Democrats & Liberals Archives

Support Our Troops

The US military is tens of billions of dollars short of what it needs to operate; The Army is looking to the National Guard to make up personnel shortfalls in Iraq; Our National Guard units report that they have only 40% of the equipment they’re supposed to have; Two-thirds of the US Army is rated unfit for combat; And rather than give our military the troops and equipment they need to win the war on terror, Republicans would rather extend tax cuts for our wealthiest elites.

I attended an Operation Homecoming event last Friday, and what really impressed me was the dedication of our courageous troops despite the hardships and deprivations they've had to endure with virtually no support from the public. Sure, there are a lot of yellow ribbons and American flags stuck to SUV bumpers, but our troops are not getting the support that really matters. These guys need more and better equipment, more recruits to ease deployment strains, more and better care for the wounded, and more and better care for the loved ones they leave behind.

Our government is not giving our troops the support they need. Republicans shrug their shoulders and say there's just not enough money to do right by our troops, yet they have no trouble finding trillions of dollars for top-bracket tax breaks and special interest loopholes.

Brian Williams recently asked President Bush why he never asked Americans to share our troop's burdens in the global war against terrorism. Bush replied, "Americans are sacrificing. I mean, we are. You know, we pay a lot of taxes."

We pay taxes!!? What planet is President Bush on, thinking that Americans would begrudge a few bucks each to provide our troops with the equipment, numbers, and medical support they so desperately need? President Kennedy once proclaimed, "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty." President Bush obviously doesn't think that applies to taxes on the wealthy elite.

President Bush believes Americans will falter at the first rough patch in our global war on terror. He believes that if he repeals the estate tax cut or stock dividend tax cuts or capital gains tax cuts or income tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans in order to fully support our troops, that you will roll over and convert to Islam. Bullshit.

Americans are as tough as ever, and in a just war against terrorists, Americans are prepared to make deep personal sacrifices for victory. Unfortunately, President Bush and the Republicans turned out to be dilettantes rather than leaders in this conflict. They talk big, but aren't serious about winning. To the Republican Party, coddling America's wealthy elites is more important than supporting our troops and winning the war on terror.

Posted by American Pundit at September 26, 2006 1:04 AM
Comments
Comment #183869

There it is again tax cuts for the wealthiest. What a load of c__p. I am far from wealthy and isn’t it surprising, I got a tax cut too. You know what else tax revenues have gone up by 15% each of the last 3 years since the tax cuts. Even President Kennedy knew that if you lower the tax rates, revenue will go up.

Our government does not have a revenue problem, they have a spending problem. There would be plenty of money if worthless federal departments like Education were abolished and the billions of dolars wasted every year were returned to the budget.

Posted by: Keith at September 26, 2006 1:41 AM
Comment #183876

American Pundit,

Right on! I’m tired of the crap spewing from the Republican’s mouths about the estate tax, dividend taxes, and income tax cuts that benefit the wealthy. I make a middle-class wage (yes, with my wife’s income as we file jointly it is less-than $100,000 per year, and no, making $250,000 or more is not “middle-class” in this country). I have modest investments, had a house until last year when we sold, a daughter, and we saw about a $1,000 in tax cuts from ‘ol George and co. Without the the child credit it would be virtually nil. But then again, I don’t think I pay very much in taxes either, especially in a time of war.

Republicans are patriots? Are you kidding me? Lying about the cost of this war is an incredible crime against this country and taxpayers not to mention the cost of the medicare give-away to the drug companies at tax-payer expense. Do you remember when the administration said the drug benefit would only cost 300 billion, tops, or the war, get this, would be largely financed by Iraqi oil money would cost tops, 1.5 billion? We spend that every week! And in the meantime, it’s not enough to fund this war in order to win it and support those who are putting their very lives on the line. You Republicans should be embarrassed and begging for forgiveness for calls for tax cuts. Are you blind or just don’t care about anything but ideaology.

And Keith,

The Dept of Education? Are you serious? In terms of spending do you know what is driving our government into insolvency or at least the arms of the Chinese banks? I’ll give you a hint, it is NOT discretionary spending unless you count this catastrophe of a war.

Posted by: chris2x at September 26, 2006 3:34 AM
Comment #183884

American Pundit,

Good post. I have often found it highly distressing that only 1/2 of 1% of our country is currently under arms fighting the GWOT while the rest of the nation is told to buy shit, put a “We support the troops” bumper sticker on the back of their new SUV, and “be vigilant.” The very idea of this is morally reprehensible. I’m a thoroughly disgusted Republican that is about sick of the nonsense of the Republicans. In my opinion, this country needs mandatory government service for 2 years following high school graduation for everybody. Not all should go to the military, the fact is that its not for everybody, but some other programs, such as the PeaceCorps, AmericaCorps, or a revitalized CCC might do the trick.

I’m not as big on the bashing of the tax cuts, however. As Keith pointed out, revenues have gone up since they were started, and the largest share of this has come from the wealthy. Keith is right, the government spends way too much on nonsense programs. The “Bridge to Nowhere” comes readily to mind.

One last point about our equipment. Sometimes, we need to look at the Law of Unintended Consequences. I think that we have plenty of armor and did so before that guy ever questioned Rumsfeld about it. After that, we had to don so much additional armor that its damned near impossible to move with it on. Many Soldiers would forgo a lot of it if we could. Instead, we now have to wear too much of it because of a shortsighted knee jerk policy.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 26, 2006 5:22 AM
Comment #183885

Keith
Getting rid of the Department of Education might be the first thing you said that I agree with. That money should go to the states not the Federal government.If people want there children to be dumb thats their call. As for taxes, when have we not raised them in time of war?

Posted by: 037 at September 26, 2006 5:25 AM
Comment #183887

037: Education is a matter national security. We cannot afford not to have an educated populace. We are already failing to educate our citizens and are a decisive disadvantage to most of the industrialized nations. Education is not a luxury in the modern world. We once knew that… in fact, the first student loan program was call the National Defense Student Loan (NDSL).

While education is good for the country, it is bad for politicians, especially those on the right. An educated citizenry would never tolerate the discussion of teaching mythology in science classes. An educated citizenry would never tolerate the usurpation of scientific fact by religion or politics in the development of public policy.

Finally, children are not chattel with which parents can do as they wish. Failure to permit and provide an education is child abuse. Sadly, some parents do want their children to be ignorant. Society has a vested interest in seeing that these parents’ wishes are thwarted.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 26, 2006 5:46 AM
Comment #183888

It’s not just Bush, AP. The Republican Congress has immense power to reallocate military expenditures to more fully equip and protect our troops. But, they are still rubber stamping Bush’s and Rummies budgets, instead of taking their oath seriously to represent the nation and the people over party politics.

Our troops mean far less to Republicans than just tax cuts, our troop’s welfare takes a backseat to power here at home - foresaking their powerful oversight and enforcement function over the Executive Branch as their sworn duty in the Constitution.

Rummie doesn’t want to answer the oversight committee’s questions about where the money is going - this Congress says, OK! Sorry for asking. Despite their subpoena power, contempt of Congress power, obstruction of Congressional oversight powers, and power to reduce Rummie’s office budget by 5% for every question he refuses to answer.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 26, 2006 5:51 AM
Comment #183889

AP, fine article, BTW.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 26, 2006 5:52 AM
Comment #183896

Just a thought:

Maybe the money actually went in the general direction of the DOD, but was used to overpay Private Military Contractors and nonexisting meals for our soldiers?

Can someone ask Rummy?

Posted by: Josh at September 26, 2006 7:02 AM
Comment #183897

AP

Great post!

037 and Keith

Sure, let’s sacrifice educating our children, the future of our country, so that the rich can have more money for their hummers and third homes on some island outside of the U.S. Now that’s REAL patriotic!

Posted by: mark at September 26, 2006 7:08 AM
Comment #183898

If anyone thinks that Wshington actually has much interest in the troops - go to a base near you and take a look at the housing, medical providers and their schools.

It’s one of the most embarrasing things I’ve ever seen. Does anyone know the percentage of average soldier’s famalies that are eligible for government assistance? (Hint: Poverty)

Posted by: tony at September 26, 2006 7:20 AM
Comment #183901

Say tony How about Clinton in Samalia Lots of support there. As far as schools go to any inner city school if you want to see disgracewful waste of tax payers money. The fact is tony dems are weak on defense. If you weak on defense you dont support the troops.

Posted by: Thomas at September 26, 2006 7:35 AM
Comment #183903

Hey, AP, I’m with you all the way. And I’m a dues paying, Rush listening, gun carrying (literally) conservative.

I do, however, have one little requirement. If you’re going to take away my measely tax cut, I want everyone to pay taxes.

Right now, 1/2 the population pays virtually nothing to the Feds. The half getting the free ride should pay something, too. It doesn’t have to be much - 10% will do.

On our $100,000 per year family income we pay 28% federal income, 15% social security (self employed), 7% medicare and 10% state income and more (sales, property, excise and fees). Surely everyone can afford just 10% to support our troops. Don’t you think?

Posted by: Spin Fu Master at September 26, 2006 7:53 AM
Comment #183905

1LTB:

Thanks for the informed comments. So often, we get only the knee jerk reactions, without seeing what the unintended consequences are.

You point out why there is a “right” amount of armor to have for a soldier. It’s true that we could outfit soldiers with enough ceramic plates to withstand a direct hit from an RPG. However, said soldier would never be able to move either. I have no experience with armor and I’d bet most of the writers on WB have little or no experience. You, on the other hand, have the experience, so I appreciate your comments and figure them to be a more educated perspective.

I agree also with mandatory conscription. There would be so much good to come out of having our young people provide service in some fashion. They would learn responsibility, they would learn about the world, and they would mature incredibly. And all by spending a short two year stint. I don’t see the negative behind it.

This would be a way to allow all families to “sacrifice” in some way.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at September 26, 2006 8:20 AM
Comment #183912

American Pundit,

One thing I forgot to address in my last post regarding the shortfall of troops in Iraq. It is by design that the Army needs to pull in the National Guard. Shortly after Vietnam, General Crieghton Abrams revamped the military so that one of the 3 brigades of each division would be National Guard. The reasoning behind this was that even with the draft, the fact that the National Guard was never called up in Vietnam provided insulation to the public from the war. By making a call up of the Guard necessary for large, multi-division wars (Vietnam, Desert Storm, OEF, OIF), it was felt that the public and politicians alike would be more circumspect in decisions to go to war.

I should also point out that while some Democrats, notably Hillary Clinton, have called for an expansion of the Army by 2 divisions, it was under Clinton that the Active Army was cut from 18 to 10 divisions, or from about 750,000 to around 450,000 Soldiers. Al Gore trumpeted how he cut so many government positions back in the 90s, but the majority of them were from the military. Despite being disproportionately minority, the military votes disproportionately Republican. While it remains to be seen whether or not this trend will continue this November, things like the troop reductions, multiple pointless deployments to places like Somalia, Rawanda, and Kosovo, and the “Don’t ask don’t tell” caused this trend to intensify during the Clinton years.

joebagodonuts,

Thanks for the support. Despite what some will say, we have excellent armor. The original issue is a vest with ceramic plates for the front and back, a neck and throat protector, and a groin protector (very important). The additions have been additional Kevlar fabric(sometimes with plates) for the underarms and flanks and more Kevlar fabric for the shoulders and upper arms. It provides excellent protection, but its heavy and makes movement difficult. SF guys usually don’t wear it, or remove the plates if they do. They can get away with it because they’re SF, the rest of us can’t.

I do see a potential negative behind conscription. It would almost certainly cause either a massive increase in the Defense budget or a reduction in pay for the military. This could be bad in the long run by bringing in people the military wouldn’t want, and with the way we’ve watered down boot camp and made the Army more “people friendly,” I’m not sure what would happen. On the other hand, I do think that the benefits you describe would be a good compensation.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 26, 2006 8:52 AM
Comment #183923

I didn’t say anything about sacrificing education. That’s one of the problems I have with the left. It’s seems that if it’s not coming from the federal government that we must not be doing something. If you look at education in this country you will see that since it’s inception the Education department has gone up every year and the quality of education has gone down.

Education is a local and sate problem, not a federal problem.

Posted by: Keith at September 26, 2006 9:33 AM
Comment #183928

Keith:

Education is a local and sate problem, not a federal problem.

Then I guess you’d be in favor of gutting the “No Kids Left Behind” totally underfunded, no education, teaching only to the test program…

Kids are losing out big time…they’re only being taught what is going to be on the test…they are losing their sense of history, art, music…the math concepts that are on the tests are things no normal person will ever need to know, so why are they testing on it???

This whole underfunded program is just a farce…part of the neocon agenda to look like they’re for accountability (when has that ever happened!) while they’re really tearing the entire public education system into pieces to dumb down the public even more.

Posted by: Lynne at September 26, 2006 10:09 AM
Comment #183931

Lynne

It’s not underfunded it’s ovefunded. You’re right it should be eliminated along with all of the other education mandates from the federal government.

However to imply that the current sorry state of education is because of a 5 year old program is to delude yourself. I look at the 40 year increased dominance of the liberal establishment and the teachers unions for the problem. Not being able to fire bad teachers and social engineering are more of a detriment to education then NCLB.

The only thing that is going to save education in this country is choice. Until the government schools have to perform to survive it will not get better.

Posted by: Keith at September 26, 2006 10:17 AM
Comment #183979

Funny how a “Support Our Troops” title on the left’s side gets the littlest support I’ve ever seen from the Dems and liberal posters on this site.

Things that make you go “Hmmmmmmm….”

Posted by: Ken Strong at September 26, 2006 12:52 PM
Comment #183991

If we know about the money financing the Iraq blunder and felt the connection between our wallets and their (no-bid) contracts. We’d be more apt to hold them accountable. Accountability is the thing the GOP fears most.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at September 26, 2006 1:26 PM
Comment #183993

This whole nonsence about supporting our troops is irrelevent, like it was the troops that decided to go into Iraq. They are puppets at the end of a string, and George Bush is the puppet master. My best friend just got shipped out to Iraq, I love and support him 100%, that does not mean I support the mission he is on. I totally disagree with just about everything this administration has done. If you truely are religious and understand the bible, you would be liberal, as I don’t think the way to get in heaven is shooting or buying your way in.

Posted by: allen at September 26, 2006 1:30 PM
Comment #184021

suppoprt our troops it’s your money death tax are slogans for gullible people like ken strong to repeat in lock step with ann coulter rush limbaugh and the rest . it allows you defend policies that send boys and girls to far off lands to die and gets your support while they fleece you.

Posted by: albert at September 26, 2006 2:40 PM
Comment #184056

Dr. Poshek, mark and others
I am not at all for lack of education. The point I was trying to make is that education should be left to the states not the Federal government. I don’t believe that every student learns the same way or need to learn the same things to succeed. A student on a farm in Iowa has much different needs than a student growing up in Brooklyn. No Child Left Behind AKA No School Can Comply is a perfect example of the one size fits all mentality of the federal government. It should be parents in a community through local school boards,with state funding, that decides what should be taught and how it should be assessed not the federal government. They are my children, it is my tax money, and I want my standards and values passed on. PS Our local public school is in the top 5% in the country, I am all for public education. I am very satisfied with the education my children are receiving. But it is dedicated; union backed teachers bring forth this education not a flunkies in Washington

Posted by: 037 at September 26, 2006 3:58 PM
Comment #184061

Oh and Dr. Poshek,
We are about last in academics of the industrialized nations, yet we are the only superpower, the national security thing might be a bit of a stretch. Being a free country I feel is a bit more important. Part of freedom is being free to make your own decisions.

Posted by: 037 at September 26, 2006 4:05 PM
Comment #184066

This is a terrific post, AP. One of your best.

But I have to agree with David, it’s not just the GOP (even though they deserve the lions share of the blame), the Dems have also been rubberstamping everything because they’re too damn afraid of the Rovian slime machine and don’t want to be seen as not supporting the troops. They need to stand up and demand to know where the hell all our tax dollars have been going, especially when it’s so clear the troops are not and have not been getting everything they need.
It’d also be nice if they started asking why our troops are being forced to act like sitting ducks while Iraq is having their civil war.

Good posts, tony, Andre, and albert.

“Funny how a “Support Our Troops” title on the left’s side gets the littlest support I’ve ever seen from the Dems and liberal posters on this site.”

Lord I am so sick of these snotty comments.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 26, 2006 4:21 PM
Comment #184074

037: (1) A child growing up on a farm has no economic future in agriculture unless he or she pursues a career in agri-business or one of the agricultural sciences which require higher education—and those careers require a knowledge and understanding of evolutionary biology, not religious mythology; (2) your children are not your chattel (i.e., property) with which you can do as your please—a parent has no constitutional right to doom their children to failure in the name of so-called values; (3) Our super-power status (economically and militarily) was achieved by our once superior educational system; (4) Our super-power status is in decline as a result of our now inferior educational system; (5) the essential role of education in maintaining national security is a fact — you should ask those who have devoted their lives to the military (like myself) about this or, perhaps, learn military history; (6) our status as a free country is also in decline as a result of our failure to educate our citizens; (7) your freedom to make your own decisions stops where it harms others (including your children) and your country; and (8) the ignorant (as the poor) will always be with us—however, sound public policy has, can, and does minimize this problem.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 26, 2006 4:58 PM
Comment #184087

Boy there are some really smart people on this blog. Just don’t pay any mind to the NEO-CONS! They can’t really belive the B.S. they spread or can they?

Posted by: Jeff at September 26, 2006 5:22 PM
Comment #184091

Jeff: The neo-cons BELIEVE what they say… they simply haven’t any rational or factual basis for what they say… in other words, they are delusional.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 26, 2006 5:32 PM
Comment #184095

The April NIE report summary has been released… AND as reported in the NYT, our military mis-adventures in Iraq has made our country less safe having increased the ranks of jihadists.

Also, there is a second NIE that is being “sat on” by the administration with the intention of withholding it until after the election… the topic is Iraq… there are efforts to get this NIE released… if you are interested in truth, call/write your Senators and Representative…

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 26, 2006 5:39 PM
Comment #184098

Dr. Poshek
1-Who said anything about Mythology? I Am a biology teacher in a farming community. People tend to get by just fine here without agri-bussiness, just fine. The battle over the teaching of evolution has been and is still being won on the state level, Kansas and Dover, P.A. are great examples.
My children are not chattel and they are not wards of the state. How did that work out in the
Soviet Union, China?
3-Times have changed and people have changed. The Federal gov’t supports the same ol same ol in education. The Banking Model. Teachers give, student regurgitates. No thinking involved. Hows that working out?
4-We have the highest tech army in the world not bad for a bunch of numb-nuts as you seem to think we are. Oh, and more Nobel Prizes than any other country too.
5-What makes you think people won’t get an education if it doesn’t come from the Federal Gov’t? I have not met a parent yet that didn’t want their child to be better educated and more successful than them.
6-Our status as a free country is in decline because the gov’t takes it away.
8- What makes you think sound policy can’t be obtained on the state level?

What is the federal gov’t doing that states can’t??

Posted by: 037 at September 26, 2006 5:45 PM
Comment #184104

Dr.Poshek
Here is a bit of history on the system you seem to support.

http://www.thememoryhole.org/edu/school-mission.htm

And please keep in mind the Federal gov’t is all for “teaching the controvery” when it comes to evolution, not teaching the science.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teach_the_Controversy

Posted by: 037 at September 26, 2006 6:04 PM
Comment #184111

o37:
(1) Yah, let’s leave things to the Kansas fools and their ilk to foist creationism on children in science classrooms… the mere fact that it is even discussed is scary… that’s what you get with local control in many areas of the country (think, red states)…. while sanity has temporarily returned to Kansas, it won’t last and the damage has already been done…. ;

(2) Having grown up on a farm and now continuing to farm that land decades later, I am quite aware of the problems small farmers find in agri-business… but, the reality is not on the the side of the small farmer who lacks the scientific knowledge to compete with those who do have the knowledge;

(3) I am not happy with NCLB either… however, the states weren’t doing well with education prior to it…. it would be lovely if teachers could do their jobs without interference from politicians on the federal, state, and local levels…. however, better to deal with someone in Washington than the hillbillies and religious nuts who often sit on local school boards… state/local control of schools makes it impossible for teachers to teach facts… ;

(4) China is doing very well: they are turning out 3.8 scientists for each scientist turned out in the U.S…. they are turning out 5.8 engineers for every engineer we turn out;

(5) Our high tech military is now no longer on the cutting edge… what we have is the result of PAST eductional successes (i.e., the NDSL program)… we once dominated military technology… that ceased in 2003 because we are unwilling to invest in brain power or basic scientific research;

(6) Our freedom is diminishing because an ignorant electorate has permitted the Bush administration to take freedom away in exchange for the illusion of security… an educated electorate would not tolerate the GOP inflicting its mythological delusions on the country;

(7) Sound policy at the state level is the exception rather than the rule… read #1 above…

(8) Despite our postings, I don’t think we differ that much… the difference is that I am looking at the over-all national picture and the reality that many parents, local school boards, and state governments cannot be trusted with education… after retirement from the military, I taught in the public schools for 6 years before returning to higher education in the civilian sector vs military sector.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 26, 2006 6:32 PM
Comment #184113

037: Yes, the Bushies and the GOP want to teach the controversy… of course, there is no controversy… if we had an educated electorate, the yahoos advocating “teaching the controversy” would not be in Washington, D.C. or in government anywhere …. there are many local school boards and state governments wanting to teach the controversy…. the answer is education, education, education until the people of this country reject mythology…

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 26, 2006 6:37 PM
Comment #184117

037: I was already aware of the Memory Hole article… the answer is not more state and local control of education which is no better than control by corporations and religious nuts… as the move to universal high school education produced the boom we witnessed in the 1960s through the 1980s, universal undergraduate education can and will do the same in the future…. I am strongly opposed to the “training” approach to education just as conservatives are opposed to “liberal” education…. in over 40 years of teaching, I have never trained my students, I have educated them… it is I, who wrote a paper over 40 years ago on the importance of teaching critical thinking in the kindergarten classroom and how it done…. I have done that in every classroom in which I’ve taught…..

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at September 26, 2006 6:49 PM
Comment #184126

Keith what happens to No Child Left Behind if you cut Education. Wasn’t that one of bushes big things to push for or was it laura who wanted it. Anyway on tax cuts, I didn’t get a cent cut from my taxes, infact they went up. Combined with my wife’s income we make less then $100,000,no kids at home, mortage. I even have to pay taxes on my military retirement(does that mean I am self employed?). So what has the bush economy done for me, NADA,nothing, nil except pay more at the gas pump, pay more taxes that are being used to fight a war that our troops should have never been sent to, and are now caught in the middle of a civil war

Posted by: KT at September 26, 2006 7:21 PM
Comment #184132

grattan

“I have often thought you were an idiot, but now I think you are smoking crack. EDUCATION - WORTHLESS. At least I will never have to waste my time reading your thoughts again”

I can’t believe you wrote that. I’m the idiot. At least I can read. I never said that education is worthless (except maybe in your case). I said the Dept. of Education was worthless.


I guess that is what is meant as critique the message not the messenger.

Posted by: Keith at September 26, 2006 7:43 PM
Comment #184134

KT

Get a new accountant.

Posted by: Keith at September 26, 2006 7:50 PM
Comment #184135

Dr. Poshek
1-My fear is with national control they might just try to bring this nonsense to my neck of the woods.
2-The farming point had more to do with relevancy of instruction. What interests a child on a farm probably won’t engage an inner city child. With national control flexibility is lost.
3-I come from a progressive state, we, NYSUT, have had some success in influencing educational decisions, that is my point of reference.
4-Doing well is relative. They have 4 times the population. I would expect them to turn out more of each. At any rate the number or engineers is dubious.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/19/AR2006051901760.html
5-I have no clue, sorry :)
6-I know some smart people who buy into the GOP
7-see # 1 and 3
8-You are absolutely right, we are just looking at it from different views. Ain’t America grand.
9-Thanks for the conversation!

Posted by: 037 at September 26, 2006 7:55 PM
Comment #184136

DR. Poshek
You are probably familiar but its worth the price of admission.

http://www.venganza.org/about/open-letter/

Posted by: 037 at September 26, 2006 7:59 PM
Comment #184146

Keith said
“The only thing that is going to save education in this country is choice. Until the government schools have to perform to survive it will not get better.”

The problem is Keith there is absolutely no proof of this. On a hot summer Friday, this past summer,you know, when the gov’t releases the news they don’t want you to know, the Dep’t of Education released their study of private, charter schools VS public schools, they found public schools do better at the 4th grade level in reading, private schools do slightly better at the 8th grade level in math. Other than that they are about equal. oh and it said conservative Christian schools do hands down the worst across the board. Why do you think they hid the study? I can’t seem to find it on the DOE web sight.

Posted by: 037 at September 26, 2006 8:40 PM
Comment #184186

037
Seen the study. Doesn’t actually prove much. Considering it’s not a true across the board comparison. Not only that but look who’s putting out the study. Not exactly a non-biased observer.

If you look overseas to those contries that are doing better then we are, you will see that one of the big differences is that they have choice. The money is attached to the child and the parents can pick the school that will do the job that they want done.

Posted by: Keith at September 26, 2006 10:27 PM
Comment #184331

Keith
Margaret Spellings, the head of the Dept of Ed. is a Bush Appointee. They are the ones pushing vouchers. If the study wasn’t going to be a legitimte comparison why do the study at all? It was buried because it didn’t show them what they wanted it to.

We have choice in the city near where I live students can pick from four schools. They still don’t do well.

What do we do in small towns that only have one school?

The fact is our children don’t do well is because our society does not value education like others do. We put more value on sports than education. Looking pretty comes before reading.
I have to beg kids to join Science Olympiad, while the football coach has to cut kids because he has to many.
Children stay up to all our watching TV, not falling asleep reading. That is why we are behind.

Posted by: 037 at September 27, 2006 6:43 AM
Comment #184655

Thanks for the comments, 1LT B. I agree with some of what you write — especially about mandatory national service, that was part of Gen. Clark’s presidential platform — but I have to set you straight on a couple things. :)

It is by design that the Army needs to pull in the National Guard. Shortly after Vietnam, General Crieghton Abrams revamped the military so that one of the 3 brigades of each division would be National Guard.

Yes, but about half the units now serving in Iraq are Guard units. That goes beyond support status, but it’s necessary in this case because the Guard’s support skills are more appropriate for peacekeeping functions (civil affairs, MPs, etc) than the regular army.

If we’re going to do many more operations like Kosovo and Iraq — and I think we are, no matter who is President — we should rethink our current military structure. Perhaps even spin off a seperate branch of service for the peacekeeping/stabilization role so that the regular army can concentrate on fighting conventional wars.

I should also point out that while some Democrats, notably Hillary Clinton, have called for an expansion of the Army by 2 divisions, it was under Clinton that the Active Army was cut from 18 to 10 divisions

Don’t forget that it was Bush Sr. and Cheney who started the cuts. It was a natural reaction to the end of the Cold War to draw down our troops, just like the end of any war.

I’m sure you’re aware that by 1998, Clinton started expanding the military again in response to operations in the Balkans and Haiti — something Bush Jr. didn’t do until just recently (and Rumsfeld is still fighting against) in the aftermath of Iraq.

Al Gore trumpeted how he cut so many government positions back in the 90s, but the majority of them were from the military.

That’s what conservative radio said, but it’s just not true. Gore, through the Reinventing Government initiative, cut the civilian workforce by 426,200 bureaucratic jobs.

Bush has since hired them all back — and then some!

As for taxes, thank the Democrats for that child tax credit. The Bush tax cuts never would have had the votes to pass if Dems hadn’t insisted on that cut, ending the marriage penalty, and expanding the 10% bracket — i.e. the “middle-class tax cuts” that make up a mere 25% of the total tax cut package but are responsible for almost all the economic stimulation.

I am not at all for lack of education. The point I was trying to make is that education should be left to the states not the Federal government.

037, how quickly we forget. In the wake of Sputnik and again in the 70’s the states were clamoring for federal funding of their education systems. Poorer states like Louisiana and Arkansas just couldn’t afford educational systems as good as those in richer states like California and New York.

If you want a uniform level of education between the states, then you need federal involvement in education funding.

Posted by: American Pundit at September 28, 2006 2:00 AM
Comment #184670

American Pundit,
Good analysis of the current state of the military. Amongst the other things that the DOD is doing is converting about 18 Field Artillery Battalions into Military Police, much to the chagrin of the former Redlegs. I’m not sure if a separate branch is feasible, I don’t know of many people who would volunteer for it. You are correct that the drawdown began while Bush I was in office, but from what I’ve read, the cuts he proposed were not as deep as what Clinton did.
There are many reasons why Bush and Rumsfeld have resisted expanding the Army. The main one is that we are stuck at a crossroads. While the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are expensive, they pale in comparison to what a large scale conventional war, such as a renewal of hostilities in Korea, would cause. Our next major enemy is China. Right now, they’re about 20 years behind us technology wise, but to maintain this edge, which we really need being outnumbered over 4 to 1, we need to continue to modernize our own forces. We enjoy an almost insurmountable lead in air and naval warfare, but the Army might be lagging. In order to keep their edge, both the Navy and Air Force are reducing their personnel to allow for funding of new systems. Bush’s quality of life initiatives, such as better pay and improved housing etc, also make adding more people very expensive.
I don’t know enough about the tax cuts to say much about your argument in their case. Since you seem to be knowledgeable in that area, I’d like to ask you a question. Since the tax cuts were passed, government revenue has increased. I’m curious about something. Many Democrats argued that this would cost large amounts of money. Is this increase in revenue below what was projected with the old tax rate? If not, then I fail to see how these tax cuts are costing anything, at least in the short term. It would seem to me that so long as the revenues with the tax cuts exceed the revenues under the old rates that the tax cuts are a net benefit to the government coffers. If only they’d quit spending all of it and then some, we might actually have a workable system in the long term.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 28, 2006 3:05 AM
Comment #184828

1LT B, I realize we need to stay ahead of China, but we also need to train and increase troop levels for the counterinsurgency wars we’re fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq right now and future operations in Sudan and other unstable places.

I’m saying that, instead of giving rich people tax cuts, the Republican Congress should spend the money on getting the military up to strength for the challenges we’re throwing at it. The GOP just isn’t getting the job done.

Is this increase in revenue below what was projected with the old tax rate?

Of course it is. You don’t increase revenue by cutting revenue. That doesn’t make any sense. For more info, google any article that refutes the GOP’s ridiculous interpretation of the Laffer Curve theory.

About 25% of the tax cuts — the middle class cuts — went to stimulating the economy, and 75% went into offshore bank accounts. We could have had the same economic benefits for one quarter of the price.

Also, don’t underestimate the effect our huge budget deficits have on the economy. During the 90’s, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin theorized that balancing the budget would raise investor confidence in the economy which would strengthen the economy and instill even more confidence, creating a virtuous cycle of prosperity. It worked.

The Bush tax cuts, 75% of which were useless in terms of economic simulation, just ended up as a net drain on the economy.

Short answer: Revenue is up a little in spite of the tax cuts. If we still had a balanced budget (which is possible if we get rid of about 75% of the tax cuts), the economy would be doing much better.

America is a strong country with a strong economy. Only poor fiscal management and mistargeted revenue drains are keeping it from growing at levels we saw during the 90s.

Posted by: American Pundit at September 28, 2006 4:57 PM
Comment #275743

Hi,
US is army is the most strong in the present time. They have the best equipments in the world.

Rambo

Used Cars

Posted by: rambo at February 19, 2009 2:34 AM
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