A recent article on Huffington Post discussed an interview with Mitch Daniels, the current Indiana Governor and former budget official under Bush, in which Daniels said that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had very little impact on our current debt problem.
Daniels points out that blaming people for past mistakes is no way to help us now. Daniels indicates that he believes our biggest problem was the housing collapse, but only as a passing notion. To Daniels, there's only one way to look: forward.
You know that old saying, those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it? Daniels is a perfect example. While it's fiscally irresponsible for us to wage two full-blown wars at the moment, not to mention the minor tussles here and there we seemed to be getting dragged into, according to Daniels this doesn't have any impact on our country at all. In fact, we shouldn't even be thinking about the wars that are costing us billions a week, the lives and health of our soldiers, or the complete devastation of an entire region. Why? Because they were started in the past, and so they're practically over already. Didn't Bush already declare "Mission Accomplished"? See, we're all done there, no harm done to the economy.
Of course, this is a lot like saying that smoking has very little impact on whether you develop emphysema or lung cancer. Sure, there are other factors involved, such as family history, other choices you've made in the past, or environmental agents. The truth is, though, that a major issue may just be the cancer sticks your putting away two packs at a time. To say that it has nothing to do with why you can't breathe now is irresponsible. To say that it's not a factor because you started smoking years ago is insane.
Daniels doesn't seem to understand that things like spending money have long-term effects. He doesn't seem to get that the tax breaks, wars, subsidies, and bailouts under Bush are exactly what got us where we are today. Instead, Daniels is telling us to look around, blame the current administration for our current situation, because they are the ones in power now. Does anyone blame the janitor for spilling food all over the floor in the lunch room, because he's the one that has to pick it up? No, it's the snobby kid who decided to waste a week's worth of lunch money on all the yummy treats, then tossed it on the floor when the school bell rang.
For more information on just how our debt was accumulated, check out this link.