Breaking the Bank

Oh my:

The U.S. Air Force is asking the Pentagon's leadership for a staggering $50 billion in emergency funding for fiscal 2007—an amount equal to nearly half its annual budget, defense analyst Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute said on Tuesday.

The request is expected to draw criticism on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers are increasingly worried about the huge sums being sought "off budget" to fund wars, escaping the more rigorous congressional oversight of regular budgets.

…With the latest bill passed last month, Congress has approved about $507 billion in spending for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, under some 13 "emergency" spending requests, according to the Congressional Research Service.
By way of perspective, two supplemental spending requests were made during the entirety of the Vietnam War, and one during the entirety of the Korean War.

The “off budget” or “emergency” funding of the wars in Afghanistan and particularly Iraq are largely responsible for the egregious waste and fraud we’ve heard about so often. Like everything else under the purview of the Bush administration, there’s simply no accountability.

And check out the reason that the Air Force is requesting the funding:

Another source familiar with the Air Force plans said the extra funds would help pay to transport growing numbers of U.S. soldiers being killed and wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Wow. Absolutely heartbreaking.

And, mind you, none of the war costs include associated expenditures for killed or injured soldiers. The military pays $100,000 in death benefits and $500,000 in life insurance. Plus, there is the cost of “medical treatment for returning Iraqi war veterans, particularly the … servicemen with brain, spinal, amputation and other serious injuries… [As of 31 December 2005], 3213 people—20% of those injured in Iraq—have suffered head/brain injuries that require lifetime continual care at a cost range of $600,000 to $5 million.” Meanwhile, because recruitment is getting so tough, enlistment bonuses have gone up to as much as $40,000 for new recruits, and as much as $150,000 for soldiers who reenlist.

I don’t begrudge the soldiers or their families one penny of what the government owes them, but I also don’t want to rack up staggering bills any more than I want to rack up dead or injured soldiers in this ridiculous war. Frankly, it’s just another reason to get our men and women out of there as fast as fucking possible.


Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus