Friday, September 22, 2006

The Forgotten War

Strategy Page gives us a quick update on the war in Afghanistan:

So far this month, NATO forces in the south have killed over a thousand Taliban gunmen, wounded more than that, overrun several Taliban camps, captured over a hundred Taliban and seized large quantities of documents and equipment. The Taliban have used large units in this area to scare off the police and enable terror teams to work on the civilians. In one case, a force of 400 Taliban crossed the Pakistan border and tried to take control of a district. But the swift appearance of NATO troops forced the Taliban to disperse and flee.

After two weeks of getting hammered like this, the Taliban have announced that they are dispersing their forces in the south, in the face of the NATO offensive.

Afghanistan has almost become a forgotten front in the war on terror, but the fighting rages there more ferociously, perhaps, than in Iraq. The brunt of the violence is being borne by NATO troops, particularly Canadians.

Petty Tyrant

Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, comes to the U.N. and, having been listening to Howard Dean, Al Gore and the Democratic congressional congress, calls George Bush the devil. This judgment was presumably based on the fact that Bush refuses to let Islamic terrorists kill Americans with impunity. It's hard to imagine what other complaint the Venezuelan petty tyrant could have against President Bush.

Chavez is a droll little man who stifles all dissent and opposition in a nation which, despite being flush with oil, has an 85% poverty rate. Evidently indifferent to this misery among his own people, he has offered to give free oil to people in the United States who are relatively rich beyond the dreams of most Venezuelan peasants. Yet if any of these poor wretches complain they'll wind up missing their taste buds.

Chavez got a standing ovation in the United Nations. It makes one wonder what on earth any decent nation is doing there.

Cutting Taxes Raises Revenue

Some people have a hard time getting their minds around the idea that a tax cut actually generates more revenue than had the cut not been enacted. This seems counterintuitive to many folks, and they fear that if congress cuts taxes government will have less money to do the things it needs to do and will have to go deeper into debt to pay its bills.

This is why some people are upset with President Bush's tax cuts. They see it as reducing the government's revenue and ability to meet the needs of people in want.

The principle behind tax cuts, however, is that the more money you can keep in your pocket the more you'll spend or invest. Either way you're pumping money into the economy which means businesses prosper and can hire more workers. The more people working the more taxpayers there are and therefore the more revenue that comes into the federal coffers.

Does it work? It always has and it is now, as this article suggests:

The U.S. government recorded record-high overall and corporate tax receipts on Sept. 15, which was a quarterly deadline for tax payments, the Treasury said Monday. Total tax receipts were $85.8 billion on Friday, compared with the previous one-day record of $71 billion on Sept. 15 of last year, the Treasury said.

When people complain about tax cuts they should be asked what it is they want taxes to do. Do they wish to keep taxes high simply to punish people who have wealth or do they want to increase the revenue flowing into the treasury. If it's the latter, and that's the only moral justification for high taxes based upon income, then it's getting pretty clear that they should favor reducing the tax burden on people so that they can generate more wealth and more revenue.

Agreeing With an Atheist

Sam Harris is a prominent antitheist with whom I find myself in fundamental disagreement most of the time (see here, for instance), but in this column he's right on his main point that in the age of jihad liberalism is no longer a viable political option.

He writes:

Perhaps I should establish my liberal bona fides at the outset. I'd like to see taxes raised on the wealthy, drugs decriminalized and homosexuals free to marry. I also think that the Bush administration deserves most of the criticism it has received in the last six years - especially with respect to its waging of the war in Iraq, its scuttling of science and its fiscal irresponsibility.

But my correspondence with liberals has convinced me that liberalism has grown dangerously out of touch with the realities of our world - specifically with what devout Muslims actually believe about the West, about paradise and about the ultimate ascendance of their faith.

On questions of national security, I am now as wary of my fellow liberals as I am of the religious demagogues on the Christian right.

This may seem like frank acquiescence to the charge that "liberals are soft on terrorism." It is, and they are.

Read the rest of it and then check out the Euston Manifesto. The Left is finally waking up to the fact that it has lost touch with reality and some of them are demanding that their comrades get their feet back on the ground. I think it's too late to put Humpty Dumpty back together, though.

The Democratic party, the center of political liberalism in this country, has sold its soul to the extremists at and Hollywood. It'll take either a long sojourn in the political wilderness for them to recover their senses or it will take the national calamity that would ensue from allowing them to regain control of the levers of power in Washington for them to realize that the nostrums of the far Left, of which they're currently so fond, are prescriptions for national disaster.