The Political Pendulum

George H W Bush: “Read my lips” was a right-wing body bag for GB1.

Posted on: October 28, 2008

“Read my lips..NO…NEW…TAXES!”

And with those six words, George H W Bush allowed the Right Wing of the Republican party to seal his fate.  Bush1, as did Reagan, both raised taxes on the wealthiest Americans; and for good reason…

We are no longer a conventional superpower with the untested ability to miltarily annihalate our enemies. Iraq and Afghanistan, as did Vietnam, have proven that we can be worn down through assymetrical warfare attrition.  Other nations like Pakistan and India are now nuclear players.  The Cold War spectre of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) isn’t an exclusive poker game between the US and  former USSR.  Countries with more consonants than vowels in thier names now have the ability to turn us into soot. 

No, our might remains in our economy and our ability to influence the financial base of the world’s top financial players.  To financially smile on those that support us and, like a cruel bank manager foreclosing on the family farm, shut down those that don’t.  Our economy used to be the blunt instrument that would allow us to shape geo-political strategy.  Debt service from European countries after WWII meant that we could make margin calls on cash-strapped nations to ensure that our agenda was supported in the halls of the UN, NATO, etc.  Global prosperity, and time, has eliminated these debts and with it our leverage.  Who owes us money now?  Bolivia and a host of other semi and third world countries.  We no longer wield the financial clout that we used to amongst the world’s kingmakers. 

Which brings me back to Bush1.

I am no Republican, but credit where credit is due.  He knew when to get out of Iraq and he knew that if our economy wasn’t strong then we were vulnerable.  Bush1 raised taxes in order to help offset any global slides whilst we were weaning ourselves off of Iraqi oil.  He raised taxes to help pay for entitlement programs and pay down for our trade deficit.  He raised taxes so that our country had revenue that could keep it’s military strong.  He raised taxes and he was pilorried by the likes of the conservative Grover Norquist who wants the country to be run on the fumes of dollar ink.  Everybody hates paying taxes, but how can the right expect a functioning country to operate without revenue?  The conservative rich want the flat tax.  The flat tax is a sure way to destroy the middle class and have a tectonic wealth gap, but I’ll go into that some other time. 

Basically, we have to get used to paying taxes and investing in our future.  Paying taxes IS patriotic.  It keeps our military men and women in body armor and gives them functioning weaponry and support, as well as paying for the GI Bill, post combat care, etc. 

No, we can’t allow the right to let Barack Oabama to close up his own political bodybag by putting such ridiculous constraints on him concerning taxes.  How do roads get built, schools built, without taxes?  Borrow and figure it out later hasn’t worked.  Paying your fair share will.

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