War at Any Cost?
- War at Any Cost?
by Rep. Ron Paul
March 1, 2008
From Rep. Paul's testimony to the Joint Economic Committee Hearing,
February 28, 2008.
In recent months the undeclared war in Iraq seems not to have been on
the minds of most Americans. News of the violence and deprivation
which ordinary Iraqis are forced to deal with on a daily basis rarely
makes it to the front pages. Instead, we read in the newspapers
numerous slanted stories about the how the surge is succeeding and
reducing violence. Never does anyone dare to discuss the costs of the
war or its implications.
There are the direct costs of the war, the costs of maintaining bases,
providing food, water, and supplies, which the administration vastly
underestimated before embarking on their quest in Iraq. These costs
run into the tens of billions of dollars per month, and I shudder to
think what the total direct costs will add up to when we finally pull out.
Then there are the opportunity costs, those which decision makers in
Washington almost never discuss. Imagine that the war in Iraq had
never happened, and the hundreds of billions of dollars we have spent
so far were still in the hands of taxpayers and businesses. How many
jobs could have been created, how much money could have been saved,
invested, and put to productive use?
Unfortunately, it appears too many policymakers in Washington still
cling to the broken window fallacy, long since discredited by the 19th
century French economist Frederic Bastiat, that destruction is a good
thing because jobs are created to rebuild what is destroyed. This
pernicious fallacy is unfortunately widespread in our society today
because those in positions of power and influence only recognize what
is seen, and ignore what is unseen.
Running a deficit of hundreds of billions of dollars per year in order
to fund our misadventure is unsustainable. Eventually those debts must
be repaid, but this country is in such poor financial shape that when
our creditors come knocking, we will have little with which to pay
them. Our imperial system of military bases set up in protectorate
states around the world is completely dependent on the continuing
willingness of foreigners to finance our deficits. When the credit
dries up we will find ourselves in a dire situation. Americans will
suffer under a combination of confiscatory taxation, double-digit
inflation, and the sale of massive amounts of land and capital goods
to our foreign creditors.
The continuation of the war in Iraq will end in disaster for this
country. Parallels between the Roman Empire and our own are numerous,
although our decline and fall will happen far quicker than that of
Rome. The current financial crisis has awakened some to the perils
that await us, but solutions that address the root of the problem and
seek to fix it are nowhere to be found. There must be a sea change in
the attitudes and thinking of Americans and their leaders. The
welfare-warfare state must be abolished, respect for private property
and individual liberties restored, and we must return to the
limited-government ideals of our Founding Fathers. Any other course
will doom our nation to the dustbin of history.
WORLD VIEW NEWS SERVICE
To subscribe to this group, send an email to:
NEWS ARCHIVE IS OPEN TO PUBLIC VIEW
Need some good karma? Appreciate the service?
Please consider donating to WVNS today.
Email ummyakoub@... for instructions.
To leave this list, send an email to: