The Associated Press reports that President Obama “plans to ask Congress for an additional $33 billion” to fight the unpopular Iraq and Afghanistan wars, “on top of a record request for $708 billion for the Defense Department next year.”
This request comes in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, at a time when our country can least afford it. Economist Dean Baker recently pointed out that “in standard economic models, defense spending is a direct drain on the economy, reducing efficiency, slowing growth” and costing huge numbers jobs. These costs are so significant that President Obama felt the need to include mention of them when he announced his most recent decision to add more troops in Afghanistan.
We can’t afford more open-ended, economically damaging spending on these unpopular wars.