Tuesday, February 5, 2008

It's the War Economy, Cupid!

While the candidates duke it out on SuperTuesday, the economy still looms as Issue #1. But we can't ignore the War on Terror as a major source of economic drain. Although it's not the only drain. Perhaps the candidates should bear in mind some advice from a Founding Father, one whose advice seems right on-the-money, yet basically trashed by the Republican/neocon dynasty.

In fact, it's the very sense of this trashing of values and at the same time being sunk in a dynastic chain of unbreakable power that gives Obama the edge, that gives the otherwise golden Hillary that let's-think-twice voter retreat. But all could use a dose of fatherly wisdom:

"If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of
fighting a foreign enemy
. Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps
the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every
other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and
armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. The loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or imagined, from abroad."
-- James Madison

Here's some opinion on the subject of budget-screwing-n-skewing from DownsizeDC:

It is because the policies of both parties, and all administrations, on both economics and civil liberties, have combined to create a perfect storm that will manifest itself in an economic way. Foremost among the forces in the approaching economic storm will be the unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare.

There will be fewer young people working to create wealth, and more non-working people consuming an increasingly vast portion of what wealth there is. More elderly people also inevitably means there will be more sick people, demanding more health care. As a result . . .The federal government will lack the revenue to keep its Social Security and Medicare promises. The shortfall in funding is estimated variously at between $53 trillion and $80 trillion. We will have much more to say about this in the month's ahead. Suffice it to say that the spending policies of the federal government must change. They must change dramatically, and they must change now.

But they are not changing. President Bush has just proposed America's first $3 trillion budget. This budget projects near record deficits exceeding $400 billion dollars for each of the next two years, adding nearly one trillion dollars to the national debt in just twenty four months. And more debt means that more of your income taxes will go to pay the interest on the debt, instead of current operating expenses. The nature of the President's spending proposals also highlights the intersection between our government's war on our pocketbooks and its on-going war on the Bill of Rights. Our government has . . .

  • Spent trillions projecting U.S. power around the globe . . .

  • Provoking blowback in the form of terrorism, which . . .

  • Has served as an excuse for the war on the Bill of Rights
The President's current budget proposal promises more of the same. It freezes most spending except for national defense, which will rise by 7% for the Pentagon and 11% for Homeland Security. The grand total for the defense budget is a whopping $515 billion, and this does not include spending for Iraq! But . . .

It seems to us that our defense establishment is perfectly tailored to fight enemies we do not have, and to create the conditions of occupation and aggressive forward projection that serve as a recruitment pitch for the enemies we do have. We are paying through the nose to make ourselves less safe, to hasten bankruptcy, and to shred our Constitution. Meanwhile, our economy crumbles.

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