Bush's $1.6 billion propaganda budget.

How much would $1.6 billion buy in, say, body armor for Iraqi troops (ask this GI's wife; she's holding a bake sale) or housing for the 12,000 recently evicted Katrina victims? How big of a dent would it make in affordable housing or vocational training or family-farm subsidies or alternative fuel research?

$1.6 billion is, as they say, no chump change.

It's also how much of your taxes the Bush administration used to pay for advertising and PR in the last 2.5 years
, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office.

"The extent of the Bush Administration's propaganda effort is unprecedented and disturbing," said Rep. George Miller. "The fact is that after all the spin, the American people are stuck with high prescription drug prices, high gas prices, and high college costs. This report raises serious questions about this Administration's priorities for the country and I would hope that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle would agree that changes need to be made to reign in the President's propaganda machine."

(Thanks, Jim.)

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