Monday, January 08, 2007

Innumeracy or hypocrisy

According to the NY Times, some in the Senate (on both sides of the aisle) are unhappy about attempts by House Democrats to legislate the recommendations of the 9/11 commission. Now, that's not necessarily unreasonable - it's always easier to "recommend" something than actually implement it in real life. However, one of the objections is that inspecting all air freight coming into the US would cost "$3.6B over the next decade, while ship inspections could cost even more." Wait a second here. We're spending $3.6B every two weeks in Iraq. How on earth can a similar expense spread out over 10 years be too much, while the same amount every couple of weeks is an acceptable cost for the War on Terror? I'm not trying to make a value judgment about either one, but I don't see how one can hold both points of view at the same time.

2 comments:

BhpG said...

It's really quite simple. You've made the mistake of assuming that all dollars are fungible. But in fact there are two types of dollars here: The war is funded from the general fund, ultimately in the taxes paid by a spectrum of people. The inspections would most likely be paid by the shippers and so impact either their bottom line or their prices. The first type of outlay -- that coming from the people -- is hunky-dory but you must never propose the second (coming from corporate coffers).

Really, this administration is easy to understand if you keep the proper perspective...

sylow said...

It is also interesting to note that this administration provides free healthcare to all iraqi people(which is completely fine with me) however there are 50 million americans without any health insurance.
I think it is time to accept iraq as 51st state of this country so that people will stop complaining about the astronomical amounts being wasted there.