For all of my adult life, I’ve heard the Republican Party being accused of being war mongers. Obviously, these accusations come from people who are not Republicans and are done with the intent of making Republicans look bad.
But of the 14 international wars that United States armed forces have participated in since the Civil War, the split is exactly even between Republicans and Democrats.
However, if we look at the cost of those wars, especially the cost in human lives, the scale has to come down on the side of the Democrats. I say that because there were Democrat Presidents in office at the beginning of most of the bloodiest wars that we have participated in, specifically World War I, World War II and the Korean War.
So the idea that Republicans are war mongers and that Democrats are peace-loving people just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Republicans do stand for a strong military, while Democrats tend to hate the military and reduce their funding.
The Republican idea is to have a strong enough military that we don’t need to get involved in wars, simply because nobody would want to take the chance of fighting a losing war with us.
Nevertheless, the idea of Republicans being war mongers prevails and is widely touted as fact. Perhaps this is, at least in part, because the people propagating that narrative are mostly in the news media, and as we all know, they are over 90 percent Democrats, who are more interested in spreading anti-Republican propaganda than they are in real news.
War and the Economy
Part of this narrative is that Republicans use wars to boost the economy, while Democrats are perceived as being able to boost the economy without wars. While there might be some truth to that statement, it is largely coincidental, rather than actual.
Changes to the economy generally happen slowly enough, that they aren’t realized during the tenure of a sitting president, but rather appear years later, during another presidency.
One prime example of this is the financial crisis caused by the bursting of the housing bubble. This came about because of banking regulations passed during Clinton’s presidency, which allowed accelerated rate loans and bubble loans for home mortgages.
These loans were a boon to the housing business, increasing the number of new homes built and homes bought, key economic indicators that made the Clinton presidency into an economic “golden age” for the country. But as we all know, when those balloon payments came due, people couldn’t afford them.
Not only that, but housing prices had artificially risen to the point where many people couldn’t refinance their homes. So the bubble popped during the end of Bush the second’s presidency, sending our economy into the most serious recession since the Great Depression.
On the other hand, there is one thing that a president is able to do, which can immediately stimulate the economy. It’s actually more along the lines of public relations than anything else. That is, the president can do a lot to increase public confidence, specifically confidence in the economy.
When they do, it always results in a boon to the country’s economy.
Bill Clinton did this quite effectively, which explains why the years of his presidency are looked at as “golden years” for the nation’s economy. It looks like President Trump is doing so as well, especially as people are starting to realize the impact of the recent tax reform package that he signed into law.
Why War for the Economy?
What makes war look like an economic boon is the vast amount of money the government has to spend to fight a war. War is expensive business; just ask any Democrat you meet. They can probably quote you figures on how much the “War on Drugs” has cost us, just looking at the wars in Afghanistan and Iran.
They blame the national debt on this, even though those wars only account for a small portion of the national debt.
Actually, the idea that wars boost the economy hearkens back to the early days of the last century, especially the years of World War II. President Franklin Roosevelt has been quoted as saying during that time that as much as 40% of the country’s GNP would have to go into war production.
Winning the Second World War was a national goal, with pretty much the whole country pulling together to help ensure that win.
Many of the country’s great corporations were built from infancy to mega-corporations on government contracts issued during that time. Aircraft manufacturers, shipyards and automotive companies received purchase orders to build all they could on a “cost plus 10 percent” basis.
With guaranteed profits like that, massive investment was made into those companies manufacturing capability, which continued to help them once the war was over.
Keep in mind that the country came out of the Great Depression the same year that World War II started. While it wasn’t until later that we entered the war, it is fairly widely known that FDR was working behind the scenes to support the allies as much as possible and to get the US into the war.
Public opinion prevented our entry into the war though, until the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
World War II did boost the nation’s economy; much more so than any war before or since. Yet even smaller wars have helped the economy, simply by increasing military spending. With the military paying top dollar for everything, any company that has military contracts benefits from war.
That benefit then spreads through the rest of the economy, as those companies and their employees spend their profits.
But Start a War for Profits?
The very idea of starting a war for financial profits is just about as cynical as you can get. Perhaps that’s why Democrats make so many accusations against the Republicans for doing just that. Democrat politicians are masters at smear campaigns and saying that George Bush started the war in Iraq (for example) just for financial gain, protecting his family’s financial interest in the oil industry, is a great way of making Bush, and by extension all Republicans look bad.
Starting a war for financial gain is probably the ultimate way of saying that some lives are more valuable than others. It is saying that some people have to die, so that others can make a profit. While I have no doubt that there are people in the world who see things that way, I seriously doubt that our country’s political system would allow them to ascend to high office.
One little detail that most people forget is that the President doesn’t have the power to declare war; that power belongs to Congress. The President is the Commander in Chief and the War Powers Act does allow the president to send troops wherever he sees need, in the national interest.
But that is a limited power. He (or sometime in the future, she) can only do that for a maximum of 30 days. If Congress doesn’t agree with the president in that time, they have to recall the troops.
So, there are checks and balances against even an evil person who attains the presidency, using that position for personal gain in this manner. They would have to convince over half of Congress that there was a necessity for the war and that it would be right for the United States military to continue participating in it.
Of course, the conspiracy theorists will always have an answer for this, telling how manufactured evidence was created to sell Congress on the idea. But that’s a whole lot harder to accomplish than they believe. The number of people who would have to be involved in such a deception would ensure that the truth eventually came out. Their “unnamed sources” don’t count.
It’s a Moral Issue
Ultimately, going to war or not going to war is a moral issue. Throughout history, there have been kings and rulers who chose to go to war for personal gain, conquering new lands to expand their empire. But the United States has never done that. Our wars have been fought on moral grounds.
Even the Revolutionary War and the Civil War were fought on moral grounds. We fought the Revolutionary War to gain our freedom, when Great Britain was levying taxes on the colonies, without giving our forefathers representation in Parliament. That was a moral issue.
While the Civil War was fought for a number of reasons, one of the central ones was over slavery. That’s a moral issue as well. Granted, both sides thought that they had the moral high ground, but it was still a moral issue.
Oh, there are wars that we have been involved in, which can be stated to have a non-moral basis, such as the Whiskey Rebellion and the Indian Wars. I won’t argue that. But by and large, when the United States has gone to war, it has been for the protection of our land, our rights, our freedom or that of other countries around the world.
With this in mind, the very idea of starting a war, just to boost the economy is ridiculous. It goes against the American psyche; against our character; against who we are. Yes, we will use war to profit economically, in any way that we can. But that’s not the same as starting a war for financial profit.
But There’s Another Reason
Anyone who is really watching the economy, rather than just listening to the talking heads on the Democrat propaganda machine, otherwise known as the mainstream media, knows that we don’t need to go to war in order to boost the economy; it’s already receiving a much-needed shot in the arm.
It’s called “the Trump effect” and it started as soon as the results of the 2016 presidential election were in, before the inauguration. President Obama had been so anti-business, that companies were hoarding their profits and moving them overseas.
Little business expansion was happening, because companies with the means to expand were unsure of the business climate. They didn’t want to invest in what could very well be a losing venture.
Business is risky enough as it is. Any experienced businessperson knows how to reduce their exposure as much as possible. So they look for sure things or at least as sure as they can find. A stagnant economy, where the administration is anti-business is not a good place to invest. New regulations could shut down that business opportunity, before it could begin to show a profit.
But Trump is a businessman, who understands business. His pro-business stance has been clear from the very beginning of his campaign. One of his campaign promises was to reduce government regulation, something that he started on as soon as he was sworn in to office. That, in turn, has given corporate boards and private businessmen the confidence to start investing in our economy once again.
Add the recent tax reform to that raised confidence and it’s no wonder that the stock market is riding at record highs, companies are giving bonuses to their employees and major corporations are investing in new facilities, infrastructure and products.
Of course, you don’t hear about this in the mainstream media, because that would make Trump look good, something they can’t tolerate. But it is the truth. Donald Trump has managed to do what Barack Obama couldn’t do, turn the economy around. Rather than a slow recovery from the 2009 recession, we are now seeing a real growth in the economy; one that it looks like we can expect to see continue.
So no, there really isn’t any reason to go to war, at least not to boost the economy. There is enough happening already on that front, without even thinking about using a war for economic gain. If we do go to war, it will have to be as it was in the past, a war to fight injustice in the world; perhaps a continuation of the War on Terror.
But whatever it is, it will be based upon the principles this country was founded upon, not on furthering progressive policies or lining someone’s pockets.
This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.