"In Vegas, I got into a long argument with the man at the roulette wheel over what I considered to be an odd number."
- Steven Wright
Congress has approved a new Pentagon spending bill. It's for $460 billion and does not include provision for Iraq.(Basically, including Iraq would make it about $550 billion.) Isn't that like paying tuition for your kid and learning that it does not include classes? Meanwhile, Iraq's GDP is about $40 billion. Add in Iran ($194 billion), North Korea ($40 billion), and Libya ($34 billion) and you have GDP totals of just over $300 billion. I say that we use our defense budget to simply buy our enemies instead, price equal to annual GDP. We save 44% and they no longer constitute a threat.
Today, General Motors announced that they LOST $39 billion in the third QUARTER of this year. Exxon also reported a drop in profits for the 3rd quarter - they made only $9.4 billion, down from the $10.5 billion they made in the third quarter of last year. Their revenue for the quarter was $102 billion.
So, put this in perspective. Exxon's annual profits are about equal to Iraq's total GDP. And as Greenspan said, we wouldn't be in Iraq if not for oil. So, wouldn't it be cheaper all around just to get out of Iraq and then give Exxon 10% of our defense budget? And then we'd have enough money left over to directly subsidize our auto industry as well.
Or, we could put some money into alternative energy, treating that like a urgent priority given how expensive it is to protect oil resources and to recover from climate change. Then we could .... nah. That would be too expensive. Better to just keep spending the half trillion a year.
Finally, a barrell of oil is soon to cost $100. I should be a little discomfited by this, but I'm not. Dick Cheney has promised that once oil hits $100 a barrel he's going to declare the day a new national holiday.