At home, there will be an increase in taxes—income, estate, payroll—to
fund more government health care, education, and general entitlement
programs. The old Reaganesque notion that government subsidies can
make one more dependent, angrier, and envious is forgotten, along with
the notion that lower taxes stimulate economic growth and encourage
risk-taking, innovation, and independence. I worry especially about
the lifting of income caps (how far?) on social security taxes
inasmuch as they were part of the original covenant justifying the
caps on benefits paid out.
NAFTA and other free trade agreements would be repealed; illegal
immigration would either not be an issue, or more a problem of finding
the right way, with borders still open, to grant amnesties.
Appointments would hinge on a belief in bigger government and the
theme that the individual is currently suffering due to reactionaries
in government and corporations, barely housed, fed, or educated, and
deserves more federal dollars appropriated from others who either
don't need all their income or didn't deserve the compensation they
Abroad, there is a general argument that things are going terribly.
Forget that the Taliban and Saddam are gone. Forget that we have not
suffered another 9/11 attack. Forget that there is far more democratic
promise in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Lebanon than was true in
2001. Forget that the Merkel and Sarkozy governments, along with
Eastern European leaders, are more pro-American than their
predecessors in 2001.
Instead, we are disliked by everyone, and for good reasons. The fact
that Iranian mullahs, the House of Saud cousins, Hugo Chavez's
communists, European mullahs, and the Arab street don't approve of
America says more about us than it does them. The solution is to
follow more the dictates of European Union and United Nations, where
sophisticated internationalists can guide us through the maze of
global power, instructing mostly ignorant Americans how and why we
tend to cause so many of the world's problems. Misunderstanding and
our own obtuseness explain global tension, not the agendas of enemies
who know exactly what they want and how to get it.
Our military is not so much an offensive force, designed to defeat and
kill our enemies, that needs support and constant honing; better to
see it as a large social organization that we must look at in terms
only of proper rotations, health care, and benefits. We are to support
the troops not in the sense of doing everything we can to ensure they
win, and gain the proper recognition for their courage and sacrifice,
but rather in consideration of their victimhood, offering proper
sympathy and remediation for the defeat in Iraq, the unwise use of
their skills, and the needless loss of their lives.
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