politics, history and the war on terror
Monday, July 26, 2004
The Economy, Not Terrorism 

The agenda of the Kerry-Edwards ticket begins to take shape as the Democratic convention draws near. Predictably the economy will take precedence in the Kerry-Edwards campaign.

It's the economy, John Kerry. That's what delegates to the Democratic National Convention say their presumed presidential nominee or — they shudder to think — President Bush should concentrate on first in 2005, an Associated Press survey of Democratic delegates found.

Health care was the No. 2 issue, followed by the war in Iraq, according to the survey of some three-quarters of the 4,300-plus delegates.

The delegates' to-do list aligns closely with the message that Kerry and vice presidential candidate John Edwards are trying to craft on the campaign trail in the face of rising optimism among the general public. The Democratic duo hopes their message about a struggling economy and job loss strikes a chord with anxious voters.
About 70 percent ranked the economy and jobs among their top three issues. It was followed by health care, mentioned by some 52 percent of delegates. Roughly 44 percent said the war in Iraq. ....Education (37 percent) and fighting terrorism (17 percent) were next on the list.
The Democrats plan on presenting the economy as the main priority in this election cycle despite the strong economic recovery since August of 2003. But what the Democrats fail to realize is that security and the economy are directly related: the economy suffers when the security of Americans is at risk, specifically when there are attacks on American soil. In 2002, the Government Accounting Agency estimated the following impact of 9-11 on the American economy:

The attacks on the two World Trade Center buildings cost about $83 billion (in 2001 dollars) in total losses (including both direct and indirect costs); about $67 billion of the losses would most likely be covered by insurance, federal payments, or increased economic activity.

The study by the Milken Institute, for example, estimated that for 2001 alone, the economy of the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area sustained income losses of about $2.7 billion, while all the metropolitan areas in the country sustained losses of about $191 billion. In addition, since most of the studies were completed—or were based on information developed--in the immediate aftermath of the attack, the estimates of impact were based on preliminary information that is now, in some cases, dated. For example, the study by the New York City Partnership and the New York Comptroller’s Office estimated that it would cost from $5 to $6 billion to clean up the site of the World Trade Center and the surrounding areas and that the cost in loss of life (in terms of foregone income) would be from $10 billion to $11 billion.

The economic impact of the terrorist strikes on American soil was staggering, perhaps over $250 billion nationwide. Much greater than the economic losses of 9-11 is the loss of American lives. Over 3,000 Americans and foreign guests from over 86 nations were murdered during the attacks.

The Democrat party's inability to treat the War on Terror as a top priority demonstrates a lack of understanding of the impact of terrorism on both the physical and economic security of Americans. It has been less that three years since the World Trade Center towers fell and the Pentagon was attacked, and yet the issue of terrorism ranks fifth on the list of priorities of the delegates of the Democratic convention. Universal healthcare, jobs creation, education improvements and raising the minimum wage will not stop our enemies from plotting further attacks. The lack of vision on the terrorist threat is prevalent among one of the two major parties as the Democrats fail to understand the economic well-being of America cannot be assured without addressing our physical security and the threat of global terrorism.

Posted by bill roggio @ 12:02 AM