Now that we’re in the middle (or, probably at the beginning) of our third war, can we maybe do the things we’re supposed to do during a war? Start with a tax increase. After all, those cruise missiles and fighter jets aren’t free. If this war is worth it, (and I have my doubts) then it’s worth paying for.
Of course the people risking their lives, not to mention their health and their relations back home, are the men and women in the air and at sea, and possibly in the future on the ground. We need to make sure that when they come home, the VA is in as tip top shape as possible, and that when people come back, they have the physical health, mental health, and family support they’ve earned. We need to make sure they have jobs to come back to. Especially since so many of the people deployed are in the National Guard and Reserves, it means we need to do everything we can to make sure they can return to the lives they’ve left, sometimes two and three times. It means their jobs have to still be there for them government agencies like ESGR need support and private businesses need to be willing to hire and to go above the bare minimum required by law in retaining and supporting their service member employees.
But those of us who don’t ever suit up ought to sacrifice in other ways. We need a renewed push away from oil in the short term because that’s where Gadhafi gets his money and in the longer term because we’ve been in a hot war in the Middle East for a decade, and it doesn’t show signs of stopping. We ought to consider rationing, to force us to use less oil.
Finally, it’s not the time for business to make profit. They can return to that when our 3 wars are over. Now is not the time, as FDR said for, “that small group of selfish men who would clip the wings of the American eagle in order to feather their own nests.” We need to tell all military contractors (including Boeing) that they’ll be delivering quality products, and doing it at cost. If they don’t like it, we’ll have to nationalize the factories at least until our wars are over. Same with the extraction industries. We really ought to nationalize oil drilling. At least enough that the operations in our 3 wars aren’t dependent on corporations. If the oil companies don’t like it, well there are wars on.