Finishing the Job in a Nice Round Number.
October 22, 2003
“After Desert Storm, over a decade ago, the one complaint I still hear is that we went to war against Saddam Hussein but we never finished the job. Well, this finishes the job."Why 87 billion exactly? 87 billion is actually 87 thousand million. We get a little detail—about 20 billion for infrastructure, the rest for the Military; tucked in there somewhere is $245,000,000 for Liberia, but that’s under three-tenths of one percent of the total, so who would care about chump change? Though it’s hard to be precise about 87 billion, the Administration seems certain that 86 billion would not be enough, and 88 billion more than necessary. Besides, what’s a few hundred million over or under? That was a lot of money when I was a kid, but times change.
Numbers in this range are a temptation, though. Sharpsters of every shape, kind, and “national origin” will be out to get a piece of it: a million here, a million there, who will notice, out of a sum so enormous? “Follow the money” we say, but 87 billion bucks will create an awful lot of trails. So next year, when
We have a government that believes in magic. If it decides to do something, it confuses its intentions with accomplishments. Does anybody remember that?
We have to tidy up our mess if we can. When a policy fails, we still must deal with the problem the policy was addressing; we dare not, as one cynic recommended, “declare victory and walk away.” On the other hand, to declare victory on the basis of money being available is absurd. Plenty of money was available for the hot phase of the war too, and look how that turned out.
About the Author:
Barnabas has voted in nine presidential elections. He's batting over .500.
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