TEXT OF COMMENTARY
SCOTT JAGOW: Today, President Bush meets with Democratic leaders to talk about war spending. Specifically, a $100 billion supplemental he wants Congress to approve. At the same time, Bush wants Congress make his tax cuts permanent. Otherwise, they’ll expire in three years. Commentator Ben Stein believes the tax cuts should go, so the military can get paid.
BEN STEIN: For the rich in this country, things have never been better. There are over 500 billionaires. There is a long waiting lost for Bentleys and high end yachts. Wall Street powers routinely make $50 million a year and more. They have birthday parties with statues gushing champagne.
But we live in a small bubble of freedom and prosperity on this mad, dangerous earth, and it’s protected by the men and women of the military and their families. They live on a pittance.
While the rich get in line for Ferraris and $10 million co-ops, the men and women who save our lives get paid in a year what Wall Streeters make in a minute.
I know these military families. They put their lives and their families’ future on the line for us every day.
But somehow, at least partly because of lowered federal revenue because of tax cuts for the very rich, the military cannot get adequate pay, adequate training, adequate equipment when they go off to fight for us.
This is just an outrage, to have such opulence at home while the people who defend us in our bubble live in such dire straits.
Here’s one thing we know for sure: The people who give their blood and their lives for us need more money, and there are more than enough rich in this country, and they’ve got more than enough money to pay a bit more tax.
That’s partly economics and partly just basic decency.
JAGOW: Ben Stein is an actor, writer, lawyer and economist.
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