The Spy-Based Economy

By Bill Maher

This summer, Edward Snowden gifted The Washington Post with America's "black budget" for spies. Basically, you know how Italy has olive oil, and Saudi Arabia has oil oil, and China has everything else? What America makes is spies.

According to the Post

"The document describes a constellation of spy agencies that track millions of surveillance targets and carry out operations that include hundreds of lethal strikes."

According to the budget, for fiscal 2013, America is spending $52.6 billion on spies. $14.7 billion goes to the CIA, and the rest goes to America's 15 other spy agencies. I don't want to sound like a hippie, but do you think we could get by with, I dunno, 12? The CIA budget is 56% higher than it was in 2004.  Is the world that much more dangerous?

That's over a billion dollars a week. Not military spending. Just spies.

Just keep that nice, round, easy-to-remember number in your head anytime a Tea Party politician complains about the cost of Obamacare, or food stamps, or the EPA, or Masterpiece Theater, or anything

A billion a week, just to keep the monsters away. Well, not keep them away exactly, but to keep track of their calls.