Fisking of the Day

I haven’t fisked an idiotarian in a while, so I thought I would deal with this little number here that I saw in the daily rag. The title is charming: “If Bush won’t ask for sacrifices to pay for war, Congress should”. Damn skippy. The spendthrifts need to start making sacrifices.

I confess I have a dog in this fight. I have two small children, and I am worried about the world we are creating for them. Perhaps my biggest concern is the mismanaged postwar occupation of Iraq.

My usual reaction when someone mentions national prestige is to guard my wallet. But regardless of what we think about the decision to invade Iraq, our country now is waist deep in that briar patch and can’t leave until some serious semblance of order and sovereignty are restored.

Yeah! Let’s hear it for guarding our wallets against Big Gummint!

The military occupation is costing about $1 billion a week – or roughly $50 billion for the year. That’s a lot of money – nearly as much as all veterans’ benefits ($58 billion), not quite twice the federal budget for public education ($34 billion), more than three times the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s budget ($15 billion) and 10 times the FBI’s budget ($5 billion). That’s how much the Iraq war is costing – on top of the nearly $400 billion defense budget.

Vet’s benefits we can’t touch, simply because that was a contract that we made with those men, and we don’t break contracts. The education budget — blast it all to hell. There’s over half the Iraq budget. The Department of Indoctrination hasn’t improved education one bit since it was introduced, and there is no need to keep it. I’m starting to like the way this guy thinks.

Historically, wars have been very expensive and usually force the imposition of new taxes to pay for them, such as the income tax, first used in the Civil War. Not paying for wars can have devastating financial consequences. Lyndon Johnson’s “guns-and-butter” approach to Vietnam burdened the country with years of disastrous inflation.

So what is President Bush proposing?

Nothing.

Damned skippy. We need to make some domestic spending cuts to pay for this war! No pork for Iraq!

Instead, he will increase the government’s deficit to more than $500 billion this fiscal year, a record. And all of it will be repaid later. (Currently, we pay $171 billion in interest on the debt, a sum that will rise to more than $250 billion in five years.) I don’t like the concept of paying additional taxes any more than the next person, but I dislike the idea of shoving the burden on to my children even more.

You don’t like that concept? I don’t like the way this is going.

If Mr. Bush won’t be fiscally responsible, Congress should.

Last time I checked the constitution, the president doesn’t spend money. Congress does.

As a first step, Congress should suspend or repeal the tax cut for taxpayers earning more than $200,000. That will raise many billions and at least provide a sense of sacrifice by those most able to afford it.

WTF?!? Here’s a great idea. Let’s take the people who could most easily move their assets and persons outside this country whenever the tax burden gets too high, and then double dog dare them to do it! That’s a great idea! Look how well it has worked for California!

Here’s a clue, you dolt, and I won’t even charge you for it. They are making over $200,000 a year for a reason. That reason is that they are successful. You don’t take your best and brightest and shit on them.

Second, Congress should raise the gas tax – not 38 cents but at least 5 cents or 10 cents a gallon, with future automatic increases. Call it the “defeat Osama bin Laden victory fund,” dedicated to reducing American dependence on imported oil by encouraging more efficient driving.

I have a better idea. If you think this is so goddamned important, make it an honorary tax. Put little coin boxes on the pumps, and the people who want to pay the “Defeat Osama bin Laden Tax” can put their 38 cents a gallon in, OK?

Third, Congress should insist on strict financial accounting and openness in contracts to ensure the money is spent honestly and well. Contracts granted without bidding to Halliburton don’t inspire confidence in the American overseers in Iraq. Nor does Joe Allbaugh’s recent establishment of a consulting firm to help companies get an inside edge in obtaining Iraqi contracts; Mr. Allbaugh managed Mr. Bush’s 2000 campaign and recently headed the Federal Emergency Management Agency

The contract wasn’t awarded to Halliburton. It was awarded to Kellogg, Brown and Root. (Whenever anyone says “Halliburton”, they are pulling out a boogey-man. Don’t fall for it.) And it wasn’t bid on because there was no one else who could do the job. The administration asked the Corps of Engineers, “Give us a list of firms that could put out Iraqi oil fires.” The Corps said, “KBR.” The administration said, “Who else?” The Corps said, “KBR.” Dolt.

Here’s a better idea. What Congress really needs to do is to insist on strict financial reporting on the buckets of damned pork that they are pouring all over their states and districts. The thousand cuts of Congress is hurting the budget much worse than Bush’s war.

Reconstructing Iraq will be a long and expensive process. Restructuring Germany and Japan took a decade, and that was without a hostile and armed populace. Mr. Bush’s request for $87 billion won’t be his last request.

Oh, really, asshole? “Without a hostile and armed populace?” Someone needs to stop smoking crack, and crack a history book.

The only sacrifices Mr. Bush has asked for are from our children and the more than 300 American servicemen and servicewomen who have died in Iraq. And that isn’t right.

Bush is indeed wrong in this. He should be asking tax-and-spend idiotarians like you to give up your precious social programs and for Congress to give up the vote buying pork they ladle out by the gallon.

This is the unkindest cut of all, considering the “reconstruction” quote:

Jonathan Coopersmith teaches history at Texas A&M University.

I guess he passes for a History professor when you are teaching Aggies.

2 Comments

  1. _Jon says:

    Well, as much as I disagreed with you on your opinions on S-Train, I do agree with you on this fisking. Kinda funny how that works sometimes.

  2. Phelps says:

    I’m not even sure there was anything to disagree about. I’m not convinced. If it really happened, then we have a goblin popped (a Good Thing) and a guy with a terrible burden. If it didn’t really happen, then we have a guy pimping his race out for attention and sympathy, and that is despicible.

    If I am involved in a shooting (and I have a Mossberg just like the one he claims for the house and carry concealed to boot) I’ll probably blog about it — but it will be long after I know that the legal battle is over, and I’ll have documentation (since I knew before that this would be the reaction.)