Monday, April 07, 2003

Blowing in the wind: Part II Man, it seems to me that our administration is out there on the edge of the Twilight Zone to me. Is there a plan for post-war Iraq? I know it's too early for Bush to come out and draw specifics but I think he could at least admit that we're going to have a long-term commitment, both militarily and economically, in that country when the war ends. And what does the cost of maintaining a country do to our own national budget? What are the ramifications for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other public-aid programs?
Bet you which ones will be cut first. I just named them.
The Republicans in the House (those crazy buffoons) are licking their chops with the prospects that are opening up to their agendas as the war continues toward its conclusion and the day the fallout begins approaches. Oh man, are they going to have a field day cutting 'welfare' programs in the name of national security. Say good-bye to CHIP (unless you live in a very rich state); say so long to Medicaid and Medicare - at least in any recognizable form as compared to today; and definitely say hello to delays for collecting your Social Security check. We'll be working until we're 75 when it's all said and done if the GOP has its way.
Somehow we've got to come up with the cash to pay for all this carnage and high-tech killing. And just where to we get that cash? Iraqi oil? Forget it! Even if we did use Iraqi oil, the production levels are about 50 percent too low to support the projected annual cost of rebuilding the country in the image the administration has in mind.
Taxes? We all know how Bush feels about raising taxes so that's unlikely, except for 'sin taxes' on things like booze, cigarettes, and medication (with the aging of America more and more people will need pharmaceuticals and that means a ready cash-cow for the government to tap.
I just cannot see how we will avoid increased burden on the backs of middle America. Bush and the Hamptons crew won't feel the pinch at all. But those of us who earn less than $1 million per year (I mean as individuals) are going get hammered. How else can it happen? Where will the $10 billion per year to rebuild Iraq (a low-ball estimate in my opinion) come from? Certainly not the U.N. I think Bush is writing off the U.N. as a useless organization that's good for nothing except taking American dollars to pay for programs the GOP opposes.
So guess what, folks. Welcome to a good old fashioned Texas-size asswhippin. If you thought the Reagan era was tough (economically) what's coming will make the '80s look like boomtimes. The nightmare that was Reaganomics is about to dusted off and, with slight revisions, be offered up to the American public as the answer to our prayers. The tired failure that was the 'trickle down theory' will be pumped up with hot air and floated before us all like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade float.
The reality will be the same. The economy will go deeper into the toilet than it already is and generations of Americans will pay the price for our unimaginative president and his cash-packed cabinet.
And so it goes.
Good luck. You'll need it.


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