Skip to comments.America Wrongly Thinks Its Prosperity Can't End
Posted on 10/14/2011 4:20:31 PM PDT by Kaslin
When the think-tank chappies ponder "decline," they tend to see it in geopolitical terms.
Great powers gradually being shunted off the world stage have increasing difficulties getting their way: Itsy-bitsy colonial policing operations in dusty ramshackle outposts drag on for years and putter out to no obvious conclusion.
If that sounds vaguely familiar, well, the State Department reported that the last Christian church in Afghanistan was razed in 2010. This intriguing factoid came deep within their "International Religious Freedom Report."
It is not, in any meaningful sense of that word, "international." For the last decade, Afghanistan has been a U.S. client state; its repulsive and corrupt leader is kept alive only by NATO arms; according to the World Bank, the Western military/aid presence accounts for 97% of the country's economy.
American taxpayers have spent nearly half a trillion dollars and lost many brave warriors in that benighted land, and all we have to show for it is a regime openly contemptuous of the global sugar daddy that created and sustained it.
In another American client state, the Iraqi government is publicly supporting the murderous goon in Syria and supplying him with essential aid as he attempts to maintain his dictatorship. Your tax dollars at work.
As America sinks into a multitrillion-dollar debt pit, it is fascinating to listen to so many of my friends on the right fret about potential cuts to the Pentagon budget. The problem in Iraq and Afghanistan is not that we are spending insufficient money, but that so much of that money has been utterly wasted.
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These wars aren’t accomplishing anything of lasting value, never mind stopping terrorists.
And it is a handy way to bankrupt this country.
Isn’t this a version of what we did to Russia?
They aren’t going to bring those boys home, because they are afraid of what would happen when they got here and didn’t have a job. Unemployed military must lurk in the nightmares of TPTB.
The spoiled brats who are responsible for all this decadence cannot imagine poverty. They are very stupid.
Private sector America already knows it's been ending for nearly 5 years now, as the standard of living, economy, violent open borders and corrupt government are on display for all to see.
I’m sure that the Chinese 1000 years thought the same thing until the Mandarin bureaucrats took them down and descended the whole place into anarchy and constant civil wars.
Nailed it again.
Unrest is fermenting. First it was the Tea Party (good!) Then it was the urban flash mobs (bad!) Now it’s the leftists (stupid!).
This nation is a powder keg, and Obama’s throwing matches at it. The problem with a modern “revolution” is that there is no cohesiveness whatsoever among “the people”. We’re descending into a tribal society (traditionalists here, progressives there, underclass over there, Mexican immigrants behind the door over there, the rich across the street, the Middle Class on the sidewalk with all their belongings). If “change” comes, it’s going to get violent. That is the dread outcome of this deconstruction of our great nation.
The military budgets are not breaking the bank.
It is the entitlements.
I agree, but the “PTB” seem to be so afraid of stopping the endless promises, or are they?
Maybe we are all being suckered?
‘It has ended hasn’t it???
Yeah, and now zero has sent a hundred Green Beret “advisors” to Uganda, of all places. In a couple of years maybe we will have tens of thousands of our troops mired down.
Whenever I read stories like this, I give thanks for the luck I had in being born when I was (1940) and being able to grow up in a dynamic, prosperous, and free America.
I feel sorry for those who came much later since they will never have the opportunities and the experiences I had.
Mark Steyn ping.
Freepmail me, if you want on or off the Mark Steyn ping list.
Thanks Slings and Arrows.
Bkmk for tomorrow. Way too tired tonight.
‘It is the entitlements.’
MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY....yes, they are ‘entitlements’...
I get really PO’ED tho, when the dems always threaten to reduce medicare and SS and of course, ‘the police and firemen and teachers’..and no one ever includes WELFARE AND FOOD STAMPS AND WIC AND HOUSING AND FREE MEDICAL CARE FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, ETC., when they are discussing ‘entitlements’...
Wish we could get a good figure on all of the costs of the above ‘unmentionables’ to toss about when they sneer at the ‘entitlements’....
I have a good plan to put Americans back to work...
Have Price Waterhouse and the other audit companies take the $ budgeted for the Obummercare 16,000 new tax auditors...
They will train an army of LEGAL American citizens to start oversight into all public funds - from local communities right on up to the Whitehouse. ALL levels of ALL state and federal departments.
Bet we could reduce the budget 40% in two years.
I’d start in my US Rep’s office and before sharpening my pencil, slap their faces a few times.
It IS their favorite tactic. When money is short, they never talk about cutting back on grants to study the effects of global warming on the spotted salamander, deferring the construction of bike trails or eliminating funding for NPR, PBS or the NEA.
It is always the teachers, firefighters and policemen.
But the rich dissolute playboy, shuttling between the casino and the next USAID concert always thinks the end can be staved off just a little longer.
Government by wishful thinking. It's amazing, really.
that is actually a brilliant idea.
Kinda scary to read.
Well done, Mark Steyn!
Steyn nails it!
A half a $trillion dollars over 10 years is nothing. To the bunch in the White Hut that is chump change, 1/2 A $trillon represents ONLY 4 months of deficit spending.
Every major company has to be audited BY LAW. I’ve been calling for an audit of the government for years now.
Not only can audits find financial irregularities (intentional, accidental, or systemic), a good audit firm can find inefficiencies and will be glad to (for a fee) suggest, design, and implement solutions.
You make the same mistake everyone else makes - looking for a single source which if fixed would restore America. Well, the military budget is also part of the American entitlement mentality. We are not a free market capitalist country with a popularly elected republican form of government. We are a kleptocracy with every transaction loaded with lard for freeloaders. It is both parties. RINOs are worse, actually, because they are more organized in ripping off the people. Think TARP, which was a RINO invention - Bush, McCain, Paulson, etc. The dims don't get off the hook either, Solyndra, Fannie and Freddie, etc., although good old fashioned RINOs were perfeectly happy tanking the country trading their paper.
We can all argue about the best way to accomplish some social good, but the problem is that enormous resources everywhere are being wasted accomplishing no good whatsoever. It is not just socialists. It is everyone. Iraq and Afghanistan were poorly conceived Republican ideas.
I don’t make that mistake, and I don’t believe I said that. This issue far pre-dates RINO’s so I view them as a red herring in this discussion of what the actual issue is.
I disagree with you in that I am not making the assumption that cutting EVERYTHING else but the military will fix the problem, i certainly didn’t say that.
What I take issue with is designating it as the FIRST and ONLY option on the chopping block.
In MY world, I would not touch a cent of military spending, no matter how wasteful it seems, UNTIL cuts have been made in OTHER programs.
RINOs and the Republican leaning towards corporate kleptocracy, as opposed to socialist kleptocracy, dates back at least to the end of WWII. They have just grown more brazen in the size of the annual haul they loot from the taxpayers. Defense contractors are no better than anyone else feeding at the public trough.
I don’t disagree that RINO’s did or didn’t exist at some point, how long back it went, or whether defense contractors are or aren’t feeding at the public trough.
There are two issues I address:
1.) Defense spending, as part of the entire budget, is a far, far smaller problem than entitlement spending and liberal pet projects as a whole.
2.) I am not against cutting portions of defense spending. What I object to is when the time to cut arrives, liberal politicians of all stripes immediately go directly to defense spending. Bypass entitlements. Bypass liberal pet projects. Bypass Turkey Basters for Lesbians. Bypass fast rail pork projects from nowhere to nowhere, and which will ever after require union employees and government subsidies. Bypass ACORN, PBS, NPR, NEA, bike paths, whatever spending and go DIRECTLY to defense spending.
THAT is what I have an issue with. Even with wasteful defense spending, there is SOMETHING that comes out of it, even if we DID pay more than we should have. With all this other crap supported and advanced by liberals, those are a ar, FAR larger part of the pie, and those projects and budgets are black holes that money goes down, in many cases, appearing again in the pockets of liberal unions and projects that leverage unions.
For example, when Obama took over, he increased the size of the Civil Rights part of the DOJ by a few hundred million dollars. More far left lawyers were hired to promote his leftist (and THEIR leftist) agenda. Sure, 150-300 million dollars is small change now, but if stuff is being put on the chopping block, why aren’t 200 newly hired leftist lawyers and all the infrastucture put in place to support them being put on the chopping block as well?
That is my issue. Not that we need to make cuts, we do. It is that simply because the Left views defense spending as money down a black hole that shouldn’t even exist, put to no good and poor use (that they would rather put towards their pet projects, whatever the heck they are) and always want to cut that first.
Worse, like Charlie Brown having the football pulled out, they say “okay, let’s get cuts across the board” then somehow...those OTHER cuts never happen, or are so obscured in smoke and mirrors that the budgets actually INCREASE for them, and nobody is the wiser, except for the deficit which rises further and further, now with the NEW leftist projects embedded in it which are off-limits to any budget cutters. Not only that, they take those new and larger budgets, and increase THOSE by 10-20% each year, because THOSE are now the new ‘baseline’.
THAT is what I object to.