Monday, September 19

Fareed Of All Constraints

Someone pointed me in the direction of this Fareed Zakaria column in Newsweek:

Leaders Who Won't Choose
In Washington, it's business as usual in the face of a national catastrophe
People wonder whether we can afford Iraq and Katrina. The answer is, easily. What we can't afford simultaneously is $1.4 trillion in tax cuts and more than $1 trillion in new entitlement spending over the next 10 years. To take one example, if Congress did not make permanent just one of its tax cuts, the repeal of estate taxes, it would generate $290 billion over the next decade. That itself pays for most of Katrina and Iraq.

Yeah. As long as we don't need to spend money on anything else in the next decade, we'll be home free.

Mind you, it's not that it isn't gratifying to see public intellectuals from the Council on Foreign Relations recognizing, however belatedly and however imperfectly, that somebody has to pay for their little excellent adventure that the Bush administration screwed up and let them down on. Maybe in three more years Zakaria will discover a solution to the rest of the debt Bush has saddled us with. Too bad his support for generating revenues through taxes won't be as influential as was his support for the war.


Pepper said...

Meeeow! Nice dig at the end there.

Same for Clinton, who has started to ask the "how are we going to pay for all this?" question way too late.

Why is it that we could see it coming, and no one else can?

The other night, I had a guy tell me that the money for Iraq was "already earmarked" and that the United States wasn't actually in debt. I nearly drowned myself in a cup of tartar sauce.

Anonymous said...

Did the guy have an explanation, or was he just totally delusional? It sounds like the sort of thing Limbaugh would say, actually.
It'd drive me into the tartar sauce too, I think.

Pepper said...

He had no explanation. He told me that the money for the budget is already "there," as if it is magic. I kept repeating "deficit, deficit" and "debts to other nations," and I even used a comparison for overspending on one's credit card.

No dice. The money is already "there" and is just shifted to where it is truly necessary. You can see why I turned my attention to the condiments.