Acceptable, And Unacceptable Spending
Another Fed chairman, another warning about why Medicare and Social Security threaten us all. It would be easy to slam Ben Bernanke for keeping his mouth shut while Bush has been plundering the Social Security trust fund all these years to pay for upper income tax cuts and his wars of choice. Yet Bernanke also said today that tax cuts usually do not pay for themselves, and also said that Congress should decide on the level of spending and programs it wants, and then set taxes to that level. Sounds good.
Based on that, if the Congress and the White House want this war, then Mr. Bush should have to pay for it and stop raiding the Social Security trust fund. Similarly, Congress needs to debate this war and its costs, and seriously consider whether or not draining the treasury to prosecute it is a wise use of our resources.
This is especially true now that our new Speaker won't block funds for the surge. Since Nancy apparently has no problem allowing Bush to keep spending money we don't have for a foreign policy that isn't in our national interests, perhaps she can tell us where the money is coming from to pay for it? Despite my views on the surge, it is perfectly acceptable and constitutionally appropriate for Congress to tighten the purse strings in funding this war.
It may not be politically wise to cut off funding, but we need to have a debate about this war in the bigger context of war spending and the Bush foreign policy now, not later. The public needs to view the war in terms of choices, between adventurism and folly overseas and meeting needs here at home. The sooner the Democrats introduce dollars and sense into the debate about the war, the better the country will be served.