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Bush Seeking $400 Million to Reward Allies

I’ve struggled all along with my feelings on the Iraq war. In all sincerity, perhaps I best sympathize with John Kerry, first for the war, then against. This story, however, strikes me as wrong.

I understand that other countries need aid to continue serving in Iraq, but it doesn’t seem quite right – especially since Bush isn’t packaging this as mere helping hand, but rather a “solidarity initiative.” Is this some kind of international recruitment by bribery? What gives? If we can’t convince others we’re right, we’ll pay them to agree? Are we telling nations that it’s profitable to join up with America? Adopting a message of that nature would be truly revolting, and, for me at least, expose “Operation Iraqi Freedom” as nothing more than a shameless power push.

Ties with nations based solely on money, and not on any kind of common ground, will last only as long as the money does. And seriously, do we really want to appear as a more attractive foreign partner solely because we’re handing out the green stuff? What kind of partners will that bring in to any coalition of the future? Maybe I’m just sick of recently watching massive amounts of money fly out of Uncle Sam’s (read: the taxpayer’s) purse, but this sure seems like one poor course of action.

About CJ

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    In the article you cite the otherwise somewhat reprehensible Joe Biden summed the reality of the situation up quite well. We’ve been getting help from some great countries like Poland which have the manpower and the skills, but not the economic resources to play a long term role in Iraq. Our main weakness is a lack of manpower, but we have money. So if we help underwrite some of their expenses they can stay there longer and do more, and it takes pressure off of our forces. It seems like a reasonable use of the money to me.

    Dave

  • Eric Olsen

    I agree with Dave, but I also understand CJ’s concerns about handing out “blood money”

  • http://unknownknowns.blogspot.com CJ

    Dave:
    I completely understand and agree with what you’re saying, but it’s not like this is just an aide package. As I mentioned, Bush is calling it a unifying fund. That and some comments by McClellan also quoted in the article seem to say to me that this is being treated as a reward, not the help that I believe it should be classified as. Is that nitpicking? Maybe, but if our motivation was so important in Iraq, it should be here as well.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    I’m curious: just where do “we have money”?

    The budget deficits get bigger and bigger every year.

    And don’t try the old “deficits only matter as a percentage of the economy”: it’s not true.

    Even the White House senior economic adviser, N. Gregory Mankiw, tells us that running a deficit “pulls resources away from investment in new capital and, thereby, depresses the living standards of future generations.”

    Running record deficits forever, the current projections, will depress the living standards of the entire world, not just America. [IMF, OECD See Economic Risks In Bush's Budget Wall Street Journal subscription]

    It will get far worse far sooner if Bush gets his expiring tax cuts made permanent.

    This country is on a downhill slide and will likely end up like Britain, a second-rate power, within a generation or so.

    I’d suggest signing your kids up for a course in Advanced Mandarin as soon as possible.

  • JR

    This country is on a downhill slide and will likely end up like Britain, a second-rate power, within a generation or so.

    I can live with that, I just don’t want to end up being Argentina.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    That won’t happen, JR, unless the IMF and World Bank step in :-)

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Hal:I’m curious: just where do “we have money”?

    Our GDP is so incredibly enormous compared to any other country in the world that we can afford to run large deficits and know that we can make them up with ease whenever we feel pressured.

    Hal: The budget deficits get bigger and bigger every year. And don’t try the old “deficits only matter as a percentage of the economy”: it’s not true.

    It absolutely IS true. A small bump in the GDP
    like we had under Clinton could erase the current
    deficit, as could a tiny increase in taxes or the
    implementation of a fair tax system which taxed
    the public more efficiently.

    Hal: This country is on a downhill slide and will likely end up like Britain, a second-rate power, within a generation or so.

    A second rate power which is currently going through an economic boom and record growth in virtually all sectors of its economy, and is the only country in Europe with a decent level of employment.

    Dave

  • http://emeraldcitycomments.blogspot.com/ Roy Smith

    Dave says: Our GDP is so incredibly enormous compared to any other country in the world that we can afford to run large deficits and know that we can make them up with ease whenever we feel pressured.

    If this is true, I guess we shouldn’t have any problem with the Social Security shortfall.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Truthfully, Roy, we shouldn’t – not if we act fairly quickly and don’t let it build up for too long. Settling a $2 trillion shortfall over a period of 10 years ought to be no problem at all, really.

    Dave

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    Sorry, Dave, even right-wing economists like Mankiw say it’s a problem, and that deficits do matter.

    You can continue to believe your pop-pseudo-economics if you like, but the facts won’t change.

    Check the link I gave to what the IMF and World Bank say. I’d rather get my info from sources like that rather than from some place with no sunshine, like you did.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    >>If we can’t convince others we’re right, we’ll pay them to agree?

    Calling Armstrong Williams. “Jeff Gannon”

    I;m seriously pissed about what these people are dogn to journalism. Um, but that’s Off-topic. Sorry.

    democracy often =’s bribery.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Hal Gibbered Insanely:

    >Sorry, Dave, even right-wing economists like Mankiw say it’s a problem, and that deficits do matter.<

    And so your plan is to NOT fix Social Security so that when it implodes the deficit will skyrocket? Come again?

    Dave

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    You get and “F” on Comprehension, Dave.

    Again.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Oh sorry, Hal. What was your plan again? To cut benefits, raise the retirement age, up the already insane level of SS tax? I look forward to seeing the popular reaction to your plan. Do you have lynching insurance? If you get enough of them together even old people can lift a bloated liberal into a tree.

    Dave

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    For those interested and out of grade school, you can find out what I’ve said on my site at The “Ownership” Scam.

    Maybe you can explain it to Dave (but I doubt it).

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Hal, if you could move your responses to Dave Nalle out of the “Jane, you ignorant slut” level, you might have a chance of convincing people he’s wrong. IMHO, of course.

    As it is, he posts something quite rational, and you respond with “I know you are, but what am I?”

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Hal. I have no ability to explain why you want to spread untruths, half-truths and pure fantasy.

    Dave

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    Nah, doc, he is one and his comments are so baseless there’s nothing to respond to, except in kind.

    You, on the other hand, can read all my other posts and comments to everyone else (except maybe andy) and you’ll find that they’re substantive and supported with evidence.

    Dave is just a right-wing troll so I treat him as such.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “It will get far worse far sooner if Bush gets his expiring tax cuts made permanent.”

    Bush also supports spending cuts. Do you?

    “This country is on a downhill slide and will likely end up like Britain, a second-rate power, within a generation or so.”

    The UK is hardly a second-rate power. And, anyway, the US is not going there anytime soon. Unless, of course, you Leftist clowns have your way…

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    Yes indeed I do, RJ.

    Not all nor the same ones that you do, probably, but I have no philosophical opposition to spending cuts as such.

    In fact, I cheered when I saw one of Bush’s proposals.

    My only objection is that he doesn’t go far enough with this one.

    He wants to whack a few percentage points off subisidies to agribusiness, while I think they need to be eliminated entirely (phasing out would be acceptable). I’m in there with the Heritage Foundation on this one.

    All corporate welfare needs to be stopped, so I wish he had also included the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (which creates jobs overseas), the Medicare drug bill (which feeds billions to the drug companies) and a number of other misnamed and misdirected spending programs.

    Had he done so, he might not have had to cut spending on education, research and other vital areas.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    OMG, Hal said something that makes sense. I wonder how he can understand the terrible effects of agricultural subsidies and yet not do the 2nd grade math necessary to understand the utter inviability of social security.

    Dave

  • http://emeraldcitycomments.blogspot.com/ Roy Smith

    Dave, in response to your comment #9, I meant we wouldn’t have a problem leaving Social Security just as it is (that was in response to your statement about deficit spending not mattering, which is completely goofy).

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Roy, I didn’t say deficit spending didn’t matter, I said that with our strong GDP growth we had the ability to cope with deficits better than other countries. Regardless we can’t leave social security just as it is, because then it will just run out of money.

    Dave

  • http://emeraldcitycomments.blogspot.com/ Roy Smith

    I will leave Social Security alone for the moment. As far as ability to cope with deficits, the United States has a huge advantage in this because we happen to own the world’s reserve currency, at least for now. If this were to change (for more on this read The Passing of the Buck which appeared in the Economist) the United States would have to get much, much more serious about becoming fiscally responsible. Ironically, one of the contributing factors to the dethronement of the dollar could end up being excessive government budget deficits.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I’d say the biggest factor threatening the dollar right now is th negative European reaction to Bush’s deliberate effort to put the tongs to European industry by forcing the value of the dollar down and the value of the Euro up. Of course he’s put their economies in such bad shape that they can’t afford to rock the boat much.

    Dave

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “He wants to whack a few percentage points off subisidies to agribusiness, while I think they need to be eliminated entirely (phasing out would be acceptable). I’m in there with the Heritage Foundation on this one.”

    We mostly agree on this one. :)

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I agree too. Now if the three of us can agree on this, why the hell can’t they do something about it?

    Dave

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    The Senate has quite a few powerful and senior members who are from farm states. They get re-elected largely by passing pork onto their constituents.

    Any attempt to eliminate this pork will be met with fierce opposition by these Senators.

    THAT is the problem…