Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Economy reality check

GOP-friendly mainstream media sound bites aside, here's a typical example Dubyanomics at work in the real world: CNN article on Camden, AL

Under the bush economic doctrine, unemployment is up, jobs (especially manufacturing) are having salaries reduced or being eliminated, the very rich are getting richer and are showered with tax subsidies, the poor and middle class are squeezed to make up the tax difference from enriching the rich, our children will have to shoulder the burden of the massive debt buildup, and oil companies are reaping record profits. This is what Bush considers “a strong economy”, “plan is working” and “the folk are better off”.

How's that "other war" going

So, how are we doing, politically, to help Afghanistan as promised. You remember, to keep the Taliban from returning?

Well, $10B of pledged aid never happened and $6B of aid did not go to Afghans, but to corporate profits and non-Afghan consultant salaries. That’s because we’re paying consultants 200 times more than Afghans that desperately want the employment and sincerely want to rebuild their country. Way to wage the “war on terror” dubya. The plan of keeping Afghanistan a potential base for al Qaeda for years to come is working nicely.

The cost of a full-time expatriate consultant working in Afghanistan is around $250,000, according to the group. This is some 200 times the average annual salary of an Afghan civil servant, who is paid less than $1,000 per year, the report said.

The report said that Afghanistan's biggest donor, USAID, the U.S. government's aid arm, allocates close to half of its funds to five large U.S. contractors and that "it is clear that substantial amounts of aid continue to be absorbed in corporate profits."

Your tax dollars at work. Tax is taken from the American people, sent to Afghanistan under the war on terror, and $6B of it does not go to help the Afghan people, but to pad the profits of politically-connected companies. OK, so this scam is not as grand as Iraq, but still should not be tolerated.