Wars: Politicians have their favorites

Republicans like wars fought by the military. Backing wars like these butches up even the gay Republicans. Democrats like social wars. This makes them feel better about their natural penchant for stealing money from those of us who produce. The tactics used to fight wars are usually the same: throw a lot of money at it; hire contractors to help senior officials strategize; and have political leadership promise utopian results.
What bakes my noodle is that politicians use that tactic for their pet project war, but they harangue other politicians for using that same tactic for wars that are not one of their pet projects. Namely, Democrat Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana (a mentor to President Obama no Foreign Policy) has complained that both the military and civilian missions were “proceeding without a clear definition of success.” Moreover, that “We could make progress for decades on security, on employment, good governance, women’s rights,” he said, without ever reaching “a satisfying conclusion.”
But has that stopped Congress from pulling the plug of the War on Poverty or AIDS or drugs or the Homeless or Racism or Sexism or Ageism or bloated wind bags who populate Capitol Hill? Nope. These folks just want to keep spending. But how much are they spending on these wars-with-no-end?
The War on Poverty started with a $1 Billion chunk of cash…in 1964. They got $2 Billion the next year. Since that time, the U.S. government has spent $9 Trillion (yep, that’s a T) on the War on Poverty. Why are there still thousands of people standing in line at the soup kitchen each night?
The War on AIDS has cost the U.S. about $2 billion a year (on average) for the past 25 years. That’s $50 billion, and I still have to hear about AIDS babies on TV hospital dramas as if they are as prevalent as ever. It just ain’t so.
The War on Drugs, first declared by Nixon, then championed by Reagan (one of his very few faults), is a money drain. Between all three levels of government, we spend over $50 billion A YEAR on the War on Drugs. That’s about $20 billion a year (on average) for the past, oh, 35 years, for a grand total of $700 Billion. I still have pot-smoking slackers who live next door to me, and the cops don’t do anything about it.
I won’t detail each of these wars, mostly because I don’t want to do the research, but let’s just take these three: Poverty, AIDS, and Drugs. They have cost the US Taxpayer just under $10 Trillion (yep, that’s still a T) over the past 45 years. That’s over $222B a year so that I can watch TV shows with AIDS babies that only exist on TV (except for a few backwards countries in Africa), see lines at the soup kitchen all year round, and have stoners living next door. At least for the $1 Trillion we’ve spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (at a yearly cost of $100B a year – less than half of the three social wars detailed), I got 9 years of no planes being flown into buildings and a ton of new military gadgetry that will last for years.
So why is Senator Lugar so upset about not being able to reach a “satisfying conclusion” to the wars overseas when he would rather just keep throwing good money after bad for his social wars that are equally without “satisfying conclusion?”

One Response to “Wars: Politicians have their favorites”

  1. I am certainly no fan of the wars on drugs/poverty/etc…but what will be the excuse the next time a terror attack hits the US. Our ineptitude in Afghanistan and the utter mistake of Iraq have demonstrably radicalized many more Muslims than before 9/11. Cooler military toys won’t stop terrorists from hitting soft targets.

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