Thursday, December 22, 2011

Language Matters: The Iraq-War Recession and Iraq-War Deficit (a Marxist Perspective)

The simple Marxist insight into the nature of war, taxes, and language in tonight's blog post comes to us from Groucho and his brothers, not from their distant cousin Karl.

"War would mean a prohibitive increase in our taxes," the uniformed Freedonian functionary warns Groucho Marx's Rufus T. Firefly at the 8 second mark of this video from Duck Soup.  

Everyone knows that if the leaders of  Freedonia decide they need to attack Sylvania -- or the United States government needs to attack Iraq -- then those leaders need to raise taxes to pay for their war. Or almost everyone knows that basic fact of responsible governance. The Bush/Cheney administration slashed taxes on their rich friends and benefactors as they began multi-trillion-dollar wars throughout the Islamic world.  Of course some true-blue-liberal cynics might point out that their goal was to bankrupt the nation with their unfunded wars and unnecessary military spending so that they could roll back New Deal achievements like Social Security and Great Society programs like Medicare.
All they (and we) ended up getting for their troubles (besides the unnecessary deaths of Americans, Afghans, Iraqis, Pakistanis, ...) were a massive recession and an astronomical deficit.
According to the True Blue Liberal style guide, the so-called "Great Recession" should always be referred to as the "Iraq-War Recession" and the multi-trillion-dollar deficit created in the Bush/Cheney era is the "Iraq-War Deficit."  Period. We should use those terms as single-mindedly as  conservatives who use the "job-killing" prefix before any mention of  environmental regulations.

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