Congress is faced with the dilemma of how to limit Bush's escalation of the war in Iraq without harming U.S. troops by cutting off funds. Bush has now asked for several billion dollars additional funding for the war outside the regular budget over the next two years. What should congress do?
Let George pay!
Congress must provide all funds necessary to provide U.S. troops with the resources needed to maximize their safety. They should do this by redistribution of funds budgeted, not by giving additional funds. Let those who choose to pursue the course of war pay the cost.
I suggest the following as starting points for finding funds for the troops. Reduce the budgets of:
- White House Operations -- Cut staffing and entertainment expenses as a beginning. There are many luxuries that can be eliminated.
- Camp David -- Close Camp David for the duration of the war.
- Air Force One -- Keep the president at home on the job. Fund only travel absolutely necessary for the national (not political or personal) welfare.
- White House Security -- Bush has sent hundreds of thousands into harm's way. Let him contribute to their protection by accepting a higher degree of personal danger himself.
- Post-Presidential Perks -- Bush has indebted the nation for years to come. Let him help repay that debt by giving up the extensive office expense account former presidents receive. Let him give up the medical and retirement income ex-presidents receive and pay his own way like the tax paying public does.
- Remove tax breaks for those profiting from the war -- This bears investigation whether related to war funding or not.
These cuts would not provide for the total budget needed to adequately provide for those serving in Iraq. But they provide a path to finding other cuts.
If Bush truly believes that his chosen path is right, he will be willing to sacrifice personally to follow it. If he is unwilling to personally pay the price . . .