Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Guns v. Butter: How Bush's fiscal policy has hurt it's ability to effect foreign policy
Via Andrew Sullivan, I just read an article which explains how Bush's reckless spending for fluff projects in a time of war has made us so terribly vulnerable in our foreign policy. Please read the Irving Stelzer article. He makes great points. The bottom line is that it seems that no one, either Republican or Democrat, seems to have what it takes to fight this war. The amount of money that the government is in debt for is truly staggering. And why should it be celebrated that we cut the deficit? I think the problem is people conflate the words debt and deficit. The debt is the amount of money the US owes other nations, in total. The deficit is the shortfall between the amount of revenue that comes in in any given year, and the federal budget for that year. Except in times of extreme crisis, there never should even be a $1 deficit, if Congress is committed to spending only what it has. Under Clinton, there were budget surpluses, which did not mean that America was debt free. Rather, it meant that less money went out in a given year than went out. Bush has since reversed this. Am I taking crazy pills? Why are Republicans, the party traditionally of fiscal conservatism, celebrating a deficit of even $1? (and in this case, the deficit is hundreds of billions of dollars) This directly impacts out national security. We owe untold billions to China, and we are unable to pressure them economically to act against North Korea, which is clearly the necessary step we have to take to constrain this threat. By being fiscally irresponsible, Bush and the Republicans have put America at risk. I honestly believe the only way to reign this in is to have the Dems take the House and/or Senate in November. (no matter how repugnant some of the Dem supporters may be (a recent example being the outing of a gay Republican that was cheered on by Dems). In any case, if the Dems prove to be a shonda, they will pay for it in 2008. Gosh I love any excuse to insert the word "shonda" (Yiddish for "shame") into a sentence!