Thursday, October 21, 2010

Of Food Stamps & The Butcher's Bill

Another day, another $25.78.

There are 98,501 American soldiers in Afghanistan, 52,001 in Iraq, and 369,000 troops deployed outside the United States and her territories. Most of them are in Germany, where my father served in the 599th Artillery Battalion out of Schwäbisch Gmünd, and Japan (together, close to 90,000). The sun never sets on the American Empire.

On average, 84 people are murdered every day in the US with a gun of some type, form or design.

51 million people in the US have no health insurance whatsoever. The American Journal of Public Health recently reported the results of a Harvard University study that estimates 45,000 US citizens die every year from ailments that went untreated due to a lack of coverage. The top five health insurers (United, Wellpoint, Atena, Humana and Cigna) cleared $12.5 billion in profit. Membership in those plans dropped, on average, 4 percent.

Over the last decade, CEO salaries of the top 10 insurers added up to $944 million dollars (UnitedHealth Group, WellPoint, Aetna, CIGNA, Humana, Coventry Health Care, Health Net, Amerigroup, Centene and Universal American).

Almost 2.5 million people are currently being held in US prisons, more than any other country on Earth. In addition to that, about 100,000 children are held in juvenile facilities. Rates of incarceration have skyrocketed.

It costs about $30,000 a year to keep an inmate in Federal prison, annually.

The average Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program ("food stamp") benefit is $1,596, annually.

According to The Budget for Fiscal Year 2008, Historical Tables, total outlays for Means Tested Entitlements in 2006 were $354.3 billion. This was 2.7% of GDP and included food stamps, welfare contingency fund, temporary assistance to needy families, and veterans pensions. (page 133, table 8.1).

As of September, 2010, the War in Afghanistan has cost a total of $350 billion.

As of September, 2010, the War in Iraq has cost a total of $800 billion.

For me, it's another day, another $25.67!

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