Just a reminder: There is no debt crisis. Congress could simply decide to raise the debt ceiling, as happened repeatedly under Bush. Polls show that the public would rather see government cut the military and tax the rich than lash out at Social Security and Medicare.
Wait...cut the military? Do we really want that?
This brings us to an interesting point. Liberals believe in Keynesian jobs-creating solutions. Such solutions have not been tried in this case, despite the many who insist otherwise. For decades, the only Keynesianism which the punditry would ever countenance was military Keynesianism. That was Reagan's big trick -- and to be frank, it more or less worked.
I had once predicted that our real rulers would prepare the way for a military Keynesian solution by inundating us with propaganda about the horribly antiquated equipment our soldiers must use. If you lived through the Reagan years, you'll know the kind of ad campaign I'm talking abut: "America still uses biplanes and wooden ships and muskets! Our soldiers wear tri-corner hats! We need to upgrade now!"
When that kind of propaganda didn't flood our airwaves, I began to suspect that maybe this crisis was different. Maybe the powers-that-be don't want the U.S. to come back. Maybe the strict Randroids and the Deutschland ueber alles crowd have won their behind-the-scenes battle with the neo-cons.
We may finally get the military cutbacks liberals have long demanded. But what will those cuts mean for our future? Descensus Averno facilis est, and all that.
We might have to spend our military money more carefully. Maybe we would have to quit outsourcing military functions to contractors -- who are quite a bit more expensive. (That would undo some of the-Congressman Cheney's most damaging work.) Maybe we would have to have a draft, which would mean that we might get into fewer wars.
You must admit that our money in Iraq and Afghanistan has been going down the toilet. Bring the guys and gals home and put them to work in the US, with domestic Keynesian programs if need be.
posted by djmm : 1:33 PM
there was a piece on stripes.com a few days ago that claimed if military cutbacks of the kind under discussion were implemented, it would necessitate a return to the draft.
Even the laconic to a fault American youth would revolt at this, no? Vietnam era redux?
posted by Ken Hoop : 2:48 PM
Perhaps it will herald the fulfillment of George McGovern's campaign cry, 'Come home, America!'
We've gone from a conventional wisdom characterization of a Manichean good v. evil polarity (the Cold War), to a brief unipolar American 'century' (PNAC's signature policy proposal, now truncated to a decade or two in reality), to being about broke ourselves with a one nation arms' race.
We transitioned from a relatively benign (as stated) hegemony to a hardline hegemony (you're with us or against us), to so grossly weakened a condition that we have to retrench even without an opponent.
Given history's lessons, however, how soon will this be turned around, with a manufactured causus belli, and another war?
posted by Anonymous : 3:36 PM
Wouldn't it be funny to actually have a balanced budget amendment! We would have to cut the defense spending and raise taxes on rich. We liberals should demand it too. We would be out of the wars tomorrow if that amendment were instituted. I can just see the right going BONKERS if a balanced amendment was actually introduced and passed.