War Abroad and poverty at home
By Paul Craig Roberts
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Jun 2, 2008, 00:15
The US Senate has voted
$165 billion to fund Bush�s wars of aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq
through next spring.
As the US is broke and deep in debt, every one of the $165
billion dollars will have to be borrowed. American consumers are also broke and
deep in debt. Their zero saving
rate means every one of the $165 billion dollars will have to be borrowed from foreigners.
The "world�s only superpower" is so broke it can�t
even finance its own wars.
Each additional dollar that the irresponsible Bush Regime
has to solicit from foreigners puts more downward pressure on the dollar�s
value. During the eight wasted and extravagant years of the Bush Regime, the
once mighty US dollar has lost about 60 percent of its value against the euro.
The dollar has lost even more of its value against gold and
Before Bush began his wars of aggression, oil was $25 a
barrel. Today it is $130 a barrel. Some of this rise may result from run-away
speculation in the futures market. However, the main cause is the eroding value
of the dollar. Oil is real, and, unlike paper dollars, is limited in supply.
With US massive trade and budget deficits, the outpouring of dollar obligations
mounts, thus driving down the value of the dollar.
Each time the dollar price of oil rises, the US trade
deficit rises, requiring more foreign financing of US energy use. Bush has
managed to drive the US oil import bill up from $106 billion in 2006 to
approximately $500 billion 18 months later -- every dollar of which has to be
financed by foreigners.
Without foreign money, the US "superpower" cannot
finance its imports or its government�s operation.
When the oil price rises, Americans, who are increasingly
poor, cannot pay their winter heating bills. Thus, the Senate�s military
spending bill contains more heating subsidies for America�s growing legion of
The rising price of energy drives up the price of producing
and transporting all goods, but American incomes are not rising, except for the
The disappearing value of the US dollar, which pushes up oil
prices and raises the trade deficit, then pushes up heating subsidies and
raises the budget deficit.
If oil was the reason Bush invaded Iraq, the plan obviously
backfired. Oil not merely doubled or tripled in price but quintupled.
America�s political leaders either have no awareness that
Bush�s wars are destroying our country�s economic position and permanently
lowering the living standards of Americans or they do not care. McCain says he
can win the war in Iraq in five more years and in the meantime "challenge"
Russia and China. Hillary says she will "obliterate"
Iran if it attacks Israel. Obama can�t make up his mind if he is for war or
The Bush Regime�s inability to pay the bills it is piling up
for Americans means that future US governments will cut promised benefits and
further impoverish the people. Over a year ago, The Nation reported that
the Bush Regime is shedding veteran costs by attributing consequences of
serious war wounds to "personality disorders" in order to deny
soldiers promised benefits.[How Specialist Town Lost His
Benefits, By Joshua Kors, March 29, 2007]
Previous presidents reduced promised Social Security
benefits by taxing the benefits (a tax on a tax) and by rigging the cost of
living adjustment to understate inflation. Future presidents will have to seize
private pensions in order to make minimal Social Security payments.
Currently the desperate Bush Regime is trying to cut
Medicaid health care for the poor and disabled.
The Republican Party is willing to fund war, but sees
everything else as an extravagance. The neoconized war party is destroying the
economic prospects of American citizens. Is "war abroad and poverty at
home" the Republican campaign slogan for the November election?
Craig Roberts [email him] was
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan�s first term.
He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous
academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic
and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow,
Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by
French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side
Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation
and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown:
Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton
Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the
Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter
Brimelow�s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of
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