domestic disuse

G. W. Bush at 9/11 football game in Dallas… A football fan who angered another man by not standing during the national anthem is attacked with a Taser.

Record 46.2 million Americans live in poverty, Census Bureau says.

That’s 1 in 6.

The poverty threshold last year was an income of $11,139 for one person and $22,314 for a family of four.

Warren Buffet, the third richest man in world:

“Our leaders have asked for ‘shared sacrifice.’ But when they did the asking, they spared me. … While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks … [from] a billionaire-friendly Congress.”

War after 9/11 reaches $3.3 trillion. While not all of the costs have been borne by the government — and some are still to come — this total equals one-fifth of the current national debt.

  • Congressional Research Service (war funding);
  • Congressional Budget Office (war funding,health care to date);
  • Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes, “The Three Trillion Dollar War,” and updates by the authors (veterans’ care, disability payments to date, estimates of value of life for war casualties);
  • John Mueller and Mark G. Stewart, “Terror, Security and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security”(homeland security);
  • Garrick Blalock, Cornell University (drivingdeaths);
  • “Terrorism, Economic Development, and Political Openness” (lost time at airports in 2004);
  • Adam Rose, Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events at the University of Southern California (economic impact);
  • Insurance Information Institute (event cancellation);
  • Office of the New York City Comptroller (2002 estimates of physical damage);
  • ‘Costs of War’ project, Eisenhower Research Project at Brown University (cost of war,including indirect defense costs);
  • Todd Harrison, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (possible future war spending);
  • Department of Defense (Pentagon repair,defense spending deflators);
  • Bureau of Economic Analysis (G.D.P. deflators);
  • All value of life calculations are based on E.P.A. guidelines used to evaluate new regulations.Current guidelines suggest the value of life is around $8 million, but estimates vary widely.

Gerald Caplan at Toronto’s Globe & Mail:

Ten years after the trauma of 9/11, the richest 1 per cent of American households earn as much as the bottom 60 per cent and have as much wealth as the bottom 90 per cent. But you ain’t seen nothing yet. Combine low taxes with tax credits, tax havens and tax loopholes, and you’ll come upon a capitalist nirvana where many of the largest corporations pay no taxes at all and where, according to estimates by the Tax Justice Network, trillions of corporate dollars are hidden away, costing perhaps a quarter of a trillion dollars in foregone taxes. No prizes for guessing where it goes instead of to the public good.

There are more filthy rich folks now than at any other moment in history and they’re leveraging their astounding wealth to make sure they get filthier at the expense of the rest of us, still of course the vast majority. What is true of America is equally true of Britain and increasingly true of Canada. While the middle class shrinks, the working class slips backwards and social mobility erodes, the rich buy themselves politicians, lobbyists, legal beagles, slick accountants, “trained economists,” television networks, “think” tanks and whatever other apparatus is needed to make them even richer. Their success surpasses even the most piggish of expectations.

Osama bin Laden inflicted a terrible crime on the American people. America’s elites and their allies have done the rest.