Bombing for Dollars

Over at Wampum, they did a little detective work and came up with I was interested in seeing how the proposed cost of the reconstruction of Iraq compared with the annual budgets for different US government agencies. The OMB keeps just such information handy.

And what did Wampum find? Well, looking purely at the numbers, they discovered that the US$87 billion President Bush requested from Congress for the continuation of the war in Iraq over the next year is equal to more than three times the budget of the Department of Homeland Security (US$28.2 billion), nearly eleven times the budget of the EPA (US$8 billion), and one-and-a-half times the budget of the Department of Education (US$59.5 billion). Even compared to the budget of the Department of Defense (US$376 billion) — itself nearly one-half of the government’s entire discretionary budget — this request is huge, equal to an extra 25% windfall for Rumsfeld, et al. As Wampum further notes:

In fact, the budgets of the departments of Energy ($19.8 billion), State ($11.0 billion), Interior ($10.4 billion) and Justice ($22.2 billion) combined ($63.4 billion) will probably come in less this year than operations in Iraq.

So, unless you are one of the tiny fraction of the public who saw a significant benefit from the fat-cat tax cuts this president has burdened us and future generations with, prepare to give and give and give till it hurts, as fewer and fewer federal dollars are available to provide us with the services appropriate for a first-world nation. Remember: Billions for Iraq; not one penny more for Education, Justice, Environmental Protection…