Right now after having written my last post on the CIA’s Secret Torture Flights and then ironically ending with Exxon’s record profits, it got me to thinking just how very disgusting this entire War on Terror was (and is). The War in Iraq, allegedly part of the War on Terror, is costing American taxpayers not just trillions of dollars, it is also costing thousands of their lives and limbs, and also destroying civil society in Iraq (not to mention further destabilizing the region).
After you factor in these “transactional costs”, Exxon ends up profitting brilliantly from this governtment aid. This gave me a quick flashback to a Bill Moyer’ Journal episode from January 18, 2008, where Moyers interviewed David Cay Johnston, the author of Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich–and Cheat Everybody Else, and his recent book, Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich themselves at Government Expense and Stick You with the Bill. In the interview, Johnston explains how “the power of lobbyists and wealthy donors to manipulate government policies such as regulation, taxes, and subsidies to enrich themselves at tax-payers’ expense.”
Were I a foreign nation, I would take the U.S. government to the WTO to argue that the Wars in Iraq and against Terror are tantamount to unfair trade practices. Theses wars are essentially government subsidies to U.S. companies.
Were I a U.S. citizen (and I am), I would be really pissed (and I am).