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Food for Thought

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Well, there you have it. The President just asked for another $66 billion to fund the war in Iraq that we won. Three times the original estimate.

The cost of servicing the debt alone will be approximately $38 billion a year.

It would cost less than $90 billion to entirely rebuild the power distribution on the East Coast (recently affected areas). (Transmission lines, substations, power distribution stations, etc.). Jobs created would be somewhere between 50,000 - 80,000 over a 10+ year period.

Which one do you think is better, even in the long run, for our economy, our jobs, and our security?
post #2 of 24
Laurie,

That's a tough question. As you know from my previous posts about the war, I was strongly opposed to our going into Iraq and continue to believe that it was the wrong thing to do. At least it was wrong to do it the way we did it -- on false pretenses, without support from several major allies, "on the cheap," and ignoring the information provided by informed military advisors.

But...now that we went in and blew things up, I think it is our responsibility to help the Iraqi people get their lives back together. Had we followed the advice of those who study these situations, we could have invaded and occupied the country in a way that would have had us in and out more quickly and cleanly. Alas, we went in and made a mess of things, so we should stay until the country is working a bit better.

It does irk me that we are spending so much money on all of the "homeland security" while cutting budgets in other important areas. I think Ashcroft is a fear monger and that we are suffering as a result of his warped thinking. (Remember that this is the guy who spent several thousand dollars having drapes placed on the female Greek statues in his building because the bare breasts were offensive to him.) ooooh....scary boobies! :
post #3 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by lotsocats


(Remember that this is the guy who spent several thousand dollars having drapes placed on the female Greek statues in his building because the bare breasts were offensive to him.) ooooh....scary boobies! :
At this point I have no offical comment on the thread, but I have just spit eggdrop soup all over my computer monitor.

thanks for the laugh!
post #4 of 24
LOL - scary boobies! That was good. I agree with you, especially about Ashcroft. Every time there is negative media coverage, he raises the alert status - have you noticed that?
I don't think we should have invaded Iraq at all, because I don't support preemptive strikes, particularly when the "proof" of a threat offered is unconvincing, but now that we're there, I think we should see things through to the (probably bitter) end. And all that money spent on the war, homeland security, etc., would have been better spent on improving the power system - how secure are people going to be if there are repeated blackouts? The next time around, there probably will be looting.
post #5 of 24
I just got this from truemajority.org.

The president said in his speech a couple of days ago that he needed $87 billion more for the war effort.

How much is $87 billion? For that amount of money, America could:

Solve the school budget crisis in every one of our communities,
OR

Provide health insurance for every uninsured American child for 15 years,
OR

Provide food for all 6 million of the children who die from hunger around the world for 7 years.
post #6 of 24
I never believed in the war in the first place.

I do not agree with him wanting to spend $87 Billion - there are better things to spend that money on - education, social security, medicare (or is it mediaid?), healthcare, family planning/ planned parenthood, the list goes on.

I just hate to see wasteful spending.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Renae, it's numbers like that that make my stomach turn when thinking about this issue.

With the combination of tax cuts and increases in spending, President Bush's policies are pushing the federal deficit to half a trillion dollars in 2004. The official projections of the Congressional Budget Office have projections that do not include the cost of spending for military and rebuilding efforts in Iraq. Democratic staffers of the Budget Committee have made projections including these costs - and they are staggering. They project a cumulative deficit of $3.7 trillion over the next 10 years, never falling below $300 billion in any year between 2004 and 2013. This compares to the official projections, which are a cumulative deficit of $1.4 trillion (NOT including spending in Iraq).

The White House argues that the 10-year forecasts are inaccurate and that improved economic growth will bring annual deficits to under $300 billion by 2008. The problem, however, are the growth assumptions - because the Democratic staffer projections DO assume a pickup in growth.

The increased package request by Bush totals $87 billion. But don't forget - we're spending about $1.5 billion each month in Afghanistan, too.

The problem I have with the war and our rebuilding plans is that with or without Saddam Hussein, the Iraqis don't want us there. The bulk of the rebuilding efforts are, of course, directed at the oil infrastructure. And anti-U.S. Iraqis just recently blew up the one working pipeline. The building we do is being or will probably be destroyed. We are not restoring order and peace, and at this point I think it best accomplished by an International group.

We've lost all credibility internationally given the false information distributed that there were weapons of mass destruction that presented an IMMINENT threat.

We spent $52 billion on senior citizens last year; our congress has rejected two medicare/medicaid bills to get drugs to the elderly.

And I have to continue this later as Lazlo is throwing up.
post #8 of 24
Lazlo must have just read about the budget deficit. It's enough to make anyone sick! (I hope he is okay!)
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Sorry about that. Gary brought home a new toy today - it was a pole with long strings of mylar tinsel type stuff attached. Everyone went nuts for it - and it was clearly a toy they can play with only under supervision. I would swear one of us was watching the entire time they were playing, and neither of us saw anyone nip any of the stuff off. But Lazlo was VIOLENTLY convulsing, it looked like he was trying to get something up. Clear liquid came up. We examined the toy - and there were three ends with about 3 - 4 inches missing. I called the vet - they said bring him in. So off we went. Our new vet is 30 minutes away. We had to wait for x-rays. Everything looked good. He seems OK now. So 3 hours and $130 later, we have peace of mind. We should all put together a book: "Fun with Cats!" LOL!

Anyway, I wrote the number wrong. We spent $52 billion on education. We only spent $8.5 billion on Senior Citizens.

I would feel differently about spending $87 billion to fund a war on terror if we were spending it on shoring up our ports and borders. If we were spending the money on inspecting greater than 17% of the packages and containers that enter this country. At least efforts like that create jobs and actually increase our security.

Like I started to write before, the problem I have with us "rebuilding" Iraq is that we aren't focusing on the infrastructure they need, and some of the Iraqis are fighting against the rebuilding efforts. Blowing up the pipeline. They'll be bombing our infrastructure efforts. I think all we are creating IS a breeding ground for future terrorism. I think all we are doing now is shoring up the hate and resentment against us. The country might have had a Dictator - but they at least had water. Now they don't even have that, and they blame us. I don't think our presence there is helping either us or the Iraqis. Giving U.S. companies the contracts isn't helping either. I think it would be best served with an international committee, or whatever, and that the contracts be given by them to proper bidders. I think our presence there in the way we're managing it is further deteriorating our future security, breeding further hate, and creating future want-to-be terrorists - that because we aren't spending the money at home, have a good chance of gaining access to our country.

I think through an alternative international process, without this massive military presence, it wouldn't be costing $87 billion.

Quote:
lotsocats wrote:
But...now that we went in and blew things up, I think it is our responsibility to help the Iraqi people get their lives back together.
I do agree with this philosophy. I just don't think that's what is actually happening. I think we're throwing money down a hole and further destabilizing what is already a terrible situation - for the Iraqis and for us. Bush's argument for "fixing" Iraq is to fight terrorism, not to "do the right thing." Which is what we've supposedly been doing in Afghanistan. And let's face it - Afghanistan is in worse shape now. We're facing strong resistance, gaining no ground, and the country is back to warring factions. They country is exporting over 1000 tonnes of heroine again.... Notice how you almost never hear about Afghanistan in the news?
post #10 of 24
here's my opinion: the us needs to quit worrying about other foreign countries, and worry about our own. let damn iraq and afghanistan rebuild on their own - their a terrorist country for cripe's sake. why help them? why not help american people out, ....seriously .... start giving tax breaks to married coupls, and NOT just people who have children i could think of a lot of things what bush could be doing with $90 billion instead of helping the middle eastern countries.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Tigger
.....let damn iraq and afghanistan rebuild on their own - their a terrorist country for cripe's sake. why help them?.....
Sorry, but you can't have a country (U.S) go into another country (Iraq), bomb the heck out of the country and then come home as if nothing happened! Of course the U.S. is responsible for rebuilding and helping to try to put together what they destroyed in the first place. Bush should have realized the costs (civilian, political and monetary) before being so gung-ho for war in the first place.

It's just ironic that the U.S. seemed to snub everyone when they wanted to go to war, and now want those same nations to help put the country back together. And the Iraqi civilians that are left in the dust with no infrastructure, food, water, hydro etc. are the reasons that you have to help them because the U.S. destroyed it. Political reasons aside, the civilians are the one's who payed the biggest price in this war and they deserve to be given a helping hand since they didn't ask to be in such a dire day to day circumstance.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Russian Blue
Bush should have realized the costs (civilian, political and monetary) before being so gung-ho for war in the first place.
The very sad fact is that Bush's advisers were told how much it would cost and how to do this right. Rumsfeld simply didn't want to bothered with the truth. He wanted this to be an in-and-out operation even though all of those in the know told him it couldn't be done that way. Now we are left with a horrific mess -- more American soldiers are dying on almost a daily basis, the Iraqis who may have supported us in the past are learning to hate us, and the innocent civilians (including children) are suffering due to the damage we caused to the country.

Laurie said earlier that we have messed it up so badly that it is no longer possible for us to fix the situation (excuse the paraphrasing). I think she has an excellent point. However, I am torn because I think it would be wrong to say "oops, we screwed up. So y'all come in and fix our mistake." Yet at the same time, I think she is right that we have gone beyond the point where we (and certainly we alone) can correct the damage we have done.

I am torn about what we need to do next.
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
I don't disagree, Kass. The problem is what is happening versus what should be happening. And though I really HATE this comparison, what did our help and rebuilding in Vietnam gain anyone? We threw money and people at the problem, and yet it did nothing but kill our "sons" and create a huge national debt. The bulk of the money at this point is going into protecting the troops that are there and rebuilding the oil industry infrastructure. I, for one, don't understand how this is helping the Iraqis.
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
Renae, I must have been writing while you posted. You paraphrased perfectly. My issue IS - what is best for the Iraqis and, of course, what is best, given our need to help the citizens of Iraq, for the U.S.?

I don't have the answers, either. I just feel very strongly that the course we are pursuing isn't it.
post #15 of 24
I should back up and say that I totally agree that the U.S. right now is over their head and they seriously need reinforcements. I totally agree that an international group should be working together for the sake of Iraq and it's people.

What I keep hearing through news reports is the fact that the U.S. wants international support, but it's their way or the highway mentality that is throwing nations off. They had all the contracts given to U.S based companies, they want help but they want to be in total control etc. See where I'm going? This dominating attitude is making many previous alliances crumble.

I don't understand the constant need for the U.S. to have such a tight grip over what happens over there. This need for control is getting old IMO and the people of Iraq are suffering longer because of it. What is best for Iraq is for the U.S. to lessen it's grip and come to terms that not everyone will play by their rules. I think it's a shame that so many international relations are hanging by a string, when so much advancement could happen if things changed a little.
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
I TOTALLY agree!
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Tigger
let damn iraq and afghanistan rebuild on their own - their a terrorist country for cripe's sake. why help them?
Not all Iraqis and Afghanis are terrorists. Bush should never have started the war in the first place.
post #18 of 24
you know what - sorry but it's my opinion, and i could say a lot worse, but knowing that i'd probably get banned! i'm not saying all of them are terrorists.
post #19 of 24
Sorry, I didnt explain that well -- Why is it that the U.S. has to go fix other countries problems, especially when we are not allies with a country with Iraq and Afghanistan. Thats all I meant
post #20 of 24
Sorry to digress, but i wouldn't necessarily say that America won the war... They achieved a certain degree of success, and they removed Saddam Hussein from power... but does that mean they won? sorry... just thinking out loud...
post #21 of 24
No, I dont think they have really won. Who's to say when its all done, someone else similar to Sadam will march into their country and do the same exact thing.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Tigger
Why is it that the U.S. has to go fix other countries problems, especially when we are not allies with a country with Iraq and Afghanistan. Thats all I meant
Actually, I don't think out of the goodness of Bush's heart, he went to help the Iraqi people. IMO, he went after Iraq to topple a dictator that threatened the U.S.A. and he needed to make the U.S 'presence' known in that region. Others would say he wants the U.S. to have some type of 'hold' on the oil production. Remember, I said 'some' people believe this. So, the U.S. did this partly for protection, partly for maybe some control over production of resources, and maybe partly for payback? Just some thoughts.

You also raise a good thought on why the U.S needs to help other countries with their problems. As the most powerful superpower, the U.S. (among other countries) has a moral & worldly obligation to assist other countries. The U.S is very fortunate to not have to worry about overpopulation problems and other issues like famine that Third World countries face daily.

Think of it like a giant sandbox. One kid has all the toys, water and food, where the other kids have nothing but sand. The other two will perish if the resources aren't shared, so as a humane obligation to the lives of the others, one must commit some resources to help out other countries.

But,all this 'sharing' is not done fairly, especially because of political alliances that will usually dictate the donations.
post #23 of 24
Well said Kass!
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Russian Blue
Actually, I don't think out of the goodness of Bush's heart, he went to help the Iraqi people. IMO, he went after Iraq to topple a dictator that threatened the U.S.A. and he needed to make the U.S 'presence' known in that region. Others would say he wants the U.S. to have some type of 'hold' on the oil production. Remember, I said 'some' people believe this. So, the U.S. did this partly for protection, partly for maybe some control over production of resources, and maybe partly for payback? Just some thoughts.
I believe that he brought on the war to increase his ratings by the public. The American public loves a president during war time. This is at least part of what happened with Bush Senior whose ratings were pretty low until he declared war on Iraq. Problem was that he declared war too early and the public had forgotten how much they loved his invasion by the time the election rolled around. I see the same thing happening with Bush Junior.

It is either that (increasing popularity) or oil that sent us to war (IMO).

How's that for skeptical?
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