Last night on the PBS Newshour, Jim Lehrer asked President Bush why he hasn’t called on Americans — besides those serving in the volunteer military — to sacrifice something to help our country in this time of struggle. Bush claimed Americans are sacrificing: “They sacrifice peace of mind when they see the terrible image of violence on TV every night.” Bush explained that “the psychology of the country…is somewhat down because of this war.” Watch it:
Like Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Bush said that he would “strongly oppose” raising taxes on the wealthy to help offset the increasing costs of war in Iraq because he wants “people to feel like their life’s moving on.” The Wall Street Journal reports, “The growing financial strain of Iraq will be spelled out as never before in a series of defense and war-related spending requests by the White House next month, expected to total more than $700 billion through Sept. 30, 2008.”
LEHRER: Let me ask you a bottom-line question, Mr. President. If it is as important as you’ve just said — and you’ve said it many times — as all of this is, particularly the struggle in Iraq, if it’s that important to all of us and to the future of our country, if not the world, why have you not, as president of the United States, asked more Americans and more American interests to sacrifice something? The people who are now sacrificing are, you know, the volunteer military — the Army and the U.S. Marines and their families. They’re the only people who are actually sacrificing anything at this point.
BUSH: Well, you know, I think a lot of people are in this fight. I mean, they sacrifice peace of mind when they see the terrible images of violence on TV every night. I mean, we’ve got a fantastic economy here in the United States, but yet, when you think about the psychology of the country, it is somewhat down because of this war.
Now, here in Washington when I say, “What do you mean by that?,” they say, “Well, why don’t you raise their taxes; that’ll cause there to be a sacrifice.” I strongly oppose that. If that’s the kind of sacrifice people are talking about, I’m not for it because raising taxes will hurt this growing economy. And one thing we want during this war on terror is for people to feel like their life’s moving on, that they’re able to make a living and send their kids to college and put more money on the table. And you know, I am interested and open-minded to the suggestion, but this is going to be –
LEHRER: Well –
BUSH: — this is like saying why don’t you make sacrifices in the Cold War? I mean, Iraq is only a part of a larger ideological struggle. But it’s a totally different kind of war, than ones we’re used to.