Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Next Generation's Role in the Iraq War

In 2000, one of George W. Bush's central campaign promises was to cut taxes. Prior to 9/11, when the federal budget was running a substantial surplus, this was a respectable idea.

However, after it became necessary to invade Afghanistan, history would have suggested that these tax cuts be scaled back or eliminated. Actually, if Bush and the Republican Congress had followed the example of every single other wartime government in American history, they would have raised taxes. Instead, they proceeded as if it was still 1999.

If only the fiscal irresponsibility had stopped there.

As we all know, less than two years after the invasion of Afghanistan, we went to war with Iraq. Many of you might also remember that in 2003 the Medicare Prescription Drug Act was passed. Fewer of you probably know that this was the largest increase in entitlement spending since Lyndon Johnson's Great Society initiatives passed in the 1960's. The price tag for this program runs well into the hundreds of billions of dollars.

Despite these enormous new financial obligations, the Congress passed another round of tax cuts in 2003.

No one seems to care about this issue. There is no outrage.

You might explain that by saying that it's hard to get people outraged about NOT having their money taken away from them. But I would respond by asking "what about their children's money"?

This war WILL be paid for, it's just a question of when, who and how much interest they will pay.

Our politicians (I now refuse to call them our "political leaders") have rightly concluded that their careers are enhanced by passing the bill to people that will not be old enough to vote until they are no longer running for office.

Let us hope against the likely scenario the these future citizens, our children and grandchildren, aren't also also paying for their own wars at the same time they are paying for ours....

I read an article on the Washington Post a few days ago that sparked my thinking on it this issue (again). You can read it here.

1 comment:

Justin said...

It is absolutely unconscionable that our current generation of political leaders, for the first time in American history, are happily passing along every burden of these wars onto the current generation of soldiers and future generations of tax payers. Our President, and the Congress that passes the funding bills, claim that this war in Iraq is worth thousands of American lives but isn't worth their money or any sacrifice on their part.