I hate Republicans. I really really do.
Richard Perle, a neo-con architect of the war and chair of a Pentagon advisory board, has a little venture capital operation on the side to invest in homeland security -- not just security here in America, but also in Saudi Arabia. Such investments become a mighty growth business once we're dropping MOABs on the Middle East. Hmm. And then there was Perle's arrangement to rake in $600,000 if he could convince the Pentagon to sign off on selling a chunk of our fiber-optic infrastructure to the Chinese. Questions about such dealings just prompted Perle to grudgingly resign as chair of the Defense Policy Board, and to promise all his corporate-shill fees will be given to families of soldiers killed in Iraq.
All this grasping, and we're not even four weeks in-country.
Meanwhile, even as the government finds $900 million handy for conglomerates jockeying to rebuild destroyed Iraq, House Republicans just cut $844 million from veterans' medical care for next year.
Veterans! Medical care! Next year! Like, when the veterans will be coming home from the war with health problems! "Is there no shame?" asks Edward Heath, national commander of Disabled American Veterans. (Note to Edward Heath: No, there is no shame.)
In fact, the budget passed by the Republican House, with the president's approval, cuts spending on student loans, school lunches, child care, food stamps, medicine for the poor -- you name it, unless it's a missile or a laser they're gutting it, to the tune of $475 billion over the next 10 years.
Curiously, however, an analysis by the non-partisan Center for Budgetary Policy and Priorities shows that those monster cuts are still smaller than the planned Republican tax giveaway to just the top 1 percent of the U.S. population by wealth, which will cost around $500 billion over that period.
In other words: If Congress were to vote for tax cuts for the poor, the middle class, the rich and the very rich -- but not the super 1 percent rich -- there would be no need to cut school lunches, veterans benefits and the rest. Instead, at a time of war, the super rich are getting an unprecedented gift, while everyone else gets the shaft -- and, by the way, the eventual bill for the war.
But how 'bout those awful French people!
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