Monday, January 19, 2009

It Can Be Interesting – and Sobering – to Play ‘What If’

I can remember, as a kid of 7 or 8, carefully cutting the tops and bottoms from tin cans, slipping them into the cylinder that remained and then flattening it all out by stomping on it. Billions of cans were thus recycled into tanks and planes and guns ... just one of many ways Americans supported the war effort during World War Two. Everyone was involved. Even little kids.

David Broder is a veteran and respected political reporter. In a recent Washington Post column, he suggested that George W. Bush’s greatest failure was in not asking Americans to sacrifice anything in support of the war in Iraq. (Far from having to sacrifice, we actually got tax cuts while $10 billion a month was being pumped into that conflict.)

Broder makes an interesting point and it certainly begs the question: What if Bush had addressed the nation back in February of 2003 and said the following:

“Fellow Americans, we’re going to go into Iraq to get rid of Saddam Hussein and bring democracy to the Iraqi people. This is a noble and necessary effort, and to pay for it, there will be a 10% surcharge added to everyone’s federal income tax bill until we win and our troops come home.”

What if he had done that?

Would we have gone into Iraq in the first place?

And would we still be in Iraq today?


Susan Och said...

Better yet, what if he had announced a surcharge on each barrel of oil?

Jim Loomis said...

Either way, if Anricans across the board had been asked to fund this war on a pay-as-you-go basis, we would have been out of there years ago.

Jim Loomis said...

Uh ... that's "Americans."