Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The $3 trillion hanging

President George Bush continues to employ his two-prong strategy to stave off a recession: Ignoring the mounting national debt, Bush calls for more tax cuts for the wealthy, and he adamantly refuses to say the word “recession.”

Moreover, Bush continues to conveniently ignore the effect the war in Iraq is having on the nation's economic picture, pretty much the same way he has conveniently ignored global warming. It seems our president sees everything through an oil-smeared prism.

For those keeping score at home that means the deployment of U.S. forces in Iraq, which each week is driving the nation deeper into debt by the billions, has still not uncovered the weapons of mass destruction Bush saw all over the country five years ago. Nor has it done anything to stabilize the explosive region's politics, or even the price of oil.

What has the oil-centered war in Iraq cost? What will it cost? Click here for a Washington Post piece on that topic.
But beyond this is the cost to the already sputtering U.S. economy. All told, the bill for the Iraq war is likely to top $3 trillion. And that's a conservative estimate.

President Bush tried to sell the American people on the idea that we could have a war with little or no economic sacrifice. Even after the United States went to war, Bush and Congress cut taxes, especially on the rich -- even though the United States already had a massive deficit. So the war had to be funded by more borrowing ... The long-term burden of paying for the conflicts will curtail the country's ability to tackle other urgent problems, no matter who wins the presidency in November.
So, just as Bush said the war would be easy and cheap, and Iraq would pay much of the expense of it with its oil revenues, and the surge would work like a charm, now, with the same conviction, he refuses to say “recession.” The only people being fooled by such blind-to-reality rhetoric are those who choose to be fooled by it, or perhaps those who are making a nice profit with the status quo.

At this point, it appears the price of oil will continue to climb until it reaches its true value in today’s marketplace, according to the way capitalism works.

So, it appears the only thing American taxpayers have gotten for their money -- much of it borrowed -- which has been spent on toppling Iraq’s government, destroying its infrastructure, rebuilding its infrastructure and chasing hooligan terrorists, is that Saddam Hussein has been hung by his neck until he was dead.

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