At some point during this next week, you’re going to hear one of the Democrats, either Obama or Biden mouth the words “Two wars we didn’t pay for”. Likely at the debates scheduled for this week, but outside those venues as well. After all, this is a mantra they’ve been chanting for the last four years. Generally, it’s a phrase Obama’s defenders have used almost as a reflex action, in an attempt to explain why we are still in such ba d financial shape as a nation.
Of course, the implication is that these are wars as we should not gotten involved with had we not been able to pay for them. And it’s a mantra that’s been chanted since forever, as a shield against the charge of Obama financial policy not working.
But in answer, imagine with me if you will, FDR wringing his hands over whether or not we could “pay for” the military response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Or, for that matter, whether or not Lend Lease  was ‘paid for’. Or, if our Nuclear program was ‘paid for’. Indeed, I don’t recall “paying for war” ever being in our lexicon previously.
The comparison of 12/07 to 09/11 seems to me precisely direct because Pearl was the most recent previous attack on America directly. The response to Pearl, as with the response to Islamic aggression, falls under the category of “emergency response”. As a nation, we have no choice but to respond , regardless of the cost and financial impact.
Imagine, if you will, how left would have howled had Bush not responded.  Remember, gang, that for the first several weeks of our response in Iraq for example the Democrats were on the front lines with torches in their hands, and would have raised hell about the Bush Administration and his inaction had he not so responded. To a man, they each were cheerleaders for our actions in Iraq, as an example. And back then, they were not tremendously worried about how it was going to be paid for either. Not a word was mentioned of that aspect.
There’s something more… a practical application of the repercussions of their claim; Which one of their social programs would they be willing to cut , both now and historically, because it wasn’t “paid for”? History tells us that the democrats of never cut any government program, save for the military. So, their concern of payment for the wars we were forced by world events to involve ourselves in seems highly disingenuous at best. In truth, politically opportunistic.
Having lived through that era and having been a keen student of that history, I don’t recall Johnson or Kennedy for that matter, worried about “paying for” Vietnam. Indeed, there is nothing in history that suggests any of our wartime responses were “paid for in advance”. And can you imagine the response of the left to the meme “Well, what the hell, we can afford it, let’s bomb the snot out of Syria”, as an example?
And is being able to financially cover an act of war, the arbiter of the necessity of it? Can you imagine the reaction of the left to such a set of events? And of the right, for that matter, and properly so.
When Obama went inadvisedly into Afghanistan, I don’t recall there being any debates about how that was going to be paid for, either, do you?
So, what we have, is a Democrat party cynically investing itself rather deeply in what is little more than a prop.
I say that if this administration trots this old, tired, disproved claim out of “Two wars we didn’t pay for”, Romney/Ryan should be cutting them off at the knees, before the echo dies.