Monday, July 18, 2011

'Ending wars best resolution to US debt'

Source: Press TV

With an August 2nd deadline for raising the debt limit nearing, a new survey shows most people believe the best way to resolve the US debt crisis is 'to end wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.'

About 80.5 percent of the respondents to a Press TV poll believe “ending war in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya and reducing military spending” is the best way for the US to reduce its 14-trillion-dollar debt.

A total of eight percent said the best resolution was for the US to default on its debt, and 2.9 percent of the respondents believe Washington could get loans from foreign banks or governments to bailout its economy.

The US officially hit its 14.3-trillion-dollar debt ceiling on May 16, up from 10.6-trillion-dollar when Barack Obama took office in 2009.

The White House and Congress have to meet an August 2 deadline to decide on federal spending cuts and increasing the borrowing limit so that the US will not default.

President Obama has warned if Congress does not submit its approval to raise the debt ceiling by the August 2 deadline, some employees' and specially the retirees' income will be put at risk.

The US Treasury has announced that it will exhaust its borrowing capacity by August 2, which means that it will run out of funds to timely repay all its debts.

Treasury officials have also warned that failure to seal a deal by the August deadline could spook investors, causing US interest rates to surge, stock prices to plummet and putting the US at risk of another recession.

The US is currently involved in four wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya -- alongside coalition forces -- as well as in Somalia in the form of drone attacks against al-Shabab militants.

According to the research project "Costs of War" by Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies, the latest objective estimate for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is between USD 3.7 trillion and USD 4.4 trillion.

The respected Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard Professor Linda Bilmes wrote a book in 2008 and calculated that the combined cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars would be between USD 5 and USD 7 trillion.

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