Just weeks before the elections, some Republicans are coming forward and saying: On budget management, Iraq, the War on Terror — It's A Mess!
Fiscal Management: The cost of the War on Terror since 9/11 through fiscal year 2006 is 437 billion. Of that 437 billion the Iraq War has cost 330.4 billion. The federal cost for Katrina 130 billion, of 200 billion estimated by 2009. Total federal allocation for 9/11 recovery, 20 billion.
That is a total federal outlay for Katrina, 9/11 recovery, and the war on terror of: 437 + 130 + 20 = 587 Billion dollars or, a little over 1/2 trillion dollars. The National Debt in 2001 when Bush came into office was about 5.65 trillion. Current National Debt 5 years later is 8.5 trillion. In other words, the national debt has grown by 3 trillion but the total cost of Katrina, War on Terror, and 9/11 has only cost 0.58 trillion. So where did the other 2.43 trillion dollars of deficit spending go?
Sen. Enzi (R) said on Sept. 27, "The American people are tired of overspending." The Republicans ran for election in 2000 and 2004 on the twin issues national security and fiscal responsibility. Republicans have increased the national debt by 2.43 trillion dollars after excluding the emergencies cited above. This is not fiscal responsibility. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R) speaking on June 14, 2006 about the Gregg proposal for restraining spending said it "will bring spending under control in 4, 5, or 6 years, which we must do".
Is Sen. Alexander serious? Is he really asking the voters to give Republicans another 4, 5, or 6 years to get spending under control, after wasting 2.43 trillion dollars over budget already for non-emergency and wartime spending? This is absolutely ridiculous, and any voter who cares about fiscal responsibility has to be blind if they think this Republican Congress is being fiscally responsible.
Republican Sen. Coburn said in his amendment 4848 this year on defense spending, that "earmarks [are] partially responsible for emergency supplementals and rising debt. He goes on to say: "The amount earmarked as a percentage of the total in the defense appropriations bill has correspondingly increased from about 1.8 percent in 1994 to approximately 2.4 percent in 2006."
Earmarks are spending projects added to bills, (also known as pork spending), most of which have nothing to do with the purpose of the bill at hand. Under Republicans, pork spending has grown by estimates of as much as 600% across all spending bills. Democrats have been criticizing that a disproportionate share of pork approved is going to Republican dominated states. Given Congress' propensity to buy constituent votes with federal tax dollars costing the rest of Americans, it is a very plausible criticism, which Republicans would be launching at Democrats were they in control, no doubt.