State of The Union Flim Flam

Since the beginning of his campaign in 2007 President Obama, always looking for an excuse for a tax increase, has blamed government deficits on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, claiming the were “not paid for.” But he apparently changed his position in his State of the Union address.

The government has run deficits every year since the wars began, but it has also collected some $22 trillion in revenue. This Report from the Congressional Research Service lists all the costs of the wars from 2002 through 2011, totaling $1.3 trillion.

Military operations are a core responsibility of government, specifically authorized by the Constitution.  On the other hand, the government pays for hundreds of other programs and functions that are not authorized by the Constitution.  Apparently Obama determines what is and is not “paid for” based on what is and is not consistent with his latest campaign themes.

With that criteria in mind he reversed his position on the wars in his State of the Union address:

In the next few weeks, I will sign an Executive Order clearing away the red tape that slows down too many construction projects. But you [Congress] need to fund these projects. Take the money we’re no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the rest to do some nation-building right here at home.

How easy was that!  The wars weren’t paid for for ten years, but now that they’re almost over and Obama wants to pretend there is money available for a new construction initiative he acts as if the wars were  paid for.

This chart puts war spending in perspective. Assuming Constitutional functions should be paid for first, the wars were more than covered by tax revenue.

But, Obama’s deficits have been ten times as much as the annual cost of Iraq and Afghanistan.  Thus, winding down the wars can not generate funds for other purposes.  Indeed, the Administration’s own budget office projects deficits of nearly a trillion dollars every year for the next decade without any war spending.

Since his first day in office the Obama government has borrowed about 40¢ of every dollar it has spent.  We’re a very long way from a budget surplus that would generate money to pay for new spending.


5 Comments so far

  1. AzTex on January 25th, 2012

    This country has always increased taxes to pay for wars. War debt for unnecessary wars that made us weaker is another Bush legacy.

  2. Lyndon54 on January 25th, 2012

    Obama doesn’t care how high the deficits and deficits go. Spend, spend spend to buy votes. That’s his idea.

  3. Sammie on January 25th, 2012


    Obama, being a leftist will always say all wars weren’t paid for because thats a political bumper sticker not based on any facts but on the anti-war ideology of his fevered base.

    If there had been a tax increase at the start of the war he would say the war was paid for by stealing from the poor or the children or the sick or workers or teachers or whatever.

  4. Sarah on January 25th, 2012

    Competition for the title of biggest hypocrite in politics is more intense than in the Super Bowl. But Obama is the leading contender. After all these years of whining about Bush not paying for the wars he now says there will be extra money to toss around when the wars end? UNBELIEVABLE!

  5. Drew on January 25th, 2012

    AzTex. And reality = the null set.

    Obama is a spendoholic. Period. And what do we have to Justify the spending spree? I’m not bald, but I’m thinking Grecian formula .