Skip to comments.To Cut Deficits, It's Best To Pick Low-Lying Fruit
Posted on 04/11/2011 4:17:53 PM PDT by Kaslin
Since everybody else seems to be coming up with plans on how to cope with the skyrocketing national debt, let me try my hand at it too.
The liberals' easy solution is just to increase taxes on "the rich." But, if you do the math, there aren't enough of "the rich" to cover the huge and record-breaking deficit.
Trying to reduce the deficit by cutting spending runs into an old familiar counterattack. There will be all kinds of claims by politicians and sad stories in the media about how these cuts will cause the poor to go hungry, the sick to be left to die, etc.
My plan would start by cutting off all government transfer payments to billionaires. Many, if not most, people are probably unaware that the government is handing out the taxpayers' money to billionaires. But agricultural subsidies go to a number of billionaires. Very little goes to the ordinary farmer.
Big corporations also get big bucks from the government, not only in agricultural subsidies but also in the name of "green" policies, in the name of "alternative energy" policies, and in the name of whatever else will rationalize shoveling the taxpayers' money out the door to whomever the administration designates, for its own political reasons.
The usual political counterattacks against spending cuts will not work against this new kind of spending-cut approach.
(Excerpt) Read more at investors.com ...
“well, my father was there and he disagreed.”
I remove my hat and thank your father for his service.
That said, by “there” I meant in a position to observe McArthur’s conduct in combat, his moral courage, and his military genius.
Was your father in such a position? Not, of course, that there would be any reflection on his service if he weren’t, but Americans figure that soldiers have a right to bellyache, and they do.
By any reasonable measure, McArthur was extremely parsimonious of the lives of his men. A number of times he bypassed difficult targets and took a much easier target to use for runways, or for its strategic value. Then he just left the largest Japanese troop concentrations, the most efficiently dug-in positions, to die on the vine as his air cover, flying from that easier target, virtually cut off resupply of the tough targets.
“Look at the Inchon Landing.”
I think people these days forget the *extreme* difficulty of merely navigating to the port of Inchon. Vast mud flats at low tide, and a serpentine channel to allow passage—at high tide? Not exactly.
“The tidal range near Inchon is one of the greatest in the world, varying from an average spring tide range of 27.1 feet to an occasional maximum of 33 feet.”
“The extensive mud flats in the harbor area necessitated a tidal height of 23 feet for landing craft, and 29 feet for LSTs. Only from 15 to 18 September were these conditions provided by spring tides, and the next opportunity would not come until the middle of October.” (Marine Corps Gazette)
Much later, in the 1980s, I was on a deep-draft ship that made a port call in Inchon. Some of the officers on the bridge had their hair turn white over night—and that’s with nobody shooting at us. Toughest sea and anchor detail I ever saw.
My father was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross as a private flying in support of Stillwell. He flew the “Hump” f and the aluminum train between India, China and Burma.
If you said the name MacArthur, he would turn red and leave the room. My father was a voracious reader and consumed books on all aspects of the war, especially the battles which took his brother and brother-in-laws.
It was his well documented opinion that MacArthur would take credit for what the Marines, British and Aussies accomplished and blame them when his own plans went awry.
For MacAurthur, and for that matter Patton, it was all about them and their place in history.
“It was his well documented opinion”
I think it would be best if we could agree to disagree.
BTW, I have read enough to have some idea how dangerous flying the hump was. I’m sure his distinguished flying cross was well-deserved.
Have you read “Flyboys” by James Brady. I highly recommended it. He writes quite a bit about MacArthur’s collusion in not prosecuting the Japanese war criminals.
8 out of 10 of the crews that flew the Hump never returned, an 80% death rate. My father bailed out 3 times, into the Himalayan jungles, and flew over 750 missions. He weighed 90 lbs when he returned and suffered bouts of malaria many years after his return. When I was a kid he would occasionally start scratching his arm while watching TV and pull out a sliver of shrapnel.
One of the few times I saw him cry was when I was drafted.
Thanks for your story about your Dad. He must have been a fine, fine gentleman. So few can survive under such pressure. It took exceptional courage (and some good luck).
I hope they took him off those missions after his third walk out. With the really bad case of malaria he had they probably did.
Me, I know I have been living on borrowed time since my Viet Nam days. How vastly more intense was his experience.
What you say about MacArthur being a publicity hound is true. “Self effacing” he certainly was not. He wanted everyone to see him as Mr. Amazing, as Mr. Incredible. He demanded worship but not excellence from his staff. I could go on. Like I said, a difficult man to like.
Still, I stand behind what I wrote earlier.
I hadn’t realized that navigating Inchon is so difficult. I have heard it’s real tough, but hadn’t realized how tough.
Nice to have a pithy comment from a Navy man to clear my thinking. A tough Sea and Anchor Detail indeed. Old Navy fellow myself.
My thought is how easy it would be to run up on those mud flats and be stuck until, well, the possibilities are obvious, eh?
“Have you read Flyboys by James Brady.”
Yes, I have.
“I highly recommended it. He writes quite a bit about MacArthurs collusion in not prosecuting the Japanese war criminals.”
I lived in Japan for 20 years, and am pretty familiar with that issue. Unfortunately, it is true—although it wasn’t collusion, it was an exercise of his power.
His father had been known as the father of Philippine democracy, and I think MacArthur wanted to become known as the father of Japanese democracy, equalling his father’s achievements.
He thought that trying the Emperor would provoke a suicidal uprising among the Japanese Nazis, and he thought he could use the Emperor to shape Japan into the kind of country he thought it should be.
It’s said that MacArthur thought he understood “the oriental mind,” but didn’t. He thought that if he punished too many war criminals, it would drive a wedge between America and Japan forever.
He did whip a constitution on them, although the Japanese got over on him time after time.
My father was one of those who “survived the war but not the peace”. He struggled with his war experience until his premature death. He had a survival kit in the trunk of his car till the day he died and began to teach me escape and evasion at age 5.
He was a very accomplished person and became a high ranking official in the treasury department but the war defined him. He did not get back until late ‘45. No credit for jumping out of planes, just more air medals - 10. Officers got rotated, not enlisted men in the CBI.
However, my father had it easy compared to my mother’s brother who was a prisoner of war in New Guinea. He was about 90 lb on a 6 foot frame after they fattened him up before they sent him home. He never spoke about his experience, in fact barely spoke at all. He moved to Anchorage and became a watch repairman until age 33 when he laid his head on his bench and just died.
My father’s barely 18 y/o brother was cut in half by a MG42 in Luxembourg in the Battle of the Bulge about 1 week after arriving in the EOT. He died about 30 miles from where his father had been born in the Black Forest.
Reading Ambrose’s “Citizen Soldier, Band of Brothers” and Brady’s books, “Flags of out Fathers” & Flyboys” can be very difficult.
Thanks for listening
“My thought is how easy it would be to run up on those mud flats and be stuck until, well, the possibilities are obvious, eh?”
It amazes me that he was able to sell the plan at all. I guess that’s a measure of the respect in which he was held.
Taught you E&E since you were five, eh? Good man. I remember SERE training well. For one thing, I learned to carry some extra body fat if possible, because vittles are real, real slim pickin’s if you have to run for it.
By any chance was your uncle who was a POW in New Guinea with the 32nd Infantry Division? That was an activated Guard outfit dropped straight into the Kokoda Track - Buna - Gona - Sanananda fighting with no real training, no air support, no artillery support, and no logistical support for many months, no ammunition, food, or medical evacuation until Kenney got the flyboys straightened out. The outfit was raised right around where I sit this minute. Knew some of those old boys years ago. They also saw heavy fighting on Leyte.
Desperate, desperate fighting on New Guinea in those days. Combined with Guadalcanal, the New Guinea boys left the Japanese with the insoluble dilemma of deciding where the American “schwerpunkt” was. Not the sort of decision the Japanese are good at, as can be seen today at Fukushima Daiichi.
We owe a lot to our boys of 1942.
No enlisted rotation out, eh? Stilwell used his men up to the last drop of blood. Don’t like Stilwell. The Hump was his baby.
The US Army infantry in Europe were badly trained and poorly lead. Constant retraining was needed, but not supplied, to get replacements up to speed. Raw men were thrown into meat grinders. There were exceptions, of course, I am fond of General James Gavin of the 82nd Airborne.
Man, you have to be able to SEE the fields of fire from your enemy’s point of view. Have to. I looked at the world around me from that point of view until the late 1970’s, just could not stop. Super easy to turn it back on even after all these years. Being shot at and missed leaves a permanent mark.
“The US Army infantry in Europe were badly trained and poorly lead. Constant retraining was needed, but not supplied, to get replacements up to speed. Raw men were thrown into meat grinders. “
Yes, The Battle of Hürtgen Forest is a prime example of American generals leading from the rear.
I am not sure what outfit my uncle was with in New Guinea. My grandfather died in Robert Lee TX in the early 30’s and the younger kids went to the Masonic Home in Ft. Worth and the older ones went to the CCC or the army so I believe he was already in the service 12-07-41.
Another of my mother’s brothers landed on Omaha Beach but I don’t know what wave but I belief it was Day 1. He landed as a private but 2-weeks later was wounded badly enough to be sent home as a 2nd Lieutenant. The one time I met him, when I was about 12 y/o, I asked him what did to get a battle field promotion and he said he was the only one left of the original platoon. He became the fire chief of Cheyenne, Wyo. My father, if asked, used to say he was awarded the DFC for surviving. That is all he would say.
Regarding SERE, my father had just turned 19 when he landed in India and was almost immediately shot up and had to bail out. They jumped out very high and his chute did not open at first. He pulled the D-ring completely out and squirmed around and clawed part of the chute out. He said when it opened it almost ripped his crotch up to his nose.
He then almost immediately slammed into the top of the mahogany trees and was knock unconscious. When he became aware he could not get out of the harness so he cut the cords and then fell a 100 feet or so bouncing off limbs and end up at the bottom of the tree. When he regained consciousness again he was in a sitting position with 7 of his teeth in his hand. He did not know what to do so he tried to stick them back in.
He was terrified and on the verge of despair because he had no clue where he was and all he had was a knife. At that point a jeep drove up and the driver just stared at him and asked where they were. Apparently my father had landed next to a jeep trail that was used about once a month.
He liked to talk about the good times but if I asked him about the bad times he became quite depressed and would almost never talk about the bad times.
I have his letters. He was quit optimistic in ‘43 and was glad to be part of saving the world. His penmanship was beautiful. By late ‘45 he was very bitter and I can see where he stabbed the paper with the pencil as he complained about good men dying in unfit planes months after armed conflict ended. His penmanship was such you would think a different person wrote the last letters. In fact, the war had changed him to the point where he probably was a different person.
Thank you for your service.
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