Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Absurdity Of Tax Cuts In This Time Of Crisis

Despite our de facto ex president's boasts of adding unprecedented numbers of ships to the Navy's construction schedule, the actual number of ships being added aren't much more than was already budgeted by the Obama administration, and that number isn't enough to keep up with ships now needing critical maintenance, or facing placement into the mothball fleet, even after many of them already having had service extension upgrades.

Despite that fact, though, the supposed GOP health care reform bill would give the rich an $800 billion dollar tax cut. And we're supposed to further believe that enough new economic activity will drip down from rich people spending to create more than enough to make up for this new shortfall in what the government takes in as revenue.

We don't know, of course, the full story on what our true threats are, any more than we've had a proper debate on what our priorities ought to be in the face of those threats; and we are in this situation precisely because it has become so difficult for us to have a truly objective debate on threats, and the best ways to counter them. And one of the main problems of having that debate is that it so often ends up not being about real threats to our interests as a nation, but about protecting various profits centers for different sectors of "Big Money." Much the same reason why we don't always get the best weapon system to handle the actual threats we face; as one lobbying group, or another, ends up having the only weapon that seems to matter any more: more paid influence in Congress.

I am not going to jump into arguing whether the Navy is currently tasked properly or not precisely because it is so difficult now for a citizen to get a true sense of not only what is currently going on, but that we also aren't necessarily presented with all of the better options that might be used in lieu of armed confrontation. That being said, however, does not take away from the fact that, once you do task whatever branch of the military, you are honor bound to give them what they need to do the job properly, and with ship maintenance being what it is now, they are on a ragged edge of keeping demanded levels of operation going. And they probably aren't the only service with this problem.

What we see here is the accumulated effect of decades of demanding more military presence in more areas of conflict without the willingness to tax those who benefit the most from that very presence. And though the GOP is primarily responsible here, the Democrats can't escape some share of the blame either because, even when in power, they seldom push for new taxes on the wealthy to do much of anything, let alone properly fund military operations budgets.

For my part, of course, what this really shows is just how out of touch with reality our current economic operating system is with the needs of a Nation to fairly allocate resources to where they are required; whether that be for the needs of the people to be healthy and prosper, or the needs to protect the security of this nation. Too often, in this context, what you are required to contribute as your share of keeping the nation going seems to come down to the amount of money you have to persuade others that you provide value in other ways; nebulous though that value might be. And the simple fact of the matter is that we just can't continue playing that game anymore.

Budget Deficit Jumps $30 Billion as Federal Spending Outpaces Revenue