Thursday, May 08, 2008

No Debt for Oil!

Since the supporters of the Great Patriotic War in Iraq seem totally unfazed by the casualties (hey, it’s not them), I’m hoping they at least appreciate the horrible way it has been financed.
The Iraq war, says economist Joseph Stiglitz, is “the first U.S. war financed entirely on credit.” When the war started, the Bush administration said it would cost no more than $60 billion. But the U.S. budget was already in deficit, so the administration had to borrow money to finance the invasion. About 40 percent of the money was borrowed from China and other international investors—the first time since the Revolutionary War that foreigners financed a U.S. war. At the same time, the administration and Congress lowered taxes instead of raising them, as is customary in wartime. The Federal Reserve kept interest rates low, which encouraged middle-class Americans to go on a consumption binge financed by credit cards and home-equity loans.

Today, say Stiglitz and other economists, the bills for the country’s spending spree are starting to come due, in the form of higher prices, a weakened dollar, and lower living standards. “There’s no such thing as a free war,” Stiglitz said. “The U.S.—and the world—will be paying the price for decades to come.”
And we now know that far from borrowing just the measly $60 billion unrealistically projected by the Bushies, we are looking at figures in the TRILLIONS of dollars being put on the national credit card before it’s all done (if ever) and essentially getting nothing out of it but death and destruction and higher oil prices.
Along with the Bush tax cuts (largely for the wealthy), this is staggering fiscal irresponsibility on a massive scale. Cut taxes and spend more! A lot more. In the past, some have called various levels of government spending “irresponsible”. You know what’s even more irresponsible, spending the money and not bringing in revenues to pay for those expenses. Tax and spend is one thing; don’t tax and spend more is lunacy.

This is why I find the (many) idiocies of Rod Blagojevich so hard to get upset about. It’s like fretting over the crabgrass in your yard while your house is on fire. I’m not saying there isn’t room for both, but proportionally the bigger, much bigger, problems emanate from the Bush administration. I look forward to the day when I have the time to devote emotional energy to where the governor lives and whether his choice means he hates me.


Anonymous said...

Do not worry, Obama will fix all of this

geek_god_guy said...

Quit being an elitist, don't you know God (thru his blessed agent, Bush) sent our brave Soldiers there to spread His word at gunpoint.

Quit clinging to the teachings of that "French" pacifist Jesus Christ who said "Blessed are the Peacemakers" and "Do onto others as you want done onto you".

RickMonday said...

I have to agree with Dave on this one. The financing of the war has been a disgrace and has seriously damaged the US finances.

Last night, I met a National Guardsman who has been to Iraq twice and Afghanistan once. His job was base security. He was responsible for inspecting packages entering and leaving the bases. He told me that one time he inspected 2 garbage bags full of cash, in 10's, leaving the US base in Afghanistan and going to the local warlords. I asked him how much was in the bags and he said $400,000.

So we are paying off all of these people with our tax dollars and debt. Unbelievable.