Friday, February 2, 2007

This is getting absurd

Now we need another $245 billion for the Iraq war? Or was it $275 billion. Who can remember? What is another $30 billion anyway? Chump change.

I don't know about your town, but I live in Minneapolis. We have a main library that closes at 5:00PM. There is not enough money to staff it in the evenings.

My kids go to a school without an art program or foreign language. I guess there is not enough money. They are closing small neighborhood schools because, although they are much more effective at teaching children, they are not as efficient. It turns out, it is much more efficient to put kids in a big warehouse school, and teach them poorly, than put them in a small school and teach them well.

Half the kids at our school have no health insurance. They cannot afford the $800/ month that our family is lucky enough to be able to pay.

Now I hear that I will most likely not have any Social Security when I retire. This is troubling, as I am self employed, and I pay 14% of my income in Social Security tax. It would be a shame if I had no SS benefit in twenty years.

So the President says he needs another $240 billion or so for Iraq. What the heck, consider it yours. I can't imagine what we would do with that kind of money anyway.


Leo said...

Nation building is expensive, isn't it? I do not understand how the US can keep putting out this much money and not raise taxes or require Iraq to put up some of the cost (perhaps they are? I don't know) Without a tax increase we are seemingly left with your hometown testimony - libraries closing early We, in Dearborn, seem to be less hard hit but it is definitely coming. Ford is dropping fast and Pfizer is leaving Michigan. I would like to know where this new revenue stream is that will supply all this funding? I presume it will come from shifting priorities. I hope that Iraq and the so-called coalition is putting up funds as well.

Leo said...

BTW, I suppose it goes without saying but I feel compelled...I hope that this is seriously debated by Congress. I certainly want the US to keep its commitments to Iraq but the internal commitments such as school funding are just as important.

Andrew said...

A large part of my concern about Iraq funding, is that I am convinced that no one is minding the purse. We are paying enlisted mechanics $30,000 per year to repair trucks at camp Anaconda. We are paying Halliburton mechanics $200,000 to $250,000 per year to do the same job while they are housed at camp Anaconda. Our standing military is required to turn over their vehicles to Haliburton mechanics when repairs are expected to take more than a couple of days.

Where is the sense in this? Is it the mission of America to enrich Haliburton while completing our mission in Iraq? How many of the billions we have spent have been thrown away? I think it takes a lot of guts to ask for more money when so much of what we have given appears to have been wasted.

I suggest that before we allocate more money, we should account for the money we have already spent. My guess is that we could have created this phenominal mess for a whole lot less.

Leo said...

I think you are right on to question who is minding the purse. I wonder if that Inspector General who has been saving money now has his hands tied or is it that there is too much to control? I think that an audit of contractor use of funds is definitely in order.