Republicans acting normal

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's really refreshing to see the Republicans reverting to their old ways. After eight years of spending money like the world was going to end the next day, they are back to their old penny pinching ways.

In the beginning the GOP wasn't the party of conservatives, racists and homophobes. They were the party of big business. They were always going to run government like a business by cutting expenses and maximizing profits. They still haven't figured out that government isn't supposed to make a profit, just break even. Now it seems they've gone back to that way of thinking.

During the Bush years they spent money faster than they could print it. First they gave the top 2% of taxpayers a tax cut. Even after we invaded Afghanistan they kept the tax breaks in place. That was historic. Never before had we cut taxes in a time of war.

But that was small change compared to what we've spent in Iraq. During the buildup to the war no Republican ever asked where the money would come from to pay for it. Any Democrat who did was either told the Iraq oil would pay for it (wrong) or his patriotism was questioned. Remember the good old days when you were either with Bush or with the terrorists?

Here's a partial list of what we have spent on Iraq. For starters we sent nine billion dollars that just vanished. Nobody knows where it went. Do you have any idea how hard it should be to lose that much money? Well, the Bush boys managed to do it.

We awarded 100 billion to contractors for various projects. At least one third of them were never completed, but the contractors kept the money. At least 13 billion was lost to fraud, embezzlement, theft, and waste. Most of the contracts were the no-bid type. Yep we let those contractors name their own price, just like they do on TV.

We spent at least 20 billion to train the Iraqi troops to defend their own country. The problem was that a lot of that money went to troops who never existed or were dead.

We have paid Blackwater Security one billion dollars since 2001 for protection of civilians. That became necessary, in part, because 190,000 AK-47's we sent over there went missing. Do you have any idea how much havoc terrorists could create with all of those guns?

I saved my favorite for last. In 2008 we spent $700 billion in Iraq while the Iraq government spent zero. While our deficit shot up that year, Iraq had an 80 billion dollar surplus.

While all of that was going on Bush and his merry men decided to ram a prescription drug benefit to Medicare into law. That was the single largest entitlement since Medicare itself. Not one Republican worried about what it would cost, or how we would pay for it. Not even Sen. Bunning, who held up unemployment benefits until he was told how it would be paid for.

Boy, it sure is good news that Republicans are once again worried about how much money government spends. When they don't worry about it, they sure know how to spend it.