Obama promise expires – Iraq and Afghanistan supplemental spending continues

Today, President Obama asked Congress for an additional $85 billion in supplemental funding for military and diplomatic efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. On Feb. 24, Obama stated that military spending would no longer be “hidden” within supplemental bills, it would be included in the regular budget request.

Of course, the spending was never really “hidden” since it was real spending and always included in reporting, but that did not stop the Obama team from complaining about the way things were done. They absolutely dismissed emergency spending legislation – until day 80 in office.

Here’s a story courtesy of Wired with a direct quote from Obama on Feb. 24…

In his address last night on the economic crisis, President Barack Obama made it official: No more budgetary sleight-of-hand at the Pentagon.

As we have noted here before, the U.S. military has largely paid for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through emergency spending measures, in effect keeping wartime costs off the books. In addition to masking skyrocketing budget growth at the Department of Defense, this process has allowed the services to treat budget supplementals as a piggy bank for new procurement. Members of Congress may have grumbled about poor oversight, but they have largely acquiesced.

Obama’s message? Not anymore.

“That is why this budget looks ahead ten years and accounts for spending that was left out under the old rules – and for the first time, that includes the full cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said. “For seven years, we have been a nation at war. No longer will we hide its price.”

Forty-five days later, that promise has expired. Here’s the report from the AP on the Fox News Web site.

President Obama asked Congress on Thursday for $83.4 billion for U.S. military and diplomatic operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, pressing for special troop funding that he opposed two years ago when he was senator and George W. Bush was president.

Obama’s request, including money to send thousands more troops to Afghanistan, would push the costs of the two wars to almost $1 trillion since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to the Congressional Research Service. The additional money would cover operations into the fall.

Obama is also requesting $350 million in new funding to upgrade security along the U.S.-Mexico border and to combat narcoterrorists, along with another $400 million in counterinsurgency aid to Pakistan.

“Nearly 95 percent of these funds will be used to support our men and women in uniform as they help the people of Iraq to take responsibility for their own future — and work to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” Obama wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

The AP story goes on to note the administration admits they did not like the policy in the past, but this time it was necessary since the money would be needed before Congress completed their regular appropriations process.

Uhh. OK.

It’s all smoke and mirrors and politics. It does not matter whether the spending is in the budget or in supplementals. They used the Bush administration policy as a campaign point, got into office and did exactly the same thing the Bush administration was doing.

Another promise expired. When do we start calling President Obama a liar?

So, how’s that wiretap program going Barack?

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. Darlene on April 9, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    I certainly would not have argued then, and I would not argue now, against the spending necessary to win these wars and support our troops.  In my opinion, that is one of the primary needs I have of my government (to protect this country and the American people).  Obama intentionally focused on the "I am not George Bush" theme and  counted on the American people to vote on that basis alone.  Many people did just that.  The harsh reality for me is that he is not George Bush.  George Bush did not say things simply for a vote.  He said things because he believed it was best for this country.  A conviction I believe is worthy of our Presidential Office. 

  2. Erik Blazynski on April 10, 2009 at 2:34 am

    Change you can count on.

  3. Dimsdale on April 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    The beginning of my guide to Obamaspeak:

    1) Obama will tailor anything he says to whatever group he is speaking to, regardless of what he said to any prior group, or says to any subsequent group.

    2) Anything Obama says is subject to complete plausible deniability, because the Obamaroids will scrub the record, the press will cover for him, and Obama just doesn't care.  He will say anything that is politically expedient, with the full realization that he has no intention of ever following through.

    3) Obama suffers from an advanced case of "do as I say, not as I do," be it smoking or thermostat settings.   A New Age Social Hypocrat (formerly known as the Democrat Party).

    4) If it was good enough to blame Bush for pre-election, it is good enough for Obama to continue post election.  (is Halliburton still in Iraq?)

    5) If you can't win with facts, wow them with BS.

    6) You always look intelligent when you have the questions beforehand (see his list of people to ask at press conferences) or a smooth scrolling teleprompter.

    To be continued….

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