The Pentagon budget is effectively stealing from government benefits to ordinary Americans. But don’t rely on corporate media or lawmakers to even acknowledge, let alone debate this issue.
Intense debate over the Build Back Better (BBB) legislation has triggered stern lectures by fiscal conservatives about government spending. The legislation, which hangs in the political balance between progressive lawmakers and conservative Democrats like Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, costs $1.75 trillion over 10 years in its present form, which is equivalent to $175 billion per year.
Compare this to President Joe Biden’s proposed military budget expenditure of $753 billion for the 2022 fiscal year. According to the Security Policy Reform Institute, “This amounts to an increase of well over $12 billion, meaning that Biden boosted Pentagon funding by an amount roughly equivalent to CDC’s entire annual budget.”
Extrapolating this figure over 10 years while accounting for the projected yearly increases—a good assumption considering that the military budget almost never loses its annual raise—predicts that American taxpayers will be footing almost $8 trillion on the “defense” slice of our budgetary pie in the coming decade.
Stephen Semler, co-founder of the Security Policy Reform Institute, explained to me in an interview that “it’s amazing how hydraulic the system is.” By that he meant, “they cut $25 billion for home care” from the BBB bill. Meanwhile, he said, “Congress increased Biden’s increase to the military budget by $25 billion at roughly the same time.”
While the costs of the newly passed infrastructure funding bill that Biden signed into law and the yet-to-pass BBB legislation have been discussed ad nauseam on the front pages of major newspapers and in passionate debates on television networks, there is nary a peep from those same sources about the bloated military budget whose size continues to balloon year after year.
For example, this Washington Post article in late September headlined, “Biden, Pelosi embark on late scramble to save $1 trillion infrastructure bill” was one of many similarly billed pieces in major outlets through the end of the summer and early fall.
Imagine a headline casting implicit aspersions on the Pentagon’s funding. The fact that the size of the military budget is more than four times the size of the BBB legislation ought to be emblazoned across our papers. But we can’t imagine seeing such ideas being discussed in mainstream avenues because the military budget is considered sacrosanct—and not just by most lawmakers but also by corporate media outlets.
Semler pointed out that there are “two concepts of spending—social spending and military spending—that play by two separate sets of spending rules.”
Coming on the heels of national hand-wringing over the costs of legislation that directly benefits the American people, the tacit acceptance of a military budget many times the cost of the social spending is jarring—but only to those paying very close attention or reading independent media outlets.
An example of fair reporting is Huffington Post writer Akbar Shahid Ahmed’s article, whose headline reads in part, “The Pentagon Budget Costs 4 Times As Much As Biden’s Social Policy Bill.”
Another example is Prakash Nanda’s article published in a non-U.S. outlet called the EurAsian Times, and headlined, “Joe Biden’s $778B Defense Budget Goes Unnoticed But His $170B Social Agenda Triggers A Huge Debate.”
No such headlines appeared in major U.S. news outlets.
It’s not as if there is zero debate in the nation over our spending priorities. If corporate media outlets like the Washington Post were taking their cues from progressive lawmakers like Bernie Sanders, they might have reported on the Vermont senator’s recent tweet pointing out how, “It is beyond absurd that at the same time as our nation continues to spend more on the military than the next 12 nations COMBINED, we are told over and over that we cannot afford to invest in the needs of working class people here at home.”
But instead, the Post and other outlets have continually amplified the desires and demands of conservative Democrats like Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), in story after story without following up on Manchin’s willingness to spend trillions of dollars on the Pentagon. An article pointing out the hypocrisy of fiscal conservatives and their blanket approval of military expenditures would practically write itself. It takes effort to avoid expressing such a narrative.
Even some U.S. residents see the absurdity of the silence over the military budget. Alice C. McCain, living in Washington state, wrote a letter to a local paper called the Kitsap Sun questioning the size of the military budget. She was able to see the clear contrast in priorities, writing, “Some of the same people who denounce the BBB plan as too expensive are eager to pass a bill giving the Pentagon $778 billion for one year, or nearly $8 trillion over ten years.”
She asks pointedly, “Why is it so hard to spend money on our country and its people, but so easy to dole out money for our military?” Her question is one that media outlets have judiciously avoided for years.
Organizations and think tanks like the Project on Government Oversight, National Priorities Project, and Semler’s Security Policy Reform Institute routinely call out the unjustifiably large Pentagon budget, offering up rich statistical comparisons, none of which seems good enough for major media outlets to highlight in a serious manner.
Ultimately, media outlets appear invested in the same sort of imperialist ambitions as politicians do. Semler pointed out how, “the fear of Biden going into office was that the debate that him and [former President Donald] Trump had over who could be tougher, and more ‘manly’ over China, during the lead-up to the general election would spill over into Biden’s policy.”
That fear was justified. In June, Biden signed an executive order citing, “the threat posed by the military-industrial complex of the People’s Republic of China,” and has continued to drum up anti-China sentiment while proposing a military budget increase. The Post and other corporate media outlets dutifully buttress the logic of increasing the Pentagon budget with alarmist stories about China’s expanding nuclear arsenal.
“Social spending could follow the same rules as military spending in that there’s always enough money,” said Semler. “But because Congress is only choosing to spend a certain amount [on social spending], effectively, military spending is stealing from social spending.” Imagine seeing a top story in our major media reflecting such a radical and yet patently obvious notion.
By Sonali Kolhatkar is the founder, host and executive producer of “Rising Up With Sonali,” a television and radio show that airs on Free Speech TV and Pacifica stations. She is a writing fellow for the Economy for All project at the Independent Media Institute.
PT Rig Tenders Indonesia Tbk Sustains Positive Performance Growth Until June 30, 2023
Telegraf – PT Rig Tenders Indonesia Tbk (RIGS) continues to register positive performance growth until June 30, 2023.
RIGS successfully garnered a profit of IDR 62.51 billion, a 74.58% increase from the same period the previous year, amounting to IDR 35.80 billion.
According to the financial report, the company’s revenue also grew by 10.44% to reach IDR 341.70 billion, up from the previous IDR 309.37 billion.
“Director of RIGS, Mr. Iriawan Hartana, conveyed this information during a public presentation in Jakarta on November 23, 2023.”
“The company will continue to strive to strengthen its position in the national shipping industry,” said Mr. Iriawan.
He added that the company will continue to develop services that meet market needs while maintaining the distinctive features of the company.
“The company will also continue to explore the possibility of engaging in strategic alliances that benefit our working partners,” added Mr. Iriawan Hartana.
As for the work program in 2023, the company has outlined several initiatives:
- Changing the ownership status of the company’s shares from Foreign Direct Investment (PMA) to Domestic Direct Investment (PMDN) after the share acquisition by PT Surya Indah Muara Pantai.
- Changing the currency in the financial statements from USD to IDR starting from July 2022.
- Changing the ownership structure of the subsidiary Grundtvig Marine, namely PT Batuah Abadi Lines, to directly become a subsidiary of PT Rig Tenders Indonesia, Tbk.
- Implementing sustainable Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs.
OJK Holds Discussion and Socialization on Fulfillment of WPPE, WPEE, WMI, WAPERD Licensing Obligations
Telegraf – The Financial Services Authority (OJK) has released the latest data as of 07 November 2023 at the Discussion & Socialization event on Fulfillment of WPPE, WPEE, WMI, WAPERD Licensing Obligations.
This meeting took place on November 8 2023 at the OJK Mataram building, NTB, with the aim of providing a better understanding to permit holders and prospective permit holders.
The main resource person came from the OJK Capital Market Licensing Directorate.
Naomi Saulina Rentaria Rambe, Senior Analyst Deputy Director of Individual Licensing, Supporting Professionals and Capital Market Supporting Institutions 1.
Devy Arveida, Analyst Deputy Director of Individual Licensing, Supporting Professionals and Capital Market Supporting Institutions 1.
Also present were important figures such as Umar Hidayat, Deputy Head of the NTB OJK Office, GB Ngurah Putra Sandiana, Head of the NTB BEI Representative Office, and Lucky Hisar Manurung, Chair of the Bali Nusa Raya PROPAMI Region, along with license holders from the banking, capital markets and universities in NTB.
In the context of the growth of the capital markets sector, OJK has issued a series of regulations, including;
- OJK Regulation Number 31/POJK.04/2018 concerning Licensing of Investment Manager Representatives,
- OJK Regulation Number 17/POJK.04/2019 concerning Licensing of Mutual Fund Securities Selling Agent Representatives, and
- OJK Regulation Number 20/POJK.04/2018 concerning Licensing of Underwriter Representatives and Securities Broker-Dealer Representatives.
- OJK Regulation Number 22/POJK.04/2016 concerning Licensing Segmentation of Securities Broker-Dealer Representatives
The General Chair of PROPAMI, NS Aji Martono, commented on this development, stating that licensing for capital market players is a crucial step to ensure the integrity of the capital market and provide legal certainty and protection to investors.
OJK emphasizes the importance of licensing for various roles in the capital market, such as WMI (Deputy Investment Manager), WAPERD (Representative Mutual Fund Securities Selling Agent), and WPPE (Deputy Underwriter).
License holders must meet strict requirements, including certification of expertise and maintaining moral integrity.
In addition, permit holders are required to work for financial institutions in Indonesia and may not work for more than one securities company or other financial services institution.
All work activities must be reported to the OJK.
OJK provides a platform, namely Sprint (Individual Person Licensing System), as the main means for applying for new permits or extending permits.
Tutorials on YouTube OJK are also provided to make the licensing process easier.
The importance of fulfilling licensing obligations is the main key in ensuring integrity and security in the Indonesian capital market sector.
The permit holder’s commitment to comply with statutory regulations is an important basis for maintaining the credibility of the capital market in the eyes of investors.
It is hoped that strict regulations will strengthen and develop the Indonesian capital market in the future.
Legit Group Secures Rp 205.3 Billion in Series A Funding for F&B Business Expansion
TELEGRAF – Legit Group, a multi-brand cloud kitchen conceptor and operator, has announced the success of its series A funding round, raising a total of US$13.7 million (IDR 205.3 billion) from several investors. The funding was led by MDI Ventures, the venture capital arm of PT Telkom Indonesia Tbk, and followed by Sinar Mas Digital Ventures (SMDV), East Ventures, and Winter Capital. In 2021, Legit Group also successfully raised seed funding worth US$3 million (IDR 43 billion) from East Ventures and AC Ventures, JAKARTA, TUESDAY (11 APRIL 2023).
Founded in 2021, Legit Group currently operates four well-known brands, including Pastaria, Sei’Tan, Sek Fan, and Ryujin, located in over 30 locations in Jabodetabek. Interestingly, Legit Group’s brands do not have any offline locations, but operate using a cloud business model.
This new funding adds optimism to Legit Group to dominate the market through the right marketing strategy in the F&B industry. This confidence is supported by the strong traction the company has gained since the initial funding round, with sales reaching about three times in one month, and launching a new brand.
Bram Hendrata, Chairman of Legit Group said, “We are excited to have a strong group of investors to support us in creating a brand that carries the vision of ‘Food for Everyone’. Through the funding obtained from MDI Ventures, this can strengthen Legit Group’s commitment to bringing more food to various places, while continuing to innovate and improve the technology we have to achieve more efficient operating systems,” said Bram, who has been a veteran in the F&B industry for 15 years.
Currently, Legit Group’s business sector is rapidly growing. While most regular cloud kitchen business owners focus on improving their ability to serve more consumers in new areas, Legit Group has seen the potential for new generation F&B technology that focuses more on developing F&B brands by applying technology to maximize profits. Therefore, Legit Group believes that this focus will provide a competitive advantage in the cloud kitchen market.
Donald Wihardja, CEO of MDI Ventures said, “Legit Group’s founders’ experience, who have succeeded in the F&B business for 15 years, as well as their ability to develop innovative and effective products and marketing strategies, make MDI Ventures more confident that our support as investors will help strengthen their position in the F&B industry and accelerate their business growth. This collaboration is expected to create positive synergy and greater success for both parties. This investment is also an effort by MDI Ventures to provide a positive social impact on the growth of the agriculture sector in Indonesia.”
Amidst the macroeconomic conditions that often demand startup businesses to remain profitable, Legit Group has set its top priority to achieve economic balance while continuing to strive for a healthy economic unit. To achieve this goal, Legit Group has announced its plan to expand in 2023, targeting Jabodetabek and other cities that have great potential for delivery market, after 95% of Legit Group’s outlets were previously spread across several locations in Jakarta.
“Through the support from various parties, strategic approaches, and our commitment to product quality excellence, we believe we can continue to produce products that…
MKI Teams up with Enlit Asia to Host the Most Influential Electricity and Energy Sector Meeting in ASEAN
In order to promote the development of clean energy technology in the ASEAN region, the most influential electricity and energy sector meeting in ASEAN
Telegraf – In order to promote the development of clean energy technology in the ASEAN region, the most influential electricity and energy sector meeting in ASEAN will once again be held in Jakarta in 2023, coinciding with Indonesia’s Chairmanship of the ASEAN Summit. This meeting is a partnership between Enlit Asia and the Indonesian Electricity Society (MKI), which will hold two leading events in the electricity and energy business and industry in the ASEAN region, with the support of PT PLN (Persero) as Utility Host and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.
The Enlit Asia 2023 event and the 78th Indonesian National Electricity Day (HLN 78) will be jointly opened on November 14, 2023, at the Indonesia Convention Exhibition (ICE). This combined event continues the successful partnership that brought the first Powergen Asia to Indonesia and the 73rd Indonesian National Electricity Day in 2018.
This cooperation will bring together more than 350 exhibition participants from around the world who will showcase the latest technologies and innovations that support energy transition throughout ASEAN. It is expected that 12,000 visitors from all over Indonesia and ASEAN will benefit from over 75 hours of free content provided by technology providers and the latest solutions, as well as case studies on the use of the latest technology in the field by IPPs and electric utilities.
This meeting is being held to support energy transition in the ASEAN region and will focus on commercial and strategic issues that will accelerate the transition to a cleaner and more sustainable power system. Over 150 leading speakers in the industry will share their insights simultaneously, where the evolution of traditional energy systems, integration of next-generation clean generation technology, and frameworks and financing supporting this transition will be the focus of the discussion.
With more and more companies participating in the exhibition, including those focused on Carbon Capture and Storage, Hydrogen technology, Energy Storage, Smart Grid, and RE integration solutions including Solar PV and Wind Energy, as well as Nuclear power generation technology, the event is further cementing its position as a leading industry meeting on the ASEAN calendar.
“We are delighted to return to Jakarta and partner with MKI once again. Indonesia is a very important market in the ASEAN region, with the highest electricity demand, projected growth, and active steps being taken to achieve sustainability targets and renew network infrastructure. Partnering with the Indonesian National Electricity Day to see Enlit Asia’s regional reach and capabilities unite key industry stakeholders from across ASEAN, supported by Indonesia’s strong sense of taste, is very important. In 2023, we can promise that this event will fully reflect the strong enthusiasm to drive ASEAN energy transition, supported by the investment appetite of governments, regulators, utilities, and IPPs in this region,” said Richard Ireland, Chief Executive Officer of Clarion Events Asia.
Meanwhile, Arsyadany G Akmalaputri, Secretary General of MKI, explained that this year’s Indonesian National Electricity Day is the third time that MKI has partnered with Enlit Asia in organizing conferences and exhibitions. The 78th Indonesian National Electricity Day and Enlit Asia 2023 event will carry the theme “Strenghtening ASEAN Readiness in Energy Transition: Your Guide to The Energy Transition in Asia”. This year’s program will be different from previous ones, where support for the world’s commitment to implementing energy transition towards cleaner energy has been declared.
In line with Indonesia’s mandate as Chair of ASEAN, ASEAN will continue to be the epicenter of its strong and empowered society growth. The event organized by MKI and Enlit Asia is highly relevant given the scope of exhibition and conference participants
PGEO Boosts Net Profit in 2022 through Efficiency Programs
Telegraf – PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy Tbk. (PGE) (IDX: PGEO), a subsidiary of Pertamina engaged in the geothermal sector, achieved a positive performance in 2022. This positive performance was due to the efficiency program, steam and electricity sales, and other revenue contributions that led to a 49.7 percent increase in the company’s net profit compared to 2021.
The increase in profit was recorded in the company’s audited financial report, which was publicly released on March 30, 2023. In the report, PGE recorded a net profit of USD 127.3 million in 2022, significantly higher than its 2021 achievement of USD 85 million.
Throughout 2022, the company recorded a 4.7 percent year-on-year (yoy) increase in operational revenue, contributing to a USD 17 million increase in revenue. One of the contributing factors was the higher selling price of steam and electricity, referring to the US Producer Price Index (PPI) and Consumer Price Index (CPI). Additionally, the increase in profit was supported by the significant reduction of operational costs as a result of the company’s efficiency program. From the other revenue side, PGE also recorded carbon credit sales as a new revenue generator.
As part of PGE’s efforts to increase its installed capacity by 600 MW in 2027, the company is currently constructing the Lumut Balai Unit 2 Geothermal Power Plant with a capacity of 55 MW, which is expected to operate commercially by the end of 2024. Additionally, PGE has completed the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) for the Fluid Collection and Reinjection System (FCRS) facility. This phase is part of the project to develop the Hulu Lais Unit 1 and 2 Geothermal Power Plants with a total installed capacity of 2 x 55 MW, which is expected to operate commercially in 2026.
Moving forward, the company will focus on optimizing its existing geothermal assets. One way to do this is by increasing production capacity through co-generation technology, utilizing the available hot water (brine) to generate electricity. Co-generation technology has already been implemented at the Lahendong Geothermal Power Plant, utilizing the residual brine from steam production to generate 700 KW of power.
From an ESG perspective, in 2022, PGE achieved an ESG Rating 2 from Sustainable Fitch. This rating indicates that PGE is in the good performance category in terms of ESG management. The ESG initiatives carried out by PGE in 2022 include several programs, such as co-generation technology (brine to power) utilization in the Lahendong area, emission reduction and carbon credit sales, biodiversity programs, occupational health and safety management, corporate social responsibility (CSR), enterprise risk management (ERM), cyber security, and the implementation of an anti-bribery management system (SMAP).
The Urgency of Increasing Competence in Achieving Success in Investing in the Capital Market
TELEGRAF – GI BEI Institut Asia Malang Presents: “The Urgency of Increasing Competence in Achieving Success in Investing in the Capital Market” with Dr. Titis Sosro Tri Raharjo, M.M., CRP, CIB,CSA, CSC, CES, RFC, CRMP, CPIA, C.Me, CPRM as Guest Lecturer
Join us on Tuesday, March 28th, 2023 from 09.00 AM to 12.00 PM WIB at R. Theater Lt.1 Kampus Pusat Institut Asia Malang for a special guest lecture on the importance of improving competence in achieving investment success in the stock market. The lecture will be presented by Dr. (Cand.) Titis Sosro Tri Raharjo, M.M., CRP, CIB,CSA, CSC, CES, RFC, CRMP, CPIA, C.Me, CPRM, who is the Treasurer General of PROPAMI.
The purpose of this guest lecture is to provide participants with better knowledge and understanding of the stock market, which is a form of investment that can provide significant returns but also comes with high risks. Therefore, investors need to have sufficient competence in making investment decisions and choosing the right investment instruments.
Through this guest lecture, participants will gain a better understanding of the stock market and how to achieve success within it. The lecture will cover various effective and efficient investment techniques and strategies, allowing participants to have a deeper understanding of the stock market.
In addition, participants will have the opportunity to directly ask questions to the speaker, Dr. (Cand.) Titis Sosro Tri Raharjo, M.M., CRP, CIB,CSA, CSC, CES, RFC, CRMP, CPIA, C.Me, CPRM, who has extensive experience and knowledge in the field of stock market investment. This will enable participants to deepen their understanding of investment in the stock market.
This guest lecture is suitable for anyone who wants to improve their knowledge and competence in investing in the stock market. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from an expert in the field of stock market investment. Register now to join the guest lecture on “Urgensi Peningkatan Kompetensi Dalam Meraih Sukses Berinvestasi di Pasar Modal” by GI BEI Institut Asia Malang on March 28th, 2023.
- PT Rig Tenders Indonesia Tbk Sustains Positive Performance Growth Until June 30, 2023 23 November 2023 | 8:40
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