Cheering for Ron Paul By Robert Scheer

Dandelion Salad

By Robert Scheer
The Nation
Nov. 22, 2007

What can you get for a trillion bucks? Or make that $1.6 trillion, if you take the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as tallied by the majority staff of Congress’s Joint Economic Committee (JEC). Or is it the $3.5-trillion figure cited by Ron Paul, whose concern about the true cost of this war for ordinary Americans shames the leading Democrats, who prattle on about needed domestic programs that will never find funding because of future war-related government debt?

Given that the overall defense budget is now double what it was when President Bush’s father presided over the end of the cold war–even though we don’t have a militarily sophisticated enemy in sight–you have to wonder how this president has managed to exceed cold war spending levels. What has he gotten for the trillions wasted? Nothing, when it comes to capturing Osama bin Laden, bringing democracy to Iraq or preventing oil prices from tripling and enriching the ayatollahs of Iran while messing up the American economy.

That money could have paid for a lot of things we could have used here at home. As Rep. Paul points out, for what the Iraq war costs, we could present each family of four a check for $46,000–which exceeds the $43,000 median household income in his Texas district. He asks: “What about the impact of those costs on education, the very thing that so often helps to increase earnings? Forty-six thousand dollars would cover 90 percent of the tuition costs to attend a four-year public university in Texas for both children in that family of four. But, instead of sending kids to college, too often we’re sending them to Iraq, where the best news in a long time is they [the insurgents] aren’t killing our men and women as fast as they were last month.”

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via The Nation

4 thoughts on “Cheering for Ron Paul By Robert Scheer

  1. Pingback: Huckabee vs. Paul analysis (video) + Don’t Be Scared by Jonah Goldberg « Dandelion Salad

  2. i hope this clears up the misconception that “ron paul wants to throw everyone out on the streets.”

    i have seen him give speeches several times in person, and he always talks about all the things he’d like to do with the money we would save in a paul administration by closing down all our overseas military bases, pulling out of international organizations like the u.n. an the wto, and advocating a strict non-interventionists foreign policy…libertarians generally believe that tax-payers should get their “stolen” money back, in one form or another, whether it be checks in the mail or student loans or help with the medical bills, etc.

    but it would be nice to get away from the federal infrastructure and develop a state-based and/or community-based system along the way, which has less of a chance of being dominated by corporate power, being closer to local interests…paul would only be able to save us the money and give us back our sovereignty, it would be up to us to do the rest of the humanitarian work…

    as libertarians are often fond of saying, “the care of the poor is too important a job to leave to the government.”

    -b-

  3. Hindsight’s a wonderful thing. The war was a startling waste of money and lives in hindsight but it must have been a hard call at the time.

    Once we’re in, every method we can use to get out – surge or withdrawal – if fraught with difficulties 😦

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