Dear America: I Hope You’re Happy

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Whether they want to admit it or not, the majority of Americans got what they wanted this Friday.

We’re a nation that pays far too little in taxes; and despite the rhetoric, we receive far more from our government than we care to admit. In fact, the combination of tax breaks and social spending we receive in this country rivals that of Sweden.

We could have gotten out of this by rolling up our sleeves and sacrificing. Special interest groups could have compromised, and accepted modest cuts to government programs.

But of course, compromise and sacrifice just isn’t the American way.  That’s why this Friday, the 99 percent stuck it to the the 1 percent.

I’ll be the first to admit that the Defense Department could also accept modest cuts to some of its programs. It could cut bloated weapons programs, such as the Littoral Combat Ship, the F-35, and an inexplicable proposal to buy more M-1 Abrams tanks. Or we could close additional bases.

But of course, those cost Americans jobs.

Because there’s no lobby for training budgets, the services have gutted their flying hour programs, and large-scale training exercises.  Statistically speaking, at least one in seven soldiers in  Afghanistan–a war most Americans do not even care about–will lose his or her job within the next few years.  These veterans will face higher than average unemployment, and unfounded stereotypes.

In short, a nation that openly says “thank you for your service” is actually telling our Armed Forces, “sorry, but your services are no longer necessary”.

But don’t worry America.  We’ll jump on this country’s fiscal grenade, so that you can keep your spending programs.  Because if anyone knows how to sacrifice, it’s your nation’s men and women in uniform.

About Crispin Burke

Major Crispin Burke is a US Army aviator qualified in the UH-60 and LUH-72 helicopters. Major Burke has served in the 82nd Airborne Division, 10th Mountain Division, and Joint Task Force-Bravo in Honduras. In what is likely a sad statement on the state of humanity, Major Burke's writings, musings, and irreverent cartoons have been featured at Small Wars Journal, National Defense University, Foreign Policy Online, Wired Magazine, Egremont, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Great Satan's Girlfriend.
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One Response to Dear America: I Hope You’re Happy

  1. longtabsigo says:

    Greatvpost! One quibble:

    Its not that we pay too little in taxes. It is that too few have any stake in paying…and far too many have too big an incentive to sustain. The d pending.

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