(an excellent follow-up to my brief piece on earmarks… – promoted by JDRyan)
JD put up a interesting piece explaining the fact that Vermont receives a good chunk of change from the feds (relative to most of our sister states) from the regressively acquired income tax they take from us each April 15th.
I guess I'm comforted by the fact that we “beat” out a few states where the money might go to, for instance, subsidize educational mind bending child abuse. Still I see only one discussion about the federal balance sheet and it centers on how every one of us individual U.S. taxpayers fits into conservative Republican tax and fiscal policy?
George Bush and the conservative Republicans looting the treasury have deliberately put into place the largest tax bill increase in the history of the world and this is the only fiscal/tax issue that registers with me.
Let's go to the board . . .
Every taxpayer in the United States now has a Bush tax bill/liability of $95,000.00. Your $95,000.00 “Bush” tax surcharge is in addition to your previously tallied and billed regressive income tax obligations. This additional $95,000.00 tax bill is only for the last six years. I'm not an economist, and my math is rudimentary. However, these numbers are pretty close to the mark, the discrepancies are rounding errors of relative insignificance. While dealing with approximations, the picture these numbers paint is as real as it gets.
Considering all the costs, (i.e., hard costs, military waste, ruin & depreciation, opportunity costs and the trillion(s) related to current (and soon to be more) casualties in Iraq,) we are looking at well over $1 trillion in additional Pentagon appropriations solely for the U.S. war on Iraq.
Do not (please don't) forget the Iraqis, whose suffering is far greater than anything the U.S. can imagine. Future Iraqi generations will live painfully with the cost of the U.S. war. The Iraqi's economic losses (think of, for example, economic production, destroyed infrastructure, employment/wages, future medical costs, rebuilding costs, environmental damage, leftover bombs/mines/munitions, maimed children and even farm animals), will be far more than what the U.S. cost is.
Pretend for a moment that the U.S. is a civil and moral society (I said PRETEND). Pretend this nation could muster the courage and moral resolve to restore some semblance of the future we stole from the Iraqi people, and pretend we were willing to help them through their suffering and rebuilding. How much would that cost – excluding any thoughts of developing a military capacity for them? Three $Trillion? Four $Trillion? Easy. 'Just' two trillion $$ in a country of approximately 20 million (and shrinking) equalls approx. $100,000 per person. When talking about rebuilding entire towns, lifetimes of prosthetic limbs and medical rehab/chronic suffering, environmental damage etc. that is not a great deal of money.
Iraq. Let’s hold the line at $2 Trillion — cheap. Unreasonable at the rate we're going, but let's pretend it's only $2 Trillion.
The U.S: Our future military medical costs far exceed $1 trillion just for the troop's various cuts & bruise. Then, minimally, there is another $1 trillion just for lost equipment costs, future equipment repair/replacement needs etc. One can at least assume Congress will actually appropriates replacement $$s to the military industrial complex to buy new hardware to replace all the toys we destroyed in the the U.S. War on Iraq (yes, this is one bill the Congress/President will pay).
Consider the lost economic productivity of everyone associated with the war effort, the debt the U.S. is incurring, the lost future wages and economic activity associated with the misuse of military assets both human and tangible and you are talking about another $2 trillion. I won’t even speculate how much wealth might of have been generated by directing our dollars and assets toward constructive activities (education, infrastructure, developing an alternative fuel economy etc. & what about genuine tax cuts because we could actually afford them w/o war?). Those economic gains would be worth an incalculable amount of money in the future, but I am not an economist and quantifying them is too depressing. Even before the escalation of our War on the Iraqis and their civil war against each other, conservative projections of future U.S. Troops' health care cost had reached almost $700 billion, which is already starting to look like a “quaint” figure.
Similarly, money can, and never will, replace the value of our national security that we squandered through intentional mlitary misadventure.
I’m not an economist or even a mathematician but it seems, conservatively and realistically, that our dollar losses and commitments may total $1 Billion (pre-existing military medical costs) + $2 trillion (minimal compensation to Iraq) + $2 trillion (military/pentagon costs so far exclusive of veteran costs) + $1.5 trillion economic activity & economic generation/productivity and tax generation by productive military employment losses + (I will ignore the trillions of lost opportunity and cost of “security replacement that we can’t afford regardless). That adds up to $6.5 trillion so far assuming we stop before September 2007.
Fiscal policy malpractice: Mister Bush just delivered a growing $6.5 trillion liability by invading a country that did not threaten the U.S. (although the U.S. war on Iraq will certainly threaten the U.S. for the rest of our lifetimes).
Mister Bush has also thrown a few extra (borrowed) trillion $$ onto the national debt in addition to the U.S. War on Iraq liabilities for which no appropriation has been planned or outlined. His spending in just six years so far has increased the national wealth of China debt from roughly $6 to roughly $12 trillion. (War $6.5 trillion + Wealth transfer & credit card debt $6 trillion. Total so far $12.5 trillion — give or take).
There are approximately 131,000,000 individual U.S. taxpayers who have been handed a bill for $12.5 trillion dollars. That works out to the nice round number of $95,420.00.
On top of ALL the other taxes working people in the U.S. must pay, and for which they are obligated to pay in the future, Mister Bush has hit us wiht a bill, more correctly known as a “tax increase,” since that is how the bill must be paid. It must be paid to the tune of another $95,000.00 per individual taxpayer in the U.S.
My understanding of history is that this represents the single largest tax burden and tax increase in the history of the world. I hope I am wrong because my wallet just spontaneously combusted and I do hope that I missed a decimal point somewhere.
Regardless of where I may have made my rounding errors, it is safe to say, when it comes to taxes, Mister Bush is responsible for the largest tax burden on individual taxpayers in U.S. history.
Perhaps the media (and preferably our Democratic candidates and friends in Congress) will be kind enough to acknowledge the fiscal and tax burden side of the federal spending picture. For instance, when asking us to salivate over the whopping $250 bucks we receive from D.C. every year, perhaps an explanation about why we are each racking up about $1,400 in tax increases each month Bush serves as President.
Better yet, at the same time Congress starts digging in to consider when to cut U.S. war on Iraq funding, maybe it will require Mister Bush to raise the money he is charging and spending at the same time. Just sayin.’ After all, Congress is not asking the U.S. war supporters to actually fight the damn thing, might Mister Bush at least ask someone to pay part of the neocon war bill against which our social security trust fund has been hypothecated to the Chinese?
A “my-$250 circle-is-bigger-than-your-$210 circle” is an attractive distraction placating millions of voters in the partial rebate states. In fact, it is typically enough to distract most people from the federal fiscal-fist-fuck in ass we all take with each additional annual half trillion $$ in defense appropriations, shortly followed by another GOP race to spike the debt ceiling another $trillion pursuant to Republican credit card economics. So, ever wonder how much of that pork is defense related?
Every individual taxpayer in the U.S.A. needs to understand s/he just received a $95,000.00 Working Person Surcharge along with their $150-$250 in-kind pro rata appropriation. Perhaps then voters will understand why countries spending their money on health care and infrastructure, as opposed to killing people and burning their literal and figurative bridges abroad, have substantially greater quality of life, more efficient public services, affordable health care, better education and more overall security. All this but without the burden of a supplemental tax bill for $95,000.00 sitting on the kitchen table, which is unique only to the U.S.