Spending Bill for the War in Iraq
February 12, 2007
Two weeks ago I discussed how Congress and the administration use our fiat money system to literally create some of the funds needed to prosecute our ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We’ve already spent more than $500 billion in Iraq, mostly through supplemental spending bills that are not part of the normal appropriations and budget process. But with costs soaring and no end to the war in sight, yet another supplemental spending bill must be passed soon—and both parties in Congress are only too willing to provide the money under the guise of supporting the troops.
mind that the American people showed their dissatisfaction with the war in the
Congress lacks the political will to stand up to the administration and
assert its power over the purse strings, and too many vested interests in the
defense sector benefit from the supplemental bills.
A cynic might even suggest that many Democrats want the war to drag on,
despite their supposed opposition, to damage the president politically and
benefit them in 2008.
But whatever the reason, the money for war keeps flowing.
Defense Department officials will ask Congress for the next supplemental bill in coming weeks. The amount requested is likely to be at least $140 billion. If we stay in Iraq beyond 2007--and the administration has made it clear that we will-- the bill to American taxpayers easily could top one trillion dollars in another year or two.
doubt very seriously that most Americans think the war in Iraq is worth one
Even those who do must face the reality that the federal government
simply doesn’t have the money.
Congress continues to spend more than the Treasury raises in taxes year
after year, by borrowing money abroad or simply printing it.
Paying for war with credit is reckless and stupid, but paying for war by
depreciating our currency is criminal.
the most modest suggestions for controlling spending in Iraq have been rejected.
Some in Congress argued that reconstruction money should be paid back
when Iraq’s huge oil reserves resume operation.
Another idea was to find dollar-for-dollar offsets in the rest of the
federal budget for every dollar spent in Iraq.
But the administration adamantly opposed both ideas.
Budget cuts are unpopular, and the profits from Iraqi oil will never
compensate American taxpayers.
mentality in Washington is simple: avoid hard choices at all costs; spend money
at will; ignore deficits; inflate the money supply as needed; and trust that the
whole mess somehow will be taken care of by unprecedented economic growth in the