Start a War, No Money Down! - New York Times

By MATT MILLER

New York Times

May 14, 2005

[Infomercial director: " 'The Republican Guide to Wartime Tax Cuts' ... Take One ... Action!"]

ANNOUNCER: In the old days, war profiteering was a grueling round-the-clock job. You actually had to make something, like planes or guns, and then overcharge the government obscenely. Now, thanks to the Republicans, countless Americans are becoming "war profiteers" in their spare time - and you can, too. Riches once thought to be the exclusive preserve of a few unsavory arms merchants have been made available to thousands of successful Americans, many of whom pull in the cash literally as they sleep!

What's their secret? With "The Republican Guide to Wartime Tax Cuts," you can find out what's in the playbook of Republican professionals. You'll get the war you want without laying out a dime, even as you benefit from huge tax cuts to boot (note: certain income thresholds apply).

And here's the kicker: you can slip the bill for all of this - both the war and your tax cut - to unsuspecting children!

I know what you're thinking: "I don't have the self-confidence or social skills to reach for such dreams." But here's the truth: neither did Republicans a few years ago. Yet just this week they came through again. On Wednesday, George Bush signed into law an additional $82 billion for Iraq, which brings the amount America has spent to oust Saddam Hussein and occupy the country close to $300 billion.

Now, whatever you thought about Saddam, the best news is this: we got this war for no money down and zero payments for 10 years. That's right: every penny spent on this war has been added to the deficit. And this latest $82 billion sailed through without a hitch, with no pesky questions as to whether we should actually pay for our own wars today.

(Yes, there was one scare, when Joe Biden said we could do that by repealing a sliver of the tax cuts with which the G.O.P. has incentivized important Americans. Luckily this notion was swatted away as "nongermane.") Now the drive for more tax cuts continues, even as yearly deficits close in on half a trillion dollars!

If you're ready to bring into your own life the power that this total suppression of fiscal and moral reality can offer, "The Republican Guide" is for you. Our CD's and training manuals will teach you how to profit during wartime without ever leaving your home. In an age of everlasting war, we'll show you which congressmen to call to make sure your tax cuts are permanent to match.

But there's more. Beyond learning how to maximize your own wartime tax cuts, you'll master previously undisclosed behavioral secrets that let you act as if there's nothing wrong with getting yours while the getting's good - just as top Republicans do!

Don't take my word for it. Listen to how someone just like you changed his life in a few short hours of study.

[Testimonial]

THIRTY-SOMETHING MALE: I never felt strong enough to utterly ignore Judeo-Christian ethics, even though I suspected that could get me the life I dreamed of. That's why "The Republican Guide" is so inspiring.

Believe it or not, there was actually a time when it was considered offensive to fight wars and cut taxes at the same time. In those days, conservatives were ostracized for wanting to scrap estate taxes for wealthy heirs while soldiers died in distant lands and their families scraped by on food stamps. I know - it seems so far away!

That's when I had to ask myself: if Republicans could find the courage to put these inhibitions behind them, imagine what I could do to reach for the brass ring in my own life. Now, though I'd rather not go into the details, I make more money, pay less taxes and have a beautiful wife and child.

[Back to announcer]

ANNOUNCER: So what are you waiting for? Our operators are standing by at call centers in India. Let "The Republican Guide to Wartime Tax Cuts" change your life, just as it's changed America.

[Voice-over]

WARNING: Support for the Republicans' wartime fiscal policy may include such side effects as 50 million uninsured, crumbling roads and bridges, and swelling inequality. If you are concerned about any of these symptoms, please call Dr. Howard Dean.

E-mail: mattmiller@nytimes.com
Matt Miller is a fellow at the Center for American Progress. Maureen Dowd is on book leave until July 6.