Stimulate the economy by withdrawing from Iraq

 In Iraq

The recent economic woes that have been dominating the news caused Congress to pass a stimulus package. The idea behind this solution is that Americans will spend the checks they receive, ranging from $600 to $1200, and stimulate the economy, though most people say they plan to save the money or use it to pay bills. In fact, a recent AP poll shows that Americans think the best way to stimulate the economy is to withdraw from Iraq:

The heck with Congress’ big stimulus bill. The way to get the country out of recession — and most people think we’re in one — is to get the country out of Iraq, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll.

Pulling out of the war ranked first among proposed remedies in the survey, followed by spending more on domestic programs, cutting taxes and, at the bottom end, giving rebates to poor people in hopes they’ll spend the economy into recovery.

The $168 billion economic rescue package Congress rushed to approval this week includes rebates of $600 to $1,200 for most taxpayers, the hope being that they will spend the money and help revive ailing businesses. President Bush is expected to sign the measure next week. Poor wage-earners, as well as seniors and veterans who live almost entirely off Social Security and disability benefits, would get $300 checks.

However, just 19% of the people surveyed said they planned to go out and spend the money; 45% said they’d use it to pay bills. And nearly half said what the government really should do is get out of Iraq.

Forty-eight percent said a pullout would help fix the country’s economic problems "a great deal," and an additional 20% said it would help at least somewhat. Some 43% said increasing government spending on health care, education and housing programs would help a great deal; 36% said cutting taxes.

I’m glad to see that more people are making the connections between financial problems here in the US and our currently open-ended commitment to the occupation of Iraq, which is costing US taxpayers $3,919 every second. In the two minutes it takes you to read this blog post, the US will have spent $470,320. In a year when the Bush administration is proposing the highest level of baseline military spending (not counting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) since World War II, we need to make the important connections between our unmet domestic needs in the US and our irresponsible, short-sighted foreign policy.

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