politics

The misery of war index

A friend overseas wondered to me recently why Americans don't seem to be more upset by the war in Iraq and Bush's various other exercises in adventurism. I have a theory on that, but it will require some research to back it up.

My guess: that the war has not yet touched anybody's wallet noticeably enough (or at least more than the general recession has) to get them upset about it. This has been, for most Americans, a sacrifice-free war; only those in the military or called up for active duty by the National Guard or the Reserve (and their families) have been directly affected thus far (and the Guardsmen and reservists' families have been the ones who've had to deal with the worst financial impact, as breadwinners have taken big pay cuts for mandatory active service).

This is the “Guns Plus Butter” plan of the Bush administration: minimize the financial impact of the war now, by borrowing to the hilt while interest rates are low and inflation is dead; finance the war while cutting taxes on those who complain the loudest; leave the financial rubble for some other administration to clean up.

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