Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Liberty Fund

The Moose wonders when the right wing hawks will put their money where their mouths are.

Since the beginning of the war against terror, the Moose has argued that our nation's fiscal policies should be consistent with our national security needs. While the Bushies have advanced an ambitious foreign policy, they have always put their donor class first when it comes to the distribution of resources.

Their desire to comfort the comfortable has always come before the objective of defeating the terrorist foe. The Bushies are the first to cut taxes during wartime demonstrating that their fiscal policies are deeply unpatriotic.

Don't expect any departure from this policy in tonight's State of the Union address. While the President may talk about increasing the size of the military, his first objective is to increase the bank accounts of the ultra-wealthy. Estate tax repeal and Financial Security Industry enrichment will come before national security. We all know that the military is stretched to the limit. However, the goal of the Bushies is to reward the wealthy with no limit.

Don't take the word of the Moose that the Administration's fiscal policies conflict with our national security. This is what the respected conservative defense expert Eliot Cohen wrote in the Wall Street Journal on Monday,

"Because we choose to cut taxes in wartime, we have a ballooning deficit; because we have a ballooning deficit we cannot expand the active-duty military on a permanent basis; because we cannot expand the active-duty military we call up hundreds of thousands of reservists to fight an optional war half a world away, sending part-time soldiers -- some ready for this mission, others not -- off for a year of combating guerrillas in a limited war, a concept at odds with all previous notions of what citizen-soldiers do. Because we cannot substantially increase the defense budget we may fail to replace equipment worn down by months of active service in a harsh climate, and we have even begun to drain our military-school system of leaders. Signs of strain appear in retention rates; but it becomes most clear, if you talk to soldiers, in the disgust and anger of the Army's best mid-level leaders, and in the institutional leukemia that has begun to sap the vitality of a military educational system that was once, deservedly, the pride of our armed forces."

Democrats should not shy away from making the national security case against both the Bush tax cuts and social security privatization. The Moose has a suggestion - Democrats could propose a Liberty Fund that would pay for the expenses of the war, expand the military and promote democracy through "soft power" or public diplomacy. The money for the fund would come through the repeal of the phase out of the estate tax and eliminating corporate welfare. After all, what better way to provide a promising inheritance to the next generation than the spread of democracy?

Eloquent rhetoric is insufficient. Talking tough is not enough. Show us the money.
-- Posted at 8:32 PM | Link to this post | Email this post