No More War Profiteers!

During WW2 we paid taxes — proportional to income (i.e. far more by the wealthy) to support the war and after it excess profits made in the rush of awarding contracts were ‘renegotiated’. I was particularly aware of this latter phenomenon because my Republican father felt it an obligation to continue his citizen contribution by running this renegotiation process in our state — Connecticut.

In contrast both the Iraqis and U.S. companies have been stealing our taxpayers’ funds by huge amounts — one group has documented some $26 billion so far with many more billions yet to be disclosed. All this stuff will undoubtedly continue to emerge and particularly so if we can elect a Democratic administration to do the investigating. I hope someone will pick up on the Renegotiation program here which can restore to us the excess profits of today’s wars, too. Halliburton and others have stolen far too much to the benefit of such as Cheney.

There are often politics connected with such efforts. My father was eventually urged to go elsewhere by Chester Bowles, a Democrat planning to run for governor of Connecticut. He did leave, figuring the job had been more or less done by then. Not all the excess profits were crooked, but some were and a fair reward was my father’s goal in each case.

As I look at the two presidential candidates, McCain looks to be totally naive on financial matters. He does not get it that ‘tax and spend’ is a slogan devised to sow distrust in the very governmental agencies essential to keep us alive (supervision of drugs and food quality) and to keep things going (bridges, highways, water supplies, schools etc., etc.). Every other developed nation is aware that there is no free lunch so far as keeping things globally competitive, let alone functioning. So he is appealing to the hot button issue of the 1970s where he seems to reside mentally. I don’t know whether Obama is on to such things, but he looks to be a quick learner. We don’t have much time to put things back together as we have been spending far too much on military things and have already lost our competitive edge thereby except for selling arms to repressive regimes.

Let us hope some will take us back to those WW2 days now all but forgotten except for people of my age who vividly experienced them as kids.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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