Friday, February 24


Despite his glib remark, "The furor over Dubai is misplaced on so many levels," David Ignatius makes several important points in today's op-ed in WaPo:

Point #1: The Bush administration deserves it. The hubbub over terrorism isn't the biggest problem with the Dubai flap. In a sense, the Bush administration had it coming, after having beaten congressional opponents over the head with the terrorism club for four years. What goes around comes around, and while it may be comical to hear a legislator accuse President Bush of having a pre-Sept. 11 mind-set, the White House made itself a fat target.

Point #2: America's fiscal policies, if left unchanged, are going to hand foreign investors the possibility of owning most of our assets, "ports, factories, corporations, land, real estate and even our national parks." The real absurdity here is that Congress doesn't seem to realize that an Arab-owned company's management of America's ports is just a taste of what is coming. Greater foreign ownership of U.S. assets is an inevitable consequence of the reckless tax-cutting, deficit-ballooning fiscal policies that Congress and the White House have pursued. By encouraging the United States to consume more than it produces, these fiscal policies have sucked in imports so fast that the nation is nearing a trillion-dollar annual trade deficit. Those are IOUs on America's future, issued by a spendthrift Congress.

Point #3: You can't imagine how bad it could be. If they [foreign investors] pulled out their money, U.S. financial markets would plummet in a crash that might make 1929 look like a sleigh ride.

He concludes:

Let's rashly assume that Bill Frist and Dennis Hastert, the Republican Senate and House leaders, are serious in their expressions of concern about foreign ownership of American assets. What they should do right now is begin changing the fiscal policies that are transforming the United States into a ward of the world.

I'm dreaming, of course. Such policies would mean financial sacrifice on the part of Congress and the American people. They would require political leadership instead of quick-hit news conferences.

He sure does try to absolve Bush, doesn't he? No, it's "the Congress" who are responsible for our suicidal fiscal policies, not Bush-Cheney. Doh! Bush-Cheney proposes, Frist-Hastert disposes.

'06. '08. Never more critical to our survival. Get the message out, Democrats. Get the vote out. The Republicans, under the leadership of the incompetent and criminal Bush-Cheney administration, have sold America down the river.

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