Saturday, May 14, 2005

Bear Any Burden

The Moose recommends the creation of a Patriotic Sacrifice Commission.

Most of the political talk today surrounds Pentagon's announcement of the BRAC - base realignment and closing commission. One of the Moose's earliest memories is the shut down of James Connally Air Force Base back in his home town of Waco. It was a traumatic day for Central Texas. However, recovery eventually came and today the former base is the site of a technical institute and it is where the President and other notables often land when they visit the ranch at Crawford.

The base closing commission is a wise vehicle to inflict pain. Needless to say, politicians are generally not disposed to impose a burden on voters. Statesmen are few in number today. We are at war, and only our brave troops and their families are asked to sacrifice. The military is stretched to the limit. The Guard and the Reserves are bearing an immense burden.

Consider this from today's Washington Post,

"When the doorbell rang as they were fixing dinner, Jody Davids looked at her husband and knew. Only strangers used the front door. Everyone else went around to the back. She spotted three U.S. Marines in dress uniforms and felt the heartbreaking flash of intuition turning into immutable fact.

"If they're wounded, they call. If they're dead, they come to the door," Davids said Friday. "That changed our lives forever, one ring of the doorbell."

Davids is the mother of Lance Cpl. Wesley G. Davids, a Marine from Lima Company killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq on Wednesday, his 20th birthday. Other Marine delegations went to other front doors, while Chief Warrant Officer Orrin Bowman and colleagues telephoned 13 families to say their Marines had been hurt.

The Columbus-based Marine Reserve unit took two hard jolts this week during an offensive against insurgents near the Syrian border. Last Sunday, it was a firefight; on Wednesday, it was a bomb detonating beneath a crowded troop carrier. One squad from the 1st Platoon lost every member to death or injury, according to officers at the scene."

Yet, as these brave Americans pay the ultimate price, those who have the most in our society are asked the least. Corporate welfare and tax cuts for the rich continue with no restraint as deficits grow and the cost of war rises.

The Moose has a modest proposal - a Patriotic Sacrifice Commission based on the model of BRAC. With bi-partisan membership led by John McCain and Bob Kerrey, the commission can examine the nation's priorities and recommend the necessary corporate welfare closings and tax cut realignments. Then the President and Congress will each be required to approve or reject the recommendations without amendment.

Pay any price, bear any burden...

-- Posted at 12:00 PM | Link to this post | Email this post