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   Bush's Spending Madness

Commentary:

Bush's Spending Madness

by Scott Loughrey
Like FDR, the President-installed is increasing government spending during an economic decline. However, unlike FDR, Bush is doing so in a manner that benefits the least number of people.

President George Bush seeks a $379 billion annual military budget, a huge increase from its already staggering $343 billion level. He also seeks a $38 billion Homeland Security budget, a doubling of the amount already allocated for this four-month-old agency. In addition, an astonishing $4 trillion of Federal budget surpluses have vanished from the ledger under Bush's spending regime, and it took a single year for this to happen. Of that figure, $38 billion of lost revenue is attributed to Bush's upcoming tax cuts, which are designed primarily to assist the wealthy 1% in this great time of need.

Bush's call for the insane $379 billion military budget comes on the heels of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's recent comments that the economy appears to be turning around. As always, Greenspan bases his conclusion on the faith that corporate profits will rise in 2002—and the mainstream media consistently approves of him making no assumptions about whether conditions for working people will also improve.

Bush has already offered a $15 billion bailout for the airline industry, while making no requests that their employees receive any protection from layoffs. Meanwhile, the Homeland Security budget is over and above the estimated $50 billion that the CIA is expected to shortly receive annually. Last but not least, Bush already has obtained a $8.3 billion down-payment on "Missile Defense" research, with no limit in future expenditures in sight.

Let's enumerate these recurring major funding priorities:

  1. $379 billion a year on "defense." (By the way, among many other groups, the Libertarian CATO Institute believes the US could be adequately defended at $150 billion a year.)
  2. $38 billion a year on Homeland Security.
  3. An estimated $50 billion a year on a CIA now empowered to target US citizens, and which now has permission to assassinate.
  4. An estimated $38 billion a year lost from Bush's tax cut which predominantly benefits the wealthy 1%.
  5. $8.3 billion so far on "Missile Defense," a flawed and probably unworkable program that may ultimately cost hundreds of billions (and unnecessary, too, in light of the post-9/11/01 world.)

None of these priorities contributes to democracy, as Franklin Delano Roosevelt understood the term. Like FDR, the President-installed is increasing government spending during an economic decline. However, unlike FDR, Bush is doing so in a manner that benefits the least number of people. Throwing all this money away for the benefit of military contractors and other government elites while it could be spent on jobs programs, prescription drug programs for all citizens, schools, libraries, public transportation and our infrastructure is incredibly shortsighted.

The cruelty and insanity of Bush's spending priorities, particularly during this time of great need for many, approaches Fascism in my view.


Scott Loughrey is a web-developer in Baltimore. Some of his commercial sites are Talk about the News Media and a Message board about President Bush.


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This story was published on March 2, 2002.
  
MARCH 2002
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SPEAKING OUT
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