Afghanistan, Add It To The Tab

obama west pointBy Greg Hunter’s

I watched the President last night address the nation on why he needed to send 30 thousand more troops to Afghanistan.  He said it would cost an additional $30 billion for this escalation.  That works out to 1 million bucks per soldier.  There are 68 thousand troops already there.  That means there will be 98 thousand troops on the ground in Afghanistan in 2010.  Using the President’s math, 98 thousand troops will cost $98 billion dollars a year!

I do not envy the President.  Sending people to battle is not easy.  I think the President has genuine concerns about the destabilization of Afghanistan.  It’s a place Mr. Obama called the “epicenter of the violent extremism practiced by Al Qaeda.”  Afghanistan is also the home of the Taliban, and they too are trying to overthrow the government.  I think the President’s big fear is across the border in Pakistan.  If Pakistani nukes fall into the hands of terrorists, America would certainly be a top target.  In September, I named Pakistan as one of “The 2 Biggest Geopolitical Wild Cards in the World.”     

I am not here to make a case for or against the President’s actions.  No one is questioning there is a real problem for America in that part of the world.  What I would like to know is why there is no debate on how the U.S. is going to pay for this?  Afghanistan will become a $98 billion per year expenditure!   I have said in the past, the only people suffering in these wars are soldiers and their families.  If this is vitally important to U.S. security and interests, then why are we not asking Americans to pay for this?  CNN reported that Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, soundly dismissed any talk of a war tax to pay for the Afghanistan operation.  So I ask, how are we going to pay for this?

The answer is simple.  I say, “Add it to the tab!”  We will take care of this by adding to the debt ceiling and printing more money.  You think I am kidding?  Back in September of this year, the President asked Congress to raise the debt ceiling to $13 trillion dollars from $12.1 trillion.  Presto! New money, just like that!!  (Click here for the complete story)   

People are living a dream if they think this will not cost them because the tab from all the bailouts of Fannie, Freddie, GM, Chrysler, AIG, the banks, stimulus packages and so on is getting pretty heavy.  Expert investor Porter Stansberry summed it up in an article last week titled “The Bankruptcy of the United States is Now Certain.”  His opening paragraph was a real eye opener.  Stansberry wrote, It’s one of those numbers that’s so unbelievable you have to actually think about it for a while… Within the next 12 months, the U.S. Treasury will have to refinance $2 trillion in short-term debt. And that’s not counting any additional deficit spending, which is estimated to be around $1.5 trillion. Put the two numbers together. Then ask yourself, how in the world can the Treasury borrow $3.5 trillion in only one year? That’s an amount equal to nearly 30% of our entire GDP. And we’re the world’s biggest economy. Where will the money come from?”  (Click here for the complete post)   

Yes, where will the money come from?  That’s $3.5 trillion ($3,500 billion) to finance in a single year!  That means the government will have to borrow (or print) $67 billion each and every week!  That’s $268 billion a month!  The entire budget deficit in the last year of the Bush Administration was only $482 billion!   It looks like we will just keep on “adding it to the tab”… until we can’t.  Vice President Cheney once said, “Deficits don’t matter.”  He’s right!  Deficits do not matter, right up to the moment they cannot be financed any more, and then all hell breaks loose!

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  1. Joe

    Great stuff Greg! I have been enjoying your work thoroughly lately. No doubt your right about our interests about Pakistan and its nukes. It just think about all the blowback being created from our forces being there. The anger and hatred is continuing to build up in an area where America is cursed. Occupying forces will is just creating more threats to our present and future national security. The question is – is it worth it in the long run or even the short run. Have we really annalyzed the risks involving this build-up. Surely it’s more reason to expand the homeland security, patriot act, and CIA powers to ‘protect’ us from harm. Honestly its a shame that instead of become an example of freedom and democracy we have become an unprovoked aggressor. Regardless I really appreciate your unbaised perspectives and will continue to promote your website.

    • Greg

      Great insightful comment! Keep them coming!

  2. George

    Greg, I know that many of your readers will disagree but I will tell you where the 3.5 Trillion will come from; Confiscation of bank accounts, IRAs and 401K plans over a certain threshold. Does anyone believe that the Chinese are going to buy this much in new US Treasuries? Or even half? I know, this is America and this is against the Constitution. FDR confiscated all gold over a certain amount in 1933. He devalued the US currency by almost half; from $20 per ounce of gold to $35 per ounce.
    Some will even say that they could not liquidate the stocks in these accounts as it would have an adverse impact on the market. When we get to this point, how much of a market do they think there will be? Even if they don’t sell it, they could use it as collateral to buy high interest loans.
    Obama, Congress and Bush have conspired against the citizens of the USA. They have consigned us, our children and grand children to a life of hardship and indentured servitude to pay off the debt acquired so the THREE STOOGES could pay off their patrons and peeps.
    There is a new dark age coming. Let those that have ears, listen and prepare accordingly.

    • Greg

      I have pondered that possibility myself. I hope is does not happen. Thanks for the comment!

  3. George

    No offense but do you really believe these guys can protect us? Have you looked at their track records? The CIA is as incompetent as the SEC. The CIA missed the fall of the Berlin Wall and 911. Not all government employees are incompetent but enough are to make the efforts of the rest a mute point.

  4. dave moore

    Greg,V.Fox on leaving office in Mexico let the cat out of the bag,when he admitted the Amero was ready to roll out to replace his and our currency,like the banana republic we now resemble,why wouldn’t they call in all dollars and replace them at 60% with the Amero…everyone then partakes equally in the loss,not just IRAs and equity investments. Selling those assets in a down market like ours propped up by only the dollars pumped in by the fed and treasury would be a disaster…taxing is more likely at an onerous rate when money is withdrawn from 401s and IRAs. Dave

    • Greg

      Thanks for the comment.

      I hope you are wrong but I fear you are correct. Thank you for your comment.

  5. George

    Dave, I think you have the right idea. However, you are doing the math wrong. Our debt and obligations are so great that it would like take a devaluation of the US Dollar to 5% to 10% of the current value of the dollar to have the desired effect. If the dollar was cut to 10% of it’s current value, the US would still have a debt of nearly 7 TRILLION dollars before you add next years big, fat honking deficit.
    And you say that everyone will partake equally? I humbly suggest that while this SHOULD BE the way it works; this will not be the way it happens. Do you really think the corrupt SOBs that govern us will not protect themselves from the loss? Do you think that they will not tell their patrons on Wall Street? When England devalued their currency in the 1500-1600’s, the aristocracy in favor with the Queen knew it was coming and acted accordingly. Their wealth increased while everyone else took a hit. When they devalue the dollar, either with a new currency like Argentina and Mexico or thru hyper inflation, the masses will take the brunt of the loss and the fat cats will be drinking Dom.
    If you don’t believe me, just look at AIG, Goldman Sachs, Citibank, and BOA. You and I paid for their WILD bets. It cost them nothing. They should have been forced into bankruptcy and let the wealthy people that bought these derivatives take the loss.
    What is going to happen is akin to the Second Coming of the Messiah. No man knows the day of the coming and if your house is not in order when that day comes; you’re royally screwed.

  6. Todd

    Well the Taliban’s not welcome, because they want to reduce opium production! And we can’t have that. No, it has a not tinker’s damn to do with “epicenters of … Al Queda” and more to do with heroin, private defense contracts, natural gas, oil, and all the cash that proceeds therefrom.

    But the real prize, as Bill Engdahl makes in his well-researched book “A Century of War”, the overarching desideratum in the Middle East, is Middle East hegemony, “full-spectrum dominance” in the parlance of the PNAC crowd. As Kissinger said, “Control energy and you control the world.”

    I still don’t understand why the dollar and its hegemony are being thrown under the buss! World currency? Who knows…

    • Greg

      Good stuff! Thank you for your comment!

  7. marc caron

    Alexander the great left afghanistan cause he could’nt
    do anything except killing’em all.
    You can’t win afghanistan but you can isolate it, nobody in, nobody out.
    In Afghanistan Opium is bringing foreign currencies for more than a hundred years to Drug Barons, War Lords or however you wanna call it. Where is all the money? as far sa I can see there is no villas, ranchs, SUV’s,,,in afghanistan, there is nothing.
    what are they doing with all this money? answer:
    – It is stached in the caverns years after years and when it’s needed they buy freedom (guns) with it.
    Who would want to go play with people like that.
    Never forget, – it is hard to please everyone at the same time.

    • Greg

      Thank you for the input.

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