Monday, February 05, 2007

War-Hungry Budget Won't Fly In Congress

In his State of the Union speech, President Bush made a lot of remarks about government spending and our country's debt. He said that the budget he sent to Congress this year would change these things for the better. However, we now know that the budget for this year is no different from any other since the war started. Money for the Pentagon makes up the majority of the budget. If we have any hope of ever having another surplus, our spending priorities need to change.
The total for this year's proposed budget is $2.9 trillion. Most of this money is delegated to go toward another increase in military spending. However, the budget also contains measures to eliminate the deficit in five years. With the amount of military spending, I do not see how this is possible. Members of Congress are already voicing their concerns on the amount of money being asked of the American people. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad said of Bush's budget, "The president's budget is filled with debt and deception, disconnected from reality and continues to move America in the wrong direction." And he is exactly right. How can this country possibly hope to get out of debt if it continues to spend ungodly amounts of money on foreign wars?
Members of Congress from both parties have suggested that support of Bush's budget is a bad idea. House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt said, "I doubt that Democrats will support this budget, and frankly, I will be surprised if Republicans rally around it either." The top Republican on the budget committee in the Senate, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, said, "Unfortunately, I don't think it has got a whole lot of legs. The White House is afraid of taxes and the Democrats are afraid of controlling spending."
It is very clear that the way to get our country out of the hole is to find a way out of Iraq. Increased military spending is driving the United States further and further into debt. Anyone familiar with economics can tell you what a bad situation this could set up. Yet the White House is demanding even more money for its war. In this new budget, the Pentagon would receive $624.6 billion for 2008. That's more than 1/5 of the total budget and is up from $600.3 billion in 2007. That number is only a base-estimate. Due to the changing conditions in Iraq, the number may increase. We keep throwing money at a problem that is not getting any better. Soon we will have no money left to burn and the economy will come crashing done. Of course by this time, Bush will be safely out of office. Engineered policy? You be the judge.

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