Iraq or the Economy?

Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, a champion of individual liberty and unyielding opponent of taxation, deficit spending and big government, recently published a brief piece titled “Iraq or the Economy.”  I liked it so much that I decided to publish it in lieu of one of my typically worthless posts.  So, here ya go:

What is the importance of the war in Iraq relative to other current issues?  This is a question I am often asked, especially as Americans continue to become increasingly aware that something is very wrong with the economy.    The impact of war on our ability to defend ourselves from future attack, and upon America’s standing in the world, is only a mere fraction of the total overall effect that war has on our nation and the policies of its government.

There is no single issue that is more important at this particular time.   The war has, of course, made us less safe as a nation and damaged our credibility with allies and hostile nations alike.  Moreover, years of growing deficits have been spurred on by the high price tag of war, and the decision to pay that price primarily by supplemental spending rather than traditional “on-budget” accounting.

It also impacts budget priorities in ways that are detrimental to our nation.  I have often pointed to the fact that we are building bridges in Iraq while they are collapsing in the United States .

Obviously, many of the young people who are in the military literally give their blood, and sometimes their lives, fighting in wars of this type.  Meanwhile, those who do not fight the war, but fund it, are forced to pay both the immediate costs, as well as seeing their long term purchasing power erode, as the twin pillars of debt and inflation are foisted upon the backs of current taxpayers and future generations.  Neither conspiracy nor coincidence explains steep increases in the price of gas as the war drags on.  No, this is simply a reality of the inflationary policies that, among other things, make this war possible.

As people are continually asked to choose whether our nation’s teetering economy or the failed foreign policy of the past several decades is most important as we look forward, it is well for those of us who understand that these two issues are closely linked, to continue to explain this fact to our fellow citizens.  To fix the problem requires a proper diagnosis.

Grace and Peace