Watts: Question 2, Reply 2 – The Budget

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http://www.dreamstime.com/-image29189594The question.

My good friend cannot deal well with the facts or advance good recommendations, it seems, without attempting to cast blame away from his preferred party. I have dealt with the “in violation of the law” and the “blame the Democrats” spill in my reply, so to save time, I will refer only to that reply and simply say that he is wrong and is instead too enamored with the Talking-but-not-Thinking Right.

He points out, correctly, that current Congresses cannot bind future Congresses. Of course, this is enshrined in law. I would propose a statute and a Constitutional change to require a certain amount of bondage over future Congresses. We must plan ahead and allow that such plans are imperfect, but should at the very least remain above the partisan fry instituted by the Tea Party these last few years.

I am unsure as to why my friend is upset with the proposed budget cuts to the Defense Department. A focus on defense does not mean that our military must be prepared to foster globalization, act as the world’s police department, or be ready to engage in every action or “hot spot” in the world. Let me bring this one out just a bit further.

What I see my friend suggesting is a continued world dominance by military might, something we simply cannot afford. But the economics of this is only one argument. I would propose that the drawdown of U.S. forces and the shrinking of the military is a moral argument and obligation to our neighbors and our future. We have for too long sought to coerce too many with threats of American forces. While a small military may in fact mean a different world order, I welcome this as the current one we have – where we steadily make more enemies, new frontiers in war are opened, and where even our alliances are strained – does not seem to work. But, this, I’m afraid, is a topic for another time.

I would disagree that high tax rates kill economies, as evidenced by the high tax rates under Ike and the higher tax rates under Clinton. High taxes rates would force Congress to act, but in the end, if they did not, I would think that high tax rates on the wealthiest individuals would actually aid our economic depression as it would pay off the debt.

My friend’s suggestion that private charity is the first line of care for the poor is rather a poorly thought out argument, dismissing logic, charitable concerns in various faiths, and the first hallmark of this country. When Jefferson borrowed Locke’s words in crafting our Declaration of Independence, the idea that we should all have a pursuit of happiness was not about individualism but about the idea the goal of the community is to benefit all. A government which can see to this is a government that is truly by the people and for the people. This is why the welfare of the people through these poorly named entitlements (a propagandist conception) should not be cut, but expanded.

I welcome further discussions.