The news for the Bush administration just got better and even better for the U.S. taxpayer. At a hearing of the House Appropriations Foreign Operations Subcommittee, James Jeffrey, a senior adviser on Iraq for the State Department, said of the Iraq rebuilding, “We have scaled back our projects in many areas…We do not have the money.” But don’t worry, these projects aren’t all that important. They are only water and power plants. The total number is not known as of yet but one contractor has stopped work on six of the eight water treatment plants it is assigned. So no power, no running water, and no water treatment plants. Or as it is called now, New Orleans. Of course Barbara Bush thinks Iraqi people are better off…oh wait, got two stories confused.
One of the problems is that the money ($18.4 billion) that was originally marked to go towards Iraq rebuilding has been redirected to stabilizing Iraq. 22% to be exact or just over $4 billion. Chairman of the subcommittee, Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., said the Bush administration’s redirecting of the funds, “was largely a chimera, a castle built of sand.” Kolbe went on to say, “Reconstruction in Iraq has been slower, more painful, more complex, more fragmented and more inefficient than anyone in Washington or Baghdad could have imagined a couple of years ago.” If this administration can’t handle $18.4 billion in funds to rebuild Iraq, imagine what they are going to do with the $51.8 billion they now have with New Orleans and surrounding areas. One more problem is good old corruption. The special inspector general for Iraq rebuilding said they are currently conducting 58 criminal investigations. Only a handful of companies have been formally criminally charged as of date.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina (or “Karina” as Laura “Babs” Bush pronounces it,) Americans saw record high gas prices across the country. Oil prices soared to over $70 per barrel. So it would be logical to think that oil companies took a hit also. However, ExxonMobil announced yesterday they expect their profits to be over $10 billion this quarter. $10 billion? That works outs to be $110 million per day!!! This a 69% increase from the same period last year and new all time record high profits for any single company.
It may have helped that the Bush crime family gave Exxon and other oil companies a tax break last year. And with the expected repeal of the estate tax later this week, (that would’ve given about $1 trillion of revenue in the next decade), and the $70 billion tax cut to the wealthy that is also expected to pass this week, paying for all of this will once again fall on the solders of the middle-class (if there any left) and the lower-class. Record deficits and tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, trickle down economics at it’s best. Remember the good old days when we had a balanced budget, low unemployment, and not stuck in a war we now can’t pay for and no end in sight? Mid-term elections and 2008 can’t come fast enough.