MoveOn’s take – Iraq War and recession

As of today, we’ve spent over $495 billion in Iraq.1 With the economy in the tank, think about what that money could do here at home: Cover millions of kids who don’t have insurance, or help folks who’re losing their jobs and homes.

Instead, it’s supporting a failed occupation in Iraq .

More and more Americans are making the connection between the billions we’ve spent over there and the crumbling economy here at home. In fact, a new AP poll shows that most Americans think ending the war is the best way to help the economy.2 But pundits still talk about the war and the economy as two unrelated things.

That’s why we’re launching our “Iraq/Recession” campaign—our push to make sure that politicians and pundits understand what voters already know: As long as we keep pouring that money down the drain in Iraq , we won’t have the money we need to solve our economic woes.

Can you take a moment to write a letter to the editor of your local paper about how much we’re spending in Iraq , while things go south here at home? By speaking out together, we can make sure the cost of war is part of the economic equation. Our tool makes writing a letter easy. Click here to get started:

If thousands of us write, we can get the media to stop ignoring the connection between the war and the recession. The opinion pages are the most widely read pages in the newspaper, so we can also make sure voters—who are growing increasingly concerned about the economy—know that any candidate who wants to stay in Iraq has no plan for the economy.

The ongoing occupation in Iraq is sucking up the resources we need to make our economy work again. The tradeoffs are stark: Bombs or unemployment insurance for people laid off as the economy slows? Billions for Halliburton and Blackwater, or help for people on the verge of losing their homes because of the subprime meltdown? Consider these key facts:

  • The recession is going to force states to cut back their budgets. Most likely, the cuts are going to affect the services that working families need and depend on.3
  • Meanwhile, the war is costing Americans more than $338 million a day. 4 That money could be spent to help out the folks who’re hurting most now. For less than what we’re spending on the war, we could pay for affordable housing for hundreds of thousands of families, health care for children, or scholarships to help folks pay for education. 5
  • Gas prices are close to double what they were before the war began. The cost of oil is still hovering around $100 barrel. 6
  • We’re borrowing $343 million every day to finance the war in Iraq . 7 Our skyrocketing debt will be a bigger and bigger drag on the economy—slowing recovery and burdening future generations.

The truth is that economic forecasts are going to continue to be grim as long as we continue to dump billions into a reckless war that has no end in sight. Please write a letter to the editor of your local paper today:

Thanks for all you do.

–Nita, Wes, Justin, Eli, and the Political Action Team
Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

1. “The War in Iraq Costs, National Priorities Project,” January 2008

2. AP Poll: Exiting Iraq would boost economy more than stimulus, Associated Press, February 9, 2008

3. “State and Local Governments Need Fiscal Relief.” AFSCME, January 29, 2008

4. The Economy & The War In Iraq, Factsheet from Speaker Pelosi, February 13, 2008

5. “Federal Budget Trade-Offs, National Priorities Project,” February 2008

6. “Oil prices continue higher above 91 usd mark as possible Fed rate cut eyed,” CNN, January 29, 2008

7. “Hidden Costs to the War in Iraq ,” Rep. Murtha in Huffington Post, January 28, 2008

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