Foreign and Defense Policy, Terrorism

Obama: ‘I’m Not Spending a Trillion Dollars’ (Not from the Onion)

“I’m not spending a trillion dollars,” President Obama declares forthrightly on the front page of today’s Washington Post—words few imagined would ever pass the lips of perhaps the biggest spender ever to occupy the Oval Office.

What sparked Obama’s sudden embrace of fiscal restraint? The only matter Obama and the Democrats seem to think is a waste of taxpayer dollars—defending the country from terrorism.

In its preview of Bob Woodward’s new book, Obama’s Wars, which details the internal debate over the administration’s war plan for Afghanistan, the Post reveals that “at one strategy session, the president waved a memo from the Office of Management and Budget, which put a price tag of $880 billion over ten years on the military’s open-ended approach.”

Can you imagine Obama angrily waving a memo at his advisors detailing the costs of his stimulus spending bill—which, according to the Congressional Budget Office, will cost $819 billion over 10 years?  Or can you imagine him waving a memo detailing the cost of his healthcare bill and declaring this spending unacceptable?

For Obama, war spending is not an investment in keeping the country safe—it is wasted money that could be better used for his domestic agenda. So we see Obama spending without restraint in virtually every sphere of domestic life, but suddenly discovering fiscal discipline when it comes to defense and national security. The Woodward book promises to be a fascinating insight into the behind-the-scenes thinking of a president who sees his responsibilities as commander in chief as an expensive distraction from his real agenda.

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