Limited Resources

Mr. Obama said he would entertain “every demonstrably good idea” for creating jobs, but he cautioned that “our resources are limited.” (@ NY Times)

Really, Mister President?

On Tuesday you seemed to imply that the United States had inexhaustible resources when you announced a troop surge in Afghanistan. Sure, you paid lip-service to cost/benefit analysis and the desire to start withdrawing in 2011. But there were no firm dates, everything was subject to Conditions on the Ground. Your Defense Secretary has since confirmed that there is no actual deadline for withdrawal.

So, how come we have seemingly limitless resources for Afghanistan (and Iraq), but not for the basic well-being of the American people?

On Tuesday when discussing Afghanistan, you refused “to set goals that go beyond our responsibility, our means, our or interests” but you also failed to supply any concrete goals at all. So let me help. Right now unemployment is at 10%. Why don’t you get that down to 5% – even if it means bringing home some troops and redirecting some dollars to Americans – and we’ll declare Mission Accomplished?

3 Comments

  1. Ian

    Red herring!

  2. Clint

    Ian,

    Take a look at the U.S. government discretionary budget. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_federal_budget

    Defense spending counts for 50% of the $1.3 trillion.
    Spending for the Department of Labor (involved with re-employment services, unemployment benefits, etc.) gets $13 billion (1%).

    I think it’s fair to say that military spending is a major obstacle to funding social services (education, health, labor, etc.). If the discretionary budget is more or less a fixed amount, then the decision to give half of the pie to the military directly affects social funding.

  3. Ian

    I acknowledged that in our previous discussion. I just made a short, and over-simplified, reply cause I’m bored of hitting this dead horse.