Three big assumptions proved wrong: one, that the Iraqi people would welcome us as liberators; two, that oil would soon pay for Iraqi's rebuilding; and, three, that we have plenty of troops, weapons, and equipment for the postwar situation.
As costs mount, in lives and dollars, it is natural to second guess, but one lesson I hope we have learned is that the U.S. cannot go it alone in a policy that leaves American troops taking all the risk and American taxpayers paying all of the costs.
Domestic discretionary spending on education and health care and the environment has been growing at 2 to 3 percent a year. He says we have to rein it in, but he ignores the spending category that is the big spike in the budget.
We developed during the 1990s a series of budget process rules that helped us bring to heel these deficits, diminishing every year and moving the budget so into surplus.
Our country, the United States of America, may be the worlds largest economy and the worlds only superpower, but we stretch ourselves dangerously thin by taking on commitments like Iraq with only a motley band of allies to share the burden.
We can have tax cuts, but when we have tax cuts and do not have a surplus, the amount of the tax cut goes straight to the bottom line, adds to the deficit, and the deficit adds to the national debt, and sooner or later, the debt has to be paid.
We have got thousands of nuclear weapons in order to achieve deterrence.
Just a few short years ago in the year 2000, the last full fiscal year of the Clinton administration, this country was running a surplus of $236 billion.
This war so far has cost us $125 billion and counting, because largely we decided to do it on our own, with only the United Kingdom as a paying, fully participating partner.
Democrats and Republicans alike support our military personnel.
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