Guns or Butter: Pick One?

Research into the history of warfare by imperialistic governments reveals that the cost to establish and maintain an expansive front line eventually imperils the imperialistic aggressor. Romans, Japanese and Germans all initially benefited from the cheap goods that resulted from their takeover of neighboring areas; but eventually it caught up with them in the form of hyperinflation, product scarcity and general economic malaise. The Soviet Union and North Korea bankrupted their own economies by feeding their armies but not their citizens.

Today, our President asked for another $46 billion to provide for the troops in Iraq, bringing the fiscal 2008 total alone to almost $200 billion. Even at $90 a barrel it’s going to take a lot of Iraqi oil exports (free to the U.S., of course) to recover from these types of outlays.

It could have been worse. The President could have signed the SCHIP legislation but instead vetoed it, wiping out health coverage for about 2.5 million eligible children but saving the federal government around $7 billion a year.  His fiscal frugality will not allow improvements to domestic conditions while there’s war afoot.

Is this what compassionate conservatism is about? At what point does compassion for the impoverished on our own soil supersede the compassion to destroy terrorists on theirs?


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