In his opinion editorial of today Robert J. Samuelson suggests that the manifold lethal capabilities of our military might has been diminished in recent years by among other primary causes the reduction of those financial resources which previously nourished these defense components and their concomitant capacity to emerge victorious in those conflicts to which they were committed.
Moreover, he further posits the assertions that the welfare state and the programs that comprise it expend approximately 70 percent of our annual federal budget and that the constituency of support for this monetary allocation is both enormous and sustained, while the numbers of those Americans who are strident advocates for significantly augmented defense expenditures are meager by comparison.
From his perspective the immediate requirement is obvious, i.e. to enhance the magnitude of tax revenues that flow to the defense budget and by so doing we shall restore our status as the sole global superpower and thus deter potential adversaries from initiating military operations that contravene our policies, and in those instances when imperative to ensure that victory is the result of any armed engagement in which the U.S. is a participant.
This analysis suffers from a host of invalid presumptions and assertions about the contemporary political circumstances in which we find ourselves as the new year looms imminently, e,g, that the current levels of taxation may not be increased to permit additional improvements and the purposeful evolution of cybertechnologies at our disposal, and that the sole legitimate objective which the “welfare” component is to maintain the viability of those who are the beneficiaries of these programs of financial support.
In the period which Samuelson cites as a relevant time frame those in the nation’s most affluent quintile and most specifically those that comprise the wealthiest 1% of our populace have been the beneficiaries of congressional legislative initiatives which various presidents have signed into law, that have significantly reduced the obligations these plutocrats were compelled to provide to the federal treasury.
To suggest that this societal reality reflects in any manner whatsoever an equitable arrangement of “progressive taxation” is an absurd and cruel joke. Legislation is possible though highly unlikely to be introduced by those in the Congress who depend upon the contributions of their wealthy patrons to sustain their longevity in the House or Senate.
Moreover, though much of what reflects the domestic agenda of support for our nation’s impoverished should be provided in their current modes and formats, surely additional funds that are modest in magnitude could be allocated that have as their objective the formulation of policies and programs which have as their raison d’etre the goal of substantially diminishing and ultimately eradicating poverty, thus ultimately rendering superfluous these federal efforts.
The blueprints of this audacious endeavor may be found among the policy prescriptions which I and others have formulated at the Fund For An Equitable America, and within the intellectual musings of such organizations as The Democracy Collaborative which proceed from the central assumption that our society requires a rearrangement of those institutions that are macro economic and political in character if the creation and sustainment of a culture in which social justice is to become and remain ascendant.
The primary political task before us in this the new year is to mobilize a national constituency of our citizens that will demand the adoption of the principles to which I allude, and shall engage in a campaign of activism and unrelenting effort and agitation and if required civil disobedience to compel those who wield power in our republic to remediate the grievous inequities and oppressive and discriminatory social policies to which so many of our citizens are subjected.
For a fuller exploration and analysis of these realities and the antidotes to their efficacy and continuation, I would suggest that you acquire “America’s Future: Requiem Or Renaissance: An Agenda For The Transformation Of Our Nation And Ourselves.” Rosedog Press, 2015.
Contained within this document are the strategies and tactics which individual citizens and institutions committed to a national future which translates into reality the promises contained in the founding rhetoric of this nation, and which in this moment in our history is being readdressed and morally enlarged and ethically augmented by a host of our fellow Americans who are functioning in some de facto regard as our Refounding Fathers and Mothers.
Join us in this struggle to accomplish this transformation for nothing less that the very soul of our republic is at stake. Finally, to all of you who have found your way to this post I wish you a joyous holiday season and a new year replete with an overarching and transformational national consciousness and the institutional underpinnings which make it operationally feasible.