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.