Thursday, September 09, 2004

For Love of Money

John Kerry's latest line of attack is to blame Bush for spending too much money in Iraq.

Just yesterday, while watching Fox News, I heard Kerry criticize Bush for spending "$200 billion in Iraq that we so desperately need at home." Here's the story as I found it on their website

I would not have made the wrong choices that are forcing us to pay nearly the entire cost of this war — more than $200 billion that we're not investing in education, health care and job creation here at home

George W. Bush's wrong choices have led America in the wrong direction on Iraq and left America without the resources we need here at home

Kerry seems to have two lines of argument here:
1) That we shouldn't be paying the entire cost of the war, but that it should be shared.
2) That we very much need this money at home and that not having it makes a difference.

Neither of these assertions, I believe, is valid.

Yes we are probably paying most of the cost of the reconstruction. But this is a good thing for several reasons.

This way we get to call the shots as to how the money is spent. We can organize matters as we see fit, which would be according to our ideals. We ran the show in Japan after WWII, and that country turned into an economic powerhouse. Even though the British and French shared occupying western Germany with us, we contributed the lions share of money there too. The Marshall Plan was a US initiative.

Other countries would have vastly different priorities. Sad to say, but I find little reason to believe that countries such as France or Germany have any interest at all in making Iraq democratic or capitalist. The UN...well they're a joke. Most of the worlds nations are at least authoritarian, and most have little economic freedom either. That the "international community" would share our ideals is laughable.

What, then, about the argument that the money is better spent here at home, or even that we very much need it?

We have so much and they have so little. Our problems are those of the rich; we worry about "universal health care", they worry about whether they can get health care. We worry about minute levels of arsenic in the drinking water, they worry about getting drinking water. We want computers in our schools, they want schools with roofs.

Further, lack of money is not the problem with our health care, education system, or job creation. Please.

They money we spend in Iraq is the best investment we could ever make. I am absolutely convinced that the liberals who complain along the lines of John Kerry have no idea as to what we have achieved in Iraq; my post on how monumental our achievement is can be found here.

In the past I have often opposed some of our foreign aid. But I did so not because I did not want to help people in other parts of the world, far from it. I opposed it because the programs were poorly conceived, they missed the true problems, and often did more damage than good. So often the problem is not lack of money.

Let it not be thought that I am an ogre in regard to, say, educational spending. I want our children to have the best schools. It's rather that I don't see most of our current problems (and again, they're the problems of the rich) as being solved by more money. Further, our Federal budget is some two trillion dollars per year. The $200 billion that Kerry refers to is to be spent over a several year period, I believe.

To be sure, we miscalculated the cost of reconstruction. We had no idea that Saddam had so brutalized his own country. Somehow I missed where those on the left predicted this. No, they were too busy warning us about the upcoming "Battle of Baghdad," in which the "elite" Republican Guard would hold off U.S. forces for weeks in bloody street-to-street fighting.

Further, all this is in response to Kerry's Wednesday attack on Bush. By the time you read this, he may well be saying that we're spending too little there.