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Jul 09

The annual budget brouhaha

An interesting theme from commentaries overseas: a kind of all-pervasive mental and moral exhaustion afflicting national elites. Fin de siècle? The 1968 of our times (see contrasting views on that important year by Tom Stoppard and Tariq Ali; Filipinos had their 1968 in, well, 1970… it takes time for fashions to filter through…)? David Sirota thinks that in the United States, the possibility of a grassroots revolt ought to be considered:

America is in the throes of a powerful new uprising right now..

…this uprising is happening on both the Right and the Left. Like most revolts, it is rooted in a backlash to an Establishment widely seen as corrupt and morally decayed. This uprising has more picket signs and protests than pitchforks and pistols… It is a social phenomenon that is impacting all aspects of public life — our pop culture, our media, and most significantly, our upcoming national elections. It could take our country in a very different direction — perhaps positive (think universal health care, an end to the Iraq War, new trade policies), perhaps frighteningly negative (think immigrant bashing and a war with Iran).

Though today’s uprising has been going on since the two major explosions of the last decade — 9/11 and the Enron disaster — polls indicate that it is now intensifying in ways not seen before. Surveys reveal that the public despises its current president, and more importantly, that America is suffering a crisis of confidence in government as an institution. As Scripps Howard’s 2006 poll found, “anger against the federal government is at record levels” and “widespread resentment and alienation toward the national government appears to be fueling a growing acceptance of conspiracy theories” — most prominent being the one suggesting our leaders helped plot the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The political topography resembles that of the last major uprising in our history — the one that took place in the 1970s. America then as today faced the same crises that have catalyzed uprisings since colonists tossed tea over the sides of boats in Boston harbor: among others, an energy emergency, a national security quagmire, a recession, a financial meltdown, and an attack on democracy.

As that uprising gained steam, Democrats nominated an outsider candidate for the presidency (sound familiar?). But when that outsider was elected he and the Democratic Party didn’t effectively represent that uprising – and that uprising did not go away. On the contrary, it became more intense. And by 1980, conservative organizers used the candidacy of Ronald Reagan to channel that revolt into the full-fledged conservative movement we’ve been living under for a generation. Over the next two decades, this conservative movement changed America domestically (tax cuts and social service cuts), internationally (massive increase in the military budget), and politically (wholly changed electoral map).

This same pace of change could be upon us again today — though one key indicator suggests the specific kind of change could be different. According to Gallup’s biannual survey of attitudes toward social institutions, Americans’ disgust with government resembles that of the late 1970s — but the variation between then and now is the antipathy toward Corporate America. Whereas in 1979 one in three Americans told Gallup’s pollsters they had confidence in big business, today a little less than one in five express the same confidence. In 1979, almost two out of three citizens said they had faith in banks. Today, only two out of five say the same thing.

The trend bodes well for progressives. Conservatives’ close affiliation with big business puts them at a disadvantage in the Left-versus-Right competition to harness the current uprising…

Of course, today’s uprising could be squelched completely, with neither the Right nor the Left capitalizing on it. Many institutions inside our government and our political parties exist specifically to crush populist, mass-based revolts.

Jared Bernstien responds by saying,

David is obviously writing about bottom-up uprisings, in many cases, movements that are a reaction to government failure. But in my experience, these groups eventually are demanding that the government alter its policies. So we’ve got to think on both bottom-up and top-down tracks.

And the problem for the top-down track is that government is in big trouble. I’m speaking at the federal level, but let’s not get too romantic about local cases. I haven’t seen much evidence that Albany works that much better than DC.

There are lots of reasons for this, but certainly one of the main ones is that if you elect people who explicitly prophesize that government is the problem, they will fulfill that prophecy with a vengeance. And yes, they’ll enrich their cronies along the way.

The problem cuts deep into the agencies… The depth of dysfunction is astounding, and it’s going to take years to repair.

David reminds us that our country was founded partly on “the right of the people to alter or abolish” destructive government. I’m in the “alter” camp, and I’d like to hear someone with David’s insights and movement experience hold forth on what it’s going to take to get there. What steps ought we be taking now that will ultimately give progressive uprisings a public conduit through which their goals can be achieved?

Are there echoes in how the police are despised, even attacked, in China? See Cracks in China’s Armor. Is this all in marked contrast, perhaps, to what’s going on in Thailand, where those formerly characterized as reformists are now advocating the dismantling of parliamentary democracy, according to The Asia Sentinel’s anonymous correspondent in Thailand’s “New Politics” Charade:

The New Politics turns out to be a startlingly reactionary proposal to move Thailand’s parliamentary system towards a form of appointed corporatism, or what might be called a selectoral democracy. Thirty percent of MPs would come from elections, perhaps one per province, and the rest of MPS would derive from various occupations and associations. Sondhi says the proportion is not fixed, it’s up for debate.

The rationale for wanting to dismantle Thailand’s electoral system is evident: pro-Thaksin forces keep winning elections. And as Thaksin is said to represent everything bad about Thai politics, he can not be allowed to wield power directly or indirectly. Thus, for Sondhi, and it would seem the PAD leadership as whole, there is now a need to bring about a revolution in political representation.

The idea of examining alternatives to electoral democracy is not without some merit, for it is common knowledge that massive amounts of money are required to win parliamentary seats, making parliament a millionaire’s playground and a source of further monopolization and corruption. It wasn’t always so, Sondhi told the rally. In the 1970s socialist politicians in Thailand could get elected on the basis of their ideology and popular support, but the emergence of dirty politics in the 1980s crushed any such possibility in the present.

The New Politics has interesting antecedents. The PAD leadership has clearly been speaking to military figures (this is now well documented in the Thai language press) who tried to stifle the emergence of parliament in the 1980s. Indeed, selectoral democracy nicely fits with corporatist visions of the old “Revolutionary Council”. The Council, to which General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh was said to have an association, held that elections merely led to parliamentary dictatorship and proposed a form of corporate representation to realize the “general will”.

A former communist, Prasert Sapsunthon, was the inspiration for this Thai appropriation of Rousseau, the French theorist of the social contract. Prasert became a leading intellectual among military circles calling for non-elective forms of democracy. When the Revolutionary Council effectively declared itself a provisional government during the political crisis of 1988 the elected Chatichai government took it to court for treason. It then faded into obscurity, but its ideas have never quite gone away, finding support among small rightist groups and even in some labor circles.

The New Politics is unashamedly pro-military and even codifies the conditions under which military intervention may occur. Sondhi has spoken of four conditions for military intervention: when charges of lese majeste are not acted on; when a government is incompetent; when corruption is rife; when a government betrays national sovereignty.

This has striking parallels to many discussions taking place here in the Philippines (e.g., “Should the military be kept out of politics or does military interventionism represent a deus ex machina moment to be ardently desired?” or “The problem with elections is that the electorate elects idiots”, see smoke and Verisimilitude), and reminds me of something I brought up when Adrian Cristobal died: the enduring triumph of Marcos’ concept of a New Society helps explain why Edsa contained the seeds of its own destruction.

The papers today report P1 hike for jeepneys, buses; P10 for taxis. The transport sector has to be placated. Senator Escudero lays down the basis for the next round of placating -of workers- as reported in Inflation cancels wage hike; hope pinned on new law. The Catholic bishops have to be placated, too: Gov’t open to lowering, not scrapping, EVAT on oil.

The problem of course is that soothing all these sectors requires money, and proof of the President putting the nation’s money where her mouth is, will be in the national budget.

Former national treasurer Leonor Briones in her column says something germane to yesterday’s entry (and the foreign commentary above), this time from point of view of economists:

Last week, I talked to two eminent economists. One drew a picture of the gathering of a perfect economic storm. To him, all the signals are already making themselves felt: increased unemployment, accelerating inflation, escalating prices, capital flight, and rise in poverty levels. The social consequences of the economic storm are also building up: increase in suicides, rise in criminality , social disintegration, and loss of hope.

So how come people are not rising in anger? The other economist said that all these negative developments did not occur in one fell swoop. They were building up, one after the other. By the time the perfect economic storm sweeps the country, people will be so weakened they will not have the strength to bestir themselves and take action.

She also happens to think Arroyo’s hold on funds, spending habits ‘dangerous’. One presidential habit I’ve heard about, is that the President travels with a stack of blank government checks when she drops in on local government officials; she then fills in these checks personally, a habit that apparently gives professional bureaucrats the Willies.

Anyway, in her column, Briones says the executive department has to redo the proposed national budget, because the macroeconomic assumptions that served as the budget’s parameters have become obsolete in the months since the Budget Call was made in May. Among the assumptions made were: singe-digit inflation, a balanced budget by this year, and a Peso-Dollar exchange rate of 40 to 43 to 1.

The Inquirer editorial for its part, says that real oversight over the national budget is a Mission impossible.

Anyway, the Palace propaganda machine has begun testing potential messages for the State of the Nation Address. If the Palace number-crunchers are, well, number-crunching furiously now, to come up with new economic assumptions for the national budget, Governor Joey Salceda is also batting for his economic plan by claiming it has presidential approval.

So we can expect the budgetary process to pop in and out of the news in the coming weeks and months. For a closer look at the entire process, visit The Philippine Center for National Budget Legislation. And here’s their book: CNBLbook.pdf which provides a crash course in understanding how the budget’s put together, and what it contains. (The Department of Budget and Management website also makes available the Budget Call for 2009 and last year’s national budget-related documents: the General Appropriations Act for 2008, which was based on the President’s Budget Message for 2008,with supplementary material: the National Expenditures Program FY 2008, Staffing Summary FY 2008 and Budget Expenditures and Sources of Financing 2008.)

I’ve reproduced some charts from the Philippine Center for National Budget Legislation’s book, and supplemented them with some charts I prepared for my show.

The first thing they point out, is that the Executive Department dominates the national budget, with the ratios more or less constant. The 2004 budget, for example, has 68% of the monies devoted to, and in the hands of, the Executive Department, with the next-biggest chunk devoted to debt payments, and a relatively slim percentage for the legislature, the judiciary, and constitutional commissions.

2004.jpg

The PCNBL helpfully presents past budgets in a color-coordinated manner:

oldgaa.jpg

And then explains what the color-coding means:

newgaa.jpg

Most members of Congress spend their time on the yellow portions, and sometimes run out of time to adequately look into the blue portions, which are meant to supplement the expenses of government offices (in yellow). The blue portions are called Special Purpose Funds, and as this chart shows, they total more than what’s spent for the established offices of the government:

spf2008.jpg

A page from the book explains why Alleba Politics, for example, can complain that the National Government is in arrears to the City of Davao, to the tune of 142 million pesos:

lgu.jpg

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Special Purpose Funds are entirely in the hands of the President, who decides when they’re released and to whom -and this includes the pork barrel funds of members of Congress (a surprisingly slender 3% of the whole) as well as the revenue allocations of Local Government Units. In a sense, then, aside from the fixed (because tied to government’s obligation to fund existing employees and offices) national budget, there is a parallel national budget, one bigger than the fixed budget and purely within the discretion of the chief executive.

This chart shows that of these funds, the biggest chunk is for “Unprogrammed” Funds.

spfbreakdown.jpg

These are, in a sense, promissory funds: if they come in, then they can be spent for certain purposes, still pretty much at the chief executive’s discretion. The book explains this in detail:

unprogrammed.jpg

These “wish ko lang” funds, in turn, have been growing, percentage-wise:

unprogrammed2.jpg

The book provides a glimpse of the budgets and expenses of the major agencies of the government. By way of illustration, here is a set of charts featuring expenditure programs for the different branches of government, and including samples of two constitutional bodies we all adore, the Comelec and the Ombudsman:

op.jpg

ovp.jpg

congress.jpg

judiciary.jpg

comelec.jpg

ombudsman.jpg

Then there’s a focus on some issues raised by the allocations for various departments and their flagship programs, for example:

deped.jpg

dnd.jpg

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dar.jpg

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As well as an introduction to lesser-known budgetary practices such as earmarking funds. One example the book focuses on is the Motor Vehicles’ User’s Charge, which the group says is the third-largest source of revenue for the government, with a tremendous amount collected in a few years:

mvuc1.jpg

The charge, levied on vehicle owners, is meant to be specifically used -or earmarked- for a specific fund, with four main programs funded by it:

mvuc2.jpg

Subject to two departments:

mvuc3.jpg

Here’s the introduction to the fund in the book:

dpwh.jpg

dpwh2.jpg

The organization hopes that their book will enable congressmen to deliberate on the budget more wisely and efficiently, and that it will inform the public so that it can keep tabs on budget preparation and execution.

250 comments

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  1. cvj

    UPn (at 6:26am), the government does not need to buy the land from the current landowners because it is the government itself who owns the land. We were discussing in the context of the SMC-Kuok model where the government allows the former to use the latter’s one million hectares of idle land, remember? As i said above (at 11:57 pm), the government could still retain ownership.

  2. Ruffy Biazon

    I would like to reply to some of the comments above.

    But when I posted my answers, I received a message saying that spam blocker has blocked my message.

    I tried to re-post but i receive another message saying that the system has detected a duplicate message, reminding me that I had already posted that message earlier.

    What’s up?

  3. Bert

    Congressman Biazon, my deep-throat source in the House of Representative whispered to me that there was an original agenda by the promoter of the junket trip to enjoy the Paquiao fight while there working in the USofA. Any idea about that, Congressman? Btw, I’m a fan of your father, the good and proper senator.

  4. UP n student

    cvj: got it. I did notice than you framed the issue differently than I did.

    Pinas already owns the land. Makes you wonder, right, why Pinas has not given away (its current practice) or “rented-for-free” the land to urban and rural poor. Maybe the money (for seed, fertilizer, others) is already owed to Pasay and other LGU’s for crime- and other programs?

    By the way — lease to US Air Force/navy means Pinas still owns the land. And the land-areas involved? A whole lot less than Albay or Bataan. We’re talking less than 20,000 hectares.

    Changi/Singapore International Airport (like Hongkong International Airport) is 1,300 hectares. Mactan airport (bigger than NAIA) is 800 hectares. Melbourne is a good-sized international airport : 2,430 hectares.

    So 4 chunks of territory totalling less than fifteen-thousand hectares should generate dollar-denominated yearly lease payments for Pinas.

    Which Pinas can then use…. for the greater good like more primary- and secondary-school buildings (typhoon-proof) and hectares for urban squatters to move into.

  5. UP n student

    Again… US Air Force will not ask for loan-guarantees from Pinas and there will be short-term jobs (e.g. construction jobs for housing-units and the runways) and longer-term jobs (aircraft-maintenance, maybe Chinese language translation, computer systems analysts/programmers/WAN-LAN engineers as contractors).

    And we can accelerate leytenean’s dream of a French 😉 resort in the Visayas region area by leasing a 2,500-hectare base to the French!!!!! Then Pinas gets euro-denominated lease payments.

  6. cvj

    UPn, leasing land to a foreign base is not the best use of real estate. For obvious reasons, the American navy would want a good deep water port. Similarly, the American airforce would also want a good location for its air base. It is better to develop seaports and airports for commercial traffic to enhance trade rather than make these off limits to economic activity which will happen if the land is allocated for military use.

    Besides, with the number of enemies the Americans have been making, their presence on Philippine soil is a national security risk. The last thing we want to happen is to once again be caught in a cross fire just like we did in World War 2. For example, if and when the US goes to war with China (over Taiwan or for some other reason), we should make sure to stay neutral just like Spain and Switzerland who emerged relatively unscathed from World War 2.

  7. The Ca t

    to the Ca t: You sounded like you know the answer, so let me ask again. What are the steps/procedures that the LGU should follow if the LGU believes that the national government has not provided the complete funds?

    Pray. hehehe

    and why do you think, the releases are delayed ? and what LGUs do not receive the funds on time. Guess who?

  8. leytenian

    cvj,

    Up N is sharing the ADVANTAGES of leasing land to US Airforce.
    1. one will lease because of lack of income and when cash flow is short.
    2. lease contract may contain provision/limitations that will give way to economic growth/activity. Most lease is not fix. Lease or rent will have short term adjustment in terms of rental payment increase. Common is 5% yearly or according to economic growth and activity (the highest and best use of the land. ). If our economy is booming, the rent will increase according to that boom. It might be too expensive for US Airforce to continue renting in the future.
    3. the presence of USAirforce will actually provide safety and training to our very own UN-trained Airforce with obsolete equipments.
    4. the leasing may provide a new strategy for the department of land resources to get their act together on economic Zoning. ECO_Zone.

    i also don’t want to be caught in a crossfire. the risk that cvj mention must also be taken into consideration. leasing to any big companies is good if it will generate revenue ,employment and further economic activity.

    Our cash is slowly draining.. even SSS might be at risk or already in maximum crisis.

    to from below:
    nice… it’s not a joke because it has been proven but there are still plenty of schools who needs guidance. have you notice how the church market themselves to maintain the physical structure and the needs of the church , most of it are coming from donation ( in religion- thiting). the same technique of marketing can be done with the school. children spend more time in school than in church. the reward of giving is the same . most mature people understand this. if we rely on our government all time for budgets… good luck philippines.

  9. cvj

    Leytenian, regarding the wisdom of leasing land to other sovereign states, i think UPn should compare notes with the Sultan of Sulu. He may have a thing or to to say about his family’s experience leasing some of their land to the British. (Besides, aren’t the Americans also heavily indebted to the Chinese? How can we be sure that they will continue to have the capacity to pay?)

    Rather than leasing raw land for others to develop, let’s move up the value chain by using the land ourselves for productive activities. For starters, with 2 (out of 3) million hectares of ‘idle’ government land, i think we can allocate:

    – 1 million hectares towards eliminating hunger [aka food security] (as described above at July 11, 11:57 pm and July 12, 1:23 am);
    – 1 million hectares towards energy security via biofuel plantations (i.e. jatropha).

    BTW, far from being ‘a joke’ i think your suggestion of encouraging OFW donations (at 6:21 am) is worth looking into. It makes it easier for the alumni of these schools to engage in give-back (or pay-it-forward) activities.

  10. leytenian

    cvj,
    you always have good points . whatever is good for the majority, i’m always very supportive… sige magtanim na lang tayo nang jathropa.. less supervision pa from our farmers and it provides positive income in 3 years? ( 3 years ba ang harvest). patience lang naman ang kailangan natin with very good planning.

    regarding america borrowing money from china… its’ true but america always don’t use its own money.. ( other people’s money). they have proven themselves ( kono) to borrow at 6% and make a return of 20%…
    the money system of america is no longer a secret …

    almost every country now is following the secret. the problem with our country is we didn’t know how to manage the borrowed money. probably 30% went to corruption… even if we make 20% from borrowing at 6%… the corruption kills the deal. we actually lose 10%… buti na lang may OFW that contribute revenue to our economy at almost 10% of GDP.

    that’s why donating directly to our small community instead of rechanneling funds thru NGO, may provide a better outcome, remove agency and lessen corruption. the donators will see result instantly. at least from the smile of the students)

  11. Ruffy Biazon

    Bert said:

    “Congressman Biazon, my deep-throat source in the House of Representative whispered to me that there was an original agenda by the promoter of the junket trip to enjoy the Paquiao fight while there working in the USofA. Any idea about that, Congressman? Btw, I’m a fan of your father, the good and proper senator.”

    Thanks, I will tell the senator he has a fan here.

    No, I’m not aware of that agenda. I wasn’t part of that. As mentioned by COng. Romulo in the Inquirer article, we went there on our own agenda, parallel to the PGMA trip. We rendezvoused with her in Washington because the Veterans BIll was part of her trip’s agenda. We weren;t part of the San Francisco and New YOrk legs of the trip. Definitely, we weren;t in Vegas too.

  12. ptt

    ” Besides, with the number of enemies the Americans have been making, their presence on Philippine soil is a national security risk. The last thing we want to happen is to once again be caught in a cross fire just like we did in World War 2. For example, if and when the US goes to war with China (over Taiwan or for some other reason), we should make sure to stay neutral just like Spain and Switzerland who emerged relatively unscathed from World War 2 ” – CVJ

    Wow, you are such a Fag. This reminds me of quote from the guy in the bar

    ” See, there’s three kinds of people: dicks, pussies, and assholes. Pussies think everyone can get along, and dicks just want to fuck all the time without thinking it through. But then you got your assholes, Chuck. And all the assholes want is to shit all over everything! So, pussies may get mad at dicks once in a while, because pussies get fucked by dicks. But dicks also fuck assholes, Chuck. And if they didn’t fuck the assholes, you know what you’d get? You’d get your dick and your pussy all covered in shit! “

  13. cvj

    ptt, after Bin Laden attacked the United States, the United States shit all over Iraq, so i guess that would make the United States an asshole (who thinks it’s a dick).

  14. ptt

    cvj, you may be right. Before Team America showed up, it was a happy place. They had flowery meadows and rainbow skies, and rivers made of chocolate, where the children danced and laughed and played with gumdrop smiles.

  15. leytenian

    let’s not talk dirty. it might turn me on… hahahah

  16. Bencard

    ptt, cvj, then, is it better to be a shit-dispenser (asshole) than shit-receiver (dicks and pussies?

  17. ptt

    Ah but Bencard, the only thing that can fuck an asshole is a dick, with some balls. The problem with dicks is: they fuck too much or fuck when it isn’t appropriate – and it takes a pussy to show them that. But sometimes, pussies can be so full of shit that they become assholes themselves… because pussies are an inch and half away from ass holes.

  18. cvj

    UPn, and these are the kind of tenants you’re recommending?

  19. leytenian

    Up N must be careful with leasing…

    oh my god.. ptt?

  20. UP n student

    ptt, you better put a stop to the language already. Stop or we’ll send a note 😐 to your mommy!!!!

  21. supremo

    cvj,

    ‘The last thing we want to happen is to once again be caught in a cross fire just like we did in World War 2.’

    I never thought that this is still prevalent among Filipinos. High school Philippine history teachers really mess up the minds of the young Filipinos with their own biases against America. Did it not occur to you cvj that there is nothing in between the oil rich Dutch East Indies and Taiwan but the Philippines? Any stupid Japanese private will not skip the Philippines just to get to those oil rich islands. The Japanese will still be in the Philippines even if the Americans are not in the Philippines. Remember that Thailand collaborated with Japan during WWII. Don’t you think Aguinaldo will not collaborate with Japan in that situation?

  22. supremo

    cvj,

    ‘we should make sure to stay neutral just like Spain and Switzerland who emerged relatively unscathed from World War 2 ” ‘

    Neutral or collaborators?

    Remember that banks in Switzerland were use to Launder Nazi gold taken from dentures and wedding rings confiscated from Jews. Swiss banks also did not allow survivors who remember that their parents opened accounts access to access the money. Some banks requested death certificates of the account holder before they would allow the survivors to access the money.
    What about Spain? Nazi Germany supplies arms to Franco via Portugal during the Spanish Civil War. You know the army division sent by Franco that serve in the Russian Front? Look it up. Spain declared neutrality but was really leaning towards joining the Axis powers if Germany defeats Britain. And even if Spain is on the side of Germany, the Nazis still has a plan to invade Gibraltar.

  23. supremo

    ptt,

    ‘cvj, you may be right. Before Team America showed up, it was a happy place. They had flowery meadows and rainbow skies, and rivers made of chocolate, where the children danced and laughed and played with gumdrop smiles.’

    And once in a while chemical bombs were dropped from the sky by Saddam.

  24. cvj

    Supremo, without the American military presence here, the Japanese could have decided to sail on directly to the oil rich islands without first having to make a stopover here. In terms of timetable and resources, that would have made more sense as it would have allowed them to reach Australia faster.

    You can also look up wikipedia entry on ‘World War II casualties’ to compare the number of casualties suffered by the Philippines with that of Thailand, Switzerland and Spain.

    As for killing Iraqis, i think the Lancet study proves that the United States was able to pick up where Saddam left off and improve upon his record.

  25. PSI

    cvj, supremo

    I believe that whether the United States was garrisoned in the Philippines or not, the country will be occupied as part of Japan’s “desire to create a self-sufficient “bloc of Asian nations led by the Japanese and free of Western powers.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_East_Asia_Co-Prosperity_Sphere

  26. supremo

    PSI,

    I agree. It’s only cvj who insist that the American presence is the reason why Japan invaded the Philippines.

    cvj,

    ‘You can also look up wikipedia entry on ‘World War II casualties’ to compare the number of casualties suffered by the Philippines with that of Thailand, Switzerland and Spain.’

    Switzerland and Spain collaborated with Germany. Is that clear enough?

    ‘As for killing Iraqis, i think the Lancet study proves that the United States was able to pick up where Saddam left off and improve upon his record.’

    When did the Americans dropped chemical bombs in Iraq? I need a date.

    ‘without the American military presence here, the Japanese could have decided to sail on directly to the oil rich islands without first having to make a stopover here. In terms of timetable and resources, that would have made more sense as it would have allowed them to reach Australia faster.’

    Skipping the Philippines made more sense? Are you kidding me? If you are in command wouldn’t you make sure that your rear is covered?

  27. cvj

    PSI, no doubt about Japan’s imperial ambitions. My point is by hosting US Military forces here, our country suffered more than Thailand, Switzerland and Spain did in World War 2 as there was more direct military action on our soil which is what i meant by crossfire.

  28. supremo

    cvj,

    Why didn’t the Japanese Army skip Singapore and Malaya?

  29. cvj

    supremo, the Brits were there.

  30. supremo

    cvj,

    Why was Indo China invaded by Japan?

  31. cvj

    It was a French colony.

  32. ptt

    “Why didn’t the Japanese Army skip Singapore and Malaya?” “Why was Indo China invaded by Japan?” -supremo

    Pussies believe that if we had our heads buried in the sand with asses sticking out, the Japanese would not have come or they wouldn’t have hurt us too much after realizing the people were just a bunch of fags. That’s just how pussies think.

  33. cvj

    ptt, when the situation called for it, the Filipinos did fight, as they fought the Americans a century ago. What is foolish is to be drawn into other people’s fights which is what would happen if we host foreign bases here.

  34. ptt

    “ptt, when the situation called for it, the Filipinos did fight, as they fought the Americans a century ago.”

    That’s because the Filipino people are not bunch of Fags (minus cvj)

  35. KG

    Indonesia ,an oil rich country was not touched by Japan because germany did not allow it.oTher than that reason they could have went there after annihilating us.

    hey, the us left us, tuloy pa din ang laban,thanks to the hukbalahap.
    if not for those nuclear physicists ;,di na tayo babalikan.

    not an american hater,but iniwan nila tayo to fend for ourselves.

    the americans got the japanese’s goat when their interests in china were hampered,they added more fuel to the fire by slapping an oil embargo to Japan. even before WW2 China at USSR ang kalaban ng Japan; sa tingin mo pag under pa tayo ng spain di tayo masasagasaan,dahil sa ties ng spain sa germany?

    could have,would have,should have.

    a thrermonuclear war will hit the whole world, with or without bases damay tayo; ang kailangan ngayon is to stop a crazy or crazies,that will trigger such a war. After ww2 what followed, the cold war right?

    ngayon wala ngang cold war,pero the psy war remains.

    so north korea is dismantling; what are will the next US president do about Iran?
    what will the us president do if india and pakistan decides to have a close encounter with the nuclear kind?

  36. cvj

    not an american hater,but iniwan nila tayo to fend for ourselves – Karl

    After World War 2, the Americans did offer more assistance to their Japanese and German adversaries than their Filipino allies.

    a thrermonuclear war will hit the whole world, with or without bases damay tayo; -Karl

    Yup, but short of a global thermonuclear war, i think the threat would come from a regional confrontation between China and the US or Iran and the US. Mahirap nang madamay nanaman.

  37. The Ca t

    supremo, the Brits were there.

    There ou are again, trying to impress that you know everything. But Singapore was invaded by the Japanese driving the Brits.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_Occupation_of_Singapore

    hahaha

  38. The Ca t

    but of course, switzerland was not invaded by the Japanese. It was the germans who cold habe attacked them but they did not. it was not because of collaboration.

    http://history-switzerland.geschichte-schweiz.ch/switzerland-second-world-war-ii.html

  39. The Ca t

    After World War 2, the Americans did offer more assistance to their Japanese and German adversaries than their Filipino allies.

    we were also paid the war reparations but some dictator president allegedly gave it to a mistress, a foreign young model who has a daughter named after the father’s mother.

  40. UP n student

    More aid to help the Germans and Japanese was logical. These were the strong guys. Germany was humiliated after WW 1 and see where that got the world. Helping Japan and Germany reconstruct made sense — so they would be on your side the next time they get strong again. Pinas is not the only country with utang-na-loob.

  41. UP n student

    advice to cvj: while in Singapore, choose your words carefully as you describe Japan of World War 2. To portray Japan as a good guy for kicking out the French and the Brits and the US during the start of WW-2 may not be wise especially when you are talking around Chinese or Koreans.

  42. UP n student

    I don’t have the gift to be able to say why they do what they do, but Japan hosts a few US bases. So does Korea. This tells me they have considered other issues in addition to this “Mahirap nang madamay” fear.

  43. PSI

    “…but Japan hosts a few US bases…” – UP n

    Either it was exacted from them as part of the surrender terms, or they belatedly realized that the U.S. of A. is better a friend than enemy. Same goes for Germany.

  44. UP n student

    And here is my fearless forecast. There will NOT be a war over Taiwan. It does not make sense now, and it will not make sense even more in the future years. The reasons for war will diminish with each year with both sides being able to say “…. welfare… prosperity… our selfish interests better served with closer ties with the other side, not by war.”

    For pinas to be too scared to build closer ties with China or closer ties with US because of this “… baka madamay” is juvenile thinking. [Again : my opinion.]

  45. UP n student

    Going back to the main-point of the blogthread — the budget — go check out this columnist economist-wannabe 😉 who writes that reducing VAT-taxes does not make sense.

    Whether as a share of tax collections or as a share of household income, taxes on petroleum and electricity hit the poor a lot less than their higher-income counterparts. Thus, cutting these taxes would only help the [ rich ] more.

    http://business.inquirer.net/money/columns/view/20080713-148224/Will-cutting-taxes-help-the-poor

  46. leytenian

    “I don’t have the gift to be able to say why they do what they do, but Japan hosts a few US bases. So does Korea. This tells me they have considered other issues in addition to this “Mahirap nang madamay” fear.

    I think both U.S.-Japan agreed to a Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. The US government expanded its bases after 911. After 9/11, U.S. policy built on world bases..
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/03/21/MNGJ65OS4J1.DTL&type=printable

    http://ask.metafilter.com/32639/Why-do-so-many-foreign-nations-host-US-military-bases

    http://fletcher.tufts.edu/forum/archives/pdfs/31-1pdfs/Schoff.pdf

    During Clinton’s term, his policy was to cut expenditure in global security, CIA and Healthcare. He did good in terms of budget surplus. He was credited for it then 911.

  47. cvj

    Ca t (at 8:47 pm), that’s what i meant.

    UP n (at 10:36 pm), not sure how you got that impression that i was portraying Japan as the ‘good guy’. All i’m saying is that Japan attacked Singapore because they had to confront the British military who were stationed in that island in the same way that they had to confront the US military who were stationed in ours.

    Regarding your ‘fearless forecast’ (at at 11:22 pm), proper risk assessment involves considering both the probability of an event and the consequences of such an event taking place. So while you may be right that the probability of a military confrontation with China over Taiwan is low, the consequences to the Philippines if such a confrontation does take place while the US Bases are stationed here is dire. Also, i don’t think the corresponding probability of war with Iran is low so if only for that, we should keep the US military at a safe distance from us to avoid becoming collateral damage. Closer ties is fine as long as it does not involve military entanglements.

  48. UP n student

    leytenian: thanks for the link. That metafilter-dot-com link mentions that US lease payments to Pinas for less than 50-thou-hectares was over $700-million-per-year. With no need for Pinas to underwrite or guarantee any loans!!!

    Should new lease-agreements be signed, one would think, right????, that Filipinos have grown past blind subservience to US white devils and that Filipinos now know how to write lease-term agreements better protective of Pinas self-interest. Or are Filipinos in Pinas still children or little-brown-Americans in the way they deal with America?

  49. cvj

    UPn, 700 million US Dollars is hardly a month’s worth of OFW remittances and hardly a week’s worth of Philippine exports and imports. Don’t be too easily blinded by money, as lease agreements involving military facilities are not evaluated on commercial considerations alone. Try to think clearly through the consequences of inviting in foreign military on your own soil. Since you’re in the United States, try asking your American friends if they are willing to lease American land to host Chinese, Russian or Vietnamese military bases.

  50. leytenian

    Up N,

    if money is needed to raise capital, the owner has the right to do whatever for his land. in terms of lease contract, i think i have shared my knowledge on how one protects his/her interest.

    With US Airforce leasing… I have enumerated the advantages already.

    if we are brown children to the white monkeys? yes… because of my theme song ( debt) we are not independent. independent means financially stable, able to pay his/her bills. One can stand alone.

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