August 6, 2017
Here’s this week’s “Pat Political Point” from WSGW’s First Day. America is now in the 16th year of the Afghanistan War. With disastrous trips into Iraq and Libya, and other damaging excursions overseas, we’ve wasted lives, resources, and money. Lots of money. Don’t tell me we can’t pay for a single payer health care system!
First of all, is there someone at Fox News who isn’t being investigated for sexual harassment?
Couldn’t happen to a nicer person like Eric Bolling.
Now, on to this week’s political point.
Two more troops were killed in Afghanistan this week. Christopher Harris of North Carolina was 25. Jonathon Hunter of Indiana was 23. They were killed when their convoy met a vehicle packed with explosives.
When I first read the story, I couldn’t stop thinking about their ages. Harris was nine years old when we invaded Aghanistan after 9/11.Hunter was only seven.
We’ve been in Afghanistan for 16-going-on-17 years, and I there’s still no end in sight. Not only that, but I’m not sure we’ve ever been given a timeline or blueprint for success.
Over 18-hundred Americans have perished in that country. Nine so far this year.
The Afghanistan War is the longest war in U.S. history, and I’m still not sure what we’ve been doing there.
When will the United States complete its mission? What will a successful mission look like? How will we know we’ve accomplished what we wanted to accomplish, whatever that may be?
Army General John Nicholson is asking for an extra three-thousand troops. For what I have no idea.
One of my main complaints of the Obama administration was its ratcheting-up U.S. involvement in that part of the world. Same with trying to nation-build in Libya. You’d think after the massive disaster that was the Iraq War that the United States would refrain from nation-building for the next hundred years.
The total financial cost of both the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars has cost taxpayers over $2.4 trillion! A Harvard study is estimating the wars will eventually cost somewhere between $4-$6 trillion!
And President Trump is just plugging along and going with whatever is happening there while ratcheting up possible war with North Korea.
So we’re about to spend more treasure and resources.
And let’s please not forget of the remarkable report indicating that Department of Defense wasted $125 billion. Some officials tried hiding that report fearing the Pentagon budget would get slashed.
The budget last year cost nearly $600 billion dollars, and a quarter of that was being wasted on administrative costs.
Instead, Trump says we need MORE defense spending.
I share these figures because I find it laughable whenever politicians and talking heads complain that we don’t have money for Social Security, health care, or education.
The Citizens Against Government Waste’s annual”Pig Book” garners heavy attention from a gullible press which mocks earmarks, like $160-thousand for maple syrup research.
While that may sound ridiculous, it’s this next fact from this year’s Pig Book that didn’t gain heavy traction: Over 76% of earmark spending goes to the Defense Department, totaling some $5 billion!
Now, that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the total money allocated to defense, but it goes to show that we’re conditioned in this country to accept that any spending on defense must be on the up-and-up.
We tried erecting a privatized utopia in Iraq, and then settled for using cash to bribe different factions not to fight each other during The Surge.
Did it work?
We ended up with ISIS thanks to our little war in Iraq.
So now we’re spending more money fighting ISIS in Iraq, Syria, and on and on. Let’s not also forget our drone programs in countries like Yemen either!
Americans are conditioned to believe that spending on anything defense is worthy, while spending on things like Single Payer health care, or free college tuition, are considered “wasteful.”
For some reason, we consider it naive or irresponsible to find ways to provide safety nets for Americans’ health and education. Rather than pay a bit more in taxes, but save more money in the long term by erasing student debt or health care debt, we seem to be fine throwing money down the drain overseas!
Instead of finding ways to expand health care coverage to all Americans, we’d rather throw money at defense contractors who know exactly who to bribe–support–in Congress. Because that’s not wasteful spending. That’s not socialism.
And who says government doesn’t create jobs!