Wednesday, August 09, 2006

You Get What You (Don't) Pay For

I’ve had this Letter to the Editor that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on July 30th on my mind for a little while now, and I finally want to say something about it.

The editorial "Worth a Bronx cheer" (July 13, about our trade and balance of payments deficits as I recall) barely mentions a minor detail affecting our country's deficit: We are at war. The Editorial Board's simplistic analysis of the economy over the last six years overlooks the impact of 9/11 and the war on terror.

In the liberals' world, President Bush can be blamed not only for terrorists' attacks, but also for having the gall to respond to them and for the resulting military spending.
In the liberals’ world, President Bush can be blamed for ignoring Richard Clarke prior to the 9/11 attacks while Clarke just about jumped up and down over an intelligence brief that stated “Osama bin Laden Determined To Attack the U.S,” and Dubya instead went on a month-long vacation. In the liberals’ world, Bush can be blamed for attacking the wrong country for the wrong reasons and fighting the wrong war the wrong way, giving birth to the terrorist insurgency that currently plagues us. In the liberals’ world, Bush can be blamed for the fact that Osama bin Laden still exists somewhere in this world, and is breathing with a pulse and a heartbeat.

Ironically, a liberal Editorial Board is concerned about deficit spending, ominously and cryptically warning that "it's getting late in the game." An even greater irony: The quickest way to eliminate the deficit (winning the war) is constantly being undermined by liberals like the mainstream media.
Proof? (Oh, sorry, I forgot, this is “freeper fantasyland”…how silly of me).

Not so surprising is the Editorial Board's solution: Raise taxes!

This calls to mind the left's hysterical opposition to Reagan's Cold War tactics in the 1980s, to the significant cost of our military build-up, and then finally to their denying him credit for bringing down the ruthless Soviet empire. I only hope that in future decades the alternative media spare George W. Bush from similar revisionist history.
The only thing Reagan ever did that made a negligible difference in our conflict with the former Soviet Union was to make a speech telling Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. And George W. Bush should actually pray for a healthy dose of revisionism, since his catastrophic presidency will necessitate a similar historical treatment.

Andy Horvath
Putting aside the neocon nonsense of that screed, I decided to do a bit of investigating into how this administration has calculated (actually, not calculated is more precise) the monetary cost of the Iraq debacle, and I came up with links to some other sites with some actual information as opposed to Horvath’s blather.

This Washington Post story notes that, because Bushco refuses to separate the cost of the Iraq War from the Now And Forever You Better Believe It You Stinking Commie Liburul War On Terror, it’s hard to get an estimate from this bunch for this among other reasons.

Also, here is a link from Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s web site (D-IL…bless her for this) with some quotes from the Bushco cabal that pretty much makes it clear that they didn’t know how much this tragic, misbegotten enterprise was going to cost, and I’m sure they STILL don’t and probably never will.

Finally, I’ve included a link to a Boston Globe story about projections of the war’s cost from Columbia University economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and Harvard lecturer Linda Blimes. Basically, they think the war will end up costing four times what Bushco says it will (about $2 trillion), and, as noted here…

The Bush administration has not made the kind of long-term estimates cited in the new study and has sought periodic installments from Congress to keep the mission going.
Well, we all knew that, didn't we? Also…

Predicting overall costs when no one knows how long the war will last, or how many US troops will remain deployed and for how long, is an imprecise exercise.

But the range of some future expenses can be assessed, such as the likely medical bills and disability payments for the soldiers who have been wounded in the conflict.

Twenty percent of them, for example, have serious brain or spinal injuries that will require life-long care.

So you see, Mr. Horvath, your beloved George W. Bush and the rest of his incompetent lackeys led you and me and EVERYONE ELSE IN THIS COUNTRY right into the hopper over this, squandering a surplus handed to him by the Clinton Administration because of a catastrophic chain of events that began with the worst terrorist attack on our country’s soil that took place ON HIS WATCH!

And partly because of that, the men and women in our armed services were SOLD DOWN THE RIVER, and CONTINUE TO PAY THE HIGHEST PRICE OF ALL!

But I’ll bet none of this is going to get through to you, is it? You’ll still be ranting about “the liburuls” while Lebanon continues to explode and burn and new horrors commence involving Syria and Iran, creating new and ever-greater dangers for all of us because of Dubya’s incompetence.


No comments: