The Two Faces of Hawk Talk

Situations in Europe would have us revisit the debate, “Democracy v Stability” as we consider our role in international affairs. Today I am asking, “what kind of stability?”

‘American leadership through the threat of force’ is consistent with a ‘maintenance of the status quo’ notion of stability, but currently fails any sustainability test. The very same who believe America should be ever ready to flex muscle do not support any viable means to fund their intentions.

These Hawks appear happy to spend tax dollars but reluctant to ask those who fund their campaigns to pay taxes. So, while top private and corporate earners have far more skin in the game than most, they pay proportionately less into the kitty than a kindergarden teacher.

In compensation for these opposing values, Hawks embrace austerity to justify the abuse of American warriors: enlistment promises are broken; the wounded are brought home and then left behind; and funds are found for new war planes but not for hand sanitizer for the remotely deployed. By now we should all know that austerity is a costume worn by too many at the masquerade ball we call American politics today.

As long as Hawks burden breadwinners and protect cake eaters The People must resist their chest-beating racketeering.

TwoFaces

Image thanks to rapgenius.com

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Spending problem? I can help.

If America has a ‘spending problem’, somebody should ask ME how I think we should spend the people’s money. Better yet, ask me how I DON’T want to spend it.

Given the choice between those ‘Homeland Security’ people who make me take off my shoes, throw away my hand lotion, and walk through the “get naked machine” in the airport, or meaningful health insurance for senior citizens and the disabled, I choose the latter.

Given the choice between investing in first rate public education for all Americans, or the War on Terror, the longest, least mission-driven, and most expensive / debt producing war (with the largest private Army) in the history of the nation, I choose the former.

And if asked to choose between subsidies for corporations with record profits or the social safety net? Guess.

The choices are not hard if you say them out loud.

Put your money where your mouth is, American-Military-Might Types

Ever since Condie Rice came out for ‘greater strength around the world’ at the GOP convention, right up to Mr. Romney’s endorsement of the same ‘world-enforcer’ position in the debate last night, I have been asking myself,  “How are these don’t-tax-ME-patriots going to pay for their big ideas?” Since they won’t tell me their financing plan, I’m going to tell them my four terms of agreement.

1. SAY YES TO WAR TAX, the good old-fashioned  kind that is top heavy, and enough to pay the actual costs. This presumes the peace and prosperity tax cuts, loopholes, and incentives still in place during time of war and recession, are ended.

2. SAY NO TO WAR PROFITEERING. Ike warned us that war would become a cash-cow when military contractors were allowed a profit! He was right.

3. SAY YES TO THE DRAFT. Yes, the real draft, the one where even Elvis takes a turn. Our fifth- and sixth-tour veterans are a national shame. And how they are treated when they just finally come home is an even greater shame.

4. SAY NO TO THE PRIVATE ARMY. No more contractor soldiers. No more State Department force not under the control of the Pentagon. No more mercenaries in tow with FEMA. Privatization has no place in our budget when it comes to “providing for the common defense”, a constitutional charge.

Something tells me that after we start paying-as-we-go for our bravery, after we take away the profit motive, after everyone has the “opportunity” to serve, and after the control of all of our forces is returned to the Commander-in-Chief, the rush to spend for “military might” will wane.

Surplus-Based Tax Cuts in Deficit Times

Agree with Bush tax cuts or not, at least there was a budget surplus at their inception. Some wanted to pay down the debt instead….

But keeping the surplus-based tax cuts after going to war was like my deciding to buy a yacht after choosing to work part time! War without war tax (a first) was the beginning of the end of any meaningful budget or debt management in Washington, DC.

Private money has been spent on lobbyists, special interest groups, and candidate election funds, all intended to coax America to suspend financial reason for over a decade. It  has been expensive beyond belief, but the best investment the 1% could have made: they are over the moon; We the People are under the bus.

I am going to count to three. We will all wake up, feeling refreshed, and ready to end these suicidal tax cuts. One… two… THREE!

America Run Like A Business: No Debt Ceiling “Emergency”

Attention, people who want America to be run like a business! Do not believe the fiction about to spew forth about the contrived debt ceiling “emergency”.

This retired business owner knows a few things about running a successful enterprise. If America were my business, hunkering-down (austerity) would not be my go-to solution.

The first thing I would do is end discounts I could not afford: think tax cuts (discounts), tax loopholes (discounts), and subsidies (discounts + refunds + incentives that can exceed the cost of the product)!

The second thing I would do is realistically price my product (reevaluate taxes). After a decade of unfunded war, should we add a war tax?  And the Medicare D non-compete giveaway: should we add tax to cover it or reconsider that decision? There are many pricing issues to discuss, but those two alone amount to $Billions per year.

While cost savings are always appropriate, cutting back on the American product line before doing the first two steps is just bad business. Why discount and underprice America out of existence? This is a revenue crisis, not a debt crisis.

My recommendation to Congress: the market (taxpayers)  having received the greatest value from discounts etc. in the last 10 years is well positioned to absorb a cost increase. End the dysfunctional discounting practices immediately. Recognize the national debt as predominantly unfunded war debt and plan for repayment accordingly.

Preserve the product line: the American way of life.