The war in Iraq, not counting Afghanistan, is estimated to cost taxpayers over 3 trillion dollars.
Well that is a lot of money to make sure the oil companies keep their monopoly on the price of oil. But this is really unbelievable, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld reported in 2002 that the Pentagon had lost 2.3 trillion dollars and there wasn't even a war going on.
So as you can see there is a lot of money available but it all depends on what you are doing with the money. Right now the United States government is also in the midst of spending trillions bailing out financial institutions because regulation is a dirty word. But back in the early 90s under the tax and spend Republicans the U.S. had to bail out the savings and loan industry at about a half a trillion dollars in taxpayer money since regulation was a bad word back then too. Now under the tax and spend Republicans it appears that just the bail out of Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage lenders will cost the American taxpayers over 2 trillion dollars.
It is strange that the Republicans believe in regulating and tracking everything the average consumer does but they don't believe in regulating the financial industry. But I guess Republicans are afraid the American people might turn into terrorists and demand that the government responds to the people and governs as well as regulates big business.
But it gets worse. Right now we have 2 out of every 3 United States corporations, according to the Government Accountability Office, that pay no federal income taxes. You might say that a lot of these are small corporations struggling to stay in business and it does no good to tax them and throw them out of business. I actually agree with that argument. But if we were only to get a fair share of taxes from the largest corporations, the top 1% of all corporations that own 90% of all corporate assets, then that would really help the American taxpayer. Also we should look at taxing foreign corporations doing business in the U.S. that pay even less taxes than American corporations. Corporations after all are considered persons with the same rights as individual citizens so they should be taxed like the American people.
So a trillion here and a trillion there and pretty soon you are talking about real money. So what could 2 trillion buy?
"..... For $2 trillion we could eliminate extreme poverty in the world, the cost of which is estimated by the United Nations and Worldwatch, to be about $150 billion per year for the next 13 years.
We could achieve universal literacy. Every illiterate in every country on the planet could learn to read and write, lifting themselves and their families out of grinding poverty for $5 billion dollars per year and we'd still have a lot of money left over.
And each of the following could be done as well:
For $1.3 billion per year we could provide immunization from deadly diseases for every child on earth. Imagine the savings to over stressed government treasuries by the reduction of medical costs that would follow, not to mention the degree of human suffering that would disappear. We could spend another $15 billion per year and ensure that developing countries would have sufficient resources to fight HIV/AIDS to a draw.
For another $60 billion we could achieve the World Banks Millennium Development Goals of tackling everything from gender inequality to environmental sustainability. And after all this, we'd still have $1.2 trillion left.
The average cost of a college education in the U.S. today, according to the U.S. Department of Education is $21,000. With our $2 trillion we could fund almost 2 billion full scholarships-that's 6 times the population of the U.S.
We could fully fund the cost of healthcare for the 47 million Americans who have none, thru the year 2020. We could adequately clothe, feed and nurture every child orphaned by war and pestilence or inflicted by savage cruelty and abuse. We could upgrade the water systems of every hamlet and village and bring clean safe drinking water where none now exists and we could put a doctor within a day's walk of every human being in this world...."
So as you can see the wasteful tax and spend Republicans tell us that there is no money for a just society or that it would cost the taxpayers too much in taxes. But the truth is that if there are tens of trillions of dollars that could have been saved if there had been some good judgment and regulation of the military industrial complex. If our priorities are to continue to make the super wealthy even super wealthier and to promote war and empire around the world then we get a country like the one we have today. But keep in mind that if we continue on our present path then there is a breaking point.
Please think about it.