November 27, 2008
OK, I'm not with it
It seems like yesterday that the expenditure of ten billion dollars a month on the occupation of oil-rich Iraq was a lot of money. We asked how we might spend that amount on schools, special needs, health care and infrastructure. The ten billion was pressing policy makers to end the occupation, bring the troops home, and figure out how to spend it. But now ten billion is chump change. No big deal.
I'm reminded of arguments at the close of the Clinton-Gore administration over competing plans to spend the surplus! Whoa Nelly!
Barack now faces a deficit of how much? One trillion dollars or is it two trillion? Does anyone have any idea what a trillion is? I know it is enough to conclude that amount would easily fund remaining in Iraq for the "McCain hundred years" pledge. Enough to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan, attack Pakistan, fund our highways...but wait! It is, like the Clinton-Gore surplus, disappearing as we talk. Where is it going? It is going to the bankers. Damn.
Seriously friends, as we celebrate everyone's favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, don't you wish you could listen to Hank Paulson or to the AIG CEO at dinner to jot down the names of those getting thanked? "Thank you for the gullible taxpayers and for a cooperative Congress, and, and, and..."
Where will the new president find money after bailing out the banks, helping the states with enormous shortfalls, and the home owners? Anything left for national health care, schools, special needs, clean energy? I doubt it. Will "old wine in new bottles" Volcker, Geithner, Summers, and Rubin solve the crisis they helped create? Hope so. Meanwhile, it looks like a moment to thank our grandchildren and theirs for picking up the tab for our very expensive folly.
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