Public Nuisance

Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.

The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
-Ronald Reagan

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Wednesday, October 01, 2003
 
From Colin Powell's interview Sunday on This Week:

MR. STEPHANOPOLOUS: But, as you know, Ambassador Bremer ran into a buzz saw up on Capitol Hill this week from Democrats and Republicans. And a lot of Republican members of Congress including, say, Senator Susan Collins from Maine, have said that this $20 billion should -- at least a portion of it -- should be loans not grants.

SECRETARY POWELL: We don't want to saddle the Iraqi people with any more debt right now. They are suffering under a huge load of debt left over from the regime of Saddam Hussein. And I think we have to be very careful about putting more debt on them, so that they are able to rebuilt their land, and to fix their infrastructure, and to become --

MR. STEPHANOPOLOUS: But that debt goes to France.

SECRETARY POWELL: -- become participating members of the international community.

MR. STEPHANOPOLOUS: That debt goes to France. It goes to Saudi Arabia. And Senator Collins and others have asked, "Why should the American taxpayers subsidize payoffs to France and Saudi Arabia?"

SECRETARY POWELL: Well, debt is debt. No matter who it goes to, it is a crushing burden on the nation and the people who have that debt.

And we have experienced in the past where, after a conflict, we have saddled the defeated nation, in this case Iraq, people who were oppressed by this guy for all these years, saddle them with new debt, which makes it harder for them to fix the sins of the past, to fix the infrastructure that was destroyed in the previous 30 years. And I think Congress ought to be very careful before they start insisting on this kind of a tradeoff because it may not serve our interests in the long term.

Wow, Powell seems to feel very strongly about the destructive consequences to a nation of saddling it with excessive debt. Has he discussed this subject lately with anybody at, say, OMB?



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