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Thursday, September 25, 2003

My letter to the editor got printed!
In Sunday's Ann Arbor News:

Better uses exist for Bush's $87 billion

President Bush has asked for $87 billion more to continue his ill-conceived wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Arguments are being made that we have to finish what we started, that we can't leave those countries like they are now. Those arguments are flawed because I don't believe that the Bush administration has the credibility, the ability, or even the desire to really do well by the people of those countries.

Even if I'm wrong on this, we still need to carefully consider the opportunity cost of spending $87 billion to rebuild countries we just spent billions destroying. Here are some facts, courtesy of the Madison (Wis.) Capital Times:

The $87 billion more Bush seeks to fund his occupations abroad could pay for 1.4 million new teachers at home. It could help 11 million low-income families meet housing needs. It could provide health care coverage for 30 million children.

The $87 billion would balance every state budget.

The president's $87 billion could, according to UNICEF, meet the basic human needs of every impoverished person on Earth.

Of course, all of this is pretending that we actually have $87 billion on hand. We don't. Instead, it will be borrowed from future generations. It is terrible that Bush wants to spend it on maintaining occupations in countries where we are not wanted, with no guarantee that it will actually improve anything. And it certainly shouldn't be spent by the same gang that got us into this mess.