Sunday, February 25, 2007

War Casualties, War neglect, War Profit

Last Sundays Investigation in the Washington Post (free registration required) by Dana Priest and Anne Hull about the substandard conditions at Walter Reed Hospital:
    ...Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan's room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold. When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole. The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like greasy carry-out. Signs of neglect are everywhere: mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses.
should be no surprise to those of us who are familiar with the Crony Capitalist (thank you Joe) who have been running the joint since '94. It is part of a pattern that has come full circle since evil Clinton was no longer around to interfere 6 years ago. For those who still do not understand, this post is an introduction to Republican Government and Philosophy 100.

The modern Republican Bidness man (ah Molly, you will be missed) views Government tax money as another source of revenue. This is the Core principle that defines all other policies, that Government exist only to make a profit for Major (and occasionally minor) Corporate interest by transferring as much money from the pockets of the majority into the bank accounts of the minority.

Now it is at this point that the Lords of Loud™ will come along and scream "class warfare", as if this somehow screaming loud enough nullifies reality. But the reality of Tax money as profit can be painfully demonstrated in numerous situations, most recently in an embarrassing audit of Iraqi funds that disappeared.

So how does this relate to disbursal of tax money? When President Bush and his Republican syncopates fund certain projects and ignore others, a pattern develops; does the money add to profit to the Corporate balance sheet? Examples of good and bad projects:

Good use of tax money
  • Weapons Systems for high profit. Star Wars, Antimissile defence, and other such systems insure a healthy bottom line
  • No Bid contracts for Iraq (foreign) or Katrina (domestic). No oversight, abuse of the H-2B guest workers program, and substandard work or services when provided.
  • Bridge to Nowhere (yes, I do link to conservative sites if they speak the truth) or the road projects initiated after the land is bought on speculation by some Republican Congress critter.
  • Medicare drug plans that do not allow negotiation for lower prices and provide a coverage gap (the "donut hole") that insures maximum profit with minimum outlay.
  • Tax cuts and tax subsidies to increase profit.
Bad use of tax money
  • Head start, Aid to Family's with Dependent Children, medicare, etc. No chance for profit, as money is given directly to needy citizens.
  • Social Security that is not privatized. Without privatization, investors can not make a profit.
  • Student loans, school lunch programs, cash assistance for the elderly and disabled. Again no chance for profit.
  • Tax cuts that help the poor, such as Earned Income Child Credit (unless it is used to attack minimum wage)
  • Critical care for soldiers. Unlike weapons systems, soldiers divert needed funds without returning a profit. Veterans services also do the same, especially long term care.
The last bullet point (thanks Stephen) pretty much sums it up, even if some of my Conservative friends think that I am exaggerating the problem. The only reason there is a major investigation at Walter Reed is that the Bush administration broke the 11th commandment (1st definition).

The majority of these chickenhawk bastards don't give a damn about anything except profit. Privatise is their mantra. the free market is their religion.

But the hypocrisy of the so called true believer is out there, naked for all to see. If these crooks had to depend on market forces instead of tax cuts and tax dollars, War profiteers such as Halliburton and its subsidiary KBR would be out of business in a week.

The Commander is a capitalist, not a Ferengi (look it up). This is not the way we did business back in the day. And now that Waxman is in charge of oversight and has the power to issue subpoenas, the next two years should be very interesting.

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