Burch: Warren 'buffets' GOP grinches

Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 9:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

Warren Buffet, the “Oracle of Omaha” has spoken out just before Christmas, challenging GOP Grinches to stop preferring the super-rich to other Americans. In a recent New York Times op-ed article, Buffet said: “My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It's time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.”

Buffet made a good point: the United States has asked millions of young men and women to sacrifice their lives, health and mental well-being for their country, so why can’t multi-millionaires and billionaires be asked to make much smaller sacrifices they can easily afford?

Buffett proposed repealing tax reductions for the highest wage earners, pointing out that he pays a lower tax rate than any of the other 20 people in his office. In fact, Buffet said he pays less than half of what his co-workers pay: 17.4 percent versus an average of 36 percent and a high of 41 percent.

The vast majority of Americans, including most Republicans, agree with him. As reported three days before Christmas by The Huffington Post, “Nearly three-quarters of Americans say they support President Barack Obama's proposal to tax households making $1 million or more at the same or higher rate as middle-class households, according to a recent poll from website Daily Kos.” Please note that this is not a “tax increase,” but simple fairness.

And even with such a change, the wealthy will still have a huge advantage over other taxpayers because most Americans spend the bulk of what they make, which means they pay additional taxes, such as sales taxes, property taxes and taxes built into the price of gasoline. Conversely, the rich save most of what they make, so they will still pay much lower overall tax rates. And of course the rich pay absolutely nothing on stocks and bonds they buy and don’t sell, which is why Bill Gates has never paid a penny in taxes on most of his billions.

Even though a large plurality of everyday Republicans agree with Warren Buffet, Republican leaders derided Buffet’s plan as "class warfare." In reality, they are the ones carrying out class warfare on 99 percent of Americans, in order to protect the wealthiest 1 percent from simple fairness. Only 60,000 Americans would be affected by the “Buffet Rule,” or roughly .02 percent (if the rule was extended to a full 1 percent of the richest Americans, it would help our nation’s finances even more).

One wealthy American “buffeted” the GOP grinches with words, but if the 99 percent decide to buffet them at the voting booth, perhaps we can right the Ship of State before it sinks in a sea of debt. In closing, let me point out what other wise men have said on the subject:

“An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailments of all republics.” — Plutarch, Greek historian, c.100 A.D.

“The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich ... It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.” — Adam Smith, considered to be the father of economics and one of the first advocates of capitalism, writing in The Wealth of Nations in 1776

“Social unrest and a deepening sense of unfairness are dangers to our national life which we must minimize by rigorous methods. People know that vast personal incomes come not only through the effort or ability or luck of those who receive them, but also because of the opportunities for advantage which Government itself contributes. Therefore, the duty rests upon the Government to restrict such incomes by very high taxes.” — President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

 

42 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 12/23/11 at 7:32

Two days before Christmas and we get an unofficial yet official Editorial carrying
the President's re-election message of divide and conquer the American people on economics and tax policy? Yes, there is some unfairness in our tax policy as there
is all over the world. What the author leaves out is what is this extra revenue he
proselytizes for will be used for. It's easy to think or wish it would be used for
the many good things this country needs, but 50+ years of experience tells us
that's very unlikely! 4 million dollar Presidential family vacations and unheard of salary and raises for an ever expanding Federal Payroll is as disgusting as the
Tax policy.
"The duty rest upon the Government to restrict such income by very high taxes".
Whether actually from FDR or not, that is already the case in the current code
but I'm sure there are loop holes that could be closed. It does, however, restrict
effort and drive for many that take economic risk to accomplish more for their
own families, their country, business, and employees!
More importantly, Merry Christmas and many good wishes, god's blessings
for our country and it's hard working citizens and those suffering in many ways!

By: jvh2b on 12/23/11 at 8:54

Divide and conquer who? The 99.8% from the .02%???? Seriously????

As one of those middle class poor saps paying 30+% in taxes on my 50 grand a year, I'd say it's BEYOND fair that those millionaires pay up.

That's INSANE that they pay HALF the tax I do, simply because they make more.

I'm not advocating they be charged more than I do, because 30% of a million is still a heck of a lot more than 30% of 50k.

If you believe that basic fairness is class war fare...then you need to pull your head outta your hind end.

By: yogiman on 12/23/11 at 9:16

Wealth can be gained only one of two ways. You either inherit it from a parent who earned it, or you get off your ass and go earn it.

The "guvmunt" takes money from the wealthy and gives to the poor. Buys them more votes that way.

Many people have goals of being "rich" when the government furnishes them housing and hands out their food allotment. That way they can take their "welfare check" and buy their beer and cigarettes and buy a few tickets in the lottery. Hell, they may get richer some day with a lucky draw.

By: yogiman on 12/23/11 at 9:23

jvh2b,

Taxes are and always has been; decisions made by politicians.

I never thought much about politicians until I reached the voting age (back then it was 21). After that, I began trying to figure out what the politician were in office for. I figured out most were in office for their own benefits and those of their re-election 'subscribers'. To hell with the general public.

By: Lou2 on 12/23/11 at 9:37

You lost me on the part about how the reason not to worry about inequality is because of presidential vacations and raises for, say, the folks staffing our VA hospitals.

Love how Haslam can say yesterday that our fair state can't survive without guvmunt handouts, but here you have folks write in about how there should be no handouts for those that buy lottery tickets. I guess there's 2 kind of people in this state. Those who know how to use guvmunt money responsibly, and those that are just parasites. Seems to me the only responsible thing to do is for all us to write a nice a little check returning the money that the Feds send us.

I wonder - would it be ok if 99% of our national wealth was in the hands of say 10 people? We should appoint a king, or maybe like a royal family. Buffett knows exactly what he's doing - that his wealth didn't just drop from the sky, and ultimately traceable to the strength of our middle class and our political system. He also knows the health of our democracy depends on it. Seeing what's happening scares the bejeezus out of him.

By: yogiman on 12/23/11 at 9:53

We have a king in the White House already, Lou2. At least he feels like it. After all, he ignores congress when he wants (excuse me, I mean demands)a bill passed. He just issues an executive order and we don't have a congress that will challenge him on it.

By: BenDover on 12/23/11 at 10:16

Having an understanding of the tax system rather than resting your angst on platitudes about 'fairness' is in order here.

The fact is that our income tax system in this country is HIGHLY progressive.

Let's start with FICA... Social security / Medicare is already in the red with out-payments exceeding income. It amounts to a cost to the employee of roughly 7.5% of income. The evil employer must match that 7.5% of income and this total of around 15% is applied to all income up to roughly the first $110,000 in earnings. This is so that the government gets to manage a program that the same government would arrest any private individual for the fiscal malfeasance of this system. 15% of our income goes into a stupid $1000 a month life annuity whose value evaporates upon death? Ridiculous. Medicare turns out to be a pretty good deal but mainly because the inflationary effects medicare itself has placed on the health care industry having it's costs rise at a rate of about 3 times that of inflation. It's pretty much solving a problem it caused. The bottom line though is that all of this will necessarily become a needs qualified welfare program in order to be solvent... this after, of course, they remove the contribution cap in order to force the highest earners into an even more horrific investment.

Another aspect of FICA is the Earned Income tax credit that, in the case of a lower income working parent with children, results in around a $4000 cash pay-out every year usually offsetting the contribution by 5 fold or more. In this brilliant work of tax slight of hand they've got 20% or 30% of the population looking forward to tax day and seeing Uncle Sam as their sugar daddy. A lot of people who don't even get EIC but have too much of their income withheld fall for this trick focusing on the refund rather than the amount paid.

Then you've got income taxes people in the lowest income brackets pay none of this... people in the highest bracket pay 35% of their top earnings under the current system. This system results in the top 1% of earners paying almost 40% of all of the federal income taxes. The top 25% pay 86% of the federal income taxes. The top 50% of earners pay 97% of the federal income tax with 50% of the earners paying almost nothing and another 150,000,000+ people in this country also in the nothing category because they claim no income whatsoever in the first place.

The push today is to make our ridiculously progressive tax system even more progressive and to move another huge chunk of the population into the category of paying nothing. When only a small minority of the voters have substantial skin in the game as for as cost it allows government increase its power to steal from one group to buy favor with another and then this cycle continues until government cannibalizes the whole country and then we have to start over again.

The only saving grace in all of this is capital gains which is taxed at 15% now beginning with the first dollar and no deductions. This is kept at the level it is because consequence of raising the capital gains taxes any more than this hinders economic activity and moves it away to more desirable markets. This is Buffett's theater number he uses to cozy up with the political class. It's really ironic because his company Berkshire Hathaway is in the red to the IRS to the tune of about $1 billion dollars.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/how-much-is-buffetts-berkshire-hathaway-back-tax-bill-exactly-about-1-billion/

It's all just a bunch of BS political theater designed to keep us at odds with one another while the political class and the cronies at the top cash in on both sides.

By: Lou2 on 12/23/11 at 10:26

yogiman, that stuff about the president is just fox news blather and you know it. they use that b/c they know it plays well with a certain demographic. truth is obama is a surprisingly weak chief executive, and it'll end up costing him his job.

dick cheney was the most powerful prez we've had in decades and a chief advocate of the unimpeachable power of the executive branch. but try searching the fox news archives to find any complaints about that at the time. seems to me that we love powerful prez's as long as they are in our corner...

By: BenDover on 12/23/11 at 10:42

You're right there, Lou... Cheney's unitary executive theory assumes we're smart enough not to elect a damn commie as president.

By: jvh2b on 12/23/11 at 11:20

yogi there's not much we agree on -- but I can say I agree w/ your 8:23 post.

By: yogiman on 12/23/11 at 11:41

jvh2b,

We don't have to agree on anything. But intelligent people should look at what the others are posting and look into it for any reasonable points.

We all have our personal thoughts, don't we? And we all like to pass them on, don't we? And I place my thoughts with that surmise; "time will tell".

By: yogiman on 12/23/11 at 11:57

Lou2,

I don't get my news from Fox news. I just try to look into the facts as deep as I can when and where ever I I hear or see them. There's many ways of "looking" at the issue.

By: brrrrk on 12/23/11 at 12:43

yogiman said

"Wealth can be gained only one of two ways. You either inherit it from a parent who earned it, or you get off your ass and go earn it."

Just to remind you yogi, Tennessee is one of those red states that relies heavily on Federal subsidies that essentially comes from mostly blue states.

By: Lou2 on 12/23/11 at 1:09

I agree that there's no single way to frame an issue, yogiman. It's just things like "Obama is completely out of whack with his executive orders" is an assertion that can be tested against reality. If you don't like the President, that's fine.

When you do test your claim (say from a non-partisan website like "The American Presidency Project" which has a list of all executive orders all the way back to John Quincy Adam) you see that Obama issued fewer executive orders in '09 than Bush did in '01, their first years in office.

Or try comparing Obama's 2nd year to Reagan's 2nd year (2010 vs 1982). Not even close, Reagan doubles Obama's number. But then you could appropriately argue that different executive orders have different levels of impact. Maybe so, and then we have a useful discussion.

But what's a fact anyway? That the Prez is a hidden communist, and he has secret meetings with Castro and Elvis, and somehow the mainstream media completely missed that? Or that Bush actually had the CIA seed the clouds over the Caribbean to generate Katrina b/c he truly hated the people of New Orleans? Some extreme left-wingers actually believe something like that. Calling the Prez a commie or Romney a member of a cult is the same deal, and we all pay the price for being such gosh-dang ignoramuses. We get the politicians we deserve.

No facts here, pal. Just opinions, none of which mean anything at all, including mine. Fox News has figured it out, something PT Barnum figured out a long time ago. As long as our friends here don't understand that, we're all going to pay for it.

By: yogiman on 12/23/11 at 2:58

Thanks for the "American Presidency Project", Lou2, I'll check that out. But I'm sorry, the man sitting in the Oval Office is not a legitimate president. He is simply a usurper of that office.

When I read his book "Dream from My Father" and see his wife speaking in front of a crowd about them going through Africa to his homeland of Kenya makes me think he's from Kenya. And when I see him standing in a group of people in Kenya stating he is happy to be back to his homeland also makes me think he is from Kenya. And when I see a man who refuses to let any of his personal papers be seen makes me sure he isn't from the USA.

And from his book, the fact he lost his American citizenship when adopted by his stepfather in order for him to go to school in Indonesia removed him from being a natural born citizen (if he was one) by the requirements of our Constitution to hold that office.

Sorry, Barry Soetoro is not our president.

By: bfra on 12/23/11 at 3:52

Even an idiot can get something right in a rare moment: Barry Soetoro is not our President, Obama is our President.l

By: yogiman on 12/23/11 at 4:07

bfra,

There are idiots, and there are fools. Which one are you? Or are your both?

Go to youtube.com/watch?v=WLWN_Gmc-y&feature=endscreen&nr=1

There is several posts there. You might enjoy it.

By: Lou2 on 12/23/11 at 4:22

Yogiman, you should break that story. It'll be huge. Anyway, he is your president b/c you live in this great country, just like Romney will be mine. Thank the good Lord the heroes in our armed services don't make similar distinctions based on who they vote for. Besides, the funny thing about our democracy is the current Prez will be gone soon enough, and getting the big payday from Goldman Sachs (bunch of commies, you know).

Meanwhile, guess what I read on the internet? That Bush was the mastermind behind 9/11. It's seems completely implausible and beyond belief, but it's got to be true b/c I read it on "Think Progress" (or was it "Red State"?). And that our next Prez Romney worships gold statues in the desert and has 5 wives. Also most definitely true.

By: yogiman on 12/23/11 at 5:00

Sorry, Lou2,

He isn't my president. You cannot elect someone for an office who isn't legally eligible for that office.

And comparing him to George Bush, the only difference I see between them: Georg Bush was in that office legally. Bush, like his father and presidents before him were one world government enthusiasts.

The 9/11 argument is questionable. I don't know, but I wouldn't be too surprised. Too many people in DC are there simply for the power and money. That's my argument on term limits and campaign finance contributions restrictions.

Being a veteran and remembering the men I was in service with (back then. We didn't have girls in the armed section) Its hard to see "Obama" taking over. Next year is going to be the most interesting of your life in politics.

If congress let's him usurp the office again, we can kiss our country goodbye.

By: pswindle on 12/23/11 at 6:10

Yogi,

You read what you want to read even if it is between the lines. You are so hell bent to believe this about our President that it is not worth trying to tell you the truth. I had an uncle like you. He ws the meanest old bastard that I have ever known. You could not tell him anything. He knew it all and he was never wrong. But the truth wsa he was never right. What happened in your childhood to cause this much pain?

By: yogiman on 12/23/11 at 6:19

pswindle,

I'm not your uncle and I'm not reading between the lines. I question if you're even reading. It sure isn't the "rules" of our constitution or the laws of our nation. For you to accept someone for the highest office in our nation not even knowing who he is, and he is keeping his identity in hiding, convinces me you're a stupid idiot. Sorry, facts are facts. But then, with many in this group, you aren't alone.

As I've "said" before, let's see what comes out of that bucket next year, especially the one we empty into the outhouse.

By: yogiman on 12/23/11 at 6:31

pswindle,

Prove the truth to me. Convince me you know the actual facts the usurper sitting in the Oval Office is there legally. If you can, I will apologize and accept your man as my president, also. And I'll bet you a dollar to a donut you can't prove it except your beliefs; no facts, because he will not identify himself to prove to you he is actually who you think he is.

Hell, make that 10 dollars to a donut.

By: pswindle on 12/24/11 at 1:16

You bet!

By: yogiman on 12/24/11 at 2:17

Great! I want a chocolate covered donut. OK?

By: yogiman on 12/24/11 at 2:19

The bet to be paid off the day after the election... if we have an election. Or are you going to prove to me I'm wrong right now?

By: BenDover on 12/24/11 at 8:35

Dang yogi... I spent 20 minutes laying out how the tax code really works to refute this lame push for another tax increase and you buried it again in another big pile of birther dung.

By: BenDover on 12/24/11 at 9:30

Another point about using the tax code as a another method of charity (which is all a progressive tax is really) is that when you do this the system doesn't discriminate at all based on merits. It's a given that not every high earner is in that position solely on his or her merits but in my experience it is certainly the trend. The opposite holds true as well which is what makes me think that most of the advocates for the poor don't really have any poor friends because in my experience there there's usually a reason they are poor well beyond the typical explanations of misfortune.

This is why a system of welfare SHOULD discriminate on something more than the fact that he/she has not earned as much. I've got a friend who lays on his @$$ most of the time and swings a hammer a couple of days a week for beer money. Should his life be subsidized at my expense just because I had the gumption to get up and go to a job every day for the past 25 years... go to night school... work unpaid overtime,,, work myself up... pay my taxes... pay for my own medical, life and property insurance... and am now earning more than he does?

It seems, too, that most of these 'occupy' people are straight out of college (at least the ones who are not the homeless co-opters). Dudes... do you think I didn't have to eat sh*t sandwiches on my way to earning what I do now? Do you think the president of the company started out in that big window corner office? I started my professional career bringing in $850 a month... living in a two bedroom trailer with two in diapers and going to night school.

I'm sorry your degree in puppetry or woman's studies costs you $60K in student loan debt but that's not my fault. If you want to be mad at anyone it should be at yourself for getting a useless degree, or at the school for offering it to gullible kids with easy financing and at such a ridiculous price, and at the people who've been in political power in this country for the last 5+ years doing everything they can to jack around all the business, employment, compliance and tax rules such that employers are most encouraged to minimize their work-force.

What you people have yet to learn is that your cure is the cause. When you jacked up the minimum wage based on liberal ideals back in '07 and '08 you did great harm to our economic ecosystem that starts in rural communities in this country. Please excuse the analogy but you killed a large chunk of plankton and algae in this country (entry level workers in unskilled and semi-skilled jobs) and the whole economic ecosystem began its dive. Things like this and progressive taxation (the cause of the increasing gross income gap) and intense regulation and health care mandates that have nothing at all to do with a business man doing his business are all the cause of the problem not cures.

Protectionism doesn't work. That's Econ. 103, I think, but they must not teach that in school anymore because everyone thinks now we should be Keynesian interventionist on trade, immigration, tax policy, energy... everything. It's ridiculous to subject ourselves to the kind of iron-fisted rule and constraint that our country was founded to avoid. And to the degree we did avoid it we thrived better than any other country in the history of the world and to the extent the remnants of this legacy remain we still do.

Hayek's 'Road to Serfdom' is a great cautionary tale for those of you who have yet to learn how little you know; yet arrogantly insist that society operate under your set of rules... and that description fits the author of this little scathing editorial above on taxes like a glove.

By: yogiman on 12/24/11 at 11:15

Sorry, BenDover.

I didn't mean to give you an inferior complex by posting before you. But by your posts, I presume you to be a later years middle aged man, so my thoughts are; with your apparent intelligence and apparent good character, I can't understand how you can support a man in our Oval Office who will not prove who he is. And by the way, the Oval Office is the highest office in our nation and considered the highest office in the world by foreign nations. The authority and responsibility that goes with that office is alarming when someone refuses to prove they are legally eligible for it.

Question: Have you seen how the National Christmas tree on Capitol grounds is being displayed? A report says it has a number of ornaments with references to Obama, but nothing about Christmas or the Nativity or a cr'eche at the base. The Capitol police threatened to arrest Rev. Patrick Mahoney if he carried out plans to read the Christmas story or sing carols at the lighting ceremony.

Totalitarians don't like competition for the people's loyalty, ya know. Only one God at a time, if you will.

I guess that's why he refused to accept Thanksgiving but acknowledged the Muslim worship.

Wake up, BenDover. As I have posted, with this latest passing of the NDAA bill by the majority of the senate 93-7 and the majority of the house, the "gunmunt" has taken over our constitutional rights. You can be arrested for no cause and sent to Gitmo Bay with no right to trial.

By: yogiman on 12/24/11 at 12:20

I've read where the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have ruled that election fraud suspected in the 2008 presidential election campaign essentially became null and void and was canceled by the inauguration of Barack Obama. WOW! What fraudulent "judges" we have on that bench.

Does that mean you cannot be tried for murder because the person you killed is already dead?

Does that mean you cannot be tried for drunk driving because you have sobered up after the arrest?

Dos that mean you cannot be tried for kidnapping because the victim has been already found and returned to society.

Does that mean you cannot be tried for child abuse because that child has become an adult?

Damn, where was those "judges" when I was a child. We sure could have used them back then.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/24/11 at 1:34

Shut the heel up yogi, you damn fool ass.

Merry Christmas to eveyone eles.

By: yogiman on 12/24/11 at 1:40

dumba..,

Do you want to try kissing my a$$? You need to become mature before I'll let you.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/24/11 at 1:54

I would never kiss your face or where you seat, yogi. Now go screw yourself.

By: pswindle on 12/24/11 at 1:59

Yogi,
I have some additonal books for you to read, but please don't read between the lines. I'll post them later. Clear your mind and absorb the true meaning, and maybe a crack in your armor will happen.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/24/11 at 2:08

I hope you are having a good Christmas pswindle.

By: yogiman on 12/24/11 at 3:45

Thanks, pswindle. I like reading.

May I suggest you read these books: Where's the Birth Certificate by Dr. Jerome Corsi, who put a 3 year investigation in the book; The Manchurian President by Aaron Klein, showing Obama's ties to communists, socialists and other anti-American extremists; and Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama as an autobiography (it is thought to be written for him by Bill Ayres). You might also like a set of CDs I have describing the "romance" between Obama and the Mainstream media by Bernard Goldberg. It's titled "A Slobbering Love Affair" starring Barack Obama. It is claimed to be true (and pathetic). You might enjoy it.

I recently got a book titled "the Obama Nation" by Dr. Corsi. I haven't read it yet. Maybe between Christmas and New Year's eve if nothing holds me up.

There is also a recent book titled "Change We Can Believe In". It doesn't have a single author but it does have a foreword by Barack Obama.

You might also like to go to google and check out "documents show marriage of Obama's parents a sham". Is Barack Obama [Sr.] his father? Or could it be that communist Davis that was a friend of his communist grandfather?

Let me know what you think.

I hope God sees you and your family through next year in a good way.

By: pswindle on 12/24/11 at 7:58

Yogi,
Your reading library is full of matereial that you want to believe, and not necessarily the truth. You can go to the Bible and approve or disapprove of anything. This is also true in books.

By: yogiman on 12/24/11 at 10:50

You read the Bible differently than you do 'books', pswindle. You read it as you want to "see" it. But then, if you aren't going to believe what you read, why are you reading it?

pswindle, I have another booklet to consider titled "Obama Exposed". It only 64 pages total showing 21 ways Barack Obama is radically re-shaping America in his own image. Some of them, he has already pulled off. If you agree with him on his obvious goal of taking our nation into a communist nation, so be it. What worries me most on the issue is congress walking down that aisle with him. Many of them have to know he is in that office illegally but are keeping their mouths shut. Why?

Going back to about 1912, the communist party got one foot on the road to the USA and have made progress ever since. Do we want a USA like China, North Korea, Vietnam, or may Cuba, our next door neighbor? I don't. I like the freedom we have at the moment in the USA. Obama's exposed current goals. Know what his 21 immediate goals are? They're interesting. Some he has already pulled off.

By: yogiman on 12/25/11 at 9:58

Merry Christmas to all!

Even though we have differences of thought and opinion, I wish you and your families, especially your children, a merry Christmas and a happier and better New Year.

By: pswindle on 12/25/11 at 3:38

Merry Christmas Yogi, and may we have open hearts in the coming year. This is fun bunch to share beliefs and ideas with. Merry Christmas to all.

By: Mike Burch on 12/26/11 at 4:07

First, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!

Second, whoever pays however much in taxes, I hope that starting in 2012 we spend our money on positive things, rather than blowing up Middle Eastern nations for years only to do what our enemies always knew we would do, in the end ... pull out and leave them to their own devices. We took out the main military capability of Afghanistan and Iraq in a few weeks. Even if we were justified to do so (which is debatable), what more did we accomplish after that? Nearly ten years of war and mayhem seems to have accomplished little or nothing except to leave hundreds of thousands of people dead and US taxpayers with trillions more in debt.

Perhaps starting this year we should consider the advantages of "peace on earth" over war.

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