If President Bush is really as concerned about the budget as he claims in protesting the Senate’s $109 billion supplemental bill funding Iraq, hurricane relief and a variety of pet projects, he should finance most of the war costs through the normal budget process, and not through off-budget, supplemental bills, The New York Times argues in an editorial today. It’s a good point.
Though some costs can’t be predicted and, therefore, require supplemental funding, the bulk of the spending on Iraq is predictable — about $100 billion a year.
By using supplementals, the administration doesn’t have to count the spending when it outlines its budget plans. The Times also argues that moving the war’s financing off budget means less scrutiny of the spending and makes it “much easier for the Pentagon to duck the hard choices it desperately needs to be making between optional and costly futuristic weapons and pressing real-world needs.”
Posted by Phillip Brownlee
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