Thursday, September 27, 2007
That figure above is the one-hundred-and-ninety billion dollars that defense secretary Gates has said we need to continue fighting in Iraq. I suppose, though no one says, this is over and above the $600 billion we already spend on offense, er, defense. (By the way, the plan to give health insurance to America's children, which would cost $7 billion and be paid for by higher tobacco taxes, has been rejected by the Bush Wehrmacht as being "too expensive.")
I have a mathematical mind and a good head for numbers. Iraq has a population of 20 million. So spending $190 billion there could translate into giving each man, woman and child in Iraq $9500. $38,000 for a family of four. Free and clear. No taxes.
Here's what I think we ought to do. Allot half that money to consumer goods and give each Iraqi a 96" flat screen, an iPod, and half a dozen Prada accoutrements. Then with the other half of the money, rebuild their infrastructure and beam in the mindless televised crap (complete with pharma commercials) that is the opiate of our populace and keeps our outrage confined to issues as seminal as Britney's body fat, Janet Jackson's nipple, and John Edwards' haircut. Also, we could invite drug cartels in to further anesthetize the people. After all, the Mexican drug cartels alone do a combined $23 billion in sales here, which must keep more than a few potential trouble-makers nodding off rather than rabble-rousing.
This makes sense to me.
Posted by George Tannenbaum at 7:15 AM