Cleaning up Bush’s mess | AspenTimes.com

Cleaning up Bush’s mess

Dear Editor:

First and foremost, 2003 – the war in Iraq. The Bush years.

There were no weapons of mass destruction. It was a lie.

Leaving aside for now the human cost of our brave, let’s look at the fiscal reality. The hard-dollar costs are well over $3 trillion, plus interest. (The figure projected by the Bush administration was $50 billion to $60 billion.) But the ultimate financial costs are far greater!

It has cost us dearly over the past nine years and continues to cost us. It was a fundamental cornerstone to the financial-world crisis that precipitated the Great Recession and continues to plague the American and world populace.

They said it wasn’t about oil, but oil in 2003 was $25 a barrel, and by 2008 it had soared to $140 a barrel. That’s money sent overseas for oil that wasn’t available for home projects, such as infrastructure, schools and stuff (job-creating stuff)!

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A historical first! You go to war and lower taxes. That’s right, you lower taxes and use Uncle Sam’s credit card. That’s a fact!

Bush came into office with a surplus debt/gross domestic product. Under Clinton, the debt clock was rolling backward. By 2003 we had a debt of $6.4 trillion. With the Iraq war and higher interests due to higher debt, the surplus soared to $10 trillion by 2008. Then we had a housing bubble burst, lost homes, lost jobs and lost health care, and we’re still struggling – and now we’re looking at a $16 trillion national debt. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has estimated that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, together with the Bush tax cuts, will account for almost half of the projected $20 trillion debt in 2019.

Really, folks, it’s hard not to blame the Bush administration for the mess we’re in. Fist-pounding Republicans like to put their beer goggles on when they look at the national debt, but the facts are the facts. We’ll be paying for the Bush war and its continuing negative impact for a very long time.

Mike Weed

Carbondale