Among the troop surges and nominal benchmarks imposed on Iraqi leaders President Bush is set to announce this week is reported a jobs program to get disgruntled, unemployed Iraqis off the streets. Yes, it's the same sort of program against which conservatives here in states rail as being "handouts" but with violence on the up tick and stability in the region collapsing, I have a feeling Newt Gingrich et al. will not bitch too much about this particular "entitlement."
But how will we pay for such a program? Well, don't ask John McCain, the early GOP front runner for 2008 and staunch supporter of Bush's war policy. All he knows is America's wealthy shouldn't have to pitch in.
Asked about whether he'd support a tax increase on the nation's wealthiest to pay for the reported $1 billion Iraqi jobs program, McCain responded, "I'm not sure what the point would be." Really? How about to PAY FOR IT?!?!
I guess it's too much to ask America's millionaires (nevermind the billionaires) to chip in a few bucks to help "spread democracy" and "transform the middle east." These are the same folks who have reaped millions in tax cuts during Bush's six years in office, or as WaPo columnist EJ Dionne put it, the recipients of $2 in tax cuts for every $1 spent in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"And conservatives wonder why we have deficits," said Dionne.