The Beltway Beast is about how the two tribes of Washington, Democrats and Republicans, are stealing from our children and destroying the middle class. This book argues that both parties govern in unison by adding trillions of dollars of debt on future generations without any plans to pay for them. They are taxing working income at a higher rate than non-working income, one of the main factors that is contributing to inequality. Both parties have monopolized the elections. Americans do not have a choice to elect the best leaders in the country except the ones offered by both parties. Even though the book was written in 2014, it is more relevant now and will continue to be until there is a check on two major political party monopoly.
The U.S. seems to be run by non-elected leaders. The Federal Reserve keeps on printing money to keep the economy going, elections are decided by the courts instead of people, and the country is governed by executive orders. Congresspersons, Senators, and the President are busy spending time on keeping their jobs rather than DOING their jobs. In the meantime, 3,000 Americans are dying everyday due to the coronavirus pandemic, yet nobody wants to take the responsibility.
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in over 300,000 American deaths in 2020. However, President Trump graded his response to Corona Virus as A+. Moreover, President Trump and Vice President Pence both have been claiming that they have saved millions of American lives. Only in Washington where the deaths of 300,000 Americans is considered an A+ performance while claiming millions of American lives were saved. This twisted logic is what this book is all about.
The two major party system is a relic of the past. Their priority seems to be allegiance to their party and tribe first before the country. The time for political disruption is now. President Trump received almost 74 million votes in 2020, which is a few million more than what he received in 2016. This was despite the fact that millions of Americans were unemployed and 225,000 Americans were dead due to the coronavirus as of October 31, 2020. No incumbent president could have garnered more votes than his previous election with such a failing report card on the economy and health insecurity. One can only conclude that Democrats were unable to make a case for their agenda to those 74 million Trump voters.
The Republican party has lost its way and has become a Trump party, a party of fear mongering and division. According to a focus group commissioned by RNC, the Republican party was described “as a party of “scary,” “narrow minded, out of touch,” and “stuffy old men.” They have elected two presidents in the 21st century who followed their gut and instincts instead of facts or science. President George W. Bush got us into the Iraq war contrary to any evidence of WMDs and Trump ignored the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic warnings, both resulting in thousands of American deaths and trillions of dollars in debt.
Democrats have not fared well either, given that they were unable to gain any seats in the House of Representatives or state legislatures in the 2020 election. They seem to have a plan for everything but were unable to convince half of the country to believe in their agenda. Both parties have divided the country into red and blue and us versus them mindset.
The Beltway Beast is an outsider’s perspective of Washington D.C. and the paralyzing politics that have brought progress to a halt. It is a compendium of the real state of our union, covering a broad range of subjects affecting our lives instead of offering an in-depth analysis of one subject. It contextualizes the current crisis at a macro level and proposes a way out of our current quagmire.
The Beltway consists of Washington, D.C. and surrounding counties, and the Beast includes the White House, Congress, Military-Industrial Complex, multinational corporations, foreign agents and lobbyists among others. Thus, the title, the Beltway Beast. Honorable people go to Washington filled with idealism, wanting to serve their country—but immediately find that they are enmeshed in tribal warfare. They are unable to function in any meaningful sense apart from the unwritten rules and expectations of the two-party system. Consequently, most of them succumb to the Beltway Beast and become part of its machinery. The preservation, perpetuation, and enshrinement of the Beast become an end in itself.
Bill Gates of Microsoft, Steve Jobs of Apple, Elon Musk of SpaceX and Tesla, and others in their twenties and thirties have ushered us into the digital age and disrupted the old corporate model. In the same vein, there is an urgency for the younger generation to disrupt the American political system by offering an alternative to two major political parties and the current electoral process. A process where billions of dollars are spent by politicians to get elected with no benefits to the average American except for those living in the Beltway.
This book offers common sense solutions proposed by experts to problems that are suffocating Americans. Too often we accept the status quo instead of questioning why things are the way they are. For example,
• Why is working income taxed at a higher rate than non-working income?
• Why do corporations keep two sets of books, one for the IRS for tax purposes and a second one for Wall Street/Shareholders?
• Why there is no Social Security and Medicare tax (FICA) on non-working income?
• Why is the US Government making profits on student loans?
• Why does college tuition continue to rise at a higher rate than inflation?
• Who speaks for the majority of Americans who are independents?
• Why do the majority of Americans who are independent have to choose between Democrats and Republicans only for the President of the United States?
• Why can’t we reduce the cost of medical care so that it is affordable instead of relying on health insurance as the only solution?
• Why is Medicare, the largest buyer of drugs, prohibited by law from negotiating drug prices?
• Why did Congress enact laws that incentivize corporations to export jobs?
• Why is every small country or group a threat to the United States but not to Russia, China, or India?
“He marshals impressive statistical evidence in favor of his thesis that government aggrandizement has come at the expense of voter power. … he offers a measured, serious diagnosis of today’s political difficulties, coupled with a wealth of provocative potential solutions. An engaging critique that sees the two-party system as the source of the United States’ political travails.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“The Beltway Beast is a concise look at a litany of problems with the American political system. … The book is well researched, filled with statistics. … His tone of controlled, well-thought-out frustration and exasperation will resonate with many Americans, and this calm reasoning helps further the cause more effectively than rage.” (Foreword Reviews)
“Munir Moon succinctly states the purpose for his excellent, thoughtful book. … I cannot over-stress the quality of Moon’s research. … This book needs to be not just read, not just shared, but acted upon immediately. The Beltway Beast is vital in these times.” (San Francisco Book Review)
“I found The Beltway Beast and Munir Moon’s wealth of statistical information to back up his dissertation a fascinating read that in many respects will confirm the people’s view of the inefficiencies and ineffectiveness inherent in the current U.S.political and domestic systems.” (Readers’ Favorite)