Butterfield frets over debt, Iraq War

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 26, 2007

MURFREESBORO – G.K. Butterfield is worried.

The United States Congressman who represents the 1st District of North Carolina said the ever-increasing national debt plus the war in Iraq, which is dragging on much longer than anticipated, has him concerned about America’s future.

Speaking at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s (Xi Rho Omega Chapter) Human Rights Banquet on Saturday night, Rep. Butterfield was quick to point out that with the House and Senate now in control of the Democrats, look for a new agenda to handle America’s growing list of problems.

“We are engaged in some very serious work in Washington, attempting to take America in a positive direction,” Rep. Butterfield said as he addressed the crowd at the Nebo Family Life Center.

The two items topping the “serious work” list, according to Butterfield, were the national debt, now at $8.8 trillion, and the Iraq War.

“We can’t continue to spend more than we take in,” Butterfield said in reference to $1.5 trillion that the U.S. government receives annually in taxes and the $2 trillion the nation spends on a yearly basis.

“We have to borrow money to balance the budget and that cannot be allowed to continue,” he said. “The more money we waste is less money we have to spend on rural America for things such as clean water, sewer services and education.”

While the Congressman said he was very supportive of the efforts of the U.S. military, he was critical of the war being waged in Iraq.

“This is George Bush’s war,” he stressed. “Our nation is spending $2 billion a week on a war that has nothing to do with the security of our nation or the security of the Middle East.”

Butterfield said to date, the United States has invested over $300 billion in the war and that the President wants to spend more.

“We have to bring this to an end,” he said. “To date we’ve lost over 3,200 of our service men and women plus hundreds of American civilians. Another 23,000 soldiers have been injured.”

Butterfield said despite no weapons of mass destruction being found in Iraq, two other major purposes have been served there n the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein has ended which has allowed a democracy to be built.

“But now there is civil war in Iraq,” Butterfield said. “Three different factions are fighting among themselves and our American troops are caught in the middle.”

Adding fuel to Butterfield’s fire was the fact that President Bush now wants to commit another $100 billion to escalate troop strength.

“The president sent the troops while we debated the financial issues,” Rep. Butterfield said. “Then the president included in his 2008 budget proposal another $145 billion for the war which he projects will last until at least next year.”

The Congressman said he and his colleagues on Capital Hill were working out a compromise to that issue. He noted that compromise will include benchmarks and time tables for bringing the war to an end.