One of Krugman's best columns ever (where's that Pulitzer?): Feeling the Draft, makes exactly the right analogy:
Those who are worrying about a revived draft are in the same position as those who worried about a return to budget deficits four years ago, when President Bush began pushing through his program of tax cuts. Back then he insisted that he wouldn't drive the budget into deficit – but those who looked at the facts strongly suspected otherwise. Now he insists that he won't revive the draft. But the facts suggest that he will.
There were two reasons some of us never believed Mr. Bush's budget promises. First, his claims that his tax cuts were affordable rested on patently unrealistic budget projections. Second, his broader policy goals, including the partial privatization of Social Security – which is clearly on his agenda for a second term – would involve large costs that were not included even in those unrealistic projections. This led to the justified suspicion that his election-year promises notwithstanding, Mr. Bush would preside over a return to budget deficits.
It's exactly the same when it comes to the draft. Mr. Bush's claim that we don't need any expansion in our military is patently unrealistic; it ignores the severe stress our Army is already under. And the experience in Iraq shows that pursuing his broader foreign policy doctrine – the “Bush doctrine” of pre-emptive war – would require much larger military forces than we now have.
This leads to the justified suspicion that after the election, Mr. Bush will seek a large expansion in our military, quite possibly through a return of the draft.
Mr. Bush's assurances that this won't happen are based on a denial of reality.
The poignant part of this is that four years ago when Krugman pointed out that the Bush economic policies didn't add up, the GOP slime machine started calling him shrill and suggesting he was out of the mainstream (which is code for something like 'commie' or 'we don't have to listen to him').
But Krugman was right about the deficit.