Update 3: So…$440 billion? Or is it $513? Or how about $580? Sheesh.

Update 2: Have I mentioned lately that I’m completely done with Joe Lieberman? Done. Right now on Capitol Hill he is saying he is OK with the defense budget going up as much as it has – because we are at war. Goodbye Joe.

We are up to 44 cookies now. That’s $440 billion. (Note: this does NOT count the additional costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan). This would be a great time to look at the Ben Cohen thing again: http://www.truemajority.org/oreos/

While you are at it, check out the nuclear weapons BB demo. Good stuff.

Here are a few of the more interesting items up for bid:

  • $10.4 billion to produce and field additional ground- and sea-based missile defense interceptors – you know, for when Al Queda decides to go airborne.
  • $4 billion toward enhancing space-based early-warning systems – for when they decide to go interplanetary.
  • This year’s budget seeks $84.2 billion for weapons programs, about an $8 billion increase – because those contracts are good for Amurica, they create JOBS!
  • Over $4 billion for high tech navy fighting ships – to take on the rubber dingies loaded with explosives.
  • $2.6 billion for a Virginia Class attack submarine – because damnit, Al Queda might acquire scuba gear!
  • The Pentagon wants 60 more of the F-22 Raptor supersonic stealth planes by 2010. This year’s budget provides $2.7 billion just to get the ball rolling – you know, so we can precisely target and kill 6 terrorists along with 30 some civilians.

So, what does the average Joe soldier get? 2.2 percent, the smallest boost in almost a dozen years. Also, they are also looking at increasing people’s share of health care cost – following in line with the corporate way. Nice. Score another for defense contractors. Congrats guys!

Update: Just after I posted this (seconds in fact), I got this from the Sherrod Brown camp:

Bush’s Budget is Morally Reprehensible

Dear Friend:

President Bush presented the details of his 2007 budget to Congress yesterday. He called for drastic funding cuts in health care, energy, veterans, education, and job creation programs. At the same time, he demanded that Congress make his tax cuts permanent.

Budgets are moral documents. The president wants to cut programs vital to millions of Ohioans to pay for tax cuts to his billionaire friends. Clearly the Republican leadership does not share the same values as Ohio families.

Consider the consequences if this morally reprehensible budget were to be passed into law:

  • Seniors already struggling with a broken Medicare drug plan would face $36 billion in cuts to Medicare over the next five years, and $105 billion over ten years.
  • Ohio veterans would see cuts in health care funding and $198 million would be cut from children’s hospitals.
  • Taxpayers and school districts already burdened by unfunded mandates would be shortchanged an additional $15.4 billion in cuts to No Child Left Behind.

Even the few Americans who still take Bush as a man of his word must wince at this fact:

Despite calling for an end to America’s “addiction to oil” in the State of the Union just last week, Bush proposed cutting programs to help Ohio industries improve energy efficiency.

This budget is not just irresponsible, it’s immoral. This year is about choices. Will those of us who represent Ohio stand up for Ohio families, or give in to the demands of drug and oil lobbyists? The moral choice is clear — Ohio families deserve better than the president’s proposed budget.

I will fight for Ohio’s families and a budget that represents our values.

We’re in this together.

Kudos to Sherrod. For all the grief I give him, we need people like him fighting in ways that he does. But we must have the leverage to make his fights winnable too.

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