Policy / Political Views / World Situation

Bridges not Bombs

It seems like a lot of people,  particularly those in government, are confused about the difference between building a bomb and building a bridge.  A bomb does not have much function other than to blow up people.  I guess you could argue that in the right circumstance it might provide the owner with some protection against an enemy,  but I think it would be hard to really make the case that the majority of weapons have a utility.   Given that our government is running  about a 40% deficit (it takes in revenues that are about 60% of what it spends), we must borrow money to build the bomb.  Now, I don’t actually think we should build bridges ( although I think we should repair the ones we have) but I do think there are things that we could do to create value and actually pay back the money and interest we  have to borrow to build to such things.  A great example would be a national smart grid to improve the distribution of electric power.

It seems that the government and our citizens cannot tell the difference   between borrowing money to create value and borrowing money to destroy value.  What if we used our soldiers and the industries that provide materials to conduct wars (remember the USA spends more money in defense then all the other countries of the world combined) to actually build things that would pay for themselves over time?  This kind of borrowing can be  supported by our economy.  There is a difference between borrowing money to finance a vacation and borrowing money to get a college education, but it appears our political leaders cannot see this difference.

There is an other example of lack of understanding.  Government officials and TV pudents talk about how much money  America corporations  have in their treasuries.  They say companies are not spending this money because their is no consumer demand for more of their products. But there is another reason that seems to escape all these talking heads.  So much of the profits of American companies were made overseas and are not subject to US tax until they are brought back.  So if  an American company wants to use this cash to invest in the USA they first have to pay about 40% in tax.   Given our situation we should allow companies to bring this money back without tax- provided they invest the money in creating US jobs or  pay dividends to their shareholders.  This should get the money in circulation.  And speaking of dividends, they are taxed twice. First they are taxed at the corporate level and then at the individual level.  Not only should they be taxed only once but frankly, I don’t think they should be taxed at all.

2 thoughts on “Bridges not Bombs

  1. I agree with your thoughts and feelings completely.

    Back my my college daze, I was on the debate team. One year we had to debate the good and bad points of increasing the US tactical nuclear arsenal. In doing the research, we found that taxpayer dollars spent on programs such as builing bridges, roadways and other useable structures provided a greater benefit to the US ECONOMY.

    What’s the hot button topic today? Of course it’s the economic turmoil that we are in. But, what can one expect after fighting 2 wars for almost 10 years now. Our tax dollars are being used to buy weapons and ammunition that eventually gets shot-up overseas. What’s even worse is when we don’t use it up. Then we have to pay again to have it properly “disposed of”. (The correct term is “demilled”.)


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