Many politicians, including U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Longboat Key), are pushing to solve our debt problem with radical proposals like a balanced budget amendment to our Constitution.
Is their goal to distract citizens’ attention from their previous votes that caused the deficits in the first place?
Many of the same politicians calling for a balanced budget amendment are the same ones who routinely voted to fund expensive wars of choice. These expenditures constitute a primary cause of our national debt.
Florida Veterans for Common Sense is proud to say we stood against the Iraq invasion from the beginning. Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator, but to remove him by invading Iraq was a national security blunder of the highest order and not worth the cost in lives, destruction and money.
The cost to the Iraqis has been horrendous. As early as 2006, experts from Johns Hopkins University, Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology concluded the number of people killed in the violence in Iraq after the March 2003 invasion was estimated to be at least 600,000. The Eisenhower Institute calculates 7.8 million people were forced to flee their homes. For perspective, this is about half the population of Florida.
The death and destruction were, and are, paid for with borrowed money. A Nobel Prize-winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz, and Linda Bilmes concluded the cost to be $3 trillion in their 2008 book. In 2010 congressional testimony, they increased the estimate to $4 trillion.