Tchaikovsky Sounds Funny: The War and How to Pay for It

Is this where I put in key words such as sex, lesbians, vampires, Christopher Lloyd and others things to which this blog do not pertain, but by putting them here, I may get hits from all the Christoper Lloyd lesbian vampire fans (and you know who you are)? This is the primarily humorous and occasionally rambling writings of Leon Tchaikovsky, humor writer. Enjoy.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

The War and How to Pay for It

One of the many problems with the Bush Administration and most Congressional Republicans is they want an occupation of Iraq, but they don’t want their key constituents to pay for it. Eventually you and I will have to pay for it out of our pockets. Friends and contributors
to Republican campaigns have helped themselves and all other wealthy people escape the bill.

Senator Joe Biden, one of the Senate’s most thoughtful foreign affairs experts, proposed to fund the war effort by canceling the scheduled tax cut to the wealthiest 1% of taxpayers. This would not have raised anyone’s taxes, but only would have canceled a scheduled tax cut. Plus, it would have canceled a tax cut only to people earning $400,000 or more a year.

As one who likes the tax cut to the middle class, and hopes it can be afforded in the long run, I can live with canceling the tax cut to the wealthiest Americans. If the war is not paid for now, the Federal government will only borrow money to pay for the war. Then you, me, and everyone will be stuck with the bill, with interest, in future years. The Bush White House and Congressional Republicans are hoping you don’t notice the bill for the war until after the 2004 elections.

Tax cuts to the middle class are a worthy goal. It is equitable that the burden of increased government spending falls upon those who can most afford the higher taxes. Unfortunately for us, those who can afford the taxes represent a major influence on the Republican Party funding base. We all recall how Ronald Reagan even convinced millions of voters that a system where tax benefits should go to the rich while they let slivers of their benefits trickle-down to the middle and low income was good for the middle class and the low income. The Republican Party seems to believe that the people who most need significant tax relief are those who have the most disposable income without tax relief.

Many of the soldiers who are dying, and being wounded, in Iraq are people who signed up for National Guard or Reserve duty for supplemental pay. Their strong patriotism is matched with strong economic needs. We must value our soldiers no less in providing achievable and reasonably safe missions then we do in providing educational and insurance benefits.

The war effort is costly in terms of lives lost and wounded. It is costly financially as well. Many of the Iraq occupation’s cheerleaders don’t want to pay for it. Nor do they want to fight it.

It is a shame that the Bush Administration has committed us to a war in Iraq while not being able to fully restore basic necessities, such as water and electricity, to the Iraqi people. This lack of services is likely a main rallying point for some of the anti-American attacks our soldiers are facing. If Bush could deliver on his promise to help stabilize the Iraqi economy, a new Iraqi government that respects democratic values and upholds human rights might be established with popular support.

Bush’s actions in Iraq draw a parallel to his actions in Afghanistan. After the September 11 terrorist attacks launched by Osama Bin Laden, then operating out of (and perhaps still operating out of or near) Afghanistan, we drove the Taliban from power in Afghanistan. We then promised to assist Afghanistan in establishing a democratic government system and achieving economic security. We then switched our attention to Iraq while neglecting many of our pledges to the Afghanistan people. Today, much of Afghanistan has fallen back under the influences of tribal warlords, and the Taliban and Bin Laden continue functioning.

The foreign policy mistakes of the Bush Administration will have long term impacts on our future. There are reports of bickering amongst Administration and intelligence staff over the mishandling of decisions regarding Iraq. The decision making team of Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld is not yet changing its disastrous course. (Rumseld’s recently released doubts are an encouraging sign.) Their decisions seem to be solidified by the fact, as reported by the Center for Public Integrity, that the largest contributors to the Bush-Cheney campaign have received $8 billion of Federal tax money to spend in Iraq.

To overturn this dangerous foreign policy route, we need to vote out the Bush-Cheney Administration and their supporters in Congress. We can not endlessly maintain an expensive and deadly occupation paid for both financially and in blood by moderate and middle income Americans.


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