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War at Any Cost?

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    War at Any Cost? by Rep. Ron Paul March 1, 2008 http://www.antiwar.com/paul/?articleid=12441 From Rep. Paul s testimony to the Joint Economic Committee
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 3, 2008
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      War at Any Cost?
      by Rep. Ron Paul
      March 1, 2008
      http://www.antiwar.com/paul/?articleid=12441


      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.

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