Profits of War
September 25, 2001
Now is the time for all good toadies to come to the aid of
their contributors. Eleven days after the history-changing,
devastating events of September 11 some politicians have taken
the opportunity to ram through their disastrous and widely
rejected agenda while the rest of the nation continues to
mourn. What does our President have to say about this?
Claims have been made that it is now dangerous to avoid drilling
for oil in ANWR. This policy is currently being forced upon
us. But America will never be able to provide for its own
energy needs no matter how many national treasures we damage.
We will always depend on the rest of the world's oil supplies
until we come up with alternatives which we can create ourselves.
Hopefully, we'll one day soon seek out these solutions before
we find ourselves at the end of the finite amount of oil on
which we currently depend. This search will rely on the resolve
and wisdom of our leaders. It will also take courage to stand
up to special interest groups that would cripple attempts
at truly serious research.
It now appears Americans will need the courage and perseverance
of no less than our remarkable Senator John McCain to regain
a say in our Government. Bringing about real campaign finance
reform would go far in helping our politicians with this stand.
Energy alternatives would protect us from a multitude of dangers
- real or imagined - including reliance on foreign oil, heavy
pollution, and the world-wide catastrophes that would befall
a planet fighting over dwindling energy supplies.
In our present situation, OPEC has assured us of a regular
supply of oil, and OPEC is in the business of just that: business.
Their concern is profit, not who is on what side in scuffles,
disagreements, nor even wars.
The 736,000 jobs in the ANWR simply do not exist. Mainstream
news sources reported months ago that the actual number of
jobs the ANWR would create is considerably less. It appears
the initial overestimate on the job numbers was either an
honest error, or a ploy created to pull unions and the more
naive Democratic members of Congress over in support of drilling.
As for missile defense, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
told us some days prior to September 11 that he needed "every
penny" of the defense budget. Just imagine what Mr. Rumsfeld
needs now. We have far more pressing needs than a fantastical
defense shield, costing hundreds of billions of dollars, and
that would alienate our allies. Support for this foolishness
would only help to bankrupt our country while making a small
number of already wealthy individuals wealthier.
With the economy taking a fall, the tax cut amounting to
well over a trillion dollars also needs to be revisited. Some
members of Congress were crass enough to continue the relentless
push for tax boondoggles forty-eight hours after the twin
towers' horrifying and deathly collapse. The improbable reasons
given for the cuts were as offensive as they were transparent.
These funds, unlikely to fully materialize, will be needed
for our incursion against terrorism. We are nevertheless still
being told that a tax cut will stimulate growth. On that point
I concur with former President George H.W. Bush's original
assessment of this type of tax policy as being "voodoo economics."
We've seen huge tax cuts at the top end create huge deficits.
Far more recent history reveals that those who would receive
the bulk of this tax cut unfortunately would do little to
assist the economy. Only days ago the stock markets re-opened
and showed us that a much too large and faithless number pulled
out their support for our economic system in an embarrassingly
unpatriotic display. We also now see employers who once again
choose to fire workers while maintaining astronomically high
salaries and benefits for themselves and their top employees.
None of these events do much to inspire faith in the reasoning
behind this current tax plan. And so in order to maintain
responsibility we must insist that our leaders lower the tax
cuts so we can be assured of the funds needed in the fight
against terrorism, as well as in meeting our domestic needs
Anyone who would be greedy enough to push measures chiefly
meant to bring benefit to themselves at a time such as this
should be called what they most closely resemble: a profiteer.
Anyone who claims that their personal windfall is actually
in some way a benefit to the nation deserves to be called
much, much worse. Sacrifice will be made by the poor as well
as the rich, and sacrifice is something even the most powerful
among us had best come to terms with.
We're watching, and as is so often said these days - " make
no mistake" - we will remember.