Update: We should stop criticizing m.jed for providing the link to the CAGW discussion – and we should thank him. Why? First – check out this claim:
President Bush requested $103 billion in emergency spending for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and disaster relief. The House Appropriations Committee included an additional $21 billion in the U.S. Readiness, Veterans’ Health and Iraq Accountability Act, 2007, that is being marked up today.
Bush claimed he asked for only $95.5 million suggesting the rest was pork. CAGW says Bush asked for $103 billion – leaving a smaller difference than Bush suggested. Secondly, add up what CAGW calls pork and it doesn’t come close to $21 billion. In a way, CAGW has made my point that not all of the additional proposed spending should be considered pork.
The AP coverage of Bush’s radio address this St. Patrick’s Day was so hilarious that my second pint of beer must wait. AP wasn’t trying to be funny but I’m not so sure about the President:
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush on Saturday accused Democrats who are moving anti-war legislation through Congress of using troops as leverage to win domestic political battles. “Unfortunately, some in Congress are using this bill as an opportunity to micromanage our military commanders, force a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq and spend billions on domestic projects that have nothing to do with the war on terror,” Bush said in his weekly radio address.
This is from a President who drummed up jingoism to win the 2002 election and abused the Iraq War to win re-election. But this post is about spending:
Bush repeated his promise that his request for funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan must be approved “without strings and without delay” or he will veto it … The spending bill totals $124 billion, $95.5 billion of which is targeted for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The rest of the funds in the House bill would be distributed among domestic programs unrelated to the wars – health care for veterans and low-income children, aid to agriculture and more. Republicans said that was a thinly disguised attempt to win support from reluctant Democrats with pork-barrel spending. Democrats said the extra money was for legitimate needs.
A couple of things here. If Bush vetoes this bill – that will delay the authorization of the funds for this misguided Iraq War. But this suggestion that the approximately $30 billion, which is designated for health care for veterans and low-income children, is pork barrel strikes me as idiotic logic. More sensible logic would be to tag the $95.5 billion as pork as this whole damn war was Karl Rove’s political strategy. I need a drink!