Thursday, June 23, 2011

So the President Gave a Speech Last Night

The full text is here. He pretty much reiterated what was reported Tuesday: He will order the withdrawal of 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year, and 20,000 more by next summer, leaving 70,000 there, who will be gradually withdrawn until security is handed over to Afghan authorities in 2014.

One of the most interesting parts of the speech was this:
Over the last decade, we have spent a trillion dollars on war, at a time of rising debt and hard economic times. Now, we must invest in America's greatest resource – our people. We must unleash innovation that creates new jobs and industry, while living within our means. We must rebuild our infrastructure and find new and clean sources of energy. And most of all, after a decade of passionate debate, we must recapture the common purpose that we shared at the beginning of this time of war. For our nation draws strength from our differences, and when our union is strong no hill is too steep and no horizon is beyond our reach.

America, it is time to focus on nation building here at home.
Leaving aside his usual pixie dust-farting unicorn pipedream of a unified nation with a common purpose, I'll just note that promising to end wars abroad to reinvest in the US is a brilliant idea, and "time to focus on nation building here at home" is a great line, except for the fact that it's BULLSHIT as long as "there is no appetite" for progressive economic policy in the White House, and the Democratic Senate Majority Leader brags about "historic" budget cuts made as part of a doomed austerity strategy which will fail to stimulate growth while simultaneously creating a greater strain on underfunded social programs.

The president talked a good game, as usual, but the reality is that he and his party's Senate leadership are busily endorsing Social Darwinism as their grand vision for America's future.

We have, unfortunately, absolutely no reason to believe that the funds currently being spent on the war machine will be used for anything but paying down debt.

Maybe hope Obama can create a nice little surplus for the next Republican president to squander. Jeb Bush should be ready to ruin the country by 2016 to complete this carousel of horrors.