(Host) A group of congressmen says the tax-filing deadline is a good time to take stock of one of the biggest expenses in the federal budget – the Iraq war.
Congressman Peter Welch says Vermont’s share of the spending on Iraq is $760 million.
(Welch) "And this war is exploding our deficit. It’s taking away our capacity for the federal government to meet its obligations to the states. It’s making it tough for folks to pay their fuel bills. It’s causing us to have higher unemployment. And it can’t go on indefinitely. There’s a point at which honesty in budgeting is required. And we’re long past that day.”
(Host) Welch says the growing costs of the war are made worse by the fact that the federal government has had to borrow so much money to pay for it.
(Welch) "It’s time for President Bush to level with the American people about the cost of this war. He’s paying for it on the credit card. And it means that the sons and daughters of the men and women who are fighting the war are the people that are going to be paying for the war.”
(Host) Welch says the money would be better spent repairing schools, improving health care and maintaining roads and bridges.