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(cut and paste)
Today, President Bush is right up there with the European dictators. His military spending has soared from $291 billion to a lavish $515 billion and heâ€™s proposed a stunning $651 billion next year.
The Friends Committee on National Legislation, of Washington, D.C. says that 44 cents out of every dollar in his 2009 budget will go for war, compared with 2.2 cents for social programs. Typically, he calls for cutting 47 education programs while handing the generals 8% more.
Under Bush, U.S. military spending is now roughly equal to the combined total of all other nations. Whatâ€™s more, Uncle Sam is the worldâ€™s Number One arms peddler, selling about half of all weapons bought by the developing nations, and showing few scruples about sales to dictators. The Center for Defense Information reported last year that U.S. arms sales to 25 countries it studied increased 400 percent over 9/11.
Under Bush, the real wages of Americans have stagnated as well. Despite their fantastic productivity, U.S. workers are earning less today in real dollars than five years ago. And restrictive laws make union organizing tougher than ever.
As ever more Americans lose their jobs and homes, favored Pentagon contractors reap record profits, not necessarily from operating on free market principles. Indeed, the Center for Public Integrity noted only one of the top 10 defense contractors â€œwon a majority of its contracts through full and open competition. "
All the rest collected most of their contract dollars through sole source contracts or other no-bid procedures.â€ CPI identified Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, United Technologies, General Electric, Carlyle Group, and Newport News.
One might think in these hard times --- when the price of a gallon of gas has doubled in good part because of the Iraq war --- the White House might ask this supine Congress for a windfall profits tax on the oil majors. With two former oil executives holding the two top jobs, though, thatâ€™s not likely to happen, any more than the Iraqi people will ever see the profits from their oil resource