The media have been running stories on the need to pull back funding in Iraq. An example is this from NPR.
Thank goodness someone is finally reporting on this. A recent book review in the Economist asked the following question:
Suppose that, five years ago, George Bush had asked every American household to stump up $25,000 to pay for an imminent war on Iraq. How would they have responded?(The Three Trillion Dollar War, Stiglitz and Bilmes)
Good question. When I hear that Iraqis are asking for money to put sculptures in a park rather than to fix power lines, or when I hear that oil pipelines that have just been repaired are sabotaged by one insurgent group or another, it makes my blood boil. That is a con job if there ever was one. Somewhere, someone is saying, "let's bleed them dry!" Not only that, it is blatant corruption. Someone is lining their pockets with American money. That has been going on from the start.
When it costs $50 to put 13 gallons of gas in my tank, when children aren't getting health care, when the dollar is bottoming out, and I see inflation all around, when I feel the squeeze of the middle class, I blame this war. It is bankrupting us morally and financially. When I hear that Iraq has a budget surplus while we are making huge interest payments to China, I get angry. And I wonder if anyone really knows the cost. It's time for the candidates to start really pushing on the idea that for every school we build in Iraq, we deprive our own children of new books, or new teachers, etc. For every park we finance in Iraq, we deprive our own communities of public transportation funding.
It is time for Iraq to start paying its share. Bottom line is that in that part of the world, people have long come to expect someone else to pay for them. They will take us for granted, and they have. The Iraqi public is used to the government doing everything for them. And what Iraq is doing is running a huge con job on us. I really hope that Congress holds the line to limit US reconstruction funding. A little tough love is in order.