The office of the Justice Department inspector general on Friday retracted its much publicized claim that the agency had spent $16 per breakfast muffin at a conference. And it expressed regret for the "significant negative publicity" for the department and for the hotel that hosted the meeting that resulted from the erroneous finding in a report last month. [...]
[T]he department and the hotel, the Capital Hilton, said the cost of the breakfast had included not only muffins but also fruit, coffee, juice, taxes and a gratuity for the servers. It was also part of a package with the hotel that included "free" use of a ballroom and a dozen meeting rooms during the five-day conference.
In a new introduction to a revised report issued on Friday, the Office of the Inspector General said it had reviewed additional paperwork and now agreed that its conclusions "were incorrect and that the Department did not pay $16 per muffin."
How did we get a more thorough investigation of the $16 muffins that never were than we did of the $9 billion in cash that went "missing" in Iraq?
Full accounting for the muffins. Still don't know where the billions of dollars in shrink wrapped $100 bills went.
It was reported the other day that the Dems on the Super-Committee are now proposing even bigger cuts in Medicare and cut Social Security. The total cuts now stand at $3 Trillion.
Yes, we get the fact that the GOP is not going to accept any deal that includes any tax rises for the 1%. So Democrats can appear to be reasonable by making offers they know the GOP will refuse. But offering to give away the store is still a boneheaded strategy. It moves the terms of debate from 'what caused the deficit' to 'what are we going to cut to pay for it'.
Per capita, the US is one of the richest countries in the world. It should be able to easily afford the welfare and universal healthcare systems that every other major industrial power provides. The only reason that there is any deficit issue is that the 1% don't pay their fair share and the US spends as much on militarism as the rest of the planet combined.
The US does not have a 'defense' budget. There was nothing defensive about the Iraq war. There is nothing defensive about attempting global hegemony. Bush sent the country to war in Iraq because he thought the US military so strong that the invasion would be a 'cake walk'. Having a military that is too strong makes the US less safe: The US has to join in every war that comes along.
Letting the automatic cuts in the military budget kick in is probably the best chance we have for achieving a modest reduction in military spending and thus making the country safer.
The deficit was caused by tax cuts for the 1% and the invasion of Iraq.
I'd say less than one percent of the one percenters got there by dint of their own effort. It's interesting that many of those who did - Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, George Soros - are conspicuously generous with their money in donating substantial sums to charitable causes.
The rest of the rich are cheaters.)###