Michael Gerson: U.S. can't dither with domestic politics and ignore the world

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  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2013 3:35 p.m.

    @ "Mountainman" Where in the constitution does it say we should provide for "nation building" and military intervention in (at last count over 90 nations)around the globe?

    I AGREE with you that those are individual responsibilities; EXCEPT - all aspects of the healthcare delivery system is controlled in some way by the federal government.

    I'm not NECESSARILY advocating for the govt. to deliver basic healthcare, food or shelter for its own citizens. I'm merely pointing out the "upside down" thinking that we currently are providing much more for other countries' needs than we should.

    Simply put, if it were up to you (never mind the 47% argument, or the "free healthcare" argument) which would YOU rather do - spend 1 trillion on our own citizens, or 1 trillion on nation building overseas?

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    March 20, 2013 2:25 p.m.

    A nation's ability to exert military power and influence foreign nations is directly related to its economic ability to pay for the effort.

    While the upper economic classes export good jobs to China, the jobs that remain or are subsequently created don't pay enough to generate sufficient tax money for our expansive defense capability.

    Median household income is now around $50,000 a year, where in 2007 it was $54,000 a year. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that this exacerbates the 47% freeloader problem Mountain Man talks about - and gives us less money to pay for the defense related employees who are dependent upon tax money.

    Lower incomes in the middle class equate to less money for military muscle, the capability of projecting our influence externally.

    Corporations and the wealthy are flush with cash. Many of them really don't care about American foreign policy or democratic values. It doesn't make sense to keep asking the people who have less to contribute more.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 20, 2013 12:44 p.m.

    @ Fitness Frank. According to our constitution its not the obligation of the government to provide basic healthcare, food or shelter for its own citizens. Those are individual responsibilities. And by the way, the 47% of Americans who pay no federal income taxes is the real public gravy train! As we are learning by our exploding national debt there is not enough money in the economy to pay for healthcare, food or shelter for those who will not do it for themselves.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    March 20, 2013 12:33 p.m.

    Gerson equates influence with military power. While there is truth in that, the American example of freedom and restraint gives us moral authority that is influential as well. The irony is a "Christian" nation that solves every problem with a gun.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    Sometimes I wonder if the same lobbyists that are hired for the military/industrial complex and cheap illegal foreign workers also pay columnists like this to "whip up the masses" against each other.

    A LOT of Americans (with the exceptions of RINO's like McCain, Lindsay Graham and Hatch) are pretty tired of "nation building" when we can't even afford to provide basic healthcare or food/shelter for our OWN citizens.

    The slogan "America comes first" is really the slogan of most all rational Americans.

    The only ones who aren't behind that effort are the lobbyists for businesses who want to keep the public "gravy train" coming.