Steve Clemons, The Washington Note
Sorry to bring it up at this delicate juncture, but there is the matter of that other bill. For Iraq.
As Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz ("The Three Trillion Dollar War") reminded Congress earlier this year
There are only so many trillions that a nation can run up in debt and printed paper currency before things start to happen. Just ask Zimbabwe, where the 40 million percent inflation rate is no joke. There have been others: people in inter war Germany used wheel barrows to cart their money around.
That's probably not in store for the US - yet - but one thing is for sure: just like having your house repossessed will cramp your shopping style, so too does financial profligacy have a way of delimiting your strategic options. That is the message of noted national security scholar Andrew Bacevich in his new book, The Limits of Power.
In the blame game that will only get worse, we will hear much about the responsibility for the financial crisis. Should, as I hope, the Democrats win not only the White House but large Congressional majorities in November, I will make this prediction: Republicans in opposition will rediscover "fiscal responsibility." The last time the Democrats held the White House, when Republican Sam Brownback had not yet moved from House to Senate, he worried greatly about the national debt: "we're $5 trillion in the hole, so we have to start doing things in a different way."
Now that the - pre-bailout - debt has reached $10.6 trillion, I guess Senator Brownback's party has truly succeeded in "doing things in a different way." But one thing is for sure: as Steve Clemons has said, America's abysmal financial straits will "limit significantly the choices" for the next president.
Update: In Salon, Gary Kamiya shows us what our money has got us, and reminds us where we are in Iraq today: on the side of Iran's allies.