Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bush wins

President Barack Obama will ask Congress for an additional $33 billion to fight unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq on top of a record $708 billion for the Defense Department next year, The Associated Press has learned — a request that could be an especially hard sell to some of the administration's Democratic allies.

The extra $33 billion in 2010 would mostly go toward the expansion of the war in Afghanistan. Obama ordered an extra 30,000 troops for that war as part of an overhaul of the war strategy late last year.

Military officials have suggested that the 2011 request would top $700 billion for the first time, but the precise figure has not been made public.

Candidate Obama promised to end "Bush's wars" and spend the money here at home on his domestic priorities.

If he had, the deficit would be cut in half and he could justify his new spending programs as simple accounting moves of funds between categories. Instead, he's opted to combine Bush's foreign policy with Pelosi's domestic policy without any move toward fiscal sanity.

He traded potential popularity for potential political disaster.

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