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Low Tax Rates for the Rich Harm Not Only the Economy, But Defense

By Russ Wellen, February 16, 2012

As regular readers know, we've been tracking the progress of the design and construction of a new nuclear facility (the CMRR-NF) at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. As we posted yesterday … Nuclear Pit Boondoggle at Los Alamos Temporarily Scuttled due to a combination of the economic climate and the efforts of the Los Alamos Study Group (LASG), which has been educating the public, lobbying Washington, and filing two suits to halt the CMRR-NF on environmental grounds.

But sociologist Darwin BondGraham, who is on the LASG Board of Directors, is in no mood to gloat about the victory. In an elegiac article for Counterpunch titled Starving the Real Beast, he writes

The war machine has begun to eat itself for the sake of preserving hyper-inequalities resulting directly from the less progressive tax code instituted a decade prior, and the multitude of shelters capital now hides behind.

See what he's saying here? By paying minimal taxes, the rich and corporations are depriving the nuclear-weapons program and defense in general of funds (or forcing their reallocation from budget needs other than defense). In other words, BondGraham is providing progressives with a stunning talking point -- one seldom seen (never, in my case). It might be worded something like this: When the corporate rich don't pay their fair share of taxes, it leaves us more vulnerable to attack. (Not that we necessarily have to believe the last part.) BondGraham again (emphasis added):

Whether the Right realizes their folly at this point is not yet clear. After a decade of record breaking tax cuts for the wealthy, and economic deregulation … leading to explosive inequality and a historic crash of over-leveraged and debt ridden markets, the American plutocracy has not only [driven] millions into poverty, they have now gone so far as to undermine the budgetary and organizational basis of the military establishment upon which a larger global system of inequality, which they benefit from, rests.

Yes, you read that right. As well as putting the nation in harm's way (theoretically) they're undermining the security of their own enterprises. But less and less moored to the United States and able to afford their own security, perhaps that's their plan.


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