Where did all the concern over deficits go?
Deficits for Death and Human Suffering is ok, says the Duopoly.
WTFU AMERICA, your voting for Evil!
This piece is a bit disingenuous in that Sanders generally supports the National Security State and bloated military spending. His love of the F-35, the biggest military spending project in human history, is well known. As well as his support for funding the national security base in the Mideast mis-called Israel – with its 200-400 nuclear warheads.
More importantly, in his recent major foreign policy speech Sanders waxed poetic about the need for the U.S. to continue to take “leadership” in global affairs, using its military power when necessary. He also took a few cheap shots at Putin and North Korea to show his “pragmatism” and willingness to be a macho man. And his stance on Syria is Clintonesque and his silence on AFRICOMM, etc. is deafening. Not to mention the 1000 military bases around the globe, etc.
While Johnson is correct that permanent warfare and social spending/progress are incompatible, the contemporary Cold Warrior Bernie Sanders has yet to come in from the permafrost of exceptionalism.
I too was disappointed by the “Russian meddling” and “butcher Assad” claims Sanders made at Westminster College.
As for the F35, the USAF is going to get a replacement for the F16. Whether the F35 should be that plane is highly debatable I guess.
Even more debatable is whether the F-16 should be replaced at all, but rather become part of a massive build-down and reduction of the U.S. military to a national defense force rather than a global occupation force.
My bad, we cannot even debate that possibility, so I’ll simply take the stand that the F-16 and the A-1 and helicopters and B52s supply more than enough power - even for what is perceived as current “needs” by the war-mongering U.S. government and its generally supportive population.
The oligarchs who really run these things don’t care all that much as long as the $$$$$$ keep rolling in (untaxed of course).
Great piece, Adam - concise and to the point.
We might say there are two progressive approaches to challenging military spending
Direct approaches attempt to mobilize citizenry by pointing to issues like how military spending and U.S.-instigated wars do not advance goods like democracy or world health, but serves economic and political elites; how military spending and wars do not advance U.S. security but destabilize the world and make the U.S. insecure; and how military spending and wars inflicts death and misery on large parts of the world, in addition to U.S. “cannon fodder” death.
And then there are indirect approaches that seek to curb military spending by pointing out how it prevents govt. from serving “the general welfare” in the form of infrastructure, education, medical care. The idea of this approach is that, in pointing people to the goods of peace and “beating swords into plowshares,” it gets people to value these things more, hence making them more likely to reject militaristic “solutions” to world problems.
And then there’s a synthesis of the two - that militaristic ideologies serve power by diverting masses from their unmet needs, and that the rich profit by getting masses to buy into security fears and military solutions…
Of course, a complete progressive movement will deal with all of the above…
“This piece is a bit disingenuous in that Sanders generally supports the National Security State and bloated military spending.”
Many progressives, Sanders included, are compromised by their uneven, political/pragmatic/calculating positions on U.S. military spending.
Cold War liberalism - right wing foreign policy to keep or advance New Deal domestic liberal policies and not be red-baited out of politics - casts a long shadow. And Sanders - trying to straddle Democratic mainstream and progressive positions - has not escaped these compromises.
But this does not make the article “dissembling:” the declared point of the article is that right liberal media that challenged Sanders’ costly proposed domestic policies do not challenge costly military spending. i.e. - ‘but that would cost money’ is selectively invoked only for domestic spending that helps people.
The point is the right liberal and and right wing agenda of media regarding not just Sanders, but any progressive legislation - a point Johnson clearly ends on in conclusion.
The piece is not about Sanders uneven record, nor need it be - it is about right wing media that sounds the alarm only over domestic legislation for the masses. The fact that some authors of progressive domestic legislation support much of U.S. policy is valid - but distinct from Johnson’s declared point re right wing media’s selective protests about spending.
Love it, the kind of essay I keep in my back pocket and withdraw for quick riposte at so-called “fiscal conservatives,” including too many so-called liberals who accepted this same “deficit” claims during the Democratic primaries.
My only critique is that the author starts out discussing alleged deficit fears vis-a-vis federal funded higher education and single payer healthcare, but progresses to include also federal funding for the poor and minorities, and then concludes with an assessment that alleged deficit claims are really just concerned with keeping government money from the poor.
The potential effect is to unwittingly imply that federal funding for higher education and single payer is a financial concern only for the economically marginalized, which makes such federal funding easier to “op-ed” marginalize, when really such funding concerns everyone who isn’t especially wealthy (and everyone who appreciates the dollars and sense better investment of healthcare pennies on the dollar with the large and diverse single payer risk pool versus the ever present threat of de-regulated cherry-picking of private market plans).
Actually, all of Sanders’ proposals were more than fully paid for. In fact, he refers to himself as the only real deficit hawk on the Budget Committee because of his desire to raise taxes on extremely high earners and to close the most egregious corporate tax loopholes.
There is blood on the hands of a large part of amerika, including the bought, shameful, pols who vote for weapons of Murder!
The empire will continue its slide into the abyss…
Such a poignant article. Simple math. And yet, no where to be found in public discourse, let alone in ordinary people’s minds. Imagine if we had articles detailing spending on 200 mil bases etc etc. - compared to basic needs at home.
I can’t understand you people badmouthing Bernie. This is not an article about Bernie. Focus on the topic. This is an article that sheds light on the system - keep your focus there.
Sanders name is in the title. His proposals will never be enacted. While trillion dollar plus yearly war funds and arming the world will never cease, that is what this nation excels at as the top priority.
colin561 “My only critique is that the author starts out discussing alleged deficit fears vis-a-vis federal funded higher education and single payer healthcare, but progresses to include also federal funding for the poor and minorities, and then concludes with an assessment that alleged deficit claims are really just concerned with keeping government money from the poor.”
I had the same concern when reading the article. Expanded and Improved Medicare for All (S1804 and HR 676) and tuition free public higher education, are two of a number of social programs that benefit the whole rather than just the poor. These are powerful social tools that when implemented will MAG. They are tools that many other nations around the world are effectively using to advance the interests of their countries as the USA lags further and further behind in everything except military might. Contrary to what often seems the popular opinion, might more often than not fails miserably when it come to making things right.
In this age of information and technology, an unhealthy and under educated population is a liability that a leading nation cannot long afford to ignore with out suffering serious consequences. The magnitude of this liability will increase with each passing year that action is not taken to implement social programs that lift and benefit ALL.
Sorry, haven’t seen the term “MAG” before, can you define please? Thank you.
It is a take off from Trump’s hash tag MAGA (Make America Great Again). Being that it is questionable as to how great American ever was for everyone but wealth white males, I prefer MAG (Make America Great). This in hopes that it will inspire us to not go backward but forward to be better than we’ve ever been for all of us, not just wealthy white men.
Lo siento, i am sorry for any confusion, pols, politicos, politician, soy Mexicano
The empire will slide into the abyss…of a real life George Miller Mad Max film, only this time amerika’s neighborhoods will be seeing this Mad Max film in real time…
Yes, reality, as the sleeping masses cry out…“Why” and the answer echos down the blood soaked corridors of time…“Because you did not care!”
Si. The pols are dripping with blood.