Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Thief of Washington
So the cat is out of the bag. Bush has asked Congress for approval of supplemental spending worth almost $75bn to fund the war in Iraq and the war against terrorism, and, if I heard him correctly, reconstruction in a free Iraq.

This merely proves what a deuce of liars both Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz really are. Back in February, Wolfowitz, in an appearance before a congressional committee, pooh-poohed estimates that wartime spending would be anywhere near the $80-90bn figure that was being bandied about then (while all the time refusing to offer a more realistic estimate); Rumsfeld, meanwhile, was quoted two weeks ago as denying that the American taxpayer would foot the bill for rebuilding Iraq.

While Bush’s spending priorities were deliberately vague (he basically sold his request as a means of re-supplying the armed forces with munitions and gasoline), it is fairly clear what is being done: the administration is using the unity around the war to shove an outrageously expensive spending package through Congress, at a time of recession, without having even prepared the American public for such a financial sacrifice.

One awaits the 2004 election with bated breath.

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