunny Lockwood

I don’t usually dip into the rotten world of U.S. politics … it’s usually so unsavory that I can’t stand even a few minutes of its stench.

But today I make an exception.

That’s because I’ve been enjoying blueberries this summer – in pancakes, strudels and muffins, sprinkled on breakfast cereal and layered with yogurt for a cool snack on a hot afternoon.

I’ve always loved the dusty-blue of these berries and their unique flavor – from mild sweetness to the tart and tang that makes my mouth water.

Blueberries have been discovered as one of the super stars of antioxidants. They’re great for the nervous system and for brain health, filled as they are with Vitamins C and E, manganese and fiber.

Clinical studies show that they improve cognitive functioning among older adults.

And since the older folks pocketing fat congressional paychecks seem to be cognitively and compassionately impaired, I’d suggest they increase their blueberry consumption.

For seven months these arrogant codgers have been wrangling over raising the debt limit and the budget, repeatedly warning that the middle class and poor will have to shoulder the burden of the mess created by the rich, spoiled, over indulgent financial sector (with help from the government watchdogs who refused to watch).

For seven months I’ve listened to Republicans (and now Democrats as well) describe Social Security as an "entitlement program" that needs trimming. I guess if you lie often enough, people forget you’re lying and start believing it’s the truth.

Social Security is not an entitlement program. All of us working people have been paying into it for decades. It has been so successful that the government has repeatedly dipped into its coffers to pay for things other than old age benefits. Now these codgers (whose fat paychecks come from us taxpayers) want to slice off portions of a program that has kept America’s workers from extreme poverty in their old age.

Yet I haven’t heard a word about bringing home American soldiers stationed around the world in both war and peace zones.

According to an old USA Today report (from February 2010), war spending for the month was $6.7 billion for Afghanistan and $5.5 billion for Iraq.

In addition to these wars and their destruction of lives, families, societies, property, etc., the U.S. has 47,000 troops dispersed throughout 44 countries worldwide costing more than the billions we’re spending blowing up Iraq and Afghanistan (and now, Libya).

I’ve yet to hear anyone suggesting we stop all this military spending and bring the troops home and put them to work fixing our crumbling infrastructure, helping build and rebuild our own nation. The wages we pay them would then flow through our economy, helping restore it to some degree.

Yesterday Vice President Joe Biden announced at a Democratic Party rally in Ohio that more than $1 trillion in domestic spending cuts have been identified during the budget negotiations, but added that the rich should make a contribution too. "We’re not going to let the middle class carry the whole burden," he said.

He didn’t say what, if any, of those cuts were to military bases in 44 other nations. And he didn’t explain why those who are struggling in this economy should bear ANY of the burden for a financial crisis caused by the super-rich.

Why should working people and the elderly bear any portion of the burden for a crisis that they (we) did not cause?

So I’d like to propose that bushels and bushels of blueberries be sent to the House, the Senate, the Supreme Court and the White House along with easy recipes. Perhaps if the politicians get enough nutritional input their brains may begin working and their hearts may soften for the suffering going on in this nation…and they may just be able to find a solution to the budget problem.

Here’s to blueberries…


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