Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

The Bush Budget and Constitutional Protected Tax Havens


Butte, Montana

“There’s a man in the funny papers we all know.”

I see the Congress has finally approved a $2.6 trillion budget for fiscal year 2006.

Now somebody might think that $2.6 trillion is a lot of money. But just how much can be confusing.

And with all the millions, billions and trillions in the news, we can get further confused.

But there are differences between millions, billions and trillions. Real big differences.

For instance: if you measured by seconds, a million seconds is about twelve days. A billion seconds would mean 31 years.And a trillion seconds will add up to roughly 33,000 years.

Looking backwards:

So if we went back a million seconds it would be twelve days ago, a measure we can easily understand. If you traveled backward a billion seconds it would be 1974, again a span of time that we can still comprehend. So far, no big deal.

But if you went back a trillion seconds it would be 30,000 or so B.C. And Alley Oop, his girlfriend Ooola and the dinosaurs would still be around.

Which means Alley Oop time and a trillion can never be understood in a human sense but looking at the numbers this way gives us a sense of the immensity of a $2.6 trillion budget. As the Hollywood Argyles explained it in a 1960’s hit song – “He lived way back a long time ago, He don’t eat nothin but a bear cat stew, Well this cats name is-a Alley Oop,”

So its no surprise that Alley Oop can also shed some light on the lunatic idea behind what George Bush is selling as Social Security “reform.”

For part of that plan is to “borrow” $5 trillion over 20 years to make up for the money diverted from the Social Security trust fund to establish the private accounts he is pushing. Of course, this part of the Bush brainstorm is as murky as the salesman. And it should be.

Using Alley Oop time again, five trillion seconds might even take us as far back as what the scientists call the “Big Bang.” So even if you are a country, you just don’t go out and borrow five trillion dollars. And even murkier is what would be the interest on such a transaction.

So what would Alley Oop say about Bush and Social Security? Something like this: When you start throwing numbers around like five trillion the result is certain. Bush’s idea of Social Security “reform” is a cinch bet to become the world’s greatest financial calamity if enacted.

Once more:

Alley Oop time again.

As far as trillions go, maybe the most staggering dollar number comes from London and a report by the Tax Justice Network.

Now we all  know all those offshore tax havens that the Republican’s are so sensitive about, the ones Congress and Bush will do nothing about, the scams Senator Trent Lott even claims are protected by the Constitution?

Well the Tax Justice people say the corporations and high-rollers of the planet hold a quarter of United States stocks and nearly a third of all the globe’s assets offshore. They further say this adds up to about $11.5 trillion American dollars.

Now 11.5 trillion greenbacks hidden, buried and laundered in these tax dodging rackets is probably the biggest pile of money in the world. And undoubtedly, many of the Americans involved are still crying the loudest for tax cuts as well as waving the flag in support of our military adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But just how far back 11.5 trillion seconds would take us in Alley Oop time baffles me. Nor do I want to guess, nor am I capable of doing so. And the same goes for Alley Oop.

But what I do know is we have a problem. Again, the same goes for Alley Oop.

JACKIE CORR lives in Butte, Montana. He can be reached at:










More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


October 26, 2016
John W. Whitehead
A Deep State of Mind: America’s Shadow Government and Its Silent Coup
Eric Draitser
Dear Liberals: Trump is Right
Anthony Tarrant
On the Unbearable Lightness of Whiteness
Mark Weisbrot
The Most Dangerous Place in the World: US Pours in Money, as Blood Flows in Honduras
Chris Welzenbach
The Establishment and the Chattering Hack: a Response to Nicholas Lemann
Luke O'Brien
The Churchill Thing: Some Big Words About Trump and Some Other Chap
Sabia Rigby
In the “Jungle:” Report from the Refugee Camp in Calais, France
Linn Washington Jr.
Pot Decriminalization Yields $9-million in Savings for Philadelphia
Pepe Escobar
“America has lost” in the Philippines
Pauline Murphy
Political Feminism: the Legacy of Victoria Woodhull
Lizzie Maldonado
The Burdens of World War III
David Swanson
Slavery Was Abolished
Thomas Mountain
Preventing Cultural Genocide with the Mother Tongue Policy in Eritrea
Colin Todhunter
Agrochemicals And The Cesspool Of Corruption: Dr. Mason Writes To The US EPA
October 25, 2016
David Swanson
Halloween Is Coming, Vladimir Putin Isn’t
Hiroyuki Hamada
Fear Laundering: an Elaborate Psychological Diversion and Bid for Power
Priti Gulati Cox
President Obama: Before the Empire Falls, Free Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal
Kathy Deacon
Plus ça Change: Regime Change 1917-1920
Robin Goodman
Appetite for Destruction: America’s War Against Itself
Richard Moser
On Power, Privilege, and Passage: a Letter to My Nephew
Rev. William Alberts
The Epicenter of the Moral Universe is Our Common Humanity, Not Religion
Dan Bacher
Inspector General says Reclamation Wasted $32.2 Million on Klamath irrigators
David Mattson
A Recipe for Killing: the “Trust Us” Argument of State Grizzly Bear Managers
Derek Royden
The Tragedy in Yemen
Ralph Nader
Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think
Norman Pollack
Centrist Fascism: Lurching Forward
Guillermo R. Gil
Cell to Cell Communication: On How to Become Governor of Puerto Rico
Mateo Pimentel
You, Me, and the Trolley Make Three
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
October 24, 2016
John Steppling
The Unwoke: Sleepwalking into the Nightmare
Oscar Ortega
Clinton’s Troubling Silence on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Patrick Cockburn
Aleppo vs. Mosul: Media Biases
John Grant
Humanizing Our Militarized Border
Franklin Lamb
US-led Sanctions Targeting Syria Risk Adjudication as War Crimes
Paul Bentley
There Must Be Some Way Out of Here: the Silence of Dylan
Norman Pollack
Militarism: The Elephant in the Room
Patrick Bosold
Dakota Access Oil Pipeline: Invite CEO to Lunch, Go to Jail
Paul Craig Roberts
Was Russia’s Hesitation in Syria a Strategic Mistake?
David Swanson
Of All the Opinions I’ve Heard on Syria
Weekend Edition
October 21, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Wight
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
Diana Johnstone
Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Trump’s Naked and Hillary’s Dead
John W. Whitehead
American Psycho: Sex, Lies and Politics Add Up to a Terrifying Election Season
Stephen Cooper
Hell on Earth in Alabama: Inside Holman Prison
Patrick Cockburn
13 Years of War: Mosul’s Frightening and Uncertain Future