The $6 Billion Question

Back in the dark ages of TV, the 50’s or 60’s, there was a popular quiz show on the tube, the “$64,000 Question”…and there was always a bit of a mystery on how the people were so smart (there was NO Google)….and there was a movie about a rigged game show, where the contestant had the answers before hand…..anyway, I digress….

Let us move on, shall we?

When the last statue of Saddam was pulled down and the peasants danced, it seems that the Bush admin sent a bunch of cash, ands I do mean cash, into Iraq to help with the recovery that was to follow……this from an article in the LA Times…..

Pentagon officials determined that one giant C-130 Hercules cargo plane could carry $2.4 billion in shrink-wrapped bricks of $100 bills. They sent an initial full planeload of cash, followed by 20 other flights to Iraq by May 2004 in a $12-billion haul that U.S. officials believe to be the biggest international cash airlift of all time.

This month, the Pentagon and the Iraqi government are finally closing the books on the program that handled all those Benjamins. But despite years of audits and investigations, U.S. Defense officials still cannot say what happened to $6.6 billion in cash — enough to run the Los Angeles Unified School District or the Chicago Public Schools for a year, among many other things.

For the first time, federal auditors are suggesting that some or all of the cash may have been stolen, not just mislaid in an accounting error. Stuart Bowen, special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, an office created by Congress, said the missing $6.6 billion may be “the largest theft of funds in national history.”

The question is…..where is the cash…all $6.6 billion?

That is right, Irene……$6.6 billion just up and walked off…….this happened when Crocker was the administrator of Iraq in the interim period before elections for a new government….Crocker?  Yep, the same guy that has been named the ambassador to Afghanistan….yet another country that we are pouring money into by the plane loads……will we see another disappearing act by our cash in that country also?

Someone turned a profit off all that cash….any ideas?

This is how Washington protects the taxpayers contributions to the running of the nation?  We are SO screwed!

Everybody Has A Plan

Daily we hear of the plans for the correcting of the economic problems we have here in the US….there are tax cuts…..there stims….there are infrastructure….there are …..on and on……everybody has a plan….Repubs, Dems, Greens, Libertarians, etc etc….and now the Fed chief has a plan for deficit reduction….

Bernanke speaks and his plan is…….

“Clear metrics are important, together with triggers or other mechanisms to establish the credibility of the plan. For example, policymakers could commit to enacting in the near term a clear and specific plan for stabilizing the ratio of debt to GDP within the next few years and then subsequently setting that ratio on a downward path. Indeed, such a trajectory for the ratio of debt to GDP is comparable to the one proposed by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.To make the framework more explicit, the President and congressional leadership could agree on a definite timetable for reaching decisions about both shorter-term budget adjustments and longer-term changes. Fiscal policymakers could look now to find substantial savings in the 10-year budget window, enforced by well-designed budget rules, while simultaneously undertaking additional reforms to address the long-term sustainability of entitlement programs. Such a framework could include a commitment to make a down payment on fiscal consolidation by enacting legislation to reduce the structural deficit over the next several years.”

Spoken like a true intellectual……..all that geek speak means…..the debt ceiling should be raised…..a bi-partisan approach to spending and a long term plan…period.