There Is No Cat

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Sunday, November 16, 2003

The new man on the moon

The New York Times has an article about how health insurance is becoming a luxury for those of us fools trapped in the middle class. Leaving aside the question of insurance, there was an interesting quote in the article (which I originally saw highlighted on Damien Barrett's blog):

As for her own health, Ms. Johnston has two cysts in one breast and three in another but has had only one aspirated because she cannot afford to check on the others. "Do I have to move to Iraq to get help?" she asked. "They have $87 billion for folks over there," she said, referring to money Congress allocated for military operations and rebuilding.

I'm seeing this more and more often lately; people making the connection between government not being able to help Americans because of a lack of money and the huge amount of money that materialized from nowhere to send to Iraq. When I was growing up in th 1970s, when someone wanted to express exasperation about politicians' sense of priorities, they said something along the lines of "we can send a man to the moon, but we can't ______". It appears to me that the analogous construction for today is "we can spend $87 billion on Iraq, but we can't _____".

If this mentality really takes hold, and it appears to me that it is, then Dubya is toast. Because this little construction shows that people are starting to make the connection between Dubya's promiscuous military ways and their own pocketbooks.

Posted at 10:14 AM

Comments

Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

Interesting but there are two complications. Firstly, some may argue that $87 billion to secure a cheap oil supply is a good investment. Even if that were true it would not make it right, but a sound refutation on economic grounds would be useful.

Secondly, it is not really fair to say that $87 billion is going to Iraq. For a start, about $8.5 million of it is earmarked to suppress protests at the FTAA meeting next week in Miami. Most of the rest is going to corporations linked to the Bush regime which will cream off a good percentage for themselves. So it is more a case of Bush giving money to his rich friends, rather than to Iraq.

Posted by Ian Gregory at 1:10 PM, November 16, 2003 [Link]

Doesn't matter if the money is going to Iraq or to Halliburton or if it's a good investment or not. The point is that $87 billion is now embedded in the mind of the people as "money we're sending somewhere else instead of spending on something the government should be doing for me". The figure is so associated with Dubya's administration that it's going to be impossible for Dubya to disassociate himself from it. From now on, whenever he talks about things the government can't afford, people will think of 87 billion reasons why we could afford it if Dubya wasn't Resident.

Posted by ralph at 7:18 PM, November 16, 2003 [Link]

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What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

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