Where did the money go?

Originally posted 2009-01-22 02:36:12 -0500. Promoted by carol

There have been a lot of conversations regarding the investigation and prosecution of Bush / Cheney & Co. for their criminal destruction of lives and property in pursuit of wealth for themselves and their friends.  There are also a lot of questions regarding the TARP money like where is it going and why?  Both lines of questioning are vital to our country.  Guaranteed that I myself will be sounding the charge on both of these as well as every progressive blog in the country.

I think we're missing something here.  We are all in shock over our economy.  There is a desire for us to band together as a nation to pull through this.  I agree, but I don't think we can do that until we really look at how we got here.  The simple fact being, that if we don't really know how we got here, then our solutions will likely be ineffective.  We cannot recover our economy or our government, if the people created this disaster are still in power, spinning the recovery plans themselves as either a cover-up to their own guilty deeds or as simply perpetrating even more of the same greedy manuvers

In the 8 years of BushCo gluttony, thievery, murder and lies; our country has spent (lost) trillions of dollars.  The US Federal deficit increased.  The Federal debt is now at 10 Trillion dollars.  Certainly, Bush & Cheney didn't spend it all, but for the part that they did spend - where did it go?  I mean, we borrowed money from China and all over the place so we could spend it on something today.  Right here and right now.  But...where did we spend it?  Whom did we pay it to? 

Some things we know about:

  • Ungodly amounts of cash gone missing in Iraq: Here, here and here.
  • Defense Industries: all hail the king, lord & master of taxpayer money sucking! 
    • US military spending accounts for 48 percent, or almost half, of the world’s total military spending
    • US military spending is more than the next 46 highest spending countries in the world combined
    • US military spending is 5.8 times more than China, 10.2 times more than Russia, and 98.6 times more than Iran.
    • Companies like Raytheon, Lockheed-Martin, Northrop Grumann, Boeing, General Dynamics, KBR, Halliburton, Blackwater, etc.
  • Since the 1950's when President Eisenhower warned us in his farewell address, the war profiteers have been waving flags in our faces while they suck most of the money out of every the US taxpayer.  More than anything else, really. 

Someone mentioned camping at the door of these execs...attractive idea because of the public accountability aspect.  Much better to publicize them by name on the Internet and list exactly how much they made.  I want to see the faces and know the names of the people that stole America's future. Over $4 trillion in Defense spending since Bush took office.  Checks were written and cashed.  Like the FBI says when chasing organized crime...follow the money. 

This is not about some Liberal desire for a witch hunt.  This is about fixing the problem.  The criminals that robbed the American taxpayer of trillions of dollars are exposed to the light of day, the system of corruption will continue.  When they invoke 'national security' as an argument for their continued secrecy, I will say 'bullshit' that's just a cover up.  Besides, our national security, the real national security has gone down the toilet because we allowed these war profiteers to plunder the nation.  Their call for secrecy is a manipulation of real concern for our country into a shell game to keep their foul deeds from seeing the light of day.

People with nothing to hide, don't hide.  

These thieves, liars, murderers and despots fear scrutiny.  That's why Net Neutrality is the big deal that it is.  It is no coincidence that there is pressure for the Internet to be regulated in ways the allow them to silence dissenters by making the Internet too expensive for them.  The war profiteers and resource rapists (oil, coal, mining) reap their insane profits through secret deals made with secretive politicians.

So, today as Barack Obama begins his journey, so do we all.  I can tell you now that I am not 'letting this go' for 'the good of the country' as the all-too-familar chorus sounds from GOP congressmen & women.  The country has already 'let this go' quite far enough.  The way to stop corruption and deceipt is to name them, see them, admit they exist and by what power.  It does not end by cleaning up after them in silence.  That only sets the stage for the problem to be even worse when it comes back around (and it will come back around). 

-gadfly

 

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Hill a Steppingstone to K Street for Some

By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Election to Congress used to be an end in itself. Now, for nearly half of federal lawmakers, it is a steppingstone to a second career: lobbying.

A new study has found that 43 percent of the 198 House and Senate members who left government to join private life since 1998 have registered to lobby. Of the 36 senators who left during that period, half have joined the lobbying ranks.

Republican lawmakers have become lobbyists at a faster rate than Democrats, a fact that reflects GOP control of the White House and Congress in recent years. Nearly 52 percent of Republican lawmakers who moved to the private sector since 1998 have registered as lobbyists, the study said. Only a third of departing Democrats took the same path.

If I've learned ANYTHING during the last ten years, it's that American policy and power is determined in the interest of those able to buy the best government.  I just heard the author of "So Damn Much Money", Robert Kaiser (Washington Post), in an interbiew.  His subtitle captures the lesson best:

The Triumph of Lobbying and the Corrosion of American Government

which I've linked to a review in the SF Chronicle.  Apparently based on a long series in the Washington Post (Citzen K Street), I was slightly disappointed that he focussed on telling the story of the former Cassady and Associates CEO because so much of the last decade has been about who owned the Republican side of the aisle and Gerald Cassady was a Democrat.  But, in doing so, Kaiser enunciated another of my big lessons of the decade illustrated by Casssady's scramble to hire the likes of Jack Abramoff with a Republican Congress and for the Bush White House.

The lesson is that bipartisan lobbyshops are necessary because vested interests must be able to buy the most dearly-held principles of either Party. 

Without having read it, but having lots of insight, I think this book is likely to be the best civic lesson for how to direct Obama in bringing Change to America.  I think it's likely to be an important guidebook for the quest to find out where the money went.

Thanks for asking this essential question!

 

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"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." - Thomas Jefferson

We've got to call the criminals to account.

carol

But this is on the question of letting the truth come out.

Obama's executive order stopping trials at Gitmo, plus Holder's remarks are a great start to the new Administration. And I can't really complain about Dennis Blair remarks during Senatehearings regarding his nomination to be Director of National Intelligence: Agence France-Presse reports that despite his unequivocal repudiation of torture, and other illegal practices, Blair said he did not wish to take action against those who may have been  guilty of water boarding.

Retired admiral Dennis Blair indicated major changes are in store for US intelligence agencies, which have been embroiled in controversy over secret prisons, interrogation practics, and warrantless wiretapping of Americans.

"Torture is not moral, is not legal, is not effective," Blair said at his Senate confirmation hearing.

Blair told the Senate Intelligence Committee he would welcome independent monitoring of the intelligence community "to prevent abuses and protect privacy and civil liberties of Americans."

 

However, he refused to say waterboarding, a form of simulating drowning, is torture, because he did not want to put in legal jeopardy intelligence officers who engaged in practices authorized at the highest levels.

"I don't intend to reopen those cases of those officers," he said.

Senator Carl Levin said he was "troubled" by Blair's answer.
 

 

carol