Well its starting to happen. On the day before the 10th
anniversary of 9/11,
FT carried and article about our “Military Fat Cats”.
The article explains that a government committee has
decided that it is too expensive to continue to pay for
military retirements. They suggest something, like a
401k, where the service members could “contribute”
to their own retirement. “You know that's the way
they do it in private industry”. As the saying goes,
“ Now they done stopped preachin' and gone to meddlin”.
I'm sure that will be a big drawing card for future
enlistments. “Hey guys, sign up, in addition to the
food stamps you're currently eligible for, now you'll
get a 401k retirement plan”. Course, they don't make
enough to pay “their fair share” of taxes, so why
should they be offered any retirement plan? That'll
be the next step. They shouldn't even be allowed to vote.
Perhaps the 401k plans will give a special provision
for withdrawing funds to defray the un-reimbursed
costs of frequent and unexpected relocations. I also
wonder if this highly informed committee, is aware
that unlike private industry, the military cannot just
resign whenever they want. If they have this option,
like civilians, they can just say “stuff it” when they
are given 24 hour notice that they are going to have
to leave their family for a 2 year tour in Thule,
Greenland, or a 7th tour in combat.
So, the concept of military teams is out of the question.
There were several times during my 20 year career in the
Air Force when I would have opted out, if it had been
I could certainly see this coming. After 9/ll, there
was all this celebration over the valor and self
sacrifice of the firemen, police, and other of the first
Then also, there was all the praise for our heroic military.
Turns out—it's all hypocrisy. Many Americans like
to “fly the flag”, but don't ask them, to help pay the
hired hands for those who protect and serve.
Far right Republicans in the Tea Party, and their new
found concern of fiscal responsibility by state and
federal office holders, has led them to use police,
firemen and any other salaried public servants to
be held up in scorn over their pay and entitlements.
School teachers have also been singled out as drags
on our economy. Now it's being broadened to the military.
“We don't want to penalize, and tax, those who can
afford it, because it's not fair, since they're the producers”.
Some of these wealthy producers sign the “slave
labor” paychecks of part of the population of slobs
and slackers that don't pay (can't afford) income tax.
Others, have plenty of money available for good
paying jobs, but wisely find that it doesn't make sense
if there is no demand for their products.
The teachers have been singled out because a great
number belong to unions which seldom support
Republicans. I certainly never would have considered
joining a union, because I believe if employers treat
their employees right, there is no need. However,
I believe they have a right to exist because some
employers, readily abuse their employees, as
exemplified by Tennessee Ernie Ford's “Sixteen Tons”.
and public servants standing alone, have little chance
of survival in the ever changing political scene.
Some of the politicians, denigrate public schools and
teachers, in order that they can divert their public
school tax money to private schools for their
The Tea Party's quest for a dramatically smaller
government, has sucked in a lot of secure elder
citizens. Many of these are retired on pensions
and/or social security and medicare. These seniors,
were intimidated by the thought that Obamacare
and big government spending might adversely
affect their medicare and social security. Perhaps
it would, but its repeal would also cause different
problems. Then they supported the Ryan plan that
would appear to safeguard their existing social
security but do away with it for the younger people
who had paid into it for years. They didn't realize
that people paying into their social security would
dry up, and the next round of tax cuts would
then effect them, because they would then be in
a minority. The final trap will have been sprung.
And that's what it's all about. Divide and conquer.
The military is the next group to demonize.
Split off one group after another, due to budgetary
considerations, and eventually there will not be
enough people to put up an organized defense
against the ultimate goal of the far right-- Plutocracy.
Isn't that the way all democracies have fallen?
They start of with noble intentions of equality and
liberty but once the middle class has been destroyed
and converted to serfs, the instability arises. That is
why Jefferson championed capitalism, but warned
“unregulated capitalism is a catastrophe”. The same
fate ultimately awaits dictatorships. Consider the
current Arab Spring revolutions.
Is that what is going to be next for us, when the middle
class continues to fall headlong down the economic
ladder and the military can no longer feed their families?