When President Bush unleashed the dogs of war last October, he also unleashed the vultures. Among the lobbyists, those tending to pet legislation saw the War on terrorism as just the ticket for bringing home the bacon, padding the bottom line.
The defense budget for 2003 is up 15 percent, and many spending measures that had little chance of passing pre-September 11 are sliding right through.
Watchdogs warn that in times of war, the purse strings loosen, the profiteers circle, and Congress will pass any bill remotely related to national defense. But others argue that it strengthens and grows the economy, that both the interstates and the Internet were born of military investment.
Barry Bluestone, professor of political economy at Northeastern University
Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste