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Welcome to STop, the Seattle Times Opinion blog where our editorial writers and editors share their evolving thoughts on a variety of issues. STop is a place where opinion writers and readers can exchange views and readers can learn more about how editorial positions are formed.

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January 29, 2004

President Lyndon Baines Bush

Alan Greenspan made me write this. Well, not directly, but his vague hint of higher interest rates did. The only Iraq-as-Vietnam analogy that works for me involves the economy. Nothing else about the politics or warfare or reaction on the home front comes close.

President Bush and Congress refuse to deal with the cost of the war and rebuilding Iraq. Those expenses, combined with unfettered domestic spending and tax cuts, are producing huge deficits. If we do not cut spending and pay as we go, the only choice is to borrow. Eventually the U.S. government will bid up the cost of money and drive up interest rates.

President Johnson also refused to make taxpayers feel the real cost of the Vietnam war, whose legacy of high interest rates and inflation dogged the country for years. No nation has ever been able to afford guns and butter. The Fed hints at expensive bread and dry toast.

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Posted by Lance Dickie at January 29, 2004 11:53 AM



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