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Terrorists are "Making Us" Run-Up a Huge Deficit

Reported by Melanie - January 18, 2006

In early February, the Office of Management and Budget will release its official projection for this year's budget deficit. Prior estimates put the deficit at $341 billion, but figures recently discussed said the new estimate could be as high as $400 billion, not including the cost of the war on Iraq, which could add $100 billion to $2 trillion to the total.

Bearing that in mind, I watched with interest today (January 18, 2006) when Fox aired a segment titled, "Economic Terrorism."

Cavuto introduced his guest, Glenn Yago of the Milken Institute, by telling viewers that Ronald Reagan's "aggressive policies of the '80s forced the Soviet Union to spend itself into economic oblivion...crushing the heart of communism." He said "this time, it's the terrorists of today who are taking a page right out of President Reagan's playbook and using it against the United States," and if my next guest is right, they're "making us spend so much on the war on terror that it will be our economy that takes the fall." (My emphasis.)

Yago and Cavuto discussed the Milken Institute's report, which Yago said looked at the "impact of both the frequency and the intensity and the composition of terrorism events on economic growth and on investment."

Cavuto asked Yago if his "conclusion was" that the "developed country...spends itself into oblivion?"

Yago said, "Not only that, it also occurs in developing countries" in terms of having a "chilling effect on the overall macro-economy and a chilling effect on investment in those countries."

Cavuto: "And terrorists know that?" Yago: "Very much so. It's a very explicit strategy. It's been expressed in their documents, to talk about economic jihad."

Cavuto: "So, not only to terrorize them but to have them spend so much money on countering the terrorism that they're weakened economically?" (My emphasis.)

Yago said it was not only the "direct expenditures that are done in terms of counter-terrorism" but also what is "foregone in investment in the civilian economy."

Cavuto wondered "how we counter that," and Yago said with a "very focused strategy" to try to "mitigate" it.

Throughout the segment, Fox aired a chyron at the bottom of the screen: "Are Terrorists Targeting America's Economy?" and just after Cavuto's introduction, Fox went to a split screen, one showing the speaker and the other showing scenes of car bombings in what looked like Baghdad.

Comment: There you have it folks, yet another reason why George Bush isn't responsible for the deficit -- terrorists "made us" overspend -- we've suffered an "economic jihad." Tuck this excuse into your back pocket. It's but one of a dizzying array of excuses Fox's viewers have heard about why the economic health of our country has nothing whatsoever to do with George Bush's policies.

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