Rumsfeld's $9 billion kitty

That he can pretty much spend as he pleases. Why is he allowed to have such power? Because America's elected representatives like to dodge responsibilities:
So why have three committees of Congress essentially abrogated such a sizable chunk of their oversight powers? Mainly because they wanted to. The lawmakers can play populist politics, tossing out hundreds of millions of dollars for new Iraqi hospitals, housing, garbage trucks, and business subsidies. They can thunder that their constituents - the American people - don't get federal money for such niceties, so why should Iraqis? Meanwhile, they know that Rumsfeld can use some of the slush-fund money - the "transfer funds" - to put them back in the budget, very low key, notifying the committees but not needing their permission. Responsibility is thus eluded, electoral-politics points are gained.
Well, maybe that's a little consolation for Rumsfeld's recent slap.

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