Pay-back’s a (non-talking) bitch

Many thanks for the heads-up to my former running mate Bruce “the Veep” Moomaw for this pondering on the inscrutible intentions of our Beijing-based creditors and overlords (written by Marshall Wittmann, a/k/a “The Bull Moose”, who, before taking time off from blogging to help Senator McCain’s endeavors, was an original dog run member, and now that he is back to regular blogging, I have added the Bull Moose back on our side bar.) BTW, for those of you wondering what happened, Bruce and I ended up abandoning our run for the presidency for the same reason most Democratic candidates are doomed to not winning: neither of us is a multimillionaire.
While getting on the New Hampshire primary ballot all by itself costs a cool grand (itself pretty much a bar to entry, as far as I’m concerned!), when you count the cost of a campaign bus, bobby-sox wearing staffers, a media bus, endless bribes of the local press and those damned pancake breakfasts… well, let’s just say that the Democratic Party’s “business model” (you raise all the money all by yourself, and not only won’t the party writ large help you, it will make up rules on why helping you violates some campaign finance reform law or other) is… a loser. Except for multi-millionaires, or the already famous or incumbent. So… needless to say, the talking dog-Moomaw ticket failed to capture the imagination of the Democratic voters… instead, we nominated Kerry, and the rest is history as they say. But I digress.
The Bull Moose questions whether we will be in a position to honor our longstanding commitment to the defense of Taiwan against forceful “reunification” from the Mainland, noting (1) China’s recent enactment at its ceremonial “Congress of People’s Deputies” of a provision threatening violent efforts at reunification, and (2) the sudden belligerant tone from our Mainland friends (such as “be prepared for a war in 2005” or something).
Specifically, Wittmann chides the doctrinal insanity of tax cuts for the rich uber alles, which, although it has certainly not caused our deficit has certainly exacerbated it to a dangerous level (query what Truman or Eisenhower might think about our national debt being financed by the Red Chinese?)
Wittmann notes the peculiar vulnerability we have because of the domestic policy we have of tax cuts for the rich, which hamstrings our military and diplomatic options in East Asia, specifically, as to whether we will more or less be forced to abandon the defense of Taiwan (as a matter of possible economic blackmail). The good news, if any, is that Taiwan, like South Korea, could probably do an excellent job of defending itself (though when threatened with a Great Power, having another one on your team is always handy). He doesn’t mention that it also forces us into a position of having to include the Chinese in our dealings with North Korea, a situation we might prefer to be “optional” rather than “manda(rin)tory”.
Wittmann also doesn’t discuss the other great longstanding Republican policy that creates our “other” foreign policy vulnerabilty: the Republican obsession with seeing to it that this nation consumes as much imported oil as possible. Recall that Ronald Reagan quickly dismantled some of the national energy conservation measures put in place by the Carter Administration, and weakened others; the first Bush joined the “energy importation” party, and a Republican Congress and a Bill Clinton happily riding a flood of cheap oil let the 32 gallon barrels roll on in. “America feeling good about itself” meant, of course, importing a lot of oil. Hence, initiatives and subsidies and tax breaks associated with renewable energy sources have been… weakened… and the preposterous inclusion of Sport Utility Vehicles as “light trucks exempt from vehicular gas mileage targets” has seen to it that this nation has as healthy a thirst for foreign oil as it does for regressive taxation.
Which is where we are now. In short, irresponsible domestic policy leads us to… questionable… foreign policy. Worse, our vulnerability to Middle East oil forces us to militarily defend Middle East oil… further driving up our costs of state (defense being around 20% of our federal budget, or around 4 to 5% of GDP, or the size of our entire deficit). These costs are duly financed by our Comrades in Beijing, further reducing our options in East Asia given the leverage our principal creditor has… Oh, the price of oil is also the number one contributor to our balance of payments deficit (also conveniently financed by… Beijing.)
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