Monday, March 16, 2009

Cheney: Bush administration failures can be blamed on 9-11.

Cheney is asked why anyone should listen to him considering the fact that the administration which he was a part of left more unemployed and a larger deficit than the one he inherited. This is his reply:

Well, there are all kinds of arguments to be made on that point. But there's something that is more important than the specific numbers you're talking about, and that had to be priority for our administration.

Eight months after we arrived, we had 9/11. We had 3,000 Americans killed one morning by al Qaeda terrorists here in the United States. We immediately had to go into the wartime mode. We ended up with two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Some of that is still very active. We had major problems with respect to things like Katrina, for example. All of these things required us to spend money that we had not originally planned to spend, or weren't originally part of the budget.

Stuff happens. And the administration has to be able to respond to that, and we did.

... We always said -- I always said that wartime scenario is cause for an exception in terms of spending. It was appropriate in World War II, certainly, and I think it's appropriate now.
Leaving aside the ludicrous comparison between a war with a group of terrorists in caves and WWII, Cheney appears to be trying to claim that 9-11 is the reason that the Bush administration's figures were so bad.

That's simply untrue. The reason for the deficit, and this was as true under Reagan as it was under Bush, is that tax cuts were given to the richest 5% of society in the hope that this would stimulate the economy and produce enough wealth to cover the gap in the budget caused by the tax cuts. In neither case did this turn out to be true and yet Republicans continue to make this argument.

Cheney is also acting as if it is reasonable at a time of war - the very time when one would hope that people would be willing to make sacrifices - to continue to give tax cuts to the rich whilst passing the cost of war on to future generations.

But, once again, when faced with genuine criticism, Cheney simply pulls the 9-11 card out of his butt. It doesn't matter if what he is saying is manifestly false, he thinks the fact that he can cite 9-11 at all makes his point inarguable.

9-11 is becoming the last refuge of the political scoundrel.

No comments: