If you want to see where rank hypocrisy sits in full flower, you have only to observe Republicans at their desks in the House and
When Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell heard of the president's plan, he derisively laughed out loud, as if he'd been handed a piece of road kill. At about the same time, Bill Shuster, a Pennsylvania Republican who is incoming chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, baldly declared: There will be no stimulus in any fiscal-cliff budget deal.
Why is all of that hypocritical?
Most Republicans consider the whole idea of spending federal money to repair the nation's crumbling roads, bridges and the rest -- while creating thousands of jobs in the process -- nothing short of sacrilege. And yet they're perfectly happy to spend billions of dollars to build roads, bridges and schools in foreign countries, particularly Afghanistan, where authorizing money on infrastructure improvements is like throwing cash into the fire.
In his most recent quarterly report, the U.S. special inspector general for Afghan reconstruction said that, when security for aid workers is included,
Republicans approved every one of those appropriations without any notable arguments. And the most hypocritical part is that they're approving many millions of dollars in additional infrastructure aid right now -- even while they throw up passionate ideological objections to dedicating any money, even a penny, to similar projects for their constituents at home.
They keep sending the money, even though they know perfectly well that Afghanistan is one of the world's most corrupt nations. Just a few days ago, the special investigator general (widely known as SIGAR) released a special report on the suitcases full of cash that Afghan government officials carry away on planes from Kabul's airport every day. That's a longstanding problem, and much of the money, certainly, is purloined American aid.
Last year, SIGAR installed "bulk currency counters at the airport to monitor the outflow of funds," the report said. Revisiting last month, the agency found that the machines "did not appear to be in use," and government officials carrying stuffed suitcases were walking right past them.
This fiscal year, the
There could be no better example of this ludicrous infrastructure spending than the USAID's absurdly named project: IDEA-NEW. The
Well, as soon as the first tranche of money arrived in Afghanistan, the program administrators decided they just didn't like this new idea. So they began spending millions on infrastructure improvements -- without any regard to the drug trade. Even at that they did a poor job. For example, the agency hired workers to build or repair 377 kilometers of irrigation. They managed only 40 kilometers.
During the course of this program so far, the U.N. said, Afghanistan's opium crop actually surged by 61 percent. That's another
The congressional-research report said
At home, meantime, republicans want to cut
In fact, all they want to do is slash government spending, heedless of the example from Europe. There, nearly a dozen states remain mired in deep recession brought on by "austerity" budget cuts that bring with them massive layoffs of government workers and contractors -- elevating unemployment rates.
Wake up and look at the damage you're doing!
Republicans Would Rather Upgrade Afghanistan's Infrastructure Than Our Own | Politics
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