A Bankrupt Nation

March 14, 2008

Today, the value of the dollar hit record lows in relation to European currencies, and a 19-year low against the Japanese Yen. What this will surely mean for you and me is more taxes, and the subtle “tax” of higher prices. Our current President has spent us nearly into bankruptcy by fighting the wrong war the wrong way.

How did we get here?

We had been flying air suppression for a decade, and needed to get Saddam out of power so we could leave and spend those resources on Afghanistan. Trouble is, the Army thought they were fighting WWII again, and came to “liberate” an oppressed Europe. But they forgot to honor the citizens, the resistance and the military that surrendered with dignity.

The US Army and our State Dept imposed a conqueror’s regime almost as bad as the one we deposed, and did nothing to improve the lives of the people we went in to protect. Ambassador Bremmer fired the Iraqi Army, shaming them by stripping them of honor and livelihood, sending them home in disgrace with a pittance of a pension. No wonder they took to the streets as militia! In reply, our President outsourced the war to lawless mercenaries who raised a stink in the world’s nose, and lost us most of the friends we used to have. These and all the support contractors are costing us Trillions (with a ‘T”).

Focusing on foreign wars meant Bush was not watching the domestic economy, and it has spiraled out of control. We are now at historic lows in the value of the dollar internationally even as gas prices have more than doubled during his term in office.

Congress used to rely on “pay as you go” (pay-go) to fund the government. If we tried that now, taxes would go back to levels last seen in the Carter years. But something will have to be done.  The next president will have to be innovative to keep our country a world leader.  I’m not sure we have that kind of choice right now.