By Paul Craig Roberts
George W. Bush will go down in
history as the president who fiddled while America lost
its superpower status.
Bush used deceit and hysteria to
lead America into a war that is bleeding the US
economically, militarily, and diplomatically. The war
is being fought with hundreds of billions of dollars
borrowed from foreigners. The war is bleeding the
military of troops and commitments. The war has ended
the US claim to moral leadership and exposed the US as a
reckless and aggressive power.
Focused on a concocted “war on
terrorism,” the Bush administration
diverted money from the New Orleans levees to Iraq,
with the consequence that the US now has a $100 billion
rebuild bill on top of the war bill.
Compared to US budget and trade
deficits, terrorists are a minor concern. The greatest
danger that the US faces is the dollar’s loss of reserve
currency role. This would be an impoverishing event,
one from which the US would not recover.
An intelligent government sincerely
concerned with homeland security would find a way to
halt the global labor arbitrage that is stripping the
American economy of high value-added jobs and
manufacturing capability, thereby causing the US trade
deficit to explode. The loss of tax base that results
when US companies outsource jobs and relocate production
abroad makes it ever more difficult to balance a budget
strained by war, natural disasters, and demographic
impact on Social Security and Medicare.