It has been 525 years since Christopher Columbus arrived in the Caribbean to begin another chapter in the history of the world. He could have come earlier, but was delayed because the Spanish crown did not have the money to finance the trip.
Some time later, Queen Isabella was able to find enough money to equip three small ships that made the historic voyage. As the monarchs got to the riches of America however, the problem of funding expeditions disappeared.
We face a similar financial problem in the 21st Century as America in a War on Terror and has no money. However, it has the luxury that the Spanish Kings had exhausted and that is to seemingly borrow without end.
September 11, 2017 marked the 16th anniversary of America’s War on Terror. The memory of 9/11 is slowly fading and yet we are still at war, or better said, our military is at war.
It almost appears that for some our fighting men and women are seen as just doing another common job that may take a little more than a 9 to 5 day. For the rest of us, life is about working and enjoying our freedom achieved by our military with borrowed money.
Andrew J. Bacevich in his book, Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country (2013) writes about the 2 percent of our population in a way similar to the national conversation about the 1 percent that owns 40 percent of America with a new twist. He points out that the military represents the 1 percent of our population that fights our wars and the other 1 percent are the ones that exploit and profit from them.
By the way, I saw excerpts of President Trump’s “after the calm before the storm” event where after ordering all of his top generals to the White House for dinner he proceeded to chastise them for being too slow in serving him. The moment showed before the world on television an excellent example of a politician trying to command while unable to lead.
It was been announced that after the failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act a big tax cut is on the agenda. It is as though our political leadership is tone deaf with regard to the plight of the country’s finances.
Why is it that while the fact that we are at war in part continues to exacerbate our deficit these people are talking about a tax cut? Why a tax cut when we appear to need an even bigger military given our present obligations and the notion that we seemed to be picking fights with countries on every continent?
Governor Brownback recently took Kansas on a similar tax cut route and pretty much created a dysfunctional State so much so that their Conservative-led legislature voted for higher taxes just to bring some sanity to its finances. The difference between Kansas and the federal government of course is that it can print money, borrow and increase its deficit as it has been doing.
Historically, Conservatives have espoused the notions of small government, balanced budgets and a reduced deficit. Ironically, it is Conservatives when in power that have done the opposite.
This is no time for tax cuts as in war we must all sacrifice for our country while assuring that our children not pay for our sins. Besides we know that those who benefit from our military success will take the giant share of any cuts.