As popular uprisings sweep North Africa and the Middle East, new light is being shed on the U.S. government's role in propping up regional dictators and proliferating weapons around the globe. Egypt in particular has benefited from Washington's war chest, receiving an average of $1.3 billion in military aid every year. That's more than $50 billion since Hosni Mubarak came to power. All the while, State Department officials in Egypt were sending home regular reports that Egyptian security forces routinely tortured members of the political opposition and media, as Wikileaks revealed today.
Congressmen Chip Cravaack and Sean Duffy have called for deep cuts to domestic spending in order to balance the federal budget. Perhaps they should be asking themselves what the people of Egypt are asking today: Why is there always enough money for guns, but never enough for butter?