April 15th, Taxes, and Education (well, kind of...)

Anybody griping over their taxes, this year in particular, should pause and reflect on how much good is being done with the tax money the Federal government collects.

One need look no further than education. Under the current Administration, billions upon billions have gone into educational projects...in Iraq...and not for schools or books.

Last week the State Department issued a report that pointed out the $18.4 billion Iraq reconstruction effort was in disarray. It, along with other reports, calls for a major redesign of funding for the program. That would be the third funding change in the program from its inception.

Problems cited, among others, were the hiring of foreign companies rather than Iraqi companies resulting in high unemployment which, in turn, continued to fuel the insurgency; performance and overcharging problems from Halliburton and its subsidiary KBR (formerly-Kellogg, Brown, and Root) that led to an issuance of a possible termination of contract letter and a freezing of some funds while matters were sorted out; irregularities like having to pay contractors even when they don't work for security reasons; contractor delays; and the overall lack of a coherent plan to implement a reconstruction effort.

But anyone who thinks that this is gross mismanagement on the part of the U.S. and/or American contractors or, worse, a cloak of gross mismanagement to hide a looting of the treasury by well-connected corporations looking for returns on their campaign contributions, should listen closely to Mark Oviatt. He oversees water projects for USAID and his assessment is that the "reconstruction process" hasn't "been a waste of money so much as an expensive lesson learned for all parties involved."

As should be clear then, part of the taxes everybody has to pay goes towards lessons. "Lessons" are part of the educational process. Using the approved "Logic Guide" published by the Heritage and AEI tanked-thinkers, it then goes without saying that taxpayer funds are improving the country's knowledge base and will prove invaluable in future unprovoked wars. All of this is clearly spelled out in the Administration's, "Leave No Wartime Contractor Behind" program.

Sleep well. You're contributing to the enlightenment of asset rich but, self-admittedly, knowledge poor leaders in business and government.



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