Bush Spending Money Like a Drunken Sailor

Bush nearly triples request for tsunami relief (Cox)

President Bush said yesterday he would ask Congress for $950 million for tsunami relief, nearly tripling U.S. aid pledged for victims of the monstrous seismic wave that swept the Indian Ocean in December. The beefed-up aid proposal, to be part of a supplemental budget request to go to Congress later this week, includes money to cover emergency relief efforts as well as new funding to help rebuild bridges, roads, schools and housing destroyed in a natural disaster that took some 150,000 lives.

In a statement, Bush said the money would help restore communities and rebuild “vital infrastructure that re-energizes economies and strengthens societies” in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and other countries that bore the brunt of the tsunami’s wrath.

US plans $400m reward for allies (BBC)

US President George W Bush is asking Congress for $400m (£215m) to reward a number of countries that sent troops to Afghanistan and Iraq. A White House spokesman said the money would “assist nations which have taken political and economic risks”. The fund is part of a $80bn war funding request President Bush will send to Congress next week. […] Poland, for instance, which has 2,500 troops in Iraq, will receive $100m. […] The fund, called the Solidarity Initiative, will benefit countries “promoting freedom around the world”, Mr McClellan said in a statement. […] Officials declined to say which other nations would benefit, but there has been suggestion that the fund will help to Eastern European nations, such as Ukraine, Hungary, Romania and the Baltic states.

These funds are going to good causes but one wonders how profligate our spending would be were we not experiencing record (in raw numbers, not real dollars or percentage of GDP) budget deficits.

FILED UNDER: Afghanistan War, Europe, World Politics,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Boyd says:

    Hey! I’ll have you know I always try to get other people to buy me drinks, so by the time I’m drunk, I’m not spending any money!

    Heh.

  2. The Doctor says:

    Bush clearly has a loose-loose situation here. If you cut spending you are “hurting those who need the money the most.” If you spend money on disaster relief then you are spending money like a drunken sailor.

  3. Bithead says:

    James;
    You may want to temper this a bit.
    Consider; a goodly chunk of the increase is not in the form of cash, but is rather in the form of vouchers against the military and other resources already spent in the initial aid process.

  4. Just Me says:

    The budget is one of those areas where Bush is pretty weak, and always has been.

    He needs to find his veto pen, but even more the GOP in congress needs to rediscover their fiscal conservative roots, and practice some restraint.

    While Bush seems happy to spend, I don’t see congress all that happy to control it either.

  5. LJD says:

    At Democratic National HQ, singing can be heard:

    Ooooohhhh, throw him in the bilge and make him drink it….