The growing cost to the United States of fighting the war in Iraq "is not only linked to our economic skid, but is a leading cause of it," a Democratic congressman said Saturday.
Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky linked the costly, unpopular war with the growing economic troubles - some say recession - in this country.
Yarmuth said in the Democrats' weekly radio address that the testimony this week of Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker about the Iraq war served as reminder of the billions of dollars being poured into Iraq as the U.S. economy struggles.
Yeah, that's why there's a huge credit crunch and the housing bubble has burst. Got it.
Of course, I've noted the economic illiteracy which is seemingly rampant in this country, so the following comes as no surprise:
Forty-eight percent of those surveyed said a withdrawal would help the country's economic problems "a great deal" and 20 percent more said it would help somewhat. Some 43 percent said increasing government spending on health care, education and housing programs would help a great deal; 36 percent named cutting taxes.
Well, at least social security money goes into our economy. The Iraq war is a complete waste, and it also has a role in keeping oil prices high. As a cause of the recession? It’s a factor, though I think the most important causes are unrelated to the war. It certainly doesn’t help, and I’m still not sure what we gain by staying there. Maybe it’s time for the American people to tell Washington, "quit your expensive foreign adventurism and take care of things at home." For just a fraction of the cost of the Iraq war, we could have secure ports and borders. But instead, we’re off social engineering another culture.
Well, at least social security money goes into our economy, no matter how ridiculous it is to give government payments to old people who are rich. The Iraq war is a complete waste, just complete, do you hear me! Nothing good can ever, ever come from it, and don’t start up with this long war stuff. No one has ever given me any justification for the cost of this war, and I don’t care about the ten jillion blog posts on the subject here, McQ. I just don’t. Because they don’t count. I decree it.
The war also has a role in keeping oil prices high. That’s right, because if we had not gone in, Saddam would be pumping out millions of barrels a day by now and would have figured out how to game the whole Oil for Food thing so well he could pump as much as he wanted. I suppose all the bureaucrats at the UN would be billionaires by now, but really, isn’t that a small price to pay to keep from projecting American power? And stability in places like Kuwait because Saddam is gone isn’t helping the oil market, no sir. I don’t care what you say.
War as a cause of the recession? It’s a factor, though I think the most important causes are unrelated to the war. But don’t ask why I keep bringing everything back to how wasteful the war is. It’s not a compulsion, I tell you! Stop laughing!
The war certainly doesn’t help, and I’m still not sure what we gain by staying there. Hmmm, are there any more ways I can construct that sentence that I have not already tried? No, I guess not, I’ve used all ten thousand possibilities, so I guess I’ll just have to reuse them from now on.
Maybe it’s time for the American people to tell Washington, "quit your expensive foreign adventurism and take care of things at home." That would stimulate the economy from the wild celebrations by leftists, because we would spend all kinds of money on brie and champagne to celebrate the final end of American hegemony.
For just a fraction of the cost of the Iraq war, we could have secure ports and borders, though offhand I can’t tell you how to do that. It’s up to you grunt engineers to figure it out while we wise leftists are using our godlike powers of political science to figure out the overall direction for society. But instead, we’re off social engineering another culture. I love social engineering, as long as it’s our own culture and leftists are running it, but helping those wogs figure out how to run a free society? That’s crazy talk - they’re just not up to it.
I think the American public would be a lot more educated if the press were doing its duty... and I’m not talking about the usual "bias" stuff here, I mean that any time anybody spouts off about what this or that is costing us, they never give us any useful information to put it in context.
If the war had never happened, but everything else stayed the same (i.e., we just pocketed the savings), and assuming that we were still hoping desperately to avoid the eventual confrontation with a nuclear Iran and a militant and freed Saddam, as opposed to being in the process of paying the piper plus 6 years compound interest, it changes very little. Our economy is recession-ing for other reasons, which would have happened even if the ME had turned into a magical fairyland overnight.
For all the high and mighty talk about informing the public, the sheer laziness of journalism sometimes blows my mind. (And in my estimate, while the press is biased, laziness trumps bias in practice.)
(And I don’t think the ME would have turned into a magical fairyland. If we’re lucky, Iran and Iraq are at each other’s throats again by now... and that’s the best scenario.)
Well, at least social security money goes into our economy
So does defense money. It’s spent on soldiers who have families living in the US that depend on their income, on contractors and subcontractors whose employees and shareholders are all largely US citizens. And in exchange for the money spent on the DOD, the US actually gets something in return.
You can argue that it doesn’t get enough back, but to argue that defense dollars aren’t part of the US economy is sophomoric.
If the war had never happened, but everything else stayed the same (i.e., we just pocketed the savings), and assuming that we were still hoping desperately to avoid the eventual confrontation with a nuclear Iran and a militant and freed Saddam
Saddam was defanged and there is no need for confrontation with Iran. We’d lose if it comes to that; it would be a disaster far worse than Iraq.
No, adventurism in the Mideast is pointless and has harmed this country immensely. It’s about time we get back to the values our country was based on, and put neo-imperialism and grand social engineering schemes to reshape the planet on the shelf. That’s not what America is about, that’s even anti-American.
Saddam was defanged. We should have spent billions for the next thirty years to isolate him and his sons, and I’m sure that the UN would have supported us the whole time, especially since Saddam had most of them bribed. And who cares how many people Saddam was killing. They’re just wogs. And he wasn’t promoting terror. Don’t start with that Abu Nidal stuff!
And there is no need for confrontation with Iran. We’d lose if it comes to that; it would be a disaster far worse than Iraq. Yes, even so much as bombing a nuclear facility would unleash a conflagration that would engulf the region and no good could ever come from it, just as no good has come from Iraq. Iran would strike back by... well, offhand, I can’t think of much they could do to us that they are not already doing, since they commit acts of war against us regularly, but we ought to just take it. Anything is better than militaristic intervention. It undermines every principle we on the left hold dear. Even if Iran goes nuclear, that’s cool. They don’t mean all that fanatic stuff, trust me.
No, adventurism in the Mideast is pointless and has harmed this country immensely. And the alternative of doing nothing would have been a perfect policy, no matter how many terrorist attacks we had suffered as a result the way we did in the nineties. It’s about time we get back to the values our country was based on, and put neo-imperialism and grand social engineering schemes to reshape the planet on the shelf. That’s not what America is about, that’s even anti-American. That’s right, you people who believe in defending this country by striking at those like Saddam and Iran who commit acts of war against us are anti-American. And we on the left, that march with signs that declare America to be the ultimate evil, are the true pro-Americans.
Except for that whole minor oil for food thingee, and the WMD production infrastructre which he would’ve been able to start up immediately after he bribed his way out of the sanctions.
You’re in fantasy land, shark. "Maybe, if, if, and then if again..." One can imagine any scenario using your kind of thinking. That’s why it’s not a good way to approach these issues, you end up just responding to what you fantasize could be.
No, we have no reason to be killing people over there. We have no reason to see hundreds of thousands dead, children growing up in a war zone, cultural damage, and destruction that will take generations to overcome. That’s the reality of the war, the silly banter about WMD, US prestige, etc., all hides the truth of war: war is organized mass murder. In this case we started it, we have a lot of culpability for what it has unleashed, especially those who cheer lead the mass murder.
1. A reminder about the most basic stuff: Oil prices are historically cyclical. It always seems that when they increase that they will never come down, but they always do. Oil output right now is very high, but oil consumption has skyrocketed in new global economic centers. The events in the Middle East (i.e., the war) might have spurred prices to rise, but the prices are rising in a market where oil production is high, so...
The U.S. economy is less dependent on oil now than it was in the past. It’s economic problems are not the result of high oil prices. Any good economy, and the U.S. economy is very dynamic which makes it a good economy, has to restructure itself, and that is what recessions do.
High oil prices are also the best guarantee that oil production will increase, which is the best guarantee that oil prices will level off and fall.
2. Take out the relatively small financial burden the war places on the U.S. Treasury, the Iraq war (in tandem with the much less visible war on terrorism) is a positive for the economy. And I don’t mean as a fiscal stimulus, but rather as a "security stimulus." It is always better economically, in my unhumble opinion, to be out ahead of the curve in confronting actors who want to literally blow-up the economy, causing physical and psychological damage in obvious market centers, like New York or London, etc.
3. The greater threat to the economy, vis a vis the war, is the Leftwing attempt to define the war with its nonsense narrative, which in fact gives hope to terrorists and rogue regimes. The markets have to hedge against Western Leftists gaining control of international security policy even more than they do against the actual terrorists. In that regard the EU is the sorriest bunch of bastards on the planet, both for their internal problems with their internal proletariat of Muslims, and the Europeans’ own status as "adult children living with their parents" free ride on the U.S. security dime.
Europe is the greatest ongoing tragedy of our time, surpassing the Middle East, in that it has so much more to lose and doing its damnest to lose it. Its "pretty as a picture" camo and recent economic success confuse the issue of its demographic and cultural collapse. The kinds of things that the Euro troubles will cause Europeans to do as they fight a rear guard action against disintegration means that they can never be trusted as full partners in the Western enterprise again.
4. Before this apparent downturn began, the federal budget deficits were falling in spite of the war, which means that the economy was rolling along nicely, i.e., not being hurt by the Iraq war.
5. The most important long term economic policy related to international security is the pacification of the Middle East and the introduction of modernity by way of reasonable political reform. That is a 50- to 100-year trend line of which the Iraq war is the vital first step. And why I say that the only really good news about the Middle East is that the U.S. has 150,000 troops there. We should make the most of that. In sheer economic terms (which are also defining human terms) the pacification and reform of the Middle East will pay out for everyone in the Middle East and everyone everywhere else in the world.
In fact, the only chance that Europe has of stabilizing its relations with its Muslim internal proletariat is if there is a civilizational turnaround in the Middle East. In that respect, the U.S. would be pulling the Eurofat out of the fire, again.
You’re in fantasy land, shark. "Maybe, if, if, and then if again..." One we wise leftists, with our godlike degreee of political science can do that. One can imagine any scenario using your kind of thinking. That’s why it’s not a good way to approach these issues, you end up just responding to what you fantasize could be. Yep, you righties ought to just shut up and listen to your betters on the left, because only we can see that the hypothetical non-intervention in the Middle East would have been a perfect policy, and that’s not a fantasy, no sir. Stop laughing!
No, we have no reason to be killing people over there. We should wait for them to come over here and kill some of us first, and maybe even then we shouldn’t do anything if they don’t kill too many. Because conflict is just so icky, it should always be avoided. And no, I’m not a pacifist. Why do you ask? Well, offhand I can’t think of any differences, except that maybe if they send a jihadi army to Maine I might think it was OK for the troops to defend the university.
We have no reason to see hundreds of thousands dead. Well, the "hundreds" is some exaggeration, sure, unless you believe that nonsense from Lancet, but still. And yes, I know Saddam killed about a quarter of million, but they don’t count! Stop laughing. And we’ve caused children growing up in a war zone, which is clearly worse than growing up in a starvation zone, even though most of Iraq is peaceful, there are a few children growing up right in the middle of war! In the middle, can’t you see? It’s just so icky, I can’t stand it! Plus theres cultural damage, and destruction that will take generations to overcome. And, no, it wouldn’t have been worse if Saddam had stayed in power! Stop laughing!
That’s the reality of the war, the silly banter about WMD, US prestige, etc., all hides the truth of war: war is organized mass murder. It’s just icky. In this case we started it, even though technically Saddam started it back in 1991, still, we have a lot of culpability for what it has unleashed, especially those who cheer lead the mass murder. Yes, I’m accusing you righties of advocating mass murder! You’re no better than criminals! Even after hearing my soothing rhetoric try to talk you out of your war fantasies for months and months, you guys are getting worse by the day! McQ keeps posting this stuff that he thinks might make the war actually worth it on balance, but he’s just another mass murder supporter trying to rationalize his conduct!!!!! He was in the military, for God’s sake!!! Can’t you see?!? He’s probably a rapist too!!
Saddam was defanged? Saddam’s conventional military capacity was conventionally contained. His asymmetric capacity was limitless; he could have outsource terrorism through a dozen different terror outfits without leaving a fingerprint.
Look at the work Edward Jay Epstein has done on Atta’s trip to Prague, for instance, which leaves open the possibility that Saddam did indeed pay for 9/11. There was no safe alternative to removing Hussein from power: he was a psychopathic revanchist. After 9/11, he had to go. Period. And there was general agreement on that in both parties.
and there is no need for confrontation with Iran.
Right. Other than the country being run by millenarian lunatics about to get their hands on nuclear weapons, no need at all.
And interfering in Iraq and helping kill our troops, we can just overlook that.
We’d lose if it comes to that;
Yes, of course, after every nuclear weapons facility in Iran had been blown to kingdom come, the Iranians would...would do what, Boris?
And, again, of course we can’t make them pay for helping kill our troops in Iraq because they might help kill our troops in Iraq.
it would be a disaster far worse than Iraq.
Iraq isn’t a disaster, other than in the sense that all wars are a "disaster" on some level. Iraq had the bad fortune of getting caught in the crevice of the Tikriti thugocracy during the superpower standoff of the Cold War. But when the Cold War ended those Tikriti thugs made it pretty clear, and immediately so, that something had to be done about them.
If the Iraq war is destroying the American economy, just what will Social Security, which has an underfunded liability at least 50 times greater than the cost of the war, do to the American economy ?
*Crystal ball (solar powered) on*
No war in Iraq alternate future:
2004: President Bush wins a landslide re-election and pledges to push forward on the "ownership society." Major social security reform is accomplished, tax cuts are made permanent, and more money injected to tax credits for alternate fuel research.
2005: Osama Bin Laden is captured in Afghanistan, UN weapons inspectors report finding new WMD Iraq, but urge that any sanctions relief be tied to continued surveillance. Iran’s moderates sweep elections, further pressuring the conservative clergy.
2006: Bush’s ownership society reforms continue, as the President is called the most active second term reformer in recent memory. The US budget remains in slight surplus. The GOP wins re-election to Congress, leaving Democrats scrambling to determine how to counter a popular President. Meanwhile Syria and Israel engage in expanded talks, with Syria warning Hezbollah not to get caught up in "perpetual terror."
2007: A military coup overthrows Saddam Hussein and replaces him with a group of officers representing various ethnic groups, who hammer out an agreement for Iraqi shared governance. "This is an important step towards Iraqi democracy," notes President Bush, who cautions that no one should expect dramatic change overnight.
2008: A downturn in the US economy due to housing woes sparks a Presidential call for massive reduction in corporate taxes and investment incentives alongside a further tax cut. "We can afford it because of the fiscal discipline we’ve shown in recent years," the President notes. Economists believe any recession will be short, though the Dow does veer below 20,000 for awhile. In preparing for next year’s elections, Iran’s Guardian Council announces that the requirements will be less strigent, noting that the Islamic Republic’s democracy was maturing, and requires less direct management by the religious authorities.
*Crystal ball off*
All jokes aside, President Bush’s "opportunity society" was sacrificed to the Iraq war. One wonders what our government would look like if he had pushed those reforms through. I guess we’ll never know.