Much is made of US debt, which is soaring unchecked into astronomical figures: almost $12 trillion; 90% of the GDP; $39,000 for every man woman and child in the country. And the debt is increasing at an average rate of $4 billion a day.
The Right complains that the US simply can’t afford healthcare reform. ‘Yes we can,’ says Obama.
Curiously, no one is saying ‘we can’t afford war.’
When the US passed its military budget of $600 billion a few months ago it merited hardly a peep from the press … and that budget didn’t include the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, sums that would almost certainly double the so-called ‘Defence’ budget to over a trillion dollars.
Even without its costs of war, the US has a greater military budget than the rest of the world combined and, it could easily be argued, the US, just like the shark, has no known predators but for a few disgruntled guys with box cutters.
So here’s the question. If cost is so vitally important to rehabilitating healthcare, why isn’t it a significant factor in the debate about war, or the escalation of war?
The ‘war’ in Afghanistan, which is really an occupation for the purpose of state-building, has no discernible end-point. It could go on and on and on until the US public (or budget) can’t take it any more.
So cut your loses, President Obama, and start saving. If you don’t, pretty soon you’re going to have to declare war on your debt and that will mean war on your people who, with all these unnecessary wars, are already suffering enough.
If war can no longer be a matter of conscience, make it a factor of economics.