Saturday, October 06, 2007

David Obey's Tax Grandstand

US Rep. David Obey is playing the fool to make a point. He wants to have a war tax. Is this the best Dems can do? Surely such an idea will backfire, as such grandstands always do. Dems have a way of doing stuff like this. They try to highlight Bush's gaping failures, on 9-11 or during Katrina and Bush's inability to implement meaningful improvements for the future, so they come up with some idiotic ploys. First, they push for a DHS, for example.. Trouble was, when Bush figured out how to build it so his cronies could control it, it wasn't a good idea. Now we've got an agency spending money hand over fist, spying on Americans, trotting out outrageous massive databases, the errors in which no one can correct. But our ports are still insufficiently inspected, commercial jet cargo is underinspected, and towns and villages unlikely to ever get attacked by terrorists are tapping the DHS well. Worse, DHS is an agency so large and cumbersome, it's ungovernable.

Still other Dems, including some I know, think we should have a draft to make a point. This is surely the dumbest idea of all. Instead of bringing this appalling war to an end, just send more kids to they killing fields, these misguided souls suggest? I beg to differ. Our sons and grandsons are not bargaining chips or pawns on some horrific chess game.

Now, instead of standing up to Bush, which is what most Americans want, Obey wants to raise our income taxes? Talk about losing touch with reality. Instead of acting decisively and appropriately, Obey grandstands to make a point. "Nice." But Americans want Congress to cut war funding, not pay more money to let it run on indefinitely. Do the Democrats in Congress even hear the people any more?

Instead of cuts in an elective war funding (elective, remember, since Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11), we are getting a series of negatives instead.

--suffered a loss of national integrity;
--been demeaned by an ever increasingly war-mongering administration;
--been forced by Bush, and an all too willing Congress, to lose our Constitution;
-- lost esteem for Americans around the world;
-- got a looming economic crisis deferred so future recession, or worse, is likely inescapable;
--seen our social programs written off, borrowed from, or otherwise "privatized" (i.e., drowned in the Grover Norquist's bathtub).

There are many more negatives, but they are too depressing to list... And none of this addresses what has been unleashed against innocent civilians in a country whose late leader offered to go into exile, but was refused for the enrichment of Bush cronies.

If there were to be a war tax, and I am not suggesting there should be, it should come from the wallets of every privateer who is benefiting from that war, every single opportunistic contractor and mercenary (not security team, but mercenary) which pushed war without end for its own enrichment, but America's and Iraq's expense. Whatever happened to a windfall profits tax?

But the real solution is to cut the funding to the extent that there is enough to bring the troops home. Nothing more and nothing less. Then eliminate the no-bid, contractor friendly climate which seeks to fulfill Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower's deepest fear. Now, the war profiteer tail is wagging the dog.