04/10/2006 12:36 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Time to Change Direction

The President is using fear to keep our troops in Iraq. Fear of what might happen if we leave Iraq. He is saying we should have an open-ended commitment to stay in Iraq, yet he has NO plan. His plan is to cross his fingers and hope that the Iraqis will form a unity government. But hope is not a plan. And for as long as he continues down this vague, open-ended path, more American lives will be lost, and billions of more dollars will be spent.

There are only two plans: mine and the President's. On second thought, there is only one plan: mine. "Stay the course" is not a plan.

It is time to change direction. We should fear only our failure to change.

Here is what we can buy with the money we are currently spending on the war:

At the Administration's current average rate of spending, it will take 47 years to implement the security requirements needed to secure our ports. Yet we can accomplish this with just one month of war spending.

Our local police, fire and emergency responders are dangerously underfunded. About $19.6 billion is needed over the next five years to meet these needs. We can accomplish this with about 3 ½ months of war spending.

As of FY 2006, despite terrorist attacks on transit systems in Japan and Spain, less than $550 million had been provided to improve rail and transit security since September 11th. The transit industry estimates that about 6 billion is needed to make the necessary security enhancements. One month of war funding can pay for this.

The President's budget for FY07 increases health care premiums for 3.1 million on our nation's military retirees under 65. Premiums will double and triple and drug co-payments will increase, costing our military retirees $2.4 billion over 5 years. We can roll back the President's budget recommendations with less than a half a month of war spending.

It's time for a change in direction.