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To Cut Deficits, It's Best To Pick Low-Lying Fruit
IBD Editorials ^ | April 11, 2011 | The great THOMAS SOWELL

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 ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial
KEYWORDS: sowell; thomassowell

1 posted on 04/11/2011 4:17:56 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: jazusamo

Ping


2 posted on 04/11/2011 4:20:43 PM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin; abigail2; Amalie; American Quilter; arthurus; awelliott; Bahbah; bamahead; Battle Axe; ...
Dr. Sowell nails it on the Medicare and Social Security.

Thanks for the ping, Kaslin. :-)

*PING*
Thomas Sowell

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Please FReepmail me if you would like to be added to or removed from the Thomas Sowell ping list…

3 posted on 04/11/2011 4:35:52 PM PDT by jazusamo (His [Obama's] political base---the young, the left and the thoughtless: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo
He sure does.

My pleasure :)

4 posted on 04/11/2011 4:39:38 PM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: jazusamo

The Dr hit a Home Run by the end of the 3rd sentence.

He’s bound to be in the Hall of Fame!


5 posted on 04/11/2011 4:41:40 PM PDT by bayouranger (The 1st victim of islam is the person who practices the lie.)
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To: Kaslin

I have a great deal of respect for brilliant and incisive Dr. Sowell but it was Admiral Nimitz who was the architect of the island hopping campaign.

MacArthur, also know as “Dugout Doug”, was more interested in a southern route to make up for his complete hash of the Philippine’s during the “surprise” attack by the Japanese that was predicted by Billy Mitchell a decade previously.

I am sure that 10’s of thousands of young American lives would have been spared, including my uncles, if FDR had listened to Nimitiz exclusively instead of trying to follow both the army and the navy plans.

Perhaps FDR was more interested in expanding the USA’s imperial reach than ending the war with Japan months earlier.


6 posted on 04/11/2011 4:44:55 PM PDT by TxDas (This above all, to thine ownself be true.)
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To: TxDas
I have a great deal of respect for brilliant and incisive Dr. Sowell but it was Admiral Nimitz who was the architect of the island hopping campaign.

The island hopping plan predated WWII by about 30 years.

7 posted on 04/11/2011 4:57:08 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: Kaslin

The question is: what’s the difference between “rich” and “wealthy”? According to the Democrats anyone earning over $75,000 per year is rich. That means a fireman making $45,000 a year married to a teacher making $40,000 qualifies them as being “rich”.


8 posted on 04/11/2011 5:02:32 PM PDT by SkyDancer (For the Left It's far easier for them to preach tolerance than practice tolerance.)
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To: SkyDancer

I understand that in some jurisdictions a fireman or peace officer can be getting $75,000.00 by themselves, no wife’s earning needed.


9 posted on 04/11/2011 5:06:53 PM PDT by noinfringers2
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To: SkyDancer

I understand that in some jurisdictions a fireman or peace officer can be getting $75,000.00 by themselves, no wife’s earning needed.


10 posted on 04/11/2011 5:07:10 PM PDT by noinfringers2
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To: TxDas
Perhaps FDR was more interested in expanding the USA’s imperial reach than ending the war with Japan months earlier.

My theory is a bit different. I think FDR didn't know what the smack he was doing with foreign policy (Typical for a Dem), so he split the difference between his two key advisers.

11 posted on 04/11/2011 5:08:46 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Oh, well, any excuse to buy a new gun is good enough for me.)
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To: noinfringers2

Well this was a couple of years ago on Rush.


12 posted on 04/11/2011 5:22:25 PM PDT by SkyDancer (For the Left It's far easier for them to preach tolerance than practice tolerance.)
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To: noinfringers2
I understand that in some jurisdictions a fireman or peace officer can be getting $75,000.00 by themselves, no wife’s earning needed.

Starting pay for a firefighter in Carrollton, Texas: $50,216. Minimum age: 18. Education requirement: 45 hrs college & 2.0 GPA.

Firefighter Pay Schedule.

It shouldn't be hard to work up to $75k from that starting point.

13 posted on 04/11/2011 5:35:50 PM PDT by Stegall Tx (Joined the Obama economy on 19 March, 2010. Found part-time work on 12 Feb, 2011.)
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To: Cyber Liberty

“I think FDR didn’t know what the smack he was doing with foreign policy (Typical for a Dem), so he split the difference between his two key advisers.”

As scary as that seems I believe your analysis is correct. It was good that FDR was a Billy Mitchell advocate or we would have ended up with a 35,000,000 man army and a bunch of battleships and probably still be fighting WW11.


14 posted on 04/11/2011 6:07:37 PM PDT by TxDas (This above all, to thine ownself be true.)
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To: jazusamo

thanks jaz...its too bad our ‘reps’ wont take a bit of advice from the good Dr, but will instead play cya and continue to allow the 50 yr old commie talkin points to control the agenda...


15 posted on 04/11/2011 6:16:05 PM PDT by Gilbo_3 (Gov is not reason; not eloquent; its force.Like fire,a dangerous servant & master. George Washington)
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To: Kaslin

Good article by Thomas Sowell. Thanks for posting. Cut, continually cut and constantly cut. Then, cut any one of the 536 collectivists that aren’t cutting continually and constantly.


16 posted on 04/11/2011 6:32:42 PM PDT by PGalt
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To: TxDas

“MacArthur, also know as “Dugout Doug”, was more interested in a southern route to make up for his complete hash of the Philippine’s during the “surprise” attack by the Japanese that was predicted by Billy Mitchell a decade previously.”

A man as great as McArthur makes enemies, often among the truthless and mediocre. Harold LeClair Ickes was largely responsible for launching most of those canards.

People who actually knew, who had seen McArthur in combat, knew that his reputation for limitless personal courage was well deserved.

Your other accusations are equally groundless.


17 posted on 04/11/2011 6:38:43 PM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: jazusamo

Thanks for the ping jaz. Sound advice from Dr. Sowell. Hope those on our side of the aisle are reading IBD today.


18 posted on 04/11/2011 6:52:39 PM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: dsc

well, my father was there and he disagreed.


19 posted on 04/11/2011 7:24:02 PM PDT by TxDas (This above all, to thine ownself be true.)
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To: dsc

You are absolutely correct. MacArthur would have never landed on Peleliu, I believe.

MacArthur was seen as “difficult” by many, arrogant, conceited, etc., but on his good days MacArthur was every bit as wise and brilliant as he saw himself to be.

Look at the Inchon Landing. For some reason (a recent book makes good evidence that Stalin was doing power games with Mao) the North Korean Army was not defending Inchon, Seoul’s port, adequately. MacArthur made a practice of studying reconnaissance reports in exhaustive detail (and remembering every, I mean EVERY, detail) and saw the North Korean vulnerability from agent and Special Forces reports, aerial photographs, truck traffic on the roads, radio intercepts, etc. and was able to persuade the top American brass that, for whatever reason, the North Koreans were unprepared for an amphibious landing at Inchon. The top American Brass, highly experienced, proven men, were intensely skeptical (as was correct, of course - you want to lose the First Marine Division?) but what observers say was MacArthur’s most brilliant performance convinced them he was correct.

Inchon came off as MacArthur envisioned. This later forced the Chinese into the war (which was Stalin’s goal) but this is a later part of the story.

I have read much on the Pacific War and Korea in the early days, before Truman relieved MacArthur for trying to win the war, and am convinced that what I say is true. Simply put, MacArthur was brilliant. He was too willing to risk his own skin, maybe. Personal and moral courage personified.

Eisenhower did not like MacArthur, to put it mildly.


20 posted on 04/11/2011 7:27:33 PM PDT by Iris7 ("Do not live lies!" ...Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)
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To: TxDas

“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.


21 posted on 04/12/2011 5:37:49 PM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: Iris7

“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.


22 posted on 04/12/2011 5:51:03 PM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: dsc

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.


23 posted on 04/12/2011 6:51:21 PM PDT by TxDas (This above all, to thine ownself be true.)
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To: TxDas

“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.


24 posted on 04/13/2011 12:19:16 AM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: dsc

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.


25 posted on 04/13/2011 5:49:41 AM PDT by TxDas (This above all, to thine ownself be true.)
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To: TxDas

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.


26 posted on 04/13/2011 7:17:18 PM PDT by Iris7 ("Do not live lies!" ...Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)
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To: dsc

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?


27 posted on 04/13/2011 7:26:51 PM PDT by Iris7 ("Do not live lies!" ...Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)
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To: TxDas

“Have you read “Flyboys” by James Brady.”

Yes, I have.

“I highly recommended it. He writes quite a bit about MacArthur’s 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.


28 posted on 04/13/2011 8:30:57 PM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: Iris7

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


29 posted on 04/13/2011 9:36:43 PM PDT by TxDas (This above all, to thine ownself be true.)
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To: Iris7

“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.


30 posted on 04/14/2011 1:37:37 AM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: TxDas

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.


31 posted on 04/14/2011 9:13:09 PM PDT by Iris7 ("Do not live lies!" ...Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)
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To: Iris7

“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.


32 posted on 04/14/2011 11:06:04 PM PDT by TxDas (This above all, to thine ownself be true.)
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