Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

The material I post on this blog represents my views and mine alone. The material you post on this blog represents your views and yours alone.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

WAR -- The Money [Part 5]

In 2004, a billboard in Times Square counted the cost of the Iraq war at a rate of $177M per day, $7.4M per hour and $122,820 per minute.

The best estimate of that cost today is up to $200M per day.

Now read this report the New York Times, March 12, 2008:

“Senator John McCain loves to present himself as a fighter against waste and pork-barrel spending. His fusillades against the “bridge to nowhere” in Alaska and other such projects were well justified. But his jabs at a study of grizzly bears in Montana are way off the mark.

“To hear Mr. McCain tell it in his presidential stump speech and campaign ads, the government has squandered $3 million (actually more like $5 million) to study the DNA of bears in Montana. “I don’t know if it was a paternity issue or criminal,” he jokes, “but it was a waste of money.”

“A report by Joel Achenbach in The Washington Post makes clear, however, that this was not really a study of bear DNA but a study that used bear DNA to determine whether the grizzly bear was still a threatened species or had rebounded. Mr. McCain and his staff either failed to realize that or chose to distort the facts for political effect. Either choice is not encouraging.”

Why is the American public so penny wise and so pound foolish? Long diatribes on blogs and editorial pages are written every day proclaiming government waste of MY TAX MONEY. And it is a good thing when citizens take the spending of tax dollars seriously, examining for themselves the value received for government expenditures.

It's just too bad this close attention is not applied to the bloated and often secretive defense budget and the humongous, no returns forthcoming, additions to our national debt due to fighting a tragic failed gamble of a war in Iraq.

John McCain won't tell you how many grizzly bear studies would have to be canceled to pay for the 100 years he foresees us hanging around Iraq.


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