And the strategy of "taxing the rich" seldom really buys you much.
Note this chart: Top tax rates and total receipts (and do note the source at the bottom: IRS)
Great, now overlay that chart with the gini co-efficient and tell me that top marginal rates have no effect. You're right that they don't increase total receipts, but they have a huge impact on who pays the bills. Obviously there are diminishing returns, at some point tax avoidance becomes more important that investment returns and that's counter-productive but we're no where near that transition at the moment.
The US is at war with al Qaida.
No, we're not. Although I would have favored a declaration of war after the attack on the twin towers the government failed to do that. Instead we had "Authorization for use of military force on terrorists". In section 2 it says "(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons." So if tomorrow the president wakes up and decides that you aided Al Qaida, he's pre-authorized to kill you without further oversight, end of story. Since the authorization doesn't come with an expiration date there are some disturbing long term implications for rule of law in the US.