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Libya Reminds Us Almost No One in Washington Cares About Deficits

The Hill is reporting that the cost of our latest war military action in Libya could effectively wipe out all the deficit reduction House Republicans are trying to squeeze of out of cuts to domestic programs.

U.S. military operations in Libya could wipe out a significant chunk of the budget cuts won by congressional Republicans in recent weeks, defense analysts say.

GOP leaders have trumpeted enacted spending reductions that amount to more than $285 million per day since the beginning of March.

But defense analysts say the Pentagon could be burning through more than $100 million per day in Libya, putting those budget savings at risk.

If we are actually so “broke”–as the deficit hawks like to claim–that we can no longer afford to give heating assistance to poor Americans in the winter or fund immunizations, there would be no way we could afford another conflict that isn’t vital to American security. Nor would we be able to afford the highly unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which cost almost three times as much as all the cuts sought by House Republicans.

Yet there has been no massive uproar from many of the self-styled Republican and Democratic deficit hawks about ending either conflict where we are literally blowing up millions of dollars a day in some of the most wasteful spending imaginable. As if by magic all concerns about the deficit disappear when money is needed for more war. Just like all the scary deficit rhetoric vanishes when it comes time for more tax cuts.

Libya is just another recent reminder that almost no one in Washington actually cares about the deficit. The deficit is only used as an excuse to justify forcing regular Americans to sacrifice.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker is political writer and blogger for FireDogLake. He is an expert on health care policy and the politics of health care reform.

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