A CNN reporter who moonlights as a marriage “Proposal Guru”  and women’s magazine columnist used a February 5 report on the cost of the war in Iraq to lament the billions on war spending that prevent the Bush administration from being wed to liberal solutions for energy, health care and education.
Joshua Levs appeared on the February 5 “CNN Newsroom” to put “into perspective” the additional $245 billion President Bush is requesting for military commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The cost of war has “added up to $400 billion so far,” Levs began his report, citing the Iraq Study Group as he introduced a sound bite of Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) blasting the war’s monetary cost as “staggering.”
Levs picked up Webb’s complaint. “Let’s look at the money and where it’s not being spent,” he suggested, but the common thread to Levs’ spending items was that they all skewed leftward.
Levs also complained of lost opportunity to socialize medicine or to pour more federal spending into education.
“44 million Americans are uninsured. A major study found covering them would take $48 billion in additional medical spending each year,” the CNN reporter noted, citing the liberal Kaiser Family Foundation. Levs also pointed to public education as a loser with the Bush administration giving $30 billion in 2006 for grants to states for education.
Nowhere in his story did Levs consider how money spent in Iraq could have been refunded to taxpayers, turned into school vouchers, or invested elsewhere in strengthening the military, complaints that might resonate with more conservative viewers.
Indeed, it wasn’t until the end of his story that Levs cited a concern of equal weight to liberal and conservative taxpayers: government waste.
“Tens of millions of dollars were wasted and tens of millions of dollars in equipment now can’t be found,” Levs reported, citing a federal inspector general’s report on Iraq spending.