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Paying for the war

Donald Rumsfeld recently said, ” … the war on terrorism promises to be a long war.” One hopes it’s not too long, since three years of it has cost almost a half-trillion dollars. The Bush administration budgeted $120 billion for the war this year, and that’s in addition to the Defense Department’s $550 billion. Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz has estimated that the war could ultimately cost $2 trillion.

Let’s assume for the moment that the war is truly worth fighting – that Iraq was responsible for 9/11, had WMD, needs democratic reform and all the rest of the reasons the administration churns out monthly. OK, then, where will its financing come from? Certainly not from cancelling tax cuts for the wealthy, nor from corporations such as ExxonMobil, which reported $36 billion in profits in 2005. Instead, the Bush administration seeks to raise up to $800 million by selling off 306,628 acres of National Forest lands.

This is truly amazing. Putting our national heritage on the block to pay for a misguided and endless war far exceeds poor judgment. It’s as though our government has been commandeered by an alien force intent on our demise.



Jeff Kane

Nevada City


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