And just because

James Rogers
11 Oct 2002 11:14:47 -0700

On Fri, 2002-10-11 at 07:19, Owen Byrne wrote:
> It goes so well with declining wages, diminished prospects, etc. - Join 
> the Army! (4.1% wage increase) The image in my head of those 2 new Aegis 
> cruisers hunting down Al-Qaeda members is ludicrous, but then what isn't 
> about the US government these days? Oh, and promised, tax cuts - hmmm, 
> have to have income to use tax cuts. Oh wait, they'll be going to the 
> top 1% anyway...

Well, you have to *pay* taxes to get a tax cut; it only makes sense.
About half of all Americans don't pay taxes, ironically even at income
levels that exceed the European average.  Cry me a river.  Seeing as how
the top 1% pay over a third of all the taxes, and at punitive rates, it
is only proper that they get their taxes cut the most.  And in truth,
they *aren't* the bracket getting the largest tax cuts.  And that is if
they ever actually see a tax cut; for all the talk of it, no tax cut has
even materialized for that bracket yet.

This is the same type of stupid reasoning and poverty math that puts so
many people who aren't poor below the "poverty line".  People like me,
who've spent most of their life "below the poverty line" according to
the government, even though any rational analysis would suggest that I
am anything but "poor".  I see evidence every day that we are easily on
the right hand side of the "Laffer curve" in the US.

As for the military pay increase, a 4.1% increase on a few dollars
income isn't likely to allow you to live in opulence.  Nobody is in it
for the money, and this reverses the Clinton legacy of giving no pay
raises to the military for the better part of decade, not even cost of
living adjustments.

> Anyway I'm sure there's another bill in the works to increase arms sales 
> to pay for this. The war on Iraq will be good for that - whatever 
> US-picked lunatic replaces the current US-picked lunatic will have to 
> restock his arsenal.

The weapons of preference in that region are French and Russian, not
American.  Few countries are wealthy enough and on good enough terms
with the US to buy American weapons.  The French and Russians are being
whiny because we'll destroy one of their most lucrative markets.

I have a friend who specializes in this business who told me that during
the Gulf War, the Russians were adamant about keeping Saddam in power
but wholeheartedly supported the destruction of his military.  Their
calculus indicated that this arrangement would net them billions of
dollars in more hardware sales to the Iraqis, who would have to replace
their lost arsenal.

-James Rogers