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I bet Erskine Bowles got called "Erskin BOWELS" a lot back in the 4th grade, back when such things were funny.
The US runs a deficit because neither party wants to raise the taxes necessary for the programs that the people want AND the huge amount needed to project US military power in dozens of overseas bases all around the world. The people of the US get no benefits from expensive bases in Ecuador and Kazakstan or the Island of Diego Garcia. These bases are there to protect the interests of US companies, many of them officially based in places like the Cayman Islands, Bermuda or the Marshall islands to avoid paying taxes to the country that defends their interests with our money.
What is the best way to defend ourselves against terrorists from Afghanistan: preventing them from entering our country, or spending billions for bases all over Afghanistan, a country that has never had a true national government, and likely never will? I suggest that we spend way too much on useless weapons and alliances, and do not tax those who demand we defend their interests abroad.