Takes One to Know One -- Maybe it was a Freudian slip, but out on the campaign trail last week, President Bush offered another justification for his big tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. At a stop in Virginia, he slammed John Kerry for wanting to eliminate those tax cuts, saying "the rich in America happen to be small business owners" who put people to work. But then he added that "the really rich people figure out how to dodge taxes anyway."
Big Spenders -- The Bush campaign was proud of itself for calculating how much the programs John Kerry was promoting out on the campaign trail would cost -- $2 trillion over the next 10 years, they figured. But then, at his Sept. 2 speech accepting his party's nomination in New York, Bush ran through his own litany of proposals. The Washington Post added them up, calculating the cost of the president's own wish list at $3 trillion over the next decade. Hey, what's a trillion here or there? It's an election year!
$20,000 -- That's how much each American household, on average, ponied up for government spending in 2003, according to a study by the Heritage Foundation. It's the first time since World War II that the United States has exceeded that $20,000-per-household mark.
The H-Bomb -- When John Edwards squares off against Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday in Cleveland, he might toss the name "Halliburton" in there a few times. Or maybe in every other sentence. Here's why:
Prior to the war in Iraq, Halliburton sat at No. 19 on the list of contractors for the U.S. Army; today, it's No. 1. Last year, the company banked $4.2 billion from their contracts in Iraq -- contracts they didn't even have to bid compet-itively on. And that's just so far; the total deal is worth around $7 billion. Meanwhile, Cheney continues to benefit from the company's performance, raising some conflict-of-interest alarms. In 2003, Cheney got $178,437 for his past affiliation with the company.
$1 Billion -- That's how much the United States is spending in Iraq every week. The Pentagon has had to tap a $25 billion contingency fund earlier than expected, and according to Reuters that will likely mean that they'll be out of funds before Christmas. Previously, the admin-istration had planned to ask for more money -- as much as $75 billion more -- in February.