Saturday, July 28, 2012

Democrats introduce bill to raise minimum wage to $9.80

  By Laura Clawson for Daily Kos Labor on Fri Jul 27, 2012

More than 100 House Democrats introduced a bill Thursday to raise the minimum wage. Rep. George Miller's proposed legislation would raise the minimum wage to $9.80 over three years, 85 cents per year, then link it to inflation, so that raising it wouldn't have to be a giant political fight every few years. Tipped workers, who haven't seen their $2.13 minimum wage increased since 1991, would get 85 cent raises until the tipped minimum was 70 percent of the full minimum wage.

"Anyone who works hard and plays by the rules should not live in poverty. Yet 47 million Americans now qualify as the working poor. Raising the minimum wage helps families make ends meet," Miller said in a statement accompanying the bill.

If you work at the current minimum wage for 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, with no time off at all, the $15,080 you earn puts you $50 below the poverty threshold for a family of two. That—and the fact that many minimum wage employers keep workers at part-time levels—is why so many working people are forced to rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Medicaid and other aid programs. It shouldn't be controversial to say that if you work, you shouldn't be poor. But to today's Republican Party, that counts as a radical statement.

Raising the minimum wage won't even come up for a vote in Speaker John Boehner's House. We need a Democratic majority and Speaker Pelosi for that, just as we did in 2006 when Republicans had been blocking minimum wage increases for years. If ever you're tempted to think there's not enough difference between Democrats and Republicans to bother voting, remember that Democrats are the ones trying to give 28 million workers a raise in a way that will stimulate the economy.

Cost Of Repealing Obamacare

   On Tuesday, the CBO ( Congressional Budget Office ) provide a letter with an estimate of how much it will cost to repeal the Affordable Care Act, to House Speaker John Boehner, not that he will pay any attention to it.

    The CBO found “ "the direct spending and revenue effects of enacting that legislation would cause a net increase in federal budget deficits of $109 billion over the 2013-2022 period."

The primary reason for the deficit increase, the report showed, was the repeal of several tax increases within the health care law. While the repeal bill would reduce direct federal spending by $890 billion over that period, it would also slash more than $1 trillion in new taxes.     Yahoo News

   So in essence, Boehner and his band of merry men, being the deficit hawks trying to cut government spending, will add to that spending/deficit.

In a separate analysis, the CBO also measured the impact of the June Supreme Court ruling that struck down parts of the health care law but left core provisions intact, and found that it would save $84 billion because of reduced Medicaid spending.

The CBO estimated in 2011 that the health care law would reduce the federal deficit by $210 billion over 10 years because of the law's revenue increases.

   Once again, the Republicans prove that they do not care about cutting spending unless it happens to programs which affect the middle class and the poor.

  If by some chance Romney makes it into the White House, you can bet your asses that those deficits will no longer matter.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Funnies:Mitt Romney: He B Stupid In Britain Edition


The dynamic dimwit is in London doing what he does best, embarrassing himself while he does the same to America with his ignorant remarks about the Olympics.

"It's hard to know just how well [the 2012 London Olympics] will turn out. There are a few things that were disconcerting. The stories about the private security firm not having enough people, the supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials, that obviously is not something which is encouraging."  NBC chat with Brian Williams.

   The British press had a few things to say to Romney:

"Mitt Romney is perhaps the only politician who could start a trip that was supposed to be a charm offensive by being utterly devoid of charm and mildly offensive," The Telegraph posted an op-ed.

British Prime Minister David Cameron fired back:

"We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere," Cameron said, referring to the 2002 Winter Olympics Romney ran in Salt Lake Ciy, Utah
And London's Mayor also taunted Romney during an Olympic torch ceremony in Hype Park:
"I hear there's a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we're ready. Are we ready?"
Romney was also widely mocked on Twitter:

"We have not been at war with Britain since 1812. Well done, Mitt!" Andy Borowitz Tweeted.


Jay Leno: "Congresswoman Michele Bachmann wants an investigation as to whether Islamists have infiltrated the highest levels of the federal government. You know what's really frightening? After listening to Michele Bachmann, you realize idiots have infiltrated the highest levels of the federal government." –Jay Leno

"Mitt Romney's search for a vice president continues As you know, one of Mitt Romney's problems is that he's never hired an American for a job before, so this is new."

"The apartment that President Obama used to live in when he was a college student in New York is now up for rent for $2,400 a month. Coincidentally, Obama was only there for one four-year term."
"A new study published by The British Medical Journal found that inactivity can kill you. I mean, these are the kind of findings that just scare the hell out of Congress."


Conan O'Brien: "The poverty rate is now at its highest since the 1960s. It's gotten so bad that Mitt Romney's butler let his butler go."

Jimmy Fallon: "Mitt Romney will travel to London where he will attend the Olympics opening ceremony . Of course it's going ot be weird when they're announcing all the countries, and he's like 'Got a bank account there, got one there, two bank accounts there."


Will Rush Limbaugh Be Done In By His Vulture Capitalist Hero’s?

   The pill-popper has already lost a boatload of advertisers, and that is still continuing. It looks as if his hero’s are beginning to ransack Clear Channel, which is the parent company of conservative blabbers syndicator, Premiere Networks.

Richard Myers on Tue Jul 24, 2012      Original

Rush Limbaugh has lost countless millions in advertising revenues for his syndicator and other radio networks, and the drip-drip-drip continues: Wal-mart's "Sam's Club" has just pulled advertising, and eBay has also joined the exodus. These follow closely on UPS abandoning Rush. Yet the greatest long term damage is likely to come from the exit of hundreds of small companies that do not make the news. In spite of the media largely losing interest in the Limbaugh boycott story, the StopRush effort is continuing to grow. For example, a new video featuring Rush Limbaugh's incessant attacks on working people and unions and a recent Daily Kos diary that made the front page brought in hundreds of new activists.

No one knows how many total advertisers (national and local, large and small) have dropped, but estimates I've heard put the number well above seven hundred. Radio stations have been forced to seek new sponsors for Limbaugh, and also for other radio talk show hosts impacted by collateral damage from the boycott.

Rush Limbaugh's response to the social media firestorm has largely been ineffective. Rush appears to have given up on Twitter, and the only two posts in the past six weeks on his "Rush Babes For America" Facebook page simply linked to his thoughts on a popular erotic tome -- which one might have thought a hot topic for the Rush Babes. Unfortunately for Rush, the absence of new content over the last six weeks has resulted in a drop-off in interest, as indicated by the dramatically lower number of Rush Babe responses.

A few months ago Mark Frauenfelder predicted a "perfect storm" for right wing talk radio: listener demographics, technological change, and the advertiser backlash all have been taking a toll. But another threat to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, et al, looms on the horizon, and comes from a very different direction: vulture capital. None other than Mitt Romney's Bain Capital owns Clear Channel, which is the parent of the conservative talkers' syndicator, Premiere Networks. Clear Channel recently downsized, simultaneous with Bain Capital squeezing the company through a forced 2.2 billion dollar dividend. (This is one of the mechanisms by which Mitt Romney and friends have amassed their fortunes -- sucking cash out of troubled corporations, subsequently allowing some of them to go bankrupt.) Clear Channel was already 19.2 billion dollars in debt, and is facing a shareholder lawsuit related to loans between different Clear Channel entities that were used to cover the huge payout. In spite of crushing debt, Clear Channel is "splashing the cash" in "an attempt to rebrand itself as a hip digital music giant." Meanwhile, some are downgrading Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, the Clear Channel billboard entity, and recommending investment in their competition.

Essentially, the corporate structure is Bain Capital on top, pulling strings through Clear Channel Media Holdings, which is the parent to the other Clear Channel entities. Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings was tapped for a loan to finance the dividend, and this has enraged its shareholders. Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings isn't Clear Channel, but the two sibling companies are closely related, with nearly ninety percent overlap according to one source. Therefore, one might expect the health of one corporate subdivision to reflect the health of the other. Since the dividend payout to Bain Capital in March, the stock price for Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings has dropped by two thirds.

More privately held Clear Channel's valuation is not so easy to determine. Even so, what is the future of a company deep in debt that is "splashing the cash", and what might the impact be on conservative shock jocks? Obviously, Rush Limbaugh is extremely useful to the conservative cause, and is likely to survive (even while bleeding advertisers) through the next election, and possibly for many months beyond. (It took 20 months to force Glen Beck off of Fox News.) But Clear Channel has payments of "$2.8 billion due in 2014 and $12.2 billion due in 2016." The question becomes, will Clear Channel succumb to vulture greed the way so many other companies have?

StopRush is obviously damaging to Rush, but what irony that the very cutthroat capitalism Rush Limbaugh so strenuously champions may pound the last few nails into the coffin of conservative talk radio, at least as presently constituted. (If you're on Facebook, join the StopRush cause here.)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Where is Obama’s Promised Minimum-Wage Hike?

By Ralph Nader on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 by Reuters via CommonDreams

During the 2008 campaign, presidential candidate Barack Obama made a pledge to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 per hour by 2011. Promises like this one inspired a generation of young voters, excited long-neglected progressive voters and gave hope to millions of his supporters across the country.

President Obama ran a campaign of soaring rhetoric and uplifting ideas. Amidst two unpopular wars, a rapidly deteriorating financial crisis and the wildly unpopular presidency of George W. Bush, Americans were desperate for a change. He was viewed as a “transformational” candidate, a president who would turn the page on the stagnant politics of Washington.

It is now four years later, and there has been no increase to the minimum wage. There has been no congressional vote, much less a whisper from the White House on the minimum wage.

President Obama understood the importance of this issue in 2008. The merits of raising the minimum wage haven’t changed since then, but his political courage has. The inflation-adjusted value of the minimum wage has been in decline since the 1960s, losing over 30 percent of its value and leaving hard-working Americans struggling to get by from paycheck to paycheck. At the same time, the cost of living has continued to rise steadily, further eroding the value of a minimum wage. Had the minimum wage kept pace with inflation since 1968, today it would be at $10.57 per hour, instead of the current federal minimum wage of $7.25.

Studies show that the minimum wage could help jump-start the economy and increase consumer spending. A 2011 study by the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank found that for every dollar increase to the hourly pay of a minimum wage worker, the result is $2,800 in new consumer spending from that worker’s household over the year. And a 2009 study from the Economic Policy Institute estimated that simply by raising the minimum wage to $9.50 per hour, $60 billion in additional spending would be added to the economy over a two-year period.

Opponents of raising the minimum wage claim that it would increase unemployment. In fact, most studies not funded by front groups show that raising the minimum wage has no or little impact on unemployment. Also, small business has already received 17 tax breaks during the Obama presidency.

The Barack Obama of the 2008 campaign would have stood up against these distortions. Instead, President Barack Obama’s absence of leadership on this issue is shameful. Four separate pieces of legislation have been introduced in the current Congress to raise the minimum wage, by Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. (Illinois, 2nd District), Representative Al Green (Texas, 9th), Representative Rosa DeLauro (Connecticut, 3rd), and Senator Tom Harkin (Iowa). The Democratic leadership in Congress and the White House has ignored these bills.

If President Obama is deliberately remaining silent on raising the minimum wage because of a political calculation, it is a calculation based on fuzzy math. A recent poll by John Zogby shows that 70 percent of likely voters support raising the minimum wage. Poll after poll has confirmed that result. On top of its popularity, raising the minimum wage could help turn the economy around, and it is an issue that speaks directly to the 30 million workers stranded between the $7.25 and $10 span of wages.

And why not? The U.S. has the lowest minimum wage by far among large Western industrialized countries.

Poorer voters have notoriously low voter turnout rates. They represent a voter bloc that, because of this fact, is usually written off by political consultants and strategists. But has anyone ever stopped to ask why it is that they don’t vote? Could it be that they don’t feel as though the typical slate of politicians and candidates speaks to the issues they care about? They may not have the money to make campaign contributions, but to write them off so easily in a close election is foolish. With a growing number of individuals below the poverty line, even a slight increase in voter turnout from one election year to the next could make a difference.

In 10 swing states – Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia – more than 6.5 million voting-age individuals are below the federal poverty line. What was President Obama’s combined margin of victory in those 10 states in 2008? Less than 2 million votes. Florida has a total of nearly 1.8 million potential voters below the poverty line. There are 246,000 workers in Florida being paid at or below the minimum wage. What was President Obama’s margin of victory in Florida in 2008? Slightly more than 204,000 votes. Similarly, North Carolina has nearly 1 million potential voters who are below the poverty line. Among North Carolina’s hourly workers, 140,000 are paid at or below the minimum wage. President Obama’s margin of victory in North Carolina in 2008? Less than 14,000 votes.

Both Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, until he waffled earlier this year, have been clearly on the record as backing a minimum wage that keeps up with inflation. What other issue is as popular with voters, speaks directly to such a large bloc of deserving Americans, could benefit the economy, and – simply put – is the right thing to do?

                                © 2012 Reuters


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Corporation That Paid Nothing In Taxes For Four Years Tells Congress It Pays Too Much In Taxes

  File this one under “ Only in America.”

By Travis Waldron on Jul 20, 2012 at

Over a four years period from 2008 to 2011, Corning Inc. was one of 26 companies that managed to avoid paying any American income taxes, even though it earned nearly $3 billion during that time. In fact, according to Citizens For Tax Justice, the company received a $4 million refund from 2008 to 2010. That didn’t stop Susan Ford, a senior executive at the company, from telling the House Ways and Means Committee this week that America’s high corporate tax rate was putting her company at a disadvantage:

American manufacturers are at a distinct disadvantage to competitors headquartered in other countries. Specifically, foreign manufacturers uniformly face a lower corporate tax rate than U.S. manufacturers, and virtually all operate under territorial systems which encourage investment both abroad and at home.

Ford told the committee that Corning paid an effective tax rate of 36 percent in 2011, but as CTJ notes, she is counting taxes on profits earned overseas that haven’t yet been paid and won’t be unless the company decides to bring the money back to the United States. Corning’s actual tax rate in 2011, according to CTJ’s analysis, was actually negative 0.2 percent.

The territorial system Ford testified in favor of would actually encourage the offshoring of profits earned by American companies, thereby reducing the amount they pay in taxes even more. And rather than helping remove a disadvantage that prevents companies from creating jobs, an economic analysis of such a tax system found that it could actually cost the United States as many as 800,000 jobs.

The United States does, indeed, have one of the highest marginal corporate tax rates in the world. In reality, however, few corporations pay it, and the nation’s effective tax rate is far lower than the rate in other developed countries.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Corporate CEO Donates His $3 Million Bonus To Company’s Lower-Paid Workers

   Another good reason for this blogger to continue buying Lenovo laptops.

By Travis Waldron on Jul 23, 2012 at

Yang Yuanqing, the chief executive of computer distributing company Lenovo, has decided to distribute his $3 million bonus to 10,000 of his company’s lower-paid workers, many of whom are manufacturers in the company’s Chinese plants. Each worker will receive about $317 worth of the bonus, an amount that roughly equals the average monthly salary of Chinese factory workers. Yang, who made $14 million last year, made the decision because the “strength of the company’s business performance to workers on the production line,” according to news reports. In the United States, CEO pay has risen 127 times faster than worker pay over the last three decades, and even as CEOs rake in massive bonuses, they continue to extract benefits from the workers they employ.

A Question for Republicans

Yo. You F*%#in' Stupid?

By Crashing Vor Wed Jul 18, 2012  @ DKos

Yo, 'Publican homes. Straighten me here. You fuckin' stupid?

You heard me. Askin' a straight question. You fuckin' stupid or what? Want me to spell it? You read, right? Know numbers and shit?

Hope so. You did sign those checks to the IRS the last couple years. The ones with the lower numbers than before, right? But you keep meeping about how your taxes have gone up. So, what? The IRS secretly sneaking into your account and taking extra money while you're sleeping or what? Or you just fuckin' stupid?

'Member when your cousin got married in Hawaii, how great that was? The beaches and roast pig and shit? Remember how you had to show your passport at the airport? No? 'Cause you didn't. 'Cause Hawaii's in America, stupid. Just like it was when the president was born there. You know that, right? Or are you just fuckin' stupid?

I know there's some shit you do know. I see you poring over the gun magazines and hear you talking about relative muzzle velocities and takedown loads. Since you're so smart about guns, you do know that, since George Bush left office, gun laws have gotten less strict, how it's easier now to travel and go on vacation with loaded and concealed pieces, right? Or are you just fuckin' stupid?

I notice you've still got private health insurance. I see your boy's still on your policy, too, even though he's out of school. So I figure you understand the law you call Obamacare didn't end health insurance as we know it, right? Nobody's sent you to any death panels, have they? You dig it's the same system with a little more access, don't you? Or are you just fuckin' stupid?

Love the new truck, man. Like a rock and all that shit. Suppose you understand that you only got that truck because the big, bad federal government saved General Motors, right? Or are you just fuckin' stupid?

Big truck like that must burn a lot, huh? Good thing we're pumping more oil than ever, making more of our own than we have in years, huh? You knew that, right? Or are you just fuckin' stupid?

Glad your oldest is back. That was a bad bit of business. So glad the president brought that useless-ass war to an end, just like he promised. You do know he said he'd do that, right, bring your boy home? And the other guy said it was a bad idea, right? Or are you just fuckin' stupid?

Pick up up your jaw, son, and quit lookin' at me like you're stupid. Yeah, I'm askin' you straight out: Are. You. Fucking. Stupid?

Or is it something else?

Are you pretending to be stupid, playing a big, old stupid game of stupid, hoping that if everyone stays stupid enough, maybe they'll vote against a guy who you don't happen to like? Is that it? Hoping stupid's gonna win the day?

Even worse, are you trying to make other people stupid, so they'll vote the way you want them to?

There's no sin in being stupid, though there is a price. But trying to make other people stupid for your own game, yeah that's a sin. Pretty damn serious one, too.

So, are you fuckin' stupid? Or fuckin' evil?

Dude, where's my $10 trillion?

   The following is an economics class for those mathematically impaired Tea Party supporters. May as well include Republicans in general.

   It comes by way of  Jon Perr aka Avenging Angel at Daily Kos    Sun Jul 22, 2012

With the year-end expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the looming "sequestration" of $1.2 trillion they agreed to during their debt ceiling hostage-taking last summer, the message from Republican leaders is the same as it ever was. Taxes (especially for the rich) must not go up, defense spending must not go down, and the increasing national debt is all Barack Obama's fault.

The coming "fiscal cliff" brought Dick Cheney, the same man who as vice president boasted that "Reagan proved deficits don't matter," back to Washington this week to get Congressional Republicans "ginned up" to prevent the $600 billion Pentagon sequester. Meanwhile, the GOP leadership team of Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), John Boehner (R-OH) and Eric Cantor (R-VA) sent a letter to President Obama to demand a replacement for the defense cuts, one which of course must not include "tax increase proposals that face bipartisan congressional opposition." And on the campaign trail, would-be Romney running mate and former Bush Office of Management and Budget Chief Rob Portman (R-OH) warned that "we're going broke."

Of course, the United States is not going broke. But thanks to the Bush tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, by 2020 the U.S. Treasury will be roughly $10 trillion poorer than it would otherwise have been. And these guys supported all of it.

As you'll recall, George W. Bush entered the White House having inherited a balanced budget and CBO forecast of a $5.6 trillion surplus over 10 years. Noting that "'the federal budget will have the second largest surplus in history," President Bush moved forward with the massive tax cuts of 2001. But even as the World Trade Center site was still smoldering, Bush, in the wake of the September 11 attacks, told the American people not to sacrifice but to go shopping and "get down to Disney World." And in 2003, George W. Bush became the first modern president to cut taxes during wartime. (It should be noted that Barack Obama became the second.)

And so, the fiscal hemorrhaging began. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Medicare prescription drug program and, most of all, the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 rapidly drained Uncle Sam's coffers. Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and Eric Cantor voted for all of it. And along with large majorities of the Republicans in the House and Senate, they voted seven times during Bush's tenure to raise the debt ceiling as well.

For his part, President Bush promised that "you cut taxes and the tax revenues increase." As it turned out, not so much. In words and pictures, the New York Times told the tale a year ago:

As the Washington Post summed up the CBO's conclusions regarding the causes of the nation's mounting debt earlier this year, "The biggest culprit, by far, has been an erosion of tax revenue triggered largely by two recessions and multiple rounds of tax cuts." The analysis by the Times echoed that finding:

With President Obama and Republican leaders calling for cutting the budget by trillions over the next 10 years, it is worth asking how we got here -- from healthy surpluses at the end of the Clinton era, and the promise of future surpluses, to nine straight years of deficits, including the $1.3 trillion shortfall in 2010. The answer is largely the Bush-era tax cuts, war spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, and recessions.
But as Ezra Klein explained in the Washington Post, the revealing Times chart doesn't tell the full story of the impact of Bush-era policies on future debt facing Barack Obama:
What's also important, but not evident, on this chart is that Obama's major expenses were temporary -- the stimulus is over now -- while Bush's were, effectively, recurring. The Bush tax cuts didn't just lower revenue for 10 years. It's clear now that they lowered it indefinitely, which means this chart is understating their true cost. Similarly, the Medicare drug benefit is costing money on perpetuity, not just for two or three years. And Boehner, Ryan and others voted for these laws and, in some cases, helped to craft and pass them.
The two graphs at the top from the Washington Post and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities make that point crystal clear. Analyses by CBPP in 2011 showed that the Bush tax cuts accounted for half of the deficits during his tenure, and if made permanent, over the next decade would cost the U.S. Treasury more than Iraq, Afghanistan, the recession, TARP and the stimulus—combined.

By 2010, a decade of the Bush tax cuts cost the federal government roughly $2.5 trillion. If made permanent, as Republicans demand, the lost revenue would amount to another $4 trillion over the next 10 years. And a time of the lowest federal tax rates in 30 years and smallest total tax burden as a percentage of the U.S. economy in 60, Republicans like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would cut taxes further still.

Reflecting on Republican fiscal mismanagement during the Bush years, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch was surely telling the truth in 2009 when he acknowledged, "It was standard practice not to pay for things." And in no area was this was more true than when it came to paying for America's wars.

In May 2011, the National Journal estimated that the total cost to the U.S. economy of the war against Al Qaeda will reach $3 trillion. In 2008, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz put the price of the Iraq conflict alone at $3 trillion.

But by 2020 and beyond, the direct cost to U.S. taxpayers could reach $3 trillion. In March 2011, the Congressional Research Service put the total cost of the wars at $1.28 trillion, including $806 billion for Iraq and $444 billion for Afghanistan. For the 2012 fiscal year which began on Oct. 1, President Obama asked for $117 billion more. (That war-fighting funding is over and above then Secretary Gates' $553 billion Pentagon budget request for the year.)

But in addition to the roughly $1.5 trillion tally for both conflicts through the theoretical 2014 American draw down date in Afghanistan, the U.S. faces staggering bills for veterans' health care and disability benefits. Last May, an analysis by the Center for American Progress estimated the total projected total cost of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans' health care and disability could reach between $422 billion to $717 billion. Reconstruction aid and other development assistance represent tens of billions more, as does the additional interest on the national debt. And none of the above counts the expanded funding for the new Department of Homeland Security.

But that two-plus trillion dollar tab doesn't account for the expansion of the United States military since the start of the "global war on terror."

As a percentage of the American economy, defense spending jumped from 3.1 percent in 2001 to 4.8 percent by 2010. While Think Progress noted that the Pentagon's FY 2012 ask was "the largest request ever since World War II," McClatchy explained last year:

Such a boost would mark the 14th year in a row that Pentagon spending has increased, despite the waning U.S. presence in Iraq. In dollars, Pentagon spending has more than doubled in 10 years. Even adjusted for inflation, the Defense Department budget has risen 65% in the past decade.
All in all, Americans are on the hook for about $3 trillion to the U.S. Treasury by 2020 and $4.1 trillion by 2030, according to an analysis by the American Prospect. But if the GOP gets its way, we won't have to pay it back. Not now. Not ever.

Recently, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office examined the impact on defense spending over the next decade of President Obama's proposed $500 billion reduction in Defense Department funding as well as the $600 billion sequestration agreed to by Congressional Republicans. It found that "Even with that cut, however, DoD's base budget in 2013 would still be larger than it was in 2006 (in 2013 dollars) and larger than the average base budget during the 1980s." As Center for American Progress analyst Lawrence Korb put it:

"Even if the defense budget were reduced by the entire $1 trillion or about $100 billion a year over the next decade, it would amount to a reduction of about 15 percent. This would, in real terms, allow the Pentagon to spend at its 2007 level for the next decade."
Republicans are having none of it. On Friday, the GOP-controlled House approved $607.1 billion in fiscal 2013 for weapons purchases, personnel and war operations in Afghanistan, a figure higher than President Obama's request. Meanwhile, the GOP Congressional leadership is reneging on last year's budget deal, demanding that the defense sequester be paid for with "common sense savings" from already gutted discretionary spending. As for Mitt Romney, the GOP White House hopeful announced Thursday, "I will not cut the military budget."

As it turns out, Mitt Romney's proposed Pentagon budget doesn't pass the giggle test. While gutting the social safety net in order to fund yet another tax cut payday for the gilded-class, Romney wants to expand real U.S. defense spending to its highest level in decades. As the Boston Globe noted, Romney not only fails to realize savings from the end of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, but promises Pentagon increases that simply don't square with his pledge to "Cut, Cap and Balance" the federal budget:

Romney's solution is one of the most far-ranging, expensive, and perhaps least understood of his campaign. He has vowed to commit at least 4 percent of the nation's gross domestic product - $4 out of every $100 in the nation's economy - to "core'' defense spending, not including many war expenses.

Under next year's budget, defense spending is projected to be about 3.2 percent [of GDP] - yet Romney has stuck by his 4 percent vow. Put another way, that means Romney proposes spending 61 percent more than Obama at the end of a decade-long cycle, according to the libertarian Cato Institute.

Enacting such an increase at the same time that Romney wants to slash taxes and balance the budget could cost trillions of dollars and require huge cuts in domestic programs. As Romney's website puts it matter-of-factly, "This will not be a cost-free process."

But before the GOP's best and brightest like Mitt Romney, Dick Cheney, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and John Boehner ask for more money for the Pentagon and another round of tax cuts, they first have to answer for the unpaid tab they've already run up. To put it another way:

Dude, where's my $10 trillion?