Saturday, September 24, 2005

Those Tax And Spend Republicans

The Republicans main battle cry for years was an opposition to "tax and spend" policies. So now that they control the White House, Senate, Congress and the Supreme Court, one would expect them to follow their own philosophical belief and trim government spending. But no.

The recently passed highway bill which cost $286.4 billion includes an unbelievable 6,376 pet "pork" projects, with a price tag of $24 billion for those projects. The price tag for this 1,752 page document is part of the reason the American government is so hard pressed for Katrina relief funds. Now comes Rita.

A snowmobile trail in Vermont costing $5.9million. A horseriding facilitiy in Virginia costing $600,000. The National Packard Museum in Ohio costing $2.75 million. And numerous other projects among the 6,376 pet projects all chipped in push up the Federal Budget deficit, as well as to sap funds that could be used for vital Katrina and now Rita relief efforts.

And the enormous cost of the elective war in Iraq, now tops $196.4 bilion, or $785 per person, or $1,768 per American household. This war planned since 1997 by neoconservatives as well as defense contractor interests through Willian Kristol's Project For The New American Century has brough no peace or stability to the MidEast or Iraq, and has actually pushed Iraq closer to all-out civil war between the Sunni and Shiite communities, as well as having encouraged numerous regional radicals and terrorists to enter Iraq to plant roadside bombs, or to blow themselves up in suicide bombings to battle Americans or the kill innocent mainly Shiite Iraqi citizens.

And late night comics from Jay Leno to Conan O'Brien, all the way to columnists such as Arianna Huffington are painting the Bush Administration as mere clowns for squandering scarce Federal funds on a upcoming war on adult entertainment in America in order to pander to the religious right and prove some newfound morality to others. This newfound morality is from a President who biographer's such as Kitty Kelley claim to have abused alcohol and cocaine as late as 1988, and started the Iraq War with all the death and carnage to boost defense contractor profits and lied to America to seek the involvement in this war. Even Bill Clinton brought much ridicule on his administration when they prosecuted a California couple who ran a stupid small "mom and pop" Internet bondage movie business from their home. But later Clinton's moral values were put on public view with the White House intern caught under his desk scandal, as well as questions about his honest answers to a legal investigation into a lawsuit brought by another woman. But a trend of those with moral shortcomings large enough to drive a truck through using government to hang heads on a wall like a trophy to "prove" their supposed moral superiority to others is an unfortunate long time tradition in American politics. It is mere latter day "phariseeism".

Bill Clinton did balance the budget, unlike this current president. And the huge financial drag of the Iraq War is something the nation finds difficult to afford with all the cost of relief efforts needed for Katrina and Rita right now.

Banks in Japan, South Korea and China already hold more than $130 billion in bonds that keep our government from total bankrupty. Mr. Bush will no doubt have to sell more of America to these foreign interests to keep his government solvent for a few more days.

This winter, families that use oil to heat their homes will pay nearly twice as much as last year if problems continue. And motorists find gas prices a serious expense that takes from other important needs for many American families.

The illusion of America as a great world power, of immense strength is beginning to develop some serious cracks in the suit of armor. It is no wonder that more and more Americans are not satisfied with the present direction the country is headed in.

Our nation isn't perfect. We have many sins and shortcomings. And we could all be better citizens in our own way. But sometimes it seems that God is testing America.