I’m No Economist, But….

Ken AshfordEconomy & Jobs & Deficit, Election 2008, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

….this makes no sense to me.  From Mike Allen’s piece just out in The Politico

The McCain administration would reserve all savings from victory in the Iraq and Afghanistan operations in the fight against Islamic extremists for reducing the deficit. Since all their costs were financed with deficit spending, all their savings must go to deficit reduction.

What does that mean?  "Savings from victory" in Iraq and Afghanistan?  Do we have a line in the budget for "victory"?

I mean, I understand we’ve earmarked money for a war with an indeterminate end.  But presumably, even if we stopped all military operations in the Middle East today, the money that we won’t be spending in the future isn’t "savings".  Nor will it come to close to covering the trillions we’ve already spent.  It’s kind of like cutting up a credit card and not using it, thinking that will somehow pay down the debt you’ve already racked up.

And besides, McCain has no intention of ending combat in the Middle East.  In fact, he’s talked about increasing military spending.

So what the hell is he talking about????

UPDATE:  Jason Furman is skeptical —

"McCain would have to pay for all of his new tax cuts and other proposals and then, on top of that, cut an additional $443 billion from the budget—which is 81 percent of Medicare spending or 78 percent of all discretionary spending outside of defense," Furman said.

Social security, too.