In this week’s Democratic radio address, Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) discussed both the Petraeus/Crocker testimony about the Iraq war before Congress this week, and the damage that the war has done to the U.S. economy. Yarmuth started off by stating his respect for Petraeus and Crocker, but said, “General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker failed to offer a plan to change direction in Iraq and redeploy our troops. Instead, they offered more of the same, with
U.S. troops and taxpayers paying the price.”
He reminded people to keep in mind that as they pay their taxes next week, most of their money will be going to Iraq. “Next week, the American people will once again be reminded of the cost of this war. As April 15th approaches, millions of our hard-working citizens will pay their taxes knowing full well that their hard-earned dollars will be shipped to Iraq rather than invested here at home. At a time when our nation scrambles for new ways to stimulate the economy, the money we ship outside our borders to Iraq – at least 2 and a half billion dollars per week and 10 billion dollars a month – is not only linked to our economic skid, but is a leading cause of it,” the Congressman said.
Yarmuth contrasted Americans’ economic struggles with the Iraqi government’s budget surplus, “While Iraq runs a surplus because of oil revenues, Americans can’t afford to get to work, to pick up a child from school, or to drive to their places of worship because of record prices at the pump. UPS, the largest employer in my hometown of Louisville, warned just this week of lower profits due to increased gas prices. Families have seen college costs rise 60 percent in recent years, still the cost of a single day in Iraq would send 18,000 students to college with Pell Grants. And in the few minutes I talk to you today, we’ll spend more than 1 million dollars in Iraq.”
This is a dynamite argument for the Democrats to make. The Republican strategy has been to try and separate the costs of war in Iraq with the economic problems at home. Frankly, the GOP is shooting themselves in the foot by giving the appearance that they don’t care about the economy. A key element of the Democratic Party’s fall strategy is to link the economy and the war in the minds of voters. The question in the minds of voters to the Republicans should be how can you justify a trillion dollar war abroad when people are losing their jobs and homes here at home? Eventually people are going to make the connection, and when they do, it will be a bad day for the GOP.
Listen to the complete radio address here:
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