I see from this article in the Wall Street Journal today that the Bush team has figured out how it will pay for the war in Iraq:
"The U.S. has diverted more than a half billion dollars from relief efforts for famines, epidemics and civil wars around the world to prepare for the aftermath of the war in Iraq, delaying aid to displaced Sudanese and homeless Afghans, among others."
So that's how you pay for a war while cutting taxes at the same time! Brilliant!!
The article goes on to say that the White House is planning to repay most of the money from other accounts in the State Department's foreign aid budget. (Yeah, right!) But adds that Bush is already planning to dip into other foreign aid accounts to free more than $100 million in additional funds for Iraq relief efforts.
All of this shuffling of aid dollars has left places such as the Ivory Coast, which has been wracked by a brutal civil war, unable to protect children from a measles outbreak, the article states. An appeal by the United Nations Children's Fund for $5.7 million to vaccinate 8 million children in the Ivory Coast has so far raised only enough to supply 400,000 vaccinations. Donor nations have been withholding funding for other regions to preserve their ability to fund Iraq relief.
"The U.S., the world's largest supplier of foreign aid, also has diverted the largest amount to Iraq. Since the Bush administration didn't request - and (the Republican) Congress didn't approve - any money for the war in this year's regular budget, the State Department 'scrubbed' $556.4 million from disaster and development accounts for Africa, Asia, Latin America and elsewhere."
While we are on this subject, here is a blistering critique of U.S. foreign policy (or the lack thereof) under Bush by Jeffrey Sachs, a professor of economics at Columbia University.