This simple point needs to be repeated over and over. You can always spend more, but there isn't always more money to tax.
The other things that really grates is that when government borrows money it is essentially taxing future generations -- i.e. people who can't yet vote. Taxing people who can't vote to give goodies to people who can is anti-democratic. It represents a fundamental breakdown of our system of government.
[Dawn] PAKISTAN remains in the dog house of the international community mainly because its rulers refuse to accept that violence and conflict within the country are escalating and have serious ramifications for the entire region.
Pakistain's friends fear a severe economic meltdown and there are widespread concerns over continuing corruption which has also partly impaired governance.
Amazingly, while turban non-state actors are knocking down our doors and have successfully solidified their networks, our civil institutions are busy rubbing each others' noses in the dirt -- perhaps for sound reasons but the rubbing is excessive.
Constant political bickering keeps policymakers, the media, the judiciary and the public distracted from the risks we face.
Corruption is rife in all governments and institutions. Sadly, selective investigations often remain inconclusive. Ironically, most of those accused of corruption brazenly say they have been singled out, rather than plead innocence and prove it too.
Other well-intentioned spectators argue that accountability should be all-comprehensive and not limited to monetary corruption alone. It should be across the board and judged by an institution or body of people who have an unblemished past. There is no doubt that intellectual corruption or oppression can often be far more devastating for its victims. It demolishes societal values too.
But how far back can Pakistain dig into its past without being ripped apart? Or indeed do we still have honest brokers? While impunity must end so that the country's wealth is no longer plundered and oppressors or dictators who play havoc with the future of a nation are not endorsed by unscrupulous civilians, such a venture will spare hardly anyone and sap all national energy.
These are tough decisions for any society, but must clearly be taken by the people of the country, rather than by former collaborators or those accused of corruption. Initiatives towards transitional justice only triumph when a society is prepared to accept its mistakes.
At the moment, claims of righteousness abound and exhibitions of greed have reached sickening heights. Any hope of arriving at the truth will only add to the heap of historical propaganda accumulated by us. Presently, the more pressing need is to secure a future that may be less painful, rather than go down with a swansong of half-truths.
The greater challenge for Pakistain is to keep the democratic cycle running, along with improving the abysmal state of governance. Most importantly, our leadership should fully comprehend, admit and face up to the challenges thrown at the country by turban non-state networks. The latter rule through divisions while the former is conceding territorial and political ground to jihadis of all types and nationalities.
It is reprehensible that any country should violate the territorial integrity of another; but it is even worse for a country to allow non-state intruders to dictate state policies under the threat of violence and for the government to swallow it meekly.Under the present circumstances, there are greater chances of the transition to democracy rolling back, rather than an improvement in this climate of political bickering. A reversal of the system will sweep with it all the so-called citadels of free expression, the rule of law and political democracy unless urgent and sustainable political and economic measures are taken.
Pakistain is slipping into isolation. Fatigue with the inertia shown by Pakistain's leadership in putting its house in order is clearly visible in the international community.
Foreign investment has dried up and local industry is barely surviving without the supply of gas and electricity. The economic gains made by other countries in the region have simply passed us by because we have no policy to thrive on and instead live from day to day.
Growing economies produce the glue that strengthens nationhood, while depleting ones invite conflict and external intervention. The fissures in Pak society are once again apparent. The internal fracturing of the state as well as the external factors responsible for this must be urgently addressed and a few entry points identified for a solid start.
Pakistain should revisit its foreign policy with its neighbours at the regional level and with the US. This exercise must be realistic and aimed at improving the quality of life of ordinary Paks, rather than be tailored to appease the right-wing.
At the national level, massive restructuring is required but priority must be given to monitoring and fine-tuning the process of devolution under the 18th Amendment. There are examples: Brazil had to put in place a federal investigating body to ensure that law-enforcement under the command of the federating units did not get away with human rights ...which are usually entirely different from personal liberty... violations.
Similarly, the centre should retain policymaking on education and health. At another level, a constitutional court as promised in the Charter of Democracy should be seriously considered. Small causes courts, which are limited to addressing minor offences and disputes, should be reactivated at the union council level. The rising crime graph is disturbing. The professional skills of our police, especially in investigating crime, have to be sharpened. Resources spent on defence must substantially, though incrementally, be reallocated towards improving governance.
Elections should be held every four years so that there are ample opportunities for a fresh, more visionary leadership to get into the political loop. This could also rejuvenate the present archaic style of running political parties. Mechanisms set up for accountability and conducting elections should be completely autonomous and impartial.
The inclusion of Gilgit-Baltistan as well as Fata in mainstream politics should be thoroughly discussed and effectively implemented. The politicianship of Azad Jammu & Kashmire should be permitted to run its own affairs without constant dictates from Islamabad. The issue of Balochistan ...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it... is complex and it deepens with each day of vacillation.
There are no easy solutions to the formidable challenges we face but the least people expect from those in positions of power is to keep the interest of the people above personal ambitions at a time when the country is almost collapsing.
The country will have to collapse before it can reform. Even that is is an optimistic long shot.
The country has no good institutions or traditions to fall back on. They are just a dysfunctional bunch of tribes fueled by radical Islamic passions, with a topping of nukes of unknown quality and security, propped up by money and other aid from the US, Saudi, china. The sooner they fall apart the better the world will be.
We need to stop funding losers.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
Worst run and most dangerous country in the world.
Are the Debates About Manufacturing Jobs, Energy Independence and Illegal Immigration About to Become Irrelevant?
By Clark S. Judge
Mr. Judge argues in this guest essay at Hugh Hewitt that the traditional arguments about our elections -- manufacturing, energy, and immigration -- may matter less in election 2012 and beyond. He marshals his reasons; worth a look.
Not to dispute Mr. Judge's sited trends, but I suspect as many here, I firmly believe "jobs, energy, and immigration" are still quite relevant. Perhaps a more valid explanation for the recent distancing of these topics might be Obama's absolutely dismal record in these key areas over the past three years. His record will not permit an intelligent engagement in the "traditional" election arguments and topics. That leaves Obama with the typically leftest themes of class warfare wealth redistribution, hate mongering, and division as discussion points. I am certain he feels considerably more at home with these anyway.
I believe candidate Romney can prevail if he sticks to the so-called traditional election arguments as he did last evening in his New Hampshire victory speech.
As an aside, wasn't Mrs. Romney's introduction last evening splendid? Imagine the current First Lady attempting such a performance.
Three d money tanks food and jobs wonder how the flat landers at the Pentagon and cern are doing today? Perhaps we could print 3-d people to fight for us and take our country back. The the 3-d printed steak it's real good with Heinz-57 on it and french fries.As for exporting energy why then does it cost so much to fill up, hows the wind mill tank core coming, solar panels for break away armor? How about that coming out of the closet in the military and all the humping ion people and broom sticks in asses. Wake Up people!
Manufacturing has declined (gone to China)--much to dismay of most of us. We haven't had an energy policy since the Department of Energy was established. Siting requirements for new power plants are lengthy. EPA has regulated cheap energy out of existence. Ditto a policy on illegal immigration (cheap labor). Neither party wants to do anything about it--especially in an election year.
However, people out in fly over land are paying $4-$5 per gallon of gasoline. That price is reflected in the price of everything else we buy. Green energy doesn't get us where we want to be. Jobs (manufacturing as well as other jobs) are an issue with people since the real unemployment rate
is around 17-18%. Illegal immigration is an issue because Americans are paying for health care and social services they may use while here.
I think Clark Judge is out of touch. While part of what he says is true, the issues he points out of extreme importance to Americans.
I didn't read him to say that these weren't important to many voters. Rather I read him to say that there are major structural changes happening that will reduce their impact/urgency over the next few years.
If he's right, then our response should address how to manage the shift rather than how to push back against trends that are (mistakenly) considered to be one-way.
Manufacturing has declined (gone to China)--much to dismay of most of us.
Most of us who never had to do those dirty, repetitive, mindless jobs. The problem is we have no jobs for those who have been mis-educated by our public schools to do nothing more than be factory cogs in dirty, repetitive, mindless jobs. Maybe the problem is with the education system, because the Chinese won't be doing them in a generation because most of them will be fully automated by then.