Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Media Spins Another Assault on Taxpayers

It's only a short few days until the new Congress is sworn in and Pelosi's "Corruption Free" Congress gets to work for the people. Hard to write that without chuckling. We have already had previews on the quality of Congressional appointees to various Committees, but we are also getting a glimpse of the thinking of the bulk of the new leadership and what their being in power means to the average citizen.

Does it mean we'll all have free health care, "green" power and vehicles, tougher regulations and penalties on "greedy business" and more money to America's "crumbling schools"? Although it's likely some of the above are being dreamed about by the Democrats like little kids dream of presents at Christmas, it may be difficult for them to easily enact their far left agenda.

Not the least of the obstacles facing them is their own foot-in-mouth disease. See, many of them campaigned on a spend-happy Republican led Congress being part of the nation's problems. Getting in there and spending more might be seen as bad cricket and might quickly see Congress' polls drop to where they are for the 109th Congress. See this analysis from Newsbusters of a Washington Post puff piece on the Democrats' ever-growing agenda. One of the best lines in it is attributed to Senator Kent Conrad who said:

"Raising taxes would certainly be an option...The President this is his policy. He's got an obligation to pay for it."

Actually, strictly speaking to the Senator, he's saying WE have an obligation to pay for it, and any pork the new leading Dems want to tack on along the way. The title, "Democrats Pledge to Restrain Spending" reads more like a joke than serious news.

Naturally, the article was not "Democrats plan to raise taxes", because that's true. Can't print that if it hurts the guy with whom you agree. Still, there is the possibility that an attempt to raise taxes won't be tried, at least not for the next two years. Tim Graham, I believe, accurately predicts that the new Democrat Congress will use the Clinton "cutting government" method of strictly cutting military spending. Some of these cuts will likely come in programs meant to replace the Armed Services mainstay weapons, most of which were developed in the 70's (you read that correctly). However, it is not unheard of for cuts to come in military housing, support services and pension spending. The Democrat majorities and the last President were never very friendly to our fighting men and women.

On a related note, I did hear New York Congressman Charlie Rangel's going to push the draft issue again. A measure that he wrote last year and had to vote against is designed to bring back the draft. He plans to reintroduce it this year.

"There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way."

Of course, the Left howls about being criticized for "politicizing the war". This is the most bare naked attempt of that you'll likely see. The idea for Rangel's draft isn't to help the military, which historically such a drastic measure is meant to assist. It's to make it harder for the President and Congress to go to war by making conscripts out of the majority of Americans. An army of conscripts, though, is not the sort of thing we should be rooting for. Consider this exchange between the late great Milton Friedman and General Westmoreland as retold by Walter Williams:

Friedman made a major intellectual contribution to the formation of a voluntary army. In testimony before President Nixon's commission on eliminating the draft, General William Westmoreland said he did not want to command an army of mercenaries. Mr. Friedman interrupted, "General, would you rather command an army of slaves?" Gen. Westmoreland replied, "I don't like to hear our patriotic draftees referred to as slaves." Mr. Friedman then retorted, "I don't like to hear our patriotic volunteers referred to as mercenaries. If they are mercenaries, then I, sir, am a mercenary professor, and you, sir, are a mercenary general; we are served by mercenary physicians, we use a mercenary lawyer, and we get our meat from a mercenary butcher."

Conscription doesn't work, doesn't produce willing soldiers, stifles the economy and degrades the combat effectiveness of our armed forces. The sheer amount of training alone needed for soldiers to be as highly trained as the average U.S. soldier today would require that a person be drafted for years. And who will be exempt? Women? That's rather chauvinistic. Inevitably, such an institution would become rife with deferments, and most of those would favor candidates with ties to power or influence, the very people Congressman Rangel insists he's targeting by making the rest of us part of his new Army. I've said it before, this is bad comedy.

Whether it's your money or your life, expect the next Congress to at least touch on if not play the harbinger of things to come, should the Left (and largest) wing of the Democrat Party remain in power. Worse, watch the RINO's remaining in Congress to run right over the cliff with them.


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