Bush Dismisses Iraq Recession: The War Has ‘Nothing To Do With The Economy’

Think Progress
Tuesday February 19, 2008

This morning on NBC’s Today Show, President Bush denied that the there’s any link between the faltering U.S. economy and $10 billion a month being spent on the Iraq war. In fact, according to Bush, the war is actually helping the economy:

CURRY: You don’t agree with that? It has nothing do with the economy, the war — spending on the war?

BUSH: I don’t think so. I think actually the spending in the war might help with jobs…because we’re buying equipment, and people are working. I think this economy is down because we built too many houses and the economy’s adjusting.

Watch it:

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The Iraq war has created jobs — for the administration’s defense contractor allies. Bush’s most recent budget is a windfall for contractors, and between 2000 and 2005, procurement was the “fastest growing component of federal discretionary spending.” (Halliburton has been the biggest beneficiary of the administration’s generosity.)

Five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, however, national unemployment is going up. Between December 2006 and December 2007, the national unemployment rate increased by 13.6 percent in seasonally adjusted terms, from 4.4 to 5.0 percent. Additionally, 68 percent of the American public believes that redeployment from Iraq would help fix the country’s economic woes.

Transcript:

Some Americans believe that they feel they’re carrying the burden because of this economy.

G. BUSH: Yeah, well…

CURRY: They say we’re suffering because of this.

G. BUSH: … I don’t agree with that.

CURRY: You don’t agree with that? It has nothing do with the economy, the war — spending on the war?

G. BUSH: I don’t think so.

I think actually the spending in the war might help with jobs.

CURRY: Oh, yeah?

G. BUSH: Yeah, because we’re buying equipment, and people are working.

I think this economy is down because we built too many houses and the economy’s adjusting.

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