--President Woodrow T. Wilson
Every gun that is made, every warship launched,
every rocket fired signifies in the final sense,
a theft from those who hunger and are not fed,
those who are cold and are not clothed.
This world in arms is not spending money alone.
It is spending the sweat of its laborers,
the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
This is not a way of life at all in any true sense.
Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.
--Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953)
There are three big lies:
- The check's in the mail;
- I love you
- The biggie -- the U.S. can afford to fight meaningless, frivolous wars of inconsequential nature.
The $2 Trillion estimated cost of the wars projected to 2017 and beyond and the deaths, both friendly and those of the sand nations, would not be questionable if the wars had legitimacy.
In a military that has jettisoned combat-style leadership in favor of corporate yardsticks, it is strange that we haven't seen many cost/benefit analysis applied to these phony wars.
Citizens on the domestic front must beg for paltry benefits, justifying their applications with reams of documentation. Disabled veterans must fight for their duly earned federal benefits, often facing multiple rejections before they receive justice. Squeezing a buck from Sam is hard work, unless it is related to war or intelligence functions.
Bob Herbert recently wrote in "The $2 Trillion Nightmare,"
"The Bush administration has tried its best to conceal the horrendous costs of the war. It has bypassed the normal budgetary process, financing the war almost entirely through 'emergency' appropriations that get far less scrutiny."This concept of "emergency" appropriations is another big lie perpetrated on the American taxpayer. The lie is enabled by a legislative branch unwilling to broach the elephant-in-the-room question: What is the money buying for America? As long as Congress shovels out the money for these wars, the hole will deepen.
Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said,
“Because the administration actually cut taxes as we went to war. . . this war has, effectively, been entirely financed by deficits. The national debt has increased by some $2.5 trillion since the beginning of the war, and of this, almost $1 trillion is due directly to the war itself ..."
In McClatchey yesterday, Joel Brinkley writes,
"In the end, however, all of this number gaming is meaningless. To fight the war, Bush has not taken money intended for other purposes. He is spending money the nation doesn't have. Almost every dollar spent on the war is another dollar added to the national debt. Some in the Bush administration argue that war spending stimulates the economy, giving some balance to the equation. But if that were so, why did administration find it necessary to enact a $168 billion stimulus plan a few weeks ago - even as it s
pends $15 billion a month on the war?
As Lawrence Lindsey, Bush's former chief economic adviser, puts it: "Taking resources that could be used to build homes, manufacture appliances, or invent and develop new technologies and using them instead to make things that get blown up is not good for an economy."(Adding Up the Cost of War.)"
Pretty simple, really.
Are the U.S. leaders so isolated and financially secure that they are unaware of the plight of the majority of our citizens? Has this great nation reached a Marie Antoinette moment in which the taxpayers should be eating cake?
Labels: $2 trillion war cost