In the 1950s Republican President Eisenhower, a decorated 5 star general and leader of the party, took on the military industrial complex in a speech that today’s Republicans would rather deny, re-interpret, or explain away. The full text of his Cross of Iron Speech is available, and make no mistake the context was exactly then what it means today. I provide a longer lead in to prove it:
Address by President Dwight D. Eisenhower “The Chance for Peace” delivered before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 16,1953.
…The Soviet government held a vastly different vision of the future.
In the world of its design, security was to be found, not in mutual trust and mutual aid but in force: huge armies, subversion, rule of neighbor nations. The goal was power superiority at all costs. Security was to be sought by denying it to all others.
The result has been tragic for the world and, for the Soviet Union, it has also been ironic.
The amassing of the Soviet power alerted free nations to a new danger of aggression. It compelled them in self-defense to spend unprecedented money and energy for armaments. It forced them to develop weapons of war now capable of inflicting instant and terrible punishment upon any aggressor.
It instilled in the free nations-and let none doubt this-the unshakable conviction that, as long as there persists a threat to freedom, they must, at any cost, remain armed, strong, and ready for the risk of war.
It inspired them-and let none doubt this-to attain a unity of purpose and will beyond the power of propaganda or pressure to break, now or ever.
There remained, however, one thing essentially unchanged and unaffected by Soviet conduct: the readiness of the free nations to welcome sincerely any genuine evidence of peaceful purpose enabling all peoples again to resume their common quest of just peace.
The free nations, most solemnly and repeatedly, have assured the Soviet Union that their firm association has never had any aggressive purpose whatsoever. Soviet leaders, however, have seemed to persuade themselves, or tried to persuade their people, otherwise.
And so it has come to pass that the Soviet Union itself has shared and suffered the very fears it has fostered in the rest of the world.
This has been the way of life forged by 8 years of fear and force.
What can the world, or any nation in it, hope for if no turning is found on this dread road?
The worst to be feared and the best to be expected can be simply stated.
The worst is atomic war.
The best would be this: a life of perpetual fear and tension; a burden of arms draining the wealthand the labor of all peoples; a wasting of strength that defies the American system or the Soviet system or any system to achieve true abundance and happiness for the peoples of this earth.
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
This world in arms in not spending money alone.
It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.
It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.
It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.
It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.
We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat.
We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.
This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.
This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
These plain and cruel truths define the peril and point the hope that come with this spring of 1953.
This is one of those times in the affairs of nations when the gravest choices must be made, if there is to be a turning toward a just and lasting peace.
And so we sit in the era of election absurdity, when people would rather rewrite history than face the irony. When Millionnaires and Corporations live off the public welfare system and are a greater burden to society than they realize, it is time for a little Eisenhower guns or butter math applied to Mitt Romney:
Mitt Romney is a “Job Creator” as such a member of the superior investor class, he only pays 15% instead of 35% income tax. The difference saved him $4.56 million in 2010 on his taxes. If that same money was wasted on Romney in food stamps, it would give him a handout from today until the year 4870:
As Jon Steward says, “That’s no b%#$hit, that’s the math.” Here is some other math:
- FACT: Mitt Romney’s “job creator” investor class tax break would have paid for 34,085 people to receive food stamps this month.
- FACT: Mitt Romney’s “job creator” investor class tax break would have paid for at least 7,750 people to receive full welfare benefits for a month.
- FACT: Mitt Romney’s “job creator” investor class tax break would have covered the out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for 20,945 elderly victims of our healthcare crisis.
- FACT: Mitt Romber’s “job creator” investor class tax break would have bought the US Government 0.4% of one Stealth Bomber,
- … or 1.15 predator drones
- … or 18.6 private military contractors to fight a black ops war.
The guns or butter question still resonates today, because Eisenhower’s fear of a military industrial complex have become reality. Paying for war and subsidizing rich people is 10,000 times more expensive than giving the poor a handout and a leg up. And I doubt that Bain Capital created more jobs than they took away with their predatory investment style.
The military-industrial-surveilance complex has grown because the investor class cannot survive in a non war-based economy. Excess is their way of life and it will end, with or without their consent. The world’s economy is changing and simply can’t support them. After seeing these numbers, do you really think the social safety net is destroying our country? Seems to me that trickle down economics – which requires millions in incentives or discounts to the investor class to prop up an economy – is more to blame.