Somebody get this guy a dunce cap.
WASHINGTON – The growing cost to the United States of fighting the war in Iraq “is not only linked to our economic skid, but is a leading cause of it,” a Democratic congressman said Saturday.
Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky linked the costly, unpopular war with the growing economic troubles — some say recession — in this country.
Yarmuth said in the Democrats’ weekly radio address that the testimony this week of Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker about the Iraq war served as reminder of the billions of dollars being poured into Iraq as the U.S. economy struggles.
“General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker failed to offer a plan to change direction in Iraq and redeploy our troops,” Yarmuth said. “Instead, they offered more of the same, with U.S. troops and taxpayers paying the price.”
On first look, Rep. Yarmuth’s argument here seems way off because there doesn’t seem to be any correlation between economic growth and Iraq spending. For most of the war we’ve experienced strong economic growth. It is only now, after five years, that the growth is beginning to slow. Seems that if war spending were to have an impact we would have felt it already.
But even setting that argument aside, if government spending on Iraq hurts the economy what about government spending in general? Consider, for instance, the rise in our nation’s mandatory entitlement spending over the last 46 years:
In 2007 entitlement spending in America cost us approximately $1.4 trillion dollars. In over five years, the war in Iraq has cost a total so-far of $583.6 billion, or approximately $116 billion per year. Here’s a comparison of per year entitlement spending vs. per year Iraq spending:
Iraq war spending is a drop in the bucket compared to what we spend on big, and getting bigger, programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. And if government spending on Iraq is detrimental to our economy, so is spending on these programs.
Someone wake me up when Rep. Yarmuth is oh-so-concerned about the unsustainable growth in entitlement spending.