The Cost Of War Bruce Bartlett, 11.26.09, 12:01 AM EST Are Americans willing to pay it? In recent years, Republicans have been characterized by two principal positions: They like starting wars and don't like paying for them. George W. Bush initiated two major wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but adamantly refused to pay for either of them by cutting non-military spending or raising taxes. Indeed, at his behest, Congress actually cut taxes and established a massive new entitlement program, Medicare Part D. Bush's actions were unprecedented. During every previous major war in American history, presidents demanded sacrifices from rich and poor alike. As Robert Hormats explains in his 2007 book, The Price of Liberty: Paying for America's Wars, "During most of America's wars, parochial desires--such as tax breaks for favored groups or generous spending for influential constituencies--have been sacrificed to the greater good. The president and both parties in Congress have come together to cut nonessential spending and increase taxes." More... Forbes.com - Bruce Bartlett Bruce Bartlett (b. October 11, 1951, in Ann Arbor, Michigan) is a historian who turned to writing about supply-side economics. He was a domestic policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan and was a treasury official under President George H.W. Bush.