They propose a 90-day moratorium on fundraising by political parties and members of Congress. That would free up more than enough money to pay for
Instead of closing 22 major military bases and 'realigning' 33 others, we should keep those facilities open so that no one has to flee to anything like the New Orleans Astrodome or the Convention Center ever again.
Think about it: Military bases have barracks and apartments, with beds, blankets, drinking water and plumbing that works. They have medical facilities with doctors and nurses, lawyers, PXs, even supermarkets. They have trucks and cars and ships and helicopters and airplanes. And they are located all over the country, within easy reach of just about any site of a natural disaster.
The Base Realignment and Closing Commission (BRAC) says doing away with these assets will save the taxpayers $4.2 billion a year.
So vast is the Pentagon's waste, fraud and abuse that the government's accountants tell us every year that the place simply cannot be audited. If Donald Rumsfeld ran Wal-Mart that way, he'd have been fired long ago.
Just think of it: The DOD, whose profligate and dysfunctional systems allowed it to buy toilet seats for $640 each, is now unable to account for more than a trillion that's trillion with a 'T' -- dollars in financial transactions. That's in addition to the dozens of tanks, missiles and planes that have simply 'gone missing'.
Congress gave our military $10 billion for Iraq Reconstruction. A good chunk of that money has simply vanished it's been lost. And there is virtually no reconstruction to show for it.
And, in one more of a long litany of incompetence and malfeasance, the General Accountability Office (GAO) informed us recently that millions of dollars worth of new equipment was being sold as 'surplus' for pennies on the dollar. That equipment included Kevlar flak jackets needed by the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, so of course the Pentagon ordered more.
If President Bush is looking for 'offsets' to pay for Katrina, he shouldn't be thinking about cutting back on Medicaid, No Child Left Behind, Social Security, and other programs that directly benefit those most devastated by Katrina.
He should take a look at the 'offsets' already in the Pentagon's appropriations if he can find them.