Many in congress say we need to cut spending elsewhere to keep from passing this debt on to future generations. I'm guessing the administration is all on board with that idea.
How do you put $200 billion in perspective? Let's see; that kind of money buys about 100 B-2 stealth bombers, or maybe ten aircraft carriers. But it's so hard to tell how much these big-ticket weapon systems really cost because they do such a good job of hiding the overruns.
$200 billion is roughly what we've spent on the war in Iraq to date, but it's less than half of the $500 billion we'll spend on defense (not including Homeland Security) in 2006.
That brings me to a letter to the editor from today's Virginian-Pilot, my local paper. It's a repeat of a number of Rovewellian talking points about why we need to "stay the course" in Iraq, and it's a perfect example of how idiotic these arguments are.
Why Are We Rushing the Situation in Iraq?
After 9/11, we Americans were ready and willing to go to war. That war took us to Iraq, and as soon as soldiers started dying, we wanted out. Now it seems that every time the media report on action in Iraq, the report always ends with "there have been (insert number here) casualties since President Bush declared an end to major combat operations."
The majority of Americans are crying "foul" and demanding that the soldiers come home. This seems a bit hypocritical to me. Here in America, we gained our independence in 1776, but it wasn't until 1789 that we were somewhat satisfied with a working Constitution. That's 13 years!
Then, nearly a century later, a large portion of the country was not happy with that Constitution and started the Civil War to try to win the right to do things their way. It took almost a century for our country to get on its feet and gain stability. So who are we to expect a weaker, war-torn country like Iraq to be squared away overnight? Our troops are over there doing the best they can with what they have to work with.
Iraq needs our help to get the ball rolling just as we did 230 years ago. Let our soldiers do their jobs so that you can continue to do yours.
Too many Americans still gargle on this kind of sewage and can't even taste it.
Americans were ready and willing to go to war after 9/11 for the same reason they're crying "foul" now. The Bush administration lied to us about the reasons for war.
The British did not invade and occupy us in 1776 for the purpose of "liberating" us. We didn't ask them to stick around for 13 years to help us write our constitution. They had the good sense not to step into the middle of our "southern insurgency" or keep troops on our soil for a century after that to help us "get on our feet."
Iraq is a war torn country because of our presence there. Yes, our magnificent troops are doing the best they can with what they have to work with. But the best they can do isn't doing a heck of a lot of good.
And unless you work for Halliburton, I'm not sure how letting the soldiers "do their jobs" will let you keep yours.
There are only four areas of federal spending in the $380-550 billion range that can cover the neo-reconstruction costs: the Department of Defense, Health and Human Services, Social Security payments, and the Treasury Department.
Nearly all of the Treasury's costs go toward interest payments on our nearly $8 trillion national debt. We can't cut the interest payments because we don't really make them. When the annual deficit exceeds the interest payment (which it does most years lately) we're really just adding the interest to the balance of the loan.
The neocons will make arguments like the one in today's Virginian-Pilot to avoid touching defense spending.
That leaves Social Security and Health and Human Services, which are the legacies of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal.
Yeah, that New Deal. The one the neocons have been trying to tear down for a long, long time.
And guess what Uncle Karl and the gang will try to dip into to buy back the south with their Neo Deal?