War spending undermining U.S. economy (FCN, 10-11-2006)

WASHINGTON (FinalCall.com) – With the Bush Administration’s request Sept. 26, for an additional $42.3 billion in war-related spending, came the outrage from people around the country who have said enough is enough.

“This latest request is another urgent call to voters to weigh in with their Congress people and hold them accountable for how they’re spending our tax dollars,” said Greg Speeter, executive director of the National Priorities Project (NPP).


“Should we be spending another $155 billion next year to continue fighting this failed war while the President claims we can’t afford to give kids health care?”

With this request, the war spending proposal for Fiscal Year 2008 totals $193 billion. This amount includes $189 billion for the Department of Defense and $3.7 billion for other agencies. Of the total amount requested, $154.7 billion would be allocated to the Iraq War, according to NPP.

Despite the facts that there are countless homeless in the streets, children who go to bed hungry every night and families that live in poverty, the government wants to provide less services and more money for war.

“Don’t worry; we can just put it on the national credit card,” wrote Dina Rasor for the Huffington Post, Sept. 28. “Until yesterday, that credit card, also known as the national debt, was hitting its legal ceiling. Unlike the rest of us who finally max out on our credit cards, the Federal government can just keep borrowing more.”

“The Senate raised the debt ceiling from $8.965 trillion to $9.815 trillion. This is the fifth time the debt ceiling has been raised under the Bush administration and in just over six years, the Bush administration has raised the national debt by almost $4 trillion.”

A trillion dollars is more than most people can comprehend but the money used for the war could provide much needed aid and assistance to the American people. The additional funds requested would bring the total cost of the Iraq War to $611 billion, according to the NPP.

What else could the money buy?

According to NPP taxpayers in the United States will pay $456 billion for the cost of the Iraq War through 2007.

For the same amount of money, the following could have been provided:

Elementary School Teachers: $7,763,354; Scholarships for University Students: $75,274,073; People with Health Care: $130,040,634; Head Start Places for Children: $62,577,192; and Affordable Housing Units: $3,547,181.

“These numbers are mind-numbing and depressing but, whether you agree with the war or not, one would assume that the troops are getting all the equipment and food that they need,” wrote Ms. Rasor.

“Hate to break it to you, but we aren’t even doing that with all this money. Just a few weeks ago, a soldier died in Iraq and his parents were talking to NPR. After they told of their sorrow, they also told of how he and his other fellow soldiers could not get enough war fighting supplies and even underwear and socks.”

She added, “All these high contractor billings are sucking the lifeblood out of the supplemental budget with little oversight.”

Ask an average person on the street what he thinks about it and the outrage jumps out.

“This country does not care about its people. They spend all of that money in a foreign country while people here can’t get a job, the planes won’t take off and land on time and we can’t even get a vote in Congress (D.C. residents). It doesn’t make sense,” said James Washington, a Viet Nam veteran.

“They’ll do a whole lot to make sure the people can vote in Iraq but can our representative vote in Congress, hell no. But we don’t count like the Iraqis do. This ain’t the home of the free nor the land of the brave.”