President Squat
Ends the Draft

The draft is ended! America's young adults are free!

And so is a college education. In fact, that's the point. You see, after the compulsory military draft officially ended in 1973, a different kind of draft, a more subtle but equally coercive draft, has replaced it. That draft is the leveraging of college enrollment costs and the student debt crisis.

On 17 September 2019, Army Times reported that the military had surpassed their recruitment goals for the year, more than three months before the year even ended. Not surprisingly, it was not the endless, bloody wars in the Middle East that drew in new recruits. Those enlisting were doing so because they couldn't afford college and were aware of the enormous problems facing young graduates entering the work force under the crushing weight of student loan indebtedness.

It's a poverty draft, in other words.

Combine all the factors involved and it all makes sense.

First, it is increasingly true that young people without a college education are stuck in the lowest paying and least desirable jobs, often earning so little they have to stay in their parents' basements for years. In most of the country, housing and other costs of living have skyrocketed, while wages remain stagnant or worse.

Second, they are unable to pay the costs of enrollment and have to decide whether to go into debt or skip a higher education altogether.

Third, most are keenly aware of the enormous burden carried by those who borrowed money to further their education and are desperate for alternatives, even ones that would be unthinkable in better times.

Now, thanks to some rarely-discussed provisions included in the 2002 "No Child Left Behind Act," all schools receiving federal funds have to turn over the names, addresses and phone numbers of students to the military upon request. Schools must also allow the military access to classrooms, as well, meaning that recruiters come on campus in middle schools and high schools to recruit young people right there. This is done most aggressively in low income and minority neighborhoods. And the big selling point is not "help us fight the war." That obviously wouldn't work. It's more like: "Can you afford $40,000 in tuition? Do you want to be saddled with a huge college debt you won't repay until you're 50?"

And that is a draft. It's just a sneakier form of the old pre-1970s military draft. It traps minorities and the poor who are least able to afford college and least confident about their futures. Worse still, it affords the Pentagon the kind of cannon fodder that encourages reckless engagements abroad. After all, the ones bleeding to death in the sand and getting blown to pieces by improvised explosives are the ones whose families have the least power and influence over government. For all practical purposes, their complaints are mute.

In other words, the military is recruiting for the battlefield the young people who are most expendable in our society - the children of the working classes and the poor.

So how did this genius hamster figure out how to end this horrible injustice?

First, by executive order, he forgave all student debt. It's cancelled. Finished. Then, second, he managed to strong arm Congress into funding public colleges so that education is free for students in those communities and states. That's what state universities and community colleges were meant to be, in the first place.

But Diddley plans to go still further. If you add to the "official" military budget all the "spin-off" costs - veterans care, the military share of the national debt, the hidden items, the special operating funds, the emergency war funds - and then include the expenses associated with the 17 largely-redundant intelligence agencies grabbing a massive hunk of the budget, we're not spending billions per year for "defense." The national security state is costing us - you, me, everybody - trillions per year.

So here's a message to those of you who have already spent years paying down college debt, and those who have risked their lives in the military in the hopes the recruiters would keep their slithery promise to either pay college costs or reduce already-acquired debt:

Don't feel cheated. This outrageous budget will be slashed to near nothing, and the people will be refunded their money. At an estimated $2.5 trillion per year (most of the intelligence budget is classified, meaning they won't even tell you how much is getting spent), that amounts to roughly $7,600 for every man, woman and child in the country. For a family of six, their share is over $45 thousand each year - considerably more than a working class income.

And guess what! Diddley's going to send it back to you - if not all, the vast majority of it. If you are a single adult, you'll get a check for roughly $7 thousand. For a large family - say two parents and eight children - the amount would be more than $70 thousand.

And in future years, the exorbitant amounts of money spent on warmongering and extending raw power over the rest of earth's inhabitants, will be reduced by 90 per cent, with that which is left going to repair dams that are structurally unsound, improving roads, funding better schools and public transportation and, of course, free college for all.

Now go out and hug everyone you know who plans to vote hamster in November! And don't waste your vote on anyone else. Make our dreams come true. Elect Diddley Squat in 2020!