Excellent letter! Letter of the year! Couldn't agree more!Thank
you so very much!
What an excellent idea.
But Lew...We really want to flex our military muscle to the world.
We spend so much on it, we need to show it off.Along with that, we
want, er MUST have lower taxes. Oh, and lower deficits.It is quite
the dilemma. I really wonder how many of the war hawks would be so
"hawkish" if they had to pay for it TODAY.
This would make many in Washington think especially hard about waging war. A
little more thought and discussion about why and our motivations would be most
Next time someone says "Boots on ground" I want them to say the name of
a Soldier they know. "We need PFC Smith to go to Iraq." Then that
person needs to call PFC Smith, or better yet, look him in the eye and say
"I think we need you to go to Iraq"We have dehumanized the
American military to the point were we can't even say "We need to send
troops" (Troops are people) but rather now we say we need their boots over
there.I would also be in favor of re-instating the draft; just to
re-humanize this War Machine. How many warmongers have their sons in the
military? How many of those who vote on declarations of war have their sons in
The "rich" did away with the draft, so THEIR kids won't go.then, The "rich" did away with the taxes, so THEIR money
didn't have to go.It's time to set things right...Time to buck up or shut-up.
If any President or administration could tell you what a war will cost up-front,
or tell you when it will end (before it starts).... we would do that. But you
can't!Every war is preceded by the minority party asking the
administration WHEN it will end, and how much it will cost. These are mostly
rhetorical questions they KNOW nobody has the ansers too... It happens every
time.You can't predict what a war will cost... or when it will
As a corollary, I propose we should pay for all welfare programs upfront. Fair
Well said. This is very important to the tea party. Cash on the barrelhead,
reduce social security if necessary so we can win quickly.
Bush/Chenney's approach to terrorism and war was a mistake and most
Americans know it. You hear the neo-cons banging the war drums once again
selling fear and hoping to capitlize on any good crisis with a little more
power. They don't want to send their children or their money but will
criticize anyone who is prudent and patient before making a decision. ISIS and
radical muslims are a threat, and will always be a threat. We can contain the
threat through a long term strategy of containment and working with our allies.
To listen to the same fools who pushed us to an illegal and immoral war 10 years
ago would be a mistake. They put us more at risk and borrowed billions of
dollars and suceeded at little.
2 bits: I believe the writer should have said "pay as you go" rather
than up front. That IS a possibility, at least theoretically. It will never
actually happen because citizens will likely rebel at the very thought of it.
I agree, and have said it before. If we want a war, occupation, or whatever
someone wants to call it, then it should be a line item on our annual tax
return. And we should as a nation be provided budget summaries of the exercise
no less frequently than quarterly.
I agree whole-heartedly but it would be a better thing that we stay out. Every
crisis overseas we've had since WWII is a result of our meddling and greed.
We are mistaken that our might can solve anything.
"As a corollary, I propose we should pay for all welfare programs upfront.
Fair enough?"Fair enough. I assume that you equate Medicare and
SS as welfare programs? Because those, along with the military are by far the
biggest budget items.
If we paid for all the conservative wars and foreign aid then Americans would
demand that they stop making wars. Bush and Cheney lied about the
war and purposely kept the price tag off the national budget. Gee, I wonder why
they did that? Could it be that they didn't want Americans to know the true
cost of their war? I demand that the GOP use their own money to
invade countries. They want Iran and Iraq and Russia so bad? Go ahead, fight
with your own kids and money. Stop sending my children and grandchildren while
placing trillions of debt onto their backs.
Uh, Thid Barker, the topic isn't about who pays the most taxes. The problem
is that NO ONE is paying for these military adventures! Well, right now, anyway.
We're piling up debt faster than it can be paid for. The Fed and the
Treasury combine to create money out of thin air which goes to pay for most of
the wars as of late, and it all results in enormous debt! The writer is
suggesting that current taxpayers foot the bill, not our children or
@SEY,RE: Your "pay-as-you-go" fantasy.... That may make
sense in the political-rhetoric obsessed mind... but it shows how little you
actually understand (or care) about reality...1. Not being committed
to finance till the end... would be the BIGGEST MISTAKE you could make. You
name it, WWII, Desert Storm, even the Revolutionary War, or the Civil War)...
Just quitting because you ran out of money... would leave America and EVERYBODY
involved in a bigger mess (and more deaths) than what LEAD to the war! Your
"Solution" would make everything WORSE!Imagine the civilian
deaths world-wide if in the middle of WWII America said, "ran out of
money... we're done"... do you think Hitler would have just
retired???2. Sometimes you have to respond (whether you have the
money or not). Sometimes you are attacked and can't just say "we
don't have money", (Pearl Harbor, 9/11, etc). 3. Some
causes are worth ANY cost (WWII, American Revolution, American Civil War,
etc).==========In these wars... HOW would America (or
the world) be better off... if we got half way in and then quit because you ran
out of money?...
Lew,The freelance journalist they beheaded was not rich; people like him
and other common folk benefit most from national security, the wealthy can hire
their own.You say those who benefit the most should pay up front,
sounds like you want to increase taxes on the middle and lower classes.If BO had not projected an image of indifference and weakness, these guys
never would have developed a foothold and we wouldn’t have this problem,
so by your logic everyone who voted for BO pay for this mess and let the rest of
us off.airnaut,NO ONE’s kid HAS to go, rich or POOR
since the draft was eliminated.The rich pay the bulk of income
taxes, it is THEIR money that already goes – why the lie that their money
does not go?FT,house and senate intelligence committee dems
are neo-cons? They are beating the war drums as much as anyone. BO’s man,
Axelrod, said “never let a good crisis go to waste”To
listen to anyone who says we can contain the threat is “listening to
fools”What we DID succeed at was thrown away by BO’s
To "Lew" but we do put up the money up front. Each year congress is
supposed to set the budget for the US. Are you saying that Congress should
establish a budget well in advance?
Some on this forum seem to think that war is never justified and anything we
spend on the military is complete waste of money. Some wars are definitely more
justified than others, and a few were flat-out wrong. But what happens when evil
aggression goes unchecked and the threat grows until armed confict is not only
inevitable, but far more costly in both blood and treasure. Do we want to wait
until ISIS gets a few million followers, nuclear weapons, and initiates
terrorists attacks here before we respond?I think it would be wise
to pay for wars as they happen (just like I think the government should pay for
everything as it goes). This would make everyone think twice before getting into
a conflict that is not a good one to be involved with. The electorate would
likely hold its elected officials more accountable if everyone got a direct bill
every month for all the waste and mismanagement our government dishes out on a
@ Lost in DCConservatives always seem to rewrite history when the actual
events don't fit the fantasy world in which they live. Iraq and the middle
east was more stable before our illegal, immoral invasion. We created a black
hole and to think we can stay their long term is a pipe dream. I have no
problem with acknowledging the threat, as it is real but using fear and fallacy
as a basis for bad foreign policy is a mistake. Those that don't learn
from history, will repeat it. And I have no problem telling that to the face of
Diane Feinstein or any other liberal.
Every War since this country has been founded, as been "Unfunded", it is
the nature of the beast when going to war...First you have to decide
if the threat is real, ie. Hitler in WWII doing a lot before England decided to
stop him.second, you need to make sure your Military can do the job
and has the resources it needs to do the job.third, you need to have
a clear picture of what you want accomplished...fourth CONGRESS and
The President needs to let those who have the knowledge to do their job and NOT
TRY to run the war from the back of the car.Every war that the US
has failed (Vietnam is prime example) is because Congress thought they knew more
the leaders in the Military. They interfered and it cost lives.The
issue in both IRAQ and Afghanistan that happened both under Bush and Obama, was
that they did not listen to their Military Leaders..If Bush listened
in IRAQ, and did the surge... we could have ended the war earlier.If Obama
had listened in Afghanistan to this Military leaders, they would not have had
as many of our soldiers killed.
Great idea! We don't need to fund school lunches until it's paid for.
Most government agencies can just close, until their operations are paid for. No
disaster relief, foreign or domestic, until it's paid for. All welfare
payment cease until they are paid for. Fair is fair. Better yet, lets just have
a check off system, where we each individually only pay taxes into the budget
areas that we choose. That way, our terrorist loving, pacifist neighbors would
not pay for defense, but we could require them to put a big red bullseye on
their property, so that the terrorists would know who to bomb first, when they
@JoeCaptitalistDo we want to wait until ISIS gets a few million
followers, nuclear weapons, and initiates terrorists attacks here before we
respond?-------------------------When you are ready and
willing to go over yourself, or send your son over, and do something about it
then you can talk about "responding"When you are ready and
willing to go on a "Notification Team" and tell Ms. Smith that her
husband died and her children won't see their Dad again, you can talk about
"responding"It's too easy to say "We need boots on
ground" until you know someone to whom two of those boots belong to.
I'm with SuperNova. Let's re-institute the draft, select birthdays in
a lottery, and make sure everyone has the opportunity to serve in any new wars.
If we are going to war we all need to have skin in the game...both physically
"was that they did not listen to their Military Leaders.."Just like the solution from the NRA is always more guns, military leaders
typically see war as the answer.Yes, many wars are justified. But
not all. When in doubt, war should not be the answer. We need
leaders that see war as a last option. And it must be directly related to our
national security.Party leaders like McCain and Graham scare me.
They see military involvement as the answer to any and every world situation.Can you imagine how many places we would have combat troops actively
engaged in war had McCain won in 2008?Yes, every war may have been
unfunded to begin with, but the truly necessary wars had Americans gladly
sacrificing for the war effort. And they were happy to do so.How
many Americans, including those on the right, would have supported the war if
they personally had to make a sacrifice? Higher taxes? a Draft?I
am guessing very few.
@JoeBlow,You seem to have a very selective view of reality. Many
conservatives volunteered for the military after 9/11. We didn't NEED a
draft. The majority in the military have always self-identified as
"Conservative".==========Something to think
about...Which side seems to start the wars, and then start the draft
to man their wars....?EVERY time we've started a draft in
recent history... the war and the draft was started by a Progressive...Vietnam (JFK) conscription finally ended under Nixon.WWII
(Roosevelt)WWI (Wilson)ALL Progressives... doesn't
anybody else see that???And yet... they point the finger at
2 bits: where did you learn your history? Wilson started WWI? FDR started WW2?
JFK started the Vietnam War? Now, if you were to say that George W. Bush (aka
Dick Cheney) started the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I'd agree with you.
Were they progressives?You seem to imply that you disagree with
Wilson, FDR and JFK when they joined (not started) those wars. Is that correct?
With regard to the draft after 9/11, it's true we didn't
"need" it. But those guys sure could've used it instead of having
to go on multiple combat tours. I assume you know what would happen if a draft
were instituted. There would be a serious rebellion. THAT'S WHY
there's no draft!
SuperNova:War is heck (edited). Always has been. No one wants to see
any of our soldiers die.But to assume that there are not even
greater consequences to pacifism in the face of a real threat, is to put your
head in the sand. 9-11 proved that.Are you equally willing to be a
part of a notification team that tells the parents of some innocent child that
their loved ones were blown up in a terrorist attack because we refused to bomb
a training camp?Are you fine with having every American at home or
travelling abroad to have a target on their back because we refuse to fight the
war on terror head on? It is naive to assume that if we are just nice to
terrorists they will stop hating us.You see, there are two sides to
this story. Quit pretending there is only one.We need to pick our
battles wisely, but it is unwise to pretend that no battles are worth fighting.
Pay upfront huh? That's a good idea.We should immediately
implement a high tax on Republicans, and just keep it in a separate account . .
. You know . . . buy US bonds with it, and just cash them in when we need the
money.Face it "Conservatives" deserve to be taxed much more
than everyone else anyway . . . just to pay for some of the tremendous damage
they have already done to this nation.And then when some Republican
leader convinces the American Right Wing rabble that starting a war is in our
best interest, we'll just use the money from that fund to pay for it.
@JoeCapitalistYou see, there are two sides to this story. Quit
pretending there is only one.-----------------I know
fully well there are two sides. I was a Soldier, and did my time in the
desert.I am not saying we should never use our Military for defense,
but we should be willing to cross that threshold of saying "Son, I need you
to go to Iraq and be willing to die for our Freedom." "Private Smith, I
love ya, but I need you to go to Iraq" or better yet, "I need to go to
Iraq and stop this myself."It's too easy to say "Boots
on Ground" when you don't know who is wearing them. We just need to
keep the human aspect in it.Mash said it best with War is worse than
Hell. Everyone in Hell deserves to be there, but those in war didn't ask
for the depravity that comes with it. People well above their pay grade and not
in those trenches did. All I am asking is let's save our
beating on the drums of war for when you are willing to go yourself, or send
@SEYDid Bush and Cheney start a draft???? Nope.The
examples I gave were wars where there was a draft. No draft needed for
Afghanistan OR Iraq.Go back and read my post. I said, "Which
side seems to starts a war, AND THEN START THE DRAFT".... We didn't
have a draft for Afghanistan and Iraq. Didn't need one. We did have
Conscription for Vietnam, WWII and WWI (all these hostilities started when
Progressives were President).Google "Conscription in the United
States - Wikipedia"...================But I agree
it's naive to pretend that no battles are worth fighting. And I agree we
need to pick our battles wisely. IMO our President NEEDED to
respond after 9/11. I also think if we hadn't done something
in Iraq... things would be even WORSE than they are in Iraq today. I suspect
Israel would not exist today, and terrorists would have the weapons the UN and
the US forced him to dispose of. But that's just my opinion (nobody knows
"Social Programs" eat up 2/3rds of the Federal budget. Why don't
"liberals" demand that those programs be paid in full before being
implemented? Of course doing that would destroy their chances if being
re-elected, so they complain about the 1/3rd of the budget that is authorized by
the Constitution but ignore the 2/3rds of the budget that is not authorized by
SuperNova..Sent three boys to IRAQ/Afghanistan, two came back.... So
I KNOW what the "boots on the ground" is...For your
information, "Boots on the ground" is a military slang that will need to
have troop on location of the conflict. The Military leaders values
EVERY solider life, whether they be from the poor neighborhoods or the rich
ones.EVERY Solider is told before they sign on the dotted line that
their life may be required to serve their country. These brave men and women,
sign knowing full well that they may have to go into battle and even sacrifice
their lives.Please do not diminish their sacrifice, by being
political about "boots on the ground".
Joe Blow,was that they did not listen to their Military Leaders.."Just like the solution from the NRA is always more guns, military
leaders typically see war as the answer.Actually Joe, the Military
leaders are the ones that are least likely to want to go to war, because most of
them have seen it up close and personal.It is usually those
political leaders who lead from behind....
@ConfusedI am in no way diminishing any one's sacrifice. As a
former Soldier myself, I know the term and have used the term. I wish to thank
you for your sons' sacrifices, as well as express my deepest condolences
and sincerest gratitude for the one who had to pay the deepest price. As a
father, I would much rather go, then ask my son to pay that price, and I know in
a heartbeat you would do the same without even the slightest of hesitations.
Thank you. If I were to ever meet you, I would shake your hand, look you in the
eye and say the exact same words.My argument was not intended to be
political; my hope is to rid society of that terrible cliche. Every reporter I
listen to on a radio always uses the term "to use a cliche" and you can
hear the smirk. No, those are not "boots" they are sons and daughters
of America. In a very literal way @Confused they are YOUR sons. If
my words came across as a political rant, I apologize, it was not at all my
@ConfusedI think(and please correct me if i'm wrong) that what
Supernova and a couple other commenters are saying is that if the public finds a
war to be justified, they won't rebel against a draft. For the most part,
WWI and WWI didn't have significant protests against the draft. Because in
those situations the public agreed that those wars were necessary to preserve
the country. Vietnam on the other hand.........a large portion of the population
didn't agree that we should go to war there. I don't think there
comment is so much that rich people are treated better once they are in the
military, but more that the rich and political elites don't normally have
their kids join the military, but they more often than not start wars, where
poor and middle class kids go and fight. A draft on the other hand forces people
in all walks of life to really consider if the war makes sense or not, since
it's entirely possible that their son, grandson, daughter or granddaughter
might be sent to war.
@2 bits:WWII (i.e., Pearl Harbor) – American soil (yeah I know some
prefer to pretend Hawaii, the state where our President was born isn’t
American soil). American Civil War – American soil. American Revolution
– American soil. I can probably buy into a 9/11 justification
of going to war in Afghanistan. Tell me again what our interest in Iraq
and the countless other war torn countries might be?If it
isn’t response to war against Americans, then yes, it needs to be fully
paid for in advance. If it is a response to an attack on our soil or direct
threat of attack against our citizens then we need to raise taxes or issue war
bonds to pay for it. Also, it needs to be authorized by congress in advance.
Let's stop all this nonsense about how and when to pay for war. Instead,
let's start pursuing a national foreign policy of peace for once. Not one
war in which the U.S. has been engaged since WWII has been justified, and there
is still valid questions about justification of that terrible war. It is far
past time that we stop using war as a justification to solve our self-inflicted,
so-called problems. War should be an absolute last resort after all other
efforts have totally failed, not a first resort as it has been for the past many
decades. It is time we stopped trying to police the world and being
minding our out business. Unless and until the American people stop listening to
our lying, secretive government, wars will continue to shed the precious blood
or our young, and draining our national treasure. Let's stop listening to
our power-hungry politicians and bring this horrible nonsense to a stop once and
What a fantastic letter.
How can we defeat terrorism? People who say we can defeat terrorism are naive.
Do terrorist wear uniforms? People who advocate more wars in the
Middle East should really learn why these types of groups hate us and it has
nothing to do with them hating freedom
@ redshirt"To "Lew" but we do put up the money up front.
Each year congress is supposed to set the budget for the US. Are you saying that
Congress should establish a budget well in advance?"Did you know
that from 2000-08 your president refused to include the cost of his wars in the
budget? Why do you think he did that?It would be nice to pass a
budget. But the problem is, we only include the true costs of war when a
democrat is president. When a republican is president, he hides the cost of war
and republicans, like you, give them a free pass to wage war and blow up our
deficit. If you and your ilk were so concerned about the deficit, why
weren't you protesting Bush's outrageous spending in the wars? Why
weren't you demanding that we pay first for our wars instead of handing out
tax cuts for the rich? Did you know that we've never before
given a tax cut while waging 2 wars before until your Bush did it?Where were you then?
Send your suggestion to Obama! He could use it more than anyone since he has
doubled the national debt!
Hey 2 bits -"IMO our President NEEDED to respond after
9/11"OBVIOUSLY, he "NEEDED to respond after 9/11" . . . But NOT by attacking a country that had NOTHING to do with
911.That's just stupid.That would be like the U.S.
attacking Australia in revenge for the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.It makes NO sense.Not only did GW attack a country for NO
legitimate reason, he also removed the most ruthless and effective opponent to
Islamic extremism in the Middle East by killing Sadaam.GW Bush
helped create ISIS.Gee, thanks GW.
For the record I'm calling for the establishment of a funding mechanism to
pay for an increasingly likely ground offensive. I still think such is a
mistake, but with the second beheading it is going to be hard to stop. And that
funding mechanism should appropriately call for the super wealthy to pay their
fair share as per the World War II paradigm - top tax bracket at 91%. It's
Lew Elton JeppsonSalt Lake City, UTFor the record I'm calling
for the establishment of a funding mechanism to pay for an increasingly likely
ground offensive. I still think such is a mistake, but with the second beheading
it is going to be hard to stop. And that funding mechanism should appropriately
call for the super wealthy to pay their fair share as per the World War II
paradigm - top tax bracket at 91%. It's only fair.7:19 a.m.
Sept. 3, 2014========= Agreed.and why not?They [the rich] WAR profiteered $3 trillion from the LAST time we put
troops on the ground....I still see evidence of Latter-Day
Gadiantons in everything we are doing right now in America...
To "The Real Maverick" actually Bush did include war costs in the
Federal Budget. He was constantly short and had to get more, but he did include
in the budget most of the expenses for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.As others have pointed out, why should this only apply to war. Why not apply
that same idea to all of the social welfare projects out there? Could you
imagine what the welfare office would be like if the federal government had to
set the budget at the beginning of the year and couldn't adjust it at all?
to airnaut (1st pg)If we rectify things as you suggest; How then
will Mitt's 47% contribute/pay their 'fair' share?
per airnaut..."I still see evidence of Latter-Day Gadiantons in
everything we are doing right now in America..."Would these
LDG's have Ivy League degrees?
Hank PymSLC, UTper airnaut..."I still see evidence
of Latter-Day Gadiantons in everything we are doing right now in
America..."Would these LDG's have Ivy League degrees?11:16 a.m. Sept. 3, 2014======= Ivy League
degrees, Skull & Bones members, it's all a matter of who
you know, not what you know.$$$Master Mahon, keepers of the great secret.
I love the comment from SEY - let's be 'fair' and also pay for
ALL welfare programs up front too. Somehow I doubt liberals will go for that
one. Also what is this idea that only the wealthy benefit from using troups in
the middle east. So if ISIS continues to build in power and American homeland is
hit with another 911 type attack ...or bigger this time ... I would argue that
ALL classes of Americans - especially the poor - will be hurt and likewise by
eliminating evil before it can strike all classes of Americans benefit. This
rich vs poor nonsense from the left has to stop. It is time for all of us to try
to just be 'Americans' again. I realize that by having a president who
seems to create more polarizing and dividing tone each and every year it is hard
but hang in there people for two more years and maybe we can learn from our
mistake of the 2008 presidential election and right the wrong this time around