Posts Tagged ‘Corporate Welfare’

CEO’s are overcompensated

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

I think Hasbro and Mattel should build more factories in the U.S. and pay a proper living wage to their employees. They can cut their CEO’s salary — sheesh! That guy makes over 5.2 billion dollars after all his “extras”. Even without his extras (bonuses, stocks etc.), he makes $800,000. I hardly think he does that much work. I am not a socialist but I do believe the cut throat capitalism we are practising right now is not work, obviously. Look, Brian Goldern, if you would give up some of your excessive pay, open some American factories and pay some American workers…but not necessarily close all the Chinese factories…then this would create jobs and boost the economy. When workers have jobs, they buy crap, your crap even. So, stop being greedy and do what it is right. Are Chinese people buying toys with their paychecks? I don’t think so. The majority of the toys on our shelves (9 out of 10) are made in China. So, the Chinese are underpaid. Certainly…this saves you a few duckets than you gladly pocket. However, what do they do with the rest of their paycheck? Pay their bills IN CHINA, shop IN CHINA, buy food IN CHINA, pay retailers IN CHINA. So, it is helping their economy and ours is suffering. Now, we are heading quickly into a depression. And we are not buying, not even the cheap lead-coated crap from China. So, you lose too. How about some real corporate social responsibility. When a society is thriving, it helps you too. Get it?

I reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy think for the next 4 years we should have mandatory soft capitalism. If you gauge our eyes out with prices which will line your pockets, you pay exorbitant taxes. The more you charge, the more you pay, exponentially. If you are responsible and charge what you need to cover your costs and get some profit, then you are rewarded with tax breaks. See how simple this would be? No one needs to be making $800,000 a year, let alone $5.2 million. Gah!

When will one of these companies start making the right decisions, decisions that benefit everyone? We will never get out of a depression unless we fix the problems that caused it: deregulation, corporate greed with no restraints, no employee protection, price gauging, and job loss. We need to keep jobs in our country and in other countries, we could do this if we were more savvy than greedy.

Eight years past…

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

It is now eight years past the time to panic folks. Coming from someone who did not vote for the current crime family running amok in the White House, we should have panicked when he was sworn into office. We should have panicked when he started this illegitimate, ghastly over-priced, ugly war. We should have panicked when we caught him in any number of his lies. We should have panicked when Dick Cheney shot his friend in the face. We should have panicked when the voting was rigged. We should have panicked when an entire city was allowed to drown alone. We should have panicked many times, I did. But now is NOT the time to panic.

It is well over 18 months past the time to panic about finances and the economy. We have been in recession folks. The past year has been riddled with the mortgage crisis, the price-gouging at the pumps, at the grocery stores. We cannot allow our fear to drive us into dealing with the idiocracy. Bush is trying to scare us into hastily signing a $700 billion plan that is neither sensible nor guaranteed. We have been lied to one time too many times by this Administration. We cannot afford to allow them to make a $700 billion get-away. They are basically trying to rob the country’s wallet before they leave office.

We must not freak out at Bush’s ridiculous warnings. Where has he been the past 18 months? Busy soaking up the oil revenues, while we pay exorbitant prices at the pumps and lose our homes, our pensions, our jobs. It is their deregulation policies which got these financial institutions (and us) into this mess. Let them sort it out themselves. If you are itching to do something, to give $700 billion dollars towards a solution… urge your congress men and women to pass an emergency $700 billion public bailout, along with some corporate regulations. Pay the money towards the mortgages for everyday citizens. This will help the crisis. This will help the fundamentals of our economy. If a homeowner can keep his home, then he will take care of it and improve it and increase his home value and thus we go forward rather than backwards.

Bailing out irresponsible corporations with no guidelines, no oversight, no rules, no judicial review, makes NO SENSE, unless you are a greedy corporation or you are going to be leaving the White House soon and want to ensure you can purchase your next job to the tune of $700 billion dollars.

This corporate bailout is NOT the answer.

Corporate Socialism

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

I agree with some of the Republicans! Write that down, I am certain you will not hear it often.

The bottom line for this $700 billion bailout is, IF it happens, it needs to have some measure of protection for taxpayers. Congress reiterated this over and over this morning. I was proud of them for speaking up. And found myself nodding in agreement when many of the Republicans spoke.

I know we are all frightened about the financial issues we are facing but making fear-based decisions is simply irresponsible. We need to ensure we make a sensible decision in a timely manner. So, if you are jumping out of your seat, itching for Congress to hurryup and approve this $700billion… take a breath. Think. There is no proof or guarantee that this measure is going to work. It is led by two of the idiots who got us into this financial mess. WHY SHOULDN’T WE AT THE VERY LEAST ASK FOR SOME FAILSTOP MEASURES?

We should NOT bail out these irresponsible corporations. Bottom line. We should NOT give them the $700 billion. Breathe deeply, relax. Think. Please!

Why not attack the problem from the other side? Why not give out $700 billion to the US people losing their homes? Pay their bills to the banking industries. Wouldn’t that make more sense? TO help the people with their own money rather than these corporations.

If this is such a good idea, why does it not have any provisions? At the very least, before we bail out these corporations with no guarantee that it will even help, we should get the following provisions:

1) Remove the sole discretionary clause, giving all authority to Paulson:

“Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.”

Paulson is one of the people who is arguably responsibly for allowing this situation to get so out of control. Why are we continuing to allow him to even meddle in our Country’s purse? Slap his hand and say, “NO!” Let someone responsible lead this disgusting bail out. We should, at the very least, be watching our federal bank book. We are the ones making the deposits.

One man should not be in control of that much money. That would be giving the Secretary of the Treasury more power than even the President, at least financially. This is NOT a good idea.

2) Remove the clause that prevents judicial review.

If there is no scam in this, if there is no tomfoolery, why include a provision refusing judicial review? If we are mopping up a mess made by the greed and irresponsibility of financial institutions with a mop made of our hard-earned money, WE HAD BETTER HOLD THE JANITORS ACCOUNTABLE! PERIOD. In every single manner.

3) We need to include a measure to limit how much executives are paid:

They ran their corporations into the ground. Why should they get paid for this? How much do we pay people in public welfare? Why not give the CEO’s, who were irresponsible with the corporations, the same monthly amount we give to those on public welfare? I mean the logic behind the amounts are based on the minimum amount of money needed to survive in our country. Why should these CEO’s be paid more than that? If we are trying to “save” the economy, why don’t we spend the money wisely? Instead of overpaying CEO’s who got themselves (and us) into this mess in the first place with their irresponsible, greedy business practices and channel our money into tangible investments (alternative energy, health care, etc.). We definitely need a provision not allowing ridiculous compensation packages to these CEO’s.

4) Ensure what these people will be doing with our money is a matter of public record, available for all of us to monitor completely. COMPLETE TRANSPARENCY.

They should not be allowed to continue doing business as usual. Look where it got them and us.

5) We need to add provisions to help people in danger of losing their homes.

These failing financial institutions and the mortgage crisis are inextricably linked. We must address the initial problems, not just throw money at it. If you cut off your arm, you certainly would not just throw bandages at it. You would stop the blood loss, sew it up, then let it heal.

This bailout is nothing more than financial welfare, with the standards of living skewed for unsuccessful CEO’s.

The current Administration did such a poor job economically with their deregulation policies, their corporate tax breaks and their direct assistance to these greedy corporations, while ignoring the needs of the consumers and citizens and all of these irresponsible, corporate interest policies ultimately lead us into this crisis. So, if we are going to bail the financial institutions out, the least we could is protect the everyday people as well.

6) We need to add provisions about regulating the financial institutions.

7) Add in a provision for taxpayers to gain financially, if and when the corporations start making money.

If they want us to finance the corporations, they should compensate us. Stocks, shares etc., period.

8) Add in a provision to ensure there are no “sweetheart deals”.

Ensure that no one who was paid to make this decision is in charge of the money. No leaving the US government and going to work for Wall Street. We want there to be no ties. Corporate lobbyists have lined the pocket of too many of our politicians. They have owned the Administration for at least 8 years and look where it has gotten us.

I vote no. And if the “yes” votes win, then they had better stood up for the American people by adding in, at the very least, the previous 8 provisions.

Fundamentals and Economics by Magpie

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Make, sell and buy products. Starring in the Economy are consumers, manufacturers, corporations (often the latter two are one in the same) and, in today’s world, a whole mess of middle-men. You must make products (companies who hire workers to produce products) to sell (requiring stores, businesses etc. and workers) and then people (consumers) to buy these products. There are many theories on how to best manage an economy. We keep hearing about the fundamentals of our economy being strong or weak, depending on who you listen to…sadly enough. Let me tell you my thoughts on the real economic fundamentals politicians should be focused on right now.

Before people will shop or spend their money, they need the following things:

1. A roof over their head
2. Food on their plates
3. Electricity (yes, most of us have grown accustomed to that in this country)
4. Good health (which requires sufficient healthcare)
5. Gas/energy to get to and from work
6. Employment to provide the money necessary for the above

And finally…

7. Extras (these come after the fundamentals are procured).

However, if people cannot pay their mortgages (because they are victims of predatory lending born of the current Regime’s deregulation polices or because they have less money from the price-gouging of corporations on groceries, gas, electricity etc. or because they cannot find a job or are laid off or because corporate responsibility has flown out the window) and if they can’t buy enough groceries to feed their children or to pay for gas to get to and from work, or they fall ill and cannot get the proper care necessary for themselves, their children or their aging parents…then they will not be able to buy other stuff. Get it? If they cannot buy the “other stuff” then businesses suffer. Then businesses must cut jobs and/or employee benefits. And thus we spin towards a depression. You need only to examine the current financial situation to see this vicious cycle in action.

The fundamentals of economy are housing, groceries, gas/energy, and healthcare. This is true for the average American. Perhaps because the rich do not have the same concerns and they may think the fundamentals are different. However, if you ask the everyday American what is important to them, when they say economy, this is to what they are referring. They want their family’s basic needs met and to have a little extra money at the end of the day to buy bright and shiny things; to save a little extra for retirement and college funds; and to leave their children a little better off than they were left themselves. These are the fundamentals with which politicians should be concerned.

McCain, at best, gives lip service to these areas of the economy. He believes the fundamentals are strong. Oh, he is changing his tune the past week but if you didn’t know last week, we were in trouble… and it took a 500 point drop in the market and a ten point drop in your campaign lead to get it, you probably are not the most economically-savvy person for the Presidency. He does not truly understand what is fundamental for most of us. Simple enough mistake but simply too costly for everyday people to support his very different economic fundamentals by voting for him.

His idea of helping to immediately reduce the price of oil and groceries is to “send a strong message1 to the oil producing countries, as well as the oil companies, that prices are too high. Um, I think they already know this. They know they have us by the energy-throat and they are taking advantage of that. We need their services and they know it. Hrmmm… isn’t that the deregulated-corporate way McCain is in favor of? Doesn’t anyone else find it ironic that US oil companies are making windfall profits2 while the rest of us head into a economic (and quite possibly an emotional) depression? And yet, there is nothing in McCain’s plan to stop this corporate tomfoolery. No regulations? No consumer-assistance? No way! He is all about Corporate-welfare and idle threats. Neither will bring the prices down for us. Businesses want to make money. If they know you need a product, they will demand your first born, if they are allowed (READ DEREGULATION). But I will not even get started on how deregulation brings about corporate monopolies, resulting in the necessity to bail corporations with federal funds, ahem…AIG, which negates those greedy mongrels every argument about “welfare”. The difference between Republican spending and Democrat spending is who gets helped and why. Republicans wish to ensure the good “welfare” of corporations. Democrats wish to ensure the good “welfare” of people. Which category do you fall under? Which is more important to you?

McCain also plans to increase the value of the dollar (no mention of HOW he will do this btw, simple a pretty promise with no intellectual support) and theoretically this is supposed to reduce the price of oil. The idea that the value of the dollar directly affects the cost of oil is not that straightforward nor is it accurate.3 I understand it is easier to just believe what they are saying because it is frightening to think they may not have our best interest at heart after all, but WAKE UP AND THINK FOR A CHANGE!

What about McCain’s HOME PLAN? He plans on helping 200,000 to 400,000 homeowners facing foreclosure. That is nice, isn’t it? What about the other 1.8 to 1.6 MILLION homeowners facing foreclosure? Oh and his HOME plan EXCLUDES those who were victims of the predatory lending he advocated through deregulation, in the first place. How will this help the housing crisis?

And how will John McCain pay for his proposed tax cuts? His plan is to halt all discretionary spending for an entire year. Let’s see what falls under discretionary funding. The following programs (and this is not the majority, just some I found)…

Office for Victims of Crime
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Mental Health Facilities/Services
Drug and Alcohol Facilities
K-12 Education Budgets
Health Research
Housing
AmeriCorps (Full-time Community Service program)
HeadStart/ECEAP (Pre-school)
Rural Housing Services and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

So, as far as I can tell he plans on cutting programs, such as mental health, educational funding (K-12 people), crime victims assistance, etc. It seems this is not going to benefit the American people. No, no, he plans on cutting these programs rather than corporate taxes. Hrm, which will benefit you or harm you? Oops sorry Sally Victim, that guy who tortured you and your daughter… yea, he got out of prison today but you won’t know about it because that program was cut for a year. Oh, yea those pesky science labs in your 7th grade class… oops, those are gone too.

Perhaps the Obama campaign should start asking how McCain plans on funding his wars (Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, Iran…etc.) Or his corporate welfare… including the 3trillion dollars of debt for bailing out AIG. It was the deregulation policies that he (and others like him–like Bush) emphatically endorse which got us into this mess in the first place.

In theory, it sounds like a perfect plan to deregulate corporations. Theoretically, they will begin to flourish without extra costs and this will have a trickle down effect. The wealth they are making hand-over-fist, theoretically, will spill down to the rest of us, leaving lots of wealth for us to pick up at their feet. Now, this is quite possibly accurate in some respects. For example, it is true the deregulation policies have helped a lot of big corporations make a lot of money. However, these same corporations will step on anyone and everyone ensuring no one does take any of the trickled-down wealth. They hire middlemen to collect and return as much of that as possible. The middlemen’s reward for doing so? He too can keep a little of the trickled-down wealth but rest assured he’s not getting rich, he’s in foreclosure so he reallyneeds that extra money. And he’ll do just about anything to ensure he gets, including voting against his own best interest. This is where the majority of McCain voters are… at the feet of corporate America, groveling, begging, complaining, screaming, hoping they will survive financially. But are they?

When the corporations start to shove the excess money into their pockets, the windfall, record profits (as are seen with the oil companies for example, even while we are amidst an energy and economic crisis), where are the majority of the rest of us in this wealth-blizzard they are experiencing? Are we reallyseeing a trickle down effect? Or are they simply kicking us to bankruptcy, while lining their offshore bank accounts to ensure they do not have to pay taxes on their wealth?

And while we hear so much about pork-barrel spending… does anyone even really know what the helinski that means? They assume it is liberal spending on personal welfare, a concept attached to some deceptive, lazy person milking the system while everyone else works so hard. This is a fallacy. Look, liberals don’t want to reward lazy people. They simply believe the government should help people, citizens, not corporations. What is it you want to see your tax dollars spent on? The Republicans try to make it sound like liberals or Democrats waste your money. What in tarnation are they doing themselves with the money? Did the government bail us out, did it spend our tax money ensuring our children had a good education or that our homes were saved? Or did it get us into 3trillion dollars worth of additional debt to save us or a corporation? The Republicans do not save us money, they simply twist the facts to make it look as if the spending of money on people is somehow ludicrous and wasteful. How is spending tax money on taxpayers wasteful? But they will use an isolated account of one system-moocher to invoke the irritation you feel each time you pay a significant amount of your check towards taxes to throw you into a blind flurry about the excessive use of government funds used by the Democrats. This is nonsense. Do a little research. I dare you. Go look up the annual amount of corporate fraud.

The results of deregulation are a battered economy, a mortgage crisis, disproportionate wealth distribution; and disgruntled, disenfranchised customers left with no recourse…forced to deal with companies who couldn’t care less about them as individual consumers or even as groups of consumers. These corporations have fewer and fewer laws to bind them to the consumer, to stop them from taking advantage of the American people when we can least afford it. Smaller companies run by everyday people are gobbled up by the bigger companies and consumers are forced to do business with those 1 or 2 corrupt, multi-national conglomerates. And the corporations know this, anticipate their level of service being less than par and raise their prices accordingly. They know we are in need of oil, energy, communications, health care services, medicines, etc.

So you tell me…who has been and continues to prosper financially while the rest of us suffer? Drug companies, military industrial complexes, communication services, oil companies, electric companies, health-care insurance providers…etc. Saving money, second only to making money, motivates companies to outsource customer service, not only to other countries but simply to other companies or departments of their own corporation who do not care at all about consumers. Consumers get aggravated, but with no where to turn, are stuck getting their needs met by these corporate vampires. Diversity in the marketplace should buffer this, in theory, but in reality, with the deregulation of the big guys, the diversity in the marketplace is dwindling or simply not a realistic, viable option anymore.

Deregulation is not the answer. McCain supports deregulation emphatically. McCain is NOT the answer. We’ve seen what these policies have done for the people. We’ve seen what it has done for the business market. NOTHING good. NOTHING GOOD HAS COME FROM THE PAST EIGHT YEARS, unless you own an oil, telecommunications, financial or pharamceutical company. Since most of us do not, the tangible realities of their theoretical trickle-down effect are staring us in the face in the form of a mortgage crisis or a 500 point drop in the stock market, in the disappearance of our life’s savings, in the bill sitting on the table of the woman who worked every day since she graduated college only to lose her health care insurance a month after being diagnosed with cancer.

Enough is enough. Stop asking how Obama will pay for his economic plan when his includes helping improve the every day lives of the people funding the Federal Budget. Start asking how and why John McCain would rather focus on corporate welfare and illegitimate, unnecessary wars to the detriment of the everyday people, with our tax dollars. If he and Bush and the other billionaires want to rescue corporations or wage wars all over the world…let them do it with their own money. Our tax dollars should help US have a better life. Where was the referendum on bailing out these corporations? Where is the trickle-down effect from the deregulation policies?

Think people, think.

  1. http://www.johnmccain.com/Images/Issues/JobsforAmerica/briefing.pdf []
  2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/02/01/exxon-posts-record-profit_n_84463.html []
  3. http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2007/10/does_dollar_wea_1.html []

NUMBERS ANYONE?

Friday, September 19th, 2008

I have read my fair share of ranting asking how Obama will pay for his expansive budget plan. In particular the following parts are controversial to the Anti-Obama voters:

• A $65 billion-a-year health plan
• $15 billion in green energy spending
• $85 billion in tax cuts and credits
• A $25 billion-a-year increase in foreign aid
• $18 billion a year in education spending
• $3.5 billion for a national service plan

Oh the avaricious right would have you believe Obama is planning on spending, spending, spending…with no means to pay for it. This is a silly accusation. We, lefties, think in terms of people but we are not stupid. Some prefer numbers, even if they distort information to get them. But for the sake of prosperity, let’s discuss Obama’s economic plan on terms they can comprehend, figures. I was digging around in the federal budget for 2008 today, searching through hidden drawers, finding little tidbits to see what numbers I could use that would be fair and accurate. I found some.

In 2008, Bush requested a sum of $141,700,000,0001 (yes, folks BILLIONs) in appropriated (discretionary) funds to be allocated for Department of Defense emergency operations in the Global War on Terror. This is not base funding, it is not the mandatory funding allocated for defense…it is in addition to it, it is extra emergency SUPPLEMENTAL funding allocated for the “War on Terror”. This money is even above and beyond the $70,000,000,000 ($70.0 BILLION) allocated in the 2007 Defense Appropriations Act for such purposes. This is $388,219,178.10 per day in ADDITIONAL emergency supplemental funds (back-up to the back-up emergency funds) allocated to a war that should have never been started and will not continue, if Obama becomes President.

This is a good number to begin with, don’t you think? It is not the regular budget. It is not the defense budget (which can be argued and skewed in every direction). This is simply surplus-surplus funds (not as in extra money we have to spend frivolously but simply extra money allocated frivolously) sent over to this illegitimate war, a war Obama never wanted us to get into and fully intends on pulling us out of as soon as safely possible, upon election. A war McCain supported from the beginning and has no solid intention or concrete plan on ending.

That money alone would pay for the majority of “spending” Obama has planned. Let’s look at the remaining amount. $211.5 Billion dollars was the original amount of the “offensive suggestions”, right? Subtract the $141.7 billion (just one year’s supplemental back-up emergency funding for the war that will end under Obama) and this leaves a balance of $69.8 billion.

Let’s not forget Obama’s budget will provide a comprehensive health care plan for everyone, green energy spending (READ: LEGITIMATE MEANS TO END DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL AND GET US OUT OF THE ENERGY CRISIS WE ARE IN), $85 billion in tax cuts and credits for 95% of American households (immediate and long-term financial relief), more foreign aid (which will help improve foreign relations, which…um, will, uh, help reinforce the allies we have not alienated in the past eight years through our excessive use of military might, ignoring our own international agreements and throwing diplomacy out the proverbial window), a better educational system (paying teachers more, focusing on math and science to ensure our future generation is competitive in the technology of tomorrow, helping families afford college etc.) and expands our national service plan (helping people to work within their own communities to improve their own lives and the lives of others, to improve the community and the country as a whole).

However, I digress, back to the $69.8 billion dollars that needs a home in the budget.

Let’s eliminate the tax cuts for the richest 10% of Americans (who hold over 70% of the nation’s wealth)2 GASP! Or we can simply deny the additional $70 billion Bush requested for the 2009 version of the $70 billion extra supplemental funds asked for this year, to fund his War on Terror. Looks like the rich don’t even have to help. Simply ending the excessive spending on a war that Obama does not support will pay for all of his proposed spending with some left over ($200,000!).

But, now that I have done all this research, let’s play with the numbers a little, shall we?.

Pretend for a moment, not that we steal from the rich, but that we make them pay the taxes they should already be paying. After all, our taxing system is progressive. It was introduced as progressive, accepted as such and should remain as such. Translation: each person pays as per their income. The rich will pay more than the poor, but such is the progressive tax system in the United States.

The rich can afford more, so they should pay more…period.

If Richie Rich earns a billion dollars, he should have to pay the appropriate amount of taxes. Lisa Lackey is underemployed, she still pays her fair share even if she can’t afford them. Joe Average, gets a promotion and doesn’t see it all reflected on his next paycheck but he continues to pay his taxes as well. Lisa and Joe continue working hard to get promotions, hoping someday they can retire without financial worries. And both still pay their fair share year after year because neither can afford the same accountant who ensures Richie Rich receives fat and unnecessary tax-breaks.

Let’s for fun (hypothetically) take away the $116.6 billion in tax cuts for the richest 10% in FY 2009 and see what sort of fun we can have…

We could provide:3
34,365,274 People with Health Care for One Year OR
120,711,046 Homes with Renewable Electricity for One Year OR
2,518,359 Public Safety Officers for One year OR
1,999,571 Music and Arts Teachers for One Year OR
18,027,211 Scholarships for University Students for One Year OR
907,020 Affordable Housing Units OR
51,391,674 Children with Health Care for One Year OR
16,001,098 Head Start Places for Children for One Year OR
1,915,400 Elementary School Teachers for One Year OR
1,684,667 Port Container Inspectors for One year

Healthy, smart fun for everyone! Why don’t we discuss the realistic trickle down effects of this kind of spending rather than the non-existent theoretical trickle-down effects of laissez-faire type of economy the right-wing philistines prefer? Those who consistently bark about the unnecessary governmental spending by the Liberals, conveniently forget or justify their own spending (unnecessary wars, big corporations, corporate welfare due to excessive to excessive de-regulations, tax cuts for the rich…etc.)

Make no mistake about it, we are not talking about our everyday budgets here. We are talking about the country’s budget. Numbers look larger, more frightening, perhaps even irritating when we, the citizens, are struggling to make ends meet but Obama’s numbers are no bigger than McCain’s or any other President in the past for that matter. And Obama does have a plan on how to come up with the money. Numbers, such as these, seem astronomical to the average American but every national budget plan is more or less the allocation of our tax dollars to different priorities. So, ask yourself, do you want to take care of the economy with the same policies that got us here? Or do you want to try a sensible way?

  1. http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy08/pdf/budget/defense.pdf []
  2. http://solutions.powersimsolutions.com/Ranking/HistoricalPerspective.aspx []
  3. http://www.nationalpriorities.org/tradeoffs?location_type=1&state=888&program=276&tradeoff_item_item=999&submit_tradeoffs=Get+Trade+Off []