Elaine Meinel Supkis
The biggest plank on the GOP pirate ship of state is privatization. This was supposed to save us taxpayers money but instead is obviously costing us an arm and a leg. We now have military bases and embassies being guarded by private companies instead of the military! These schemes were designed only to funnel money through political contacts and the army of retired military and retired politicians working on K Street are bankrupting America.
By Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 27, 2006; Page A16
The cost of the war in Iraq will reach $320 billion after the expected passage next month of an emergency spending bill currently before the Senate, and that total is likely to more than double before the war ends, the Congressional Research Service estimated this week.
The analysis, distributed to some members of Congress on Tuesday night, provides the most official cost estimate yet of a war whose price tag will rise by nearly 17 percent this year. Just last week, independent defense analysts looking only at Defense Department costs put the total at least $7 billion below the CRS figure.
Once the war spending bill is passed, military and diplomatic costs will have reached $101.8 billion this fiscal year, up from $87.3 billion in 2005, $77.3 billion in 2004 and $51 billion in 2003, the year of the invasion, congressional analysts said. Even if a gradual troop withdrawal begins this year, war costs in Iraq and Afghanistan are likely to rise by an additional $371 billion during the phaseout, the report said, citing a Congressional Budget Office study. When factoring in costs of the war in Afghanistan, the $811 billion total for both wars would have far exceeded the inflation-adjusted $549 billion cost of the Vietnam War.
The Vietnam war was a real war. This fractured fracas isn't. We faced armies and airforce during Nam. The Vietnamese had MIG jets and the support of the Soviet Union. So why is a police action costing more than a full blown war raging over three countries? And this, in less than four years?
The only change I see that matters is the concept of "privatization" which was launched by that crony of the Japanese, Reagan, and the craven GOP. Bush Jr put nearly everything into "privatization." We now see military bases guarded by private guards. The FEMA trailer parks aren't patrolled by regular police officers, they are patrolled by private guards. Private guards went into New Orleans at tremendous cost to disarm the public. Private companies do KP for the military. It used to be done by soldiers. Now, if they go into "combat zones", the KP companies want extra money for the danger so it ends up costing a fortune plus on top of all these costly extras, the executives have to make a lot of money for themselves.
Imagine if government workers had to skim off an extra $300-500 million for doing their jobs! Well, politicians and generals do this via "retirement" whereby they walk over to K Street and immediately turn arond and cash in hand, begin the work of bribing the remaining politicians to fork over even more taxpayer funds. This circular system is totally out of control and is now so ruinous, no matter how much money is voted to "fix" something, it gets only worse.
During WWII, war profitteering was forbidden and America churned out ships, planes, jeeps, guns, equipment, everything and anything with great rapidity and efficiency. No skimming of millions was allowed. We won that war and came out of it in fine fiscal shape thanks to the wise actions of the Democratic Presidents.
Now, war is all about maximizing profits. And it shows. The company responsible for bullet proof vests couldn't make them fast enough or good enough but the executive who bribed his way into the contracts made so much money, he threw a bat Mitzvah for his spoiled daughter that cost $2 million dollars! These criminals are throwing around money like it is confetti and we and our children will have to pay for all this and we are losing the stupid war they started! The finances of America has two huge holes in its bucket: corrupt contracts thanks to privatization and tax cuts for the rich and corporate entity.
His injuries forced him out of the military, and the Army demanded he repay an enlistment bonus of $2,700 because he'd only served two-thirds of his three-year tour.
When he couldn't pay, Johnson's account was turned over to bill collectors. He ended up living out of his car when the Army reported him to credit agencies as having bad debts, making it impossible for him to rent an apartment.
"Oh, man, I felt betrayed," Johnson said. "I felt like, oh, my heart dropped."
Payroll Errors, Says Military
And there are many more like Johnson. Staff Sgt. Ryan Kelly lost his leg in a roadside bomb attack in Iraq.
He didn't realize it, but the Army continued to mistakenly pay him combat bonus pay, about $2,000, while he was in the hospital rehabilitating, and then demanded that he pay it back.
He, too, was threatened by the Army with debt collectors and a negative credit report.
While the war monger piggies roll in dough, our doughboys die. The Pentagon can't track trillions in contract messes but they can track pennies going to our wounded heroes! The little guy must pay back while the big guy piggy backs.
By LARA JAKES JORDAN, Associated Press Writer 57 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Hurricane Katrina's latest fatality should be FEMA, the nation's disaster response agency, a Senate inquiry concluded in calling for a government overhaul to avoid future failures like those the devastating storm exposed.
Eighty-six recommendations by the bipartisan panel indicate the United States is still woefully unprepared for a storm of Katrina's scope with the start of the hurricane season little more than a month away.
The recommendations conclude that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is crippled beyond repair by years of poor leadership and inadequate funding. They call for a new agency — the National Preparedness and Response Authority — to plan and carry out relief missions for domestic disasters.
See! FEMA was handed over to Bush and his gang of privateers and they made an utter mess of a fine organization that worked effortlessly under Clinton and the solution the GOP coughs up is to destroy what they destroyed and replace it with what?
The Chinese are happy we are going bankrupt. I can't fathom what the rich parasites killing our government think. Maybe they imagine the Chinese will be happy with them and keep them on some state-run pig farm as livestock when America falls.