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Monday, September 26, 2005

Halliburton: An Example of the Pro-Welfare, Anti-Free Market Ideology of the Republican Party

When the United States invaded Iraq, Halliburton's stock stood at $20 per share. As of September 20th, 2 and a half years of war profiteering had brought Halliburton's stock to $66 per share. Clearly, this business deal worked for Halliburton. Unlike most companies, however, Halliburton didn't earn profit for high quality work. They earned profit for shoddy work they obtained by subverting the free market.

Halliburton took $10.7 billion for "work" in Iraq between 2003 and 2004 alone. This constitutes a staggering 52% of all money given to contractors in Iraq. Some of this payment has been pure profit: Halliburton famously charged the United States $2.68 per gallon to import Gas to Iraq from Kuwait; a government agency did the exact same job for $1.57 per gallon. Halliburton provided 10,000 meals a day but charged us for 20,000.

Halliburton didn't get a no bid contract to remove gold fillings from the victims of Hurricane Katrina, but these days that's not so far from the mark.
Let's recap the situation: First, paying Halliburton for twice as much work as they actually do equals corporate welfare. See, as conservatives love to point out, welfare is money for free. That's what we are giving Halliburton every single day. Second, no-bid contracts belong only in Communist countries; the very essence of the free market is competition. My tax dollars go subsidize a corporation who has proven to cheat America. Continuing to give cash to people doing shit work defies the free market.

I challenge any Republican reading this to answer a simple question: If you are in favor of a free market and against welfare, how can you justify the Republican treatment of Halliburton?

I don't expect an answer because there is no way to rationalize the Republican talk with the Republican walk. A vote for the Republican Party is a vote against the free market, for wasteful spending and for massive welfare, albeit only to mega-rich corporations.

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