Civil Discourse Now

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Kent Abernathy needs to look at a map + realize where we really should cut the budget

Another of my opponents in the May 5 GOP primary for U.S. House in Indiana’s 5th Congressional District, is Kent Abernathy, whose campaign website home page features eight photographs: at the bottom of the page are two family photographs and one photograph of Mr Abernathy with then-Indiana Governor Mike Pence; in the middle of the page is a face shot of Mr Abernathy; and at the top and in the middle of the page are photographs related to Mr Abernathy’s military career.
Mr Abernathy was one of six participants in a 12/07/19 “forum” for GOP candidates in Indiana’s 5th: “The only substantial point of disagreement was about whether or not to pull troops from Afghanistan. Abernathy was the only one who did not call for immediate troop withdrawal.
‘You got to complete the task, you got to do the job,’ Abernathy says. ‘We need to remain committed to the Middle East.’” WFYI, 12/07/19.
First, I have yet to read a statement of a specific task or goal of our presence in Afghanistan since forces of the U.S. and other countries arrived there in 2001 to force the Taliban out of power and deny Al Qaeda a place to train terrorists.
When Mr Abernathy says you “got to complete the task ... do the job” he implies there is some end result for our presence there - after nearly 20 years.
Second, Mr Abernathy does not understand a problem that is geographical. Afghanistan’s mountains impedes conventional military approaches, sure, but Mr Abernathy needs to understand: AFGHANISTAN IS NOT PART OF THE MIDDLE EAST.
If Mr Abernathy believes we “need to remain committed to the Middle East,” it would be good if he knew what countries comprise the Middle East. Otherwise he might expand our forces far beyond that area of the World.
Third, it should be no surprise that, on issues, Mr. Abernathy lists NATIONAL DEFENSE first and says: “The first priority of the federal government is to ensure the safety and security of our citizens. We must ensure we have a well-trained and well-equipped military, but make responsible choices in how we best spend our defense dollars.”
Mr Abernathy fails to understand that our oversized military engaged constantly around the planet, makes us less secure. Our undeclared wars have killed a lot of people. An example: we created the security threat from Iran in the early 1950s when we helped overthrow its elected government.
The Constitution provides that Congress has the power to declare war. Const. Art. I, sec. 8. We only should use military force after a declaration of war. We’d kill fewer people, have fewer of our own people killed, and be more secure.
Our military budget is greater than the next seven biggest and spenders and accounts for thirty-seven percent (37%) of the World’s total military expenditures, according to the Peter G. Petersen Foundation.
We bomb, or attack with drones, people half-way around the World with accuracy of five percent (5%) or less - i.e., 95% is “collateral” damage. No matter the accuracy - or inaccuracy - of our weapons, we kill people.
Fourth, Mr Abernathy advocates “a responsible annual budget ... one of the core responsibilities of Congress.” He laments that “State and local governments have to live
within their means.”
The Fed spent $3.4 trillion in 2015, and transferred about $508 billion to states and $23 billion to local governments. taxpolicycenter.org State and local governments receive matching grants in Medicaid and other programs.
Instead of gutting our infrastructure, leaving the sick untreated, and starving the poor, we could chop the budget for the military in half. To many - Mr Abernathy, apparently, included - the military budget is sacrosanct. It isn’t.
Fifth, Mr Abernathy says the current occupant of the Oval Office “has done a tremendous job
rebuilding our economy. We must continue to reduce or eliminate unreasonable bureaucratic
regulations and mandates that stifle economic growth to allow the private sector to do what
it does best – create jobs.”
The Impeached One has done nothing “positive” for the economy. There was nothing to “rebuild.” The prior administration - the last to be legally elected without foreign interference - left an economy that was in good shape.
The tariffs imposed during hissy fits of the Impeached One have been paid by Americans. His tax cuts to the very rich have not stimulated the economy. And what are the “unreasonable bureaucratic regulations and mandates that stifle economic growth”?
The EPA - created under a GOP President - has been gutted. The USDA allows more rat hair and hog testicles in our meats. Student loan vultures no longer are held at bay. Of course, these all were REASONABLE regs. Maybe they are not what Mr Abernathy means.
Finally, Mr Abernathy touts the “right to bear arms” as fundamental and vows to “protect the rights of the unborn.” It is odd that an individual would imbue human-made implements with Constitutional protections, yet deny the same protections to people with uteruses (women).
I have addressed some, but not all, of the points Mr Abernathy lists on his website.
I am Mark Small, a candidate for U.S. House in Indiana’s 5th Congressional District. I am proud to be a progressive. I cannot get pregnant, so I won’t tell women what to do with their bodies.
I opposed our military involvement in Vietnam. That was a long time ago. Today we need to do the obvious and reign in several fiscal policies: tax cuts for the very rich and idiotic military spending. I approve of this blog. Hell, I wrote it.

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