They’ve dubbed it the fiscal cliff. The simultaneous expiration of the Bush era tax cuts and decreases to critical government spending. It would result in higher taxes for nearly everyone and almost certainly a new recession, say the experts.
To reduce the deficit and avoid the cliff, the President wants to increase taxes for the wealthiest two percent.
Republicans, however, want to freeze taxes for everyone and instead make more dramatic spending cuts.
So now the White House and Congress are deadlocked in a staring contest to see who has the greater political pain threshold. In thinking about it all, I was reminded of our national defense budget.
Apparently we spend some $700 billion dollars on defense annually.
This is a pretty startling sum. And, as it turns out that is more than the defense budgets of the next 17 countries COMBINED. Do you know what countries that includes? China, Russia, India, Israel, Great Britain, France. These are the most militarized places in the world.
As a general rule, I’m strongly in favor of strategic proliferation and armament. I want us to have more, and more powerful, things that shoot, than anyone else. It’s the old karate quip: if you can, maybe you won’t have to.
But, you know what happens when you want a big national defense? Well, for starters, you spend a whole bucket load of money. Maybe even rack up a deficit. Who knows. But, something else interesting happens too. You suddenly feel obligated to justify the expenditure. In other words, you want to use the stuff you bought. I’m not talking about down at Ricky’s Ammo and Shootin’ Range, either. Like, on battlefields and in other people’s countries. That sort of thing. And, this brings karate back to mind. The more people learn self-defense techniques, the more likely they are to conveniently “discover” the need to defend themselves.
Guns and money are the same in this respect. Whatever you have, you use. No cliffhanger here, folks. I’ve seen this one before.
So in our search for a compromise, cuts to the defense budget seem a really efficient start because they serve two ends: (1) improved financial health and (2) decreased incentives to fight.
Probably, too logical, though, right? I know, I know. I’ll keep brainstorming.
[P.S. Speaking of cliffhangers. You saw the mid-season finale of Walking Dead tonight, right? Just as a heads up. If ever I get a glass shiv in the eye, I’m going to be out of commission for a while. Probably not rallying the troops in the center of town.]
Written and performed by theipoetlaureate. Music produced dj transform.
Today’s blong here:No Suspense