By Mattea Kramer and Miriam Pemberton, TomDispatch —
War, the military-industrial complex, and the national security state that go with it cost in every sense an arm and a leg. And that, in the twenty-first century, is where so many American tax dollars have gone.
Part of the president’s State of the Union message and a portion of his second term agenda apparently will focus on public investments in education, infrastructure and basic R&D. That’s good news. But how do we fund these investments when discretionary spending is being cut to the bone in order to reduce the budget deficit?
It has become accepted economic wisdom, uttered with deadpan certainty by policy pundits and budget scolds on both sides of the aisle, that the only way to get control over America’s looming deficits is to “reform entitlements.”
Here’s a scenario George W. Bush surely didn’t foresee as he assumed the country’s highest office years ago: One day he’d be sharing prime-time screen time with Howie Mandel’s soul patch, a phalanx of prancy models and a decorated war veteran, joking about hosting “a $3 trillion ‘Deal or No Deal.’ ”