Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Is The Iraq War The Reason For Our Fiscal Insolvency?

In a word, no, but that won't stop Democrats from saying it is. Let's see what we can learn from the Washington Examiner:

Expect to hear a lot about how much the Iraq war cost in the days ahead from Democrats worried about voter wrath against their unprecedented spending excesses.

The meme is simple: The economy is in a shambles because of Bush's economic policies and his war in Iraq. As American Thinker's Randall Hoven points out, that's the message being peddled by lefties as diverse as former Clinton political strategist James Carville, economist Joseph Stiglitz, and The Nation's Washington editor, Christopher Hayes...

*Obama's stimulus, passed in his first month in office, will cost more than the entire Iraq War -- more than $100 billion (15%) more.

* Just the first two years of Obama's stimulus cost more than the entire cost of the Iraq War under President Bush, or six years of that war.

* Iraq War spending accounted for just 3.2% of all federal spending while it lasted.

* Iraq War spending was not even one quarter of what we spent on Medicare in the same time frame.

* Iraq War spending was not even 15% of the total deficit spending in that time frame. The cumulative deficit, 2003-2010, would have been four-point-something trillion dollars with or without the Iraq War.

* The Iraq War accounts for less than 8% of the federal debt held by the public at the end of 2010 ($9.031 trillion).

* During Bush's Iraq years, 2003-2008, the federal government spent more on education that it did on the Iraq War. (State and local governments spent about ten times more.)

This is not to say that the war was cheap or has no bearing on our federal debt, just that not all of our current problems can be laid at its doorstep.

Points of reference are wonderful, aren't they?


maxutils said...

Could we please stop arguing about whose exorbitant spending is worse? And just stop spending it? On the other hand, it is funny that when conservatives want to talk about the poor not paying income taxes, medicare isn't counted, but when they want to lessen the magnitude of Bush's defense spending, it is. The whole argument is ridiculous . . . Democrats and Republicans: you (inclusive) are the ones responsible for the deficit, the debt, and to a lesser extent, the state of the economy.

mazenko said...

Our fiscal mess is the result of two wars, two tax cuts, a prescription drug benefit, and an economic implosion.

To counter Iraq war expenses with comparisons of federal spending that is invested in our own neighborhoods is ridiculous.

The debt ballooned from $4 to $11 trillion before the administration changed, and before the GOP and Iraq war supporters ever started crowing.

Darren said...

I think you're mistaken, Mazenko. Check out the graphic and edifying text here.

mazenko said...

Where exactly? I noted two wars, two tax cuts, etc. And an economic implosion that crashed revenue and increased the need for spending. What am I missing?

Darren said...

You're missing the information in the link I provided.

MikeAT said...

Our fiscal mess is the result of two wars, two tax cuts, a prescription drug benefit, and an economic implosion.

Mazenko, question. Where is that list do you put on Porkulus aka The Stimulus Bill, Son of Porkulus, Obamacare, the seizure of two of our three major car companies, the seizure of the student loan industry, the destruction of over 23k jobs on the Gulf Coast by B Hussein Obama's drilling moratorium, to name a few.

The referenced article from the American Thinker ( has the outlay cost of the Iraq War...709 billion since 2003. Source CBO. BO spent more than that with one bill (Porkulus)!

Bush's and the Republican's budget discipline was nothing to be proud of but in their worse year it was 400b...Barry O, Pelosi and Reid have led us into a fiscal disaster.

Also, what is driving our deficit problems is our unreformed entitlement programs, namely Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. And the last time someone tried to reform Social Security was Bush in 05...the leftist screamed their lies about Republicans wanting to throw Grandma out. If something is not done to reform these programs this country will go bankrupt.