What does "completely voluntarily" mean? In 1972 I volunteered for the National
Guard and spent 6 years in it. Would the fact that the USA had an active draft
and my draft number was 19 disqualify me from voting?
I think candidates should at least be required to pass a test on the
Constitution, particularly individual rights, and the distribution of state vs.
federal powers, and that the results of the tests should be included in their
It'd work, if you could make it legal. But that would require a constitutional
amendment that will never happen. As it is, we should consider ourselves lucky
that along with free health care, welfare, etc. that the powers that be don't
give illegal aliens the vote too.
If there is a draft then government service is not "completely
voluntary" and thus you are talking about a system different from the
Too simple. They should be required to recite the US Code and the
Code of Federal Regulations verbatim from memory and to carry on their
persons at all times the complete texts of both printed in 12 point
type on 12 pound paper. After all, if they don' really know the
current laws then how do they know that the ones they are proposing
will change anything? Of course that would leave us without a
legislature since nobody is going to live long enough to memorize the
whole thing and if they could they wouldn't be able to lift it.
Why do you think it is that you don't see prisoners working in road
gangs and other public works projects? Because it takes the public tax
dollars away from contractors/big political contributors.
Dave in Houston
Whoa, dude...we all know that the draft doesn't make everyone
eligible. Cheney got 5 deferrals. Bush got to play with planes (when
he showed up) at the Texas National Guard...shall I go on?
Or didn't you give that any thought?
Amen brother! And put term limits on these ner do well rich boys in
congress so we might have a hope of functioning goverment down the
road. (instead of a playpen for people that have never lived in a real
If I were serving right now I'd be very angry with the
characterization of the current makeup of the US armed forces as
"category IV types who would not be eligible for the draft". In case
you haven't noticed, those "category IV types" are doing a Hell of a
job--they've carried out every mission they've been assigned with
surprisingly low losses and collateral damage. They are, in fact,
doing far better in both regards than the draftees did in Viet Nam.
Further, since officers other than medical doctors are not in general
draftees, I don't see how a draft would have a significant effect on
the composition of the officer corps.
Our son has been in for almost 7 years and is up for promotion to E-7... mostly
because of his motivation, learning skills and education..
As to the draft... I served with a lot of professional folks that were drafted
and made very good officer material.. as opposed to us drafted as cannon
Please remove splinters before emailing
We'd also have a much better equipped military, though I'm strongly against any
draft that resembled the one we had..
You have to consider that it's been maybe 30 years since we had a draft... which
means that we're hoping that skilled folks like doctors and lawyers will give up
well paying practices for 4 years to serve their country.. right..
I am, however in favor of "mac's draft plan", which would require all teens, of
both sexes, to spend 2 years in service, be it military, peace core, teaching
kids in high poverty areas, etc.. just some kind of public service..
Then, give them some sort of "GI BILL" for education, after they'd seem a bit of
I went to school on the GI bill, and the first thing that you notice is that the
vets were older, more serious about learning and motivated... YMWV
To those who served... Thank you for your service and welcome home..
Please remove splinters before emailing
Where are we getting it now? Last I looked we've been spending
$12B/month that we don't have.
I read today that the U.S. has spent $1.5 trillion on Afghanistan and
Aren't the Chinese holding our note(s) ?
Dave in Houston
The enduring attraction of war is this: Even with its destruction and
Three times that much is added to the national debt every month because
of the social security trust fund and the other 150 or so other federal
trust funds. In fact, even with a balanced budget, we add 300-400
billion to the national debt each year. It's the law - the federal
government takes the trust fund cash, counts it as federal income, but
doesn't count the IOU it puts in the trust fund against the current year
budget. Enron would be proud!
We add three times the cost of the war to the debt each year because of
trust funds. 4 trillion of our 9 trillion national debt is because of
the above mentioned trust funds. It's estimated to reach over 40
trillion of unfunded debt before the payback has to start using higher
income taxes on future generations. But not to worry - the liberals are
going to fix it by increasing the SS tax rates thereby increasing the
debt even faster!
Not to worry - our kids and grandkids will have to repay them with an
estimated 85% tax rate, the increases ramping up in ten years or so when
SS current expenses exceed revenues.
The federal goverment did not give out deferals from the draft in those
days. It was the draft boards made up of people in your own home town that
gave them out. So again it boiled down to who you know. That's the ones you
should bitch to.
On Tue, 13 Nov 2007 16:01:01 -0700, Doug Winterburn
An "alternate" perspective:
SS takes in more than it pays out.
The government then "borrows" that excess to pay for its wars and the
$700B (this year) military budget (among more minor expenses). Oh,
and let's not forget those tax cuts. Did you enjoy your couple
hundred? Use it to put gas in the car a for couple/three weeks?
This excess in the SS "trust" has increased from ~20B/yr in Clinton's
time to ~$200+B/yr in the early years of W.
The government DOES NOT want to pay those "borrowed" funds back.
After all, it ain't very good at living within its means. BTW, ole W
has said it ain't gonna happen.
Unfortunately, the time is approaching where SS won't be taking in an
excess (for a LIMITED period of time) and the government will not be
able to "borrow" from the "trust", and should, indeed, have to pay it
Again - the government does not want to do this. So it tells y'all
how 'broke' SS is.
The SS tax was increased during Reagan's time, as a long term fix for
SS (to, like, 2070 or some such). A tax on the backs of the middle
class. It fixed it all right. For tax cuts (etc.). (did you know
hedge fund managers pay only 15% on their incomes? did you know that
the ultra rich have had their taxes cut ~50% in W's reign? Sure hope
you're in one of those groups).
The corporate media machine blathers on and on about how "broke" SS is
and pretty soon, told enough times, it's believed. [who said that?]
I realize we all have VERY busy lives, maybe even working a second (or
third) job now that food and fuel costs have skyrocketed, are gonna
affect the cost of just about every necessity, and no longer can tap
our home equity ('cause that's tanking as well) to defray (well,
postpone) those costs (much less buy that new Bimmer (Louis Vuiton and
BMW stocks fell sharply last week in anticipation of much slower sales
in the USA)). But perhaps you could take a short moment to do a teeny
bit of research before regurgitating the corporate media's talking
points. I mean, internet is likely an easily accessible source, no?
BTW, I don't understand why you think it's all right to spend $ on
killing people and enriching "death star" developers but not on (for
example) taking care of the country's infrastructure (of various
sorts) or it's people (not welfare!, BTW).
So, to summarize.
SS takes in plenty of $ to handle it's obligations, but the
government's been "borrowing" that $ 'cause there's been a wee bit
extra. The time's a commin' where the note comes due, but the ole guv
ain't inclined to pay it back, 'cause it sorta can't handle it's
"household" finances as is and sure don't have any extra to be payin'
back no debt for sumtin' as stupid as an old people's fall back.
[who will strenuously attempt to refrain from additional comment]
The trust fund fiasco has operated the way it does since inception by
FDR. The law as written then mandated that the fund(s) buy government
securities with all excess contributions. There is no plundering or
looting of the funds under the law, but the law results in the same.
The cash the government receives for the trust fund IOUs goes into the
general fund and is used for all sorts of things - non of which are
related to the fund(s). Since three fourhts of the federal budget is
spent on social programs, most of the money is spent there.
Also, the trust fund moneies hid an equivalent amount of deficit
spending since the cash taken by the government is counted as income for
the current year, but the IOUs are not counted as expenses in the
current year. You can very easily verify this by googleing "national
debt" and you will discover that the debt has increased every year since
1960, demonstrating that the surpluses of the late 1990's were an
illusion - unless the definition of deficit, surplus and debt has changed.
Speaking of doing research, the excess SS funds in BJ Clintons time
wasn't $20B/year, but started at $46B and ended at $152B/year for a
total of $687B - and this was just the SS fund. It has increased from
the $152B in 2000 to $186B in 2007. There are another 150 or so other
trust funds that although smaller, operate in the same manner. And as
far as blaming any party or President, this was all set in motion by FDR
and like any government program has grown out of control. Neither
Clinton or Bush changed any of the parameters. The last change was a
bipartisan effort led by Tip O'Neal and Bob Dole which raised the SS tax
rates and indexed withholding, thereby increasing the debt at a faster rate.
BTW, I think it's all right to spend $ on death star and any other
defense items to safeguard this country as that and commerce are the
only things the constitution allows. I don't think government
retirement and health programs fall under either defense or commerce.
So, in summary, when the fiscal ship is taking on water, plugging the
biggest holes first would give the best chance of staying afloat, and
the war is small potatoes in that regard.
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