Michael Moore has some good thoughts that I wanted to share on Bush’s proposed budget for Iraq in his recent column entitled Three Easy Pieces for Any Decent American (from Michael Moore).
The particular excerpt that I’m pulling out to quote below, I think is powerful and dead on the money, but unfortunately the rest of the article leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I feel like he is going out of his way to find nasty things to say about Bush. The part where Moore quoted from the Ladies’ Home Journal interview of George & Laura Bush was especially snide and uncalled for.
It is a hard line to draw but I do think folks like Moore (and myself for that matter) need to do a better job of diffrentiating disagreement with a policy from hatred or disrespect of a person.
Anyway with that overly long disclaimer out of the way, here’s the part I found worthwhile…
- . . . 2. WE HAVE JUST WRECKED OUR KIDS’ FUTURE.
The first paragraph in yesterday’s New York Times story on how Bush has taken a record surplus and demolished it into a record deficit was one of the best lead paragraphs I have ever read in a newspaper article.
Here’s how it went:
“When President Bush informed the nation last Sunday night that remaining in Iraq next year will cost another $87 billion, many of those who will actually pay that bill were unable to watch. They had already been put to bed by their parents.”
Bingo. Gee, I hope the kids thank us some day!
Here’s the next paragraph (my emphasis added):
“Administration officials acknowledged the next day that every dollar of that cost will be BORROWED, a loan that economists say will be repaid by the NEXT generation of taxpayers AND THE GENERATION AFTER THAT. The $166 BILLION cost of the work SO FAR in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has stunned many in Washington, will be added to what was already the largest budget deficit the nation has ever known.”
Every conservative friend of yours should weep when they read that, and then you should hug them and tell them that it’ll be okay, once we all do what we need to do.
3. WHAT WOULD $87 BILLION BUY?
If you can’t get through this list without wanting to throw up, I’ll understand. But pass it around anyway. This is the nail in the Iraq War’s coffin for any sane, thinking individual, regardless of their political stripe (thanks to TomPaine.com and the Center for American Progress)…
To get some perspective, here are some real-life comparisons about what $87 billion means:
$87 Billion Is More Than The Combined Total Of All State Budget Deficits In The United States.
The Bush administration proposed absolutely zero funds to help states deal with these deficits, despite the fact that their tax cuts drove down state revenues. [Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities]
$87 Billion Is Enough To Pay The 3.3 Million People Who Have Lost Jobs Under George W. Bush $26,363 Each!
The unemployment benefits extension passed by Congress at the beginning of this year provides zero benefits to “workers who exhausted their regular, state unemployment benefits and cannot find work.” All told, two-thirds of unemployed workers have exhausted their benefits. [Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities]
$87 Billion Is More Than DOUBLE The Total Amount The Government Spends On Homeland Security.
The U.S. spends about $36 billion on homeland security. Yet, Sen. Warren Rudman (R-N.H.) wrote “America will fall approximately $98.4 billion short of meeting critical emergency responder needs” for homeland security without a funding increase. [Source: Council on Foreign Relations]
$87 Billion Is 87 Times The Amount The Federal Government Spends On After School Programs.
George W. Bush proposed a budget that reduces the $1 billion for after-school programs to $600 million — cutting off about 475,000 children from the program. [Source: The Republican-dominated House Appropriations Committee]
$87 Billion Is More Than 10 Times What The Government Spends On All Environmental Protection.
The Bush administration requested just $7.6 billion for the entire Environmental Protection Agency. This included a 32 percent cut to water quality grants, a 6 percent reduction in enforcement staff, and a 50 percent cut to land acquisition and conservation. [Source: Natural Resources Defense Council]