Yesterday, at a predominately supporter-attended town hall meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Sen. John McCain was asked some tough questions about the “central tenets” of his campaign. One question, centered around the Iraq war and the American economy, was particularly poignant:
Q: No surrender and not being willing to negotiate, how is that going to help our economy going further?
McCain: Let me put it this way, there would be catastrophic consequences. I would like to assure you, ma’am, no one hates war more than a veteran. I know war. I hate war. I believe that our economic difficulties can be addressed. I also believe that by winning in Iraq, that will reduce those costs.
But does McCain have any intention of getting us out of that mess? McCain has professed his express intention to stay in Iraq for another 100 years if we have to. His Bush-esque rhetoric also remains consistent: “stay the course” in Iraq and “expand defense spending.”
Starting back in 2002, before the American invasion, economists predicted that waging a war in the Middle East would make the US budget deficit soar. In January, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the US deficit is estimated to amount to $219 billion — $56 billion more than last year — by the end of 2008. This does not include the $165 billion check that Congress just wrote for additional war funding.
At the end of the day, John McCain believes that sustaining a war that could conceivably cost American taxpayers $200 million/day x 365 days/year x 100 years would help the economy. He must really not know much about the economy.