Vital Signs

Neocons, Naxalites, and National Demise

The neoconservatives have promoted an aggressive U.S. foreign policy that they term “benevolent global hegemony.”  In other words, they demand, to paraphrase Pat Buchanan, “an empire, not a republic.”

What makes the American Empire an unprecedented historical phenomenon—the one instance in which the creed of American Exceptionalism holds true—is that the U.S. government, unlike previous imperial powers, seeks to acquire and maintain an empire from which it derives no economic benefits.  In fact, not only is our pursuit of world empire shredding the Constitution (as well as countless lives), it is bankrupting the country.

By the end of 2005, the national debt had grown to $8.1 trillion, or 64.7 percent of GDP.  That is nearly six times the amount of currency in circulation.  Forty-four percent of that debt was held by foreigners.  Of that, 64 percent was held by central banks.  Since September 30, 2005, the debt has been increasing at the rate of approximately two billion dollars per day.  On a per capita basis, it has now reached $28,000.  What has been the response of Congress?  Reduce spending?  Increase taxes?  No.  In March 2006, it raised the legal debt ceiling to nine trillion dollars to allow for even more government borrowing.

The deficit for 2005 was $726 billion, or 5.8 percent of GDP.  In “Does...

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