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Why didn’t oil money pay for war as Bush promised?

From the time of the initial invasion until the end of his second term in office, President George W. Bush kept the costs of the Iraq War off-budget and off the books in order to hide the true cost from the American public and make his deficits look smaller. One of the first orders of business for President Obama when he assumed office in 2009 was to take the accumulated costs of the war, put them on budget and accept them as his own.

This early action by Obama showed him to be a man of honesty, character and integrity. But, instead of the gratitude that one might have expected, the Republicans spent the next four years, and counting, blaming Obama for America’s string of annual budget deficits, which were all largely attributable to the accounting gimmicks and failed economic policies of the Bush administration.

Reading syndicated columnist Trudy Rubin’s op-ed in the March 23 News, we now learn that Iraq is producing its largest amount of oil in three decades, nearly 3.35 million barrels a day, and that production is projected to double by 2020, setting Iraq up to rival Saudi Arabia.

I believe that now would be the perfect time for Obama’s Republican detractors to form an envoy, travel to Iraq, submit a bill and collect on the war costs, which Bush had told the public would be paid for totally with Iraqi oil money, not costing the American taxpayers one red cent. This would go a long way toward helping address our fiscal problems.

Until somebody in the Republican leadership rises up and takes this action, I think the Republicans should keep quiet about the nation’s debt and deficit, and allow Obama to do his job.

Steve Szpakowski

Buffalo