The amount the U.S. military spends annually on air conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan: $20.2 billion.
That's more than NASA's budget. It's more than BP has paid so far for damage during the Gulf oil spill. It's what the G-8 has pledged to help foster new democracies in Egypt and Tunisia.I hope more congressmen begin to see our 21st century wars as Sen. Manchin does:
When you have this many people in a country that doesn't want you there — that has no economy, no infrastructure and a corrupt government — and you're trying to stabilize it and build them into a viable nation? I'm not sure we have enough time, and I definitely know we don't have enough money.America is still spending money for war operations in Afghanistan and Iraq but politicians won't increase revenue from taxes. That leads to national debt and that, in turn, is hamstringing our national economic recovery efforts.
Politicians make this so complicated... but it is simple. When governments fight wars, they have to pay the bill by increasing taxes. America had huge national fundraising drives during WWI and WWII and the premise is still true today. Tea party folks seem to forget that.
And nearly all 21st century politicians are beholden to poll numbers, lobbyists, and MSNBC/Fox viewers. It's never easy to tell Americans, "sacrifice your standard of living", but that is exactly what we need to do in order to pay our debts.
Please understand that I do not support war in Afghanistan or Iraq and would love to bring every American soldier home tomorrow. But those are already sunk costs and it makes no sense to continue piling up national debt.
In order to buy bullets, we need to bite one and raise tax revenue.