We May Not Have Taught Afghans Democracy, But We Taught Them Budgets
A Taliban budget is almost as trustworthy as the mafia's books or Hollywood accounting.
The Taliban's regime is a Potemkin village run for the benefit of foreign donors. It has little to no connection to reality. So the only thing this tells us is that the Qatari's Potemkin regime in Kabul is really hoping for more international sympathy.
Afghanistan faces a budget deficit of 44 billion Afghanis ($501 million) this financial year, the country's Taliban authorities said on Saturday without clarifying how the gap between expected revenues and planned spending will be met.
Clearly, we taught them well.
They may not have picked up democracy, but they certainly learned a lot from us about budgets. The trouble though is that you can do things like this when you have a world reserve currency and a ton of resources sitting around.
It doesn't work as well when your reserve currency is opium and child sex slaves.
Announcing the first annual national budget since the Taliban took over the war-torn country in August last year, Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi said the government foresaw spending of 231.4 billion Afghanis and domestic revenue of 186.7 billion.
"The revenues are collections from departments related to customs, ministries and mines," spokesman for the Finance Ministry Ahmad Wali Haqmal said.
Customs means shakedowns of Pakistani truck drivers, ministries means shakedowns of opium growers, and mines means asking the Chinese for money.
Hanafi said the budget for the current financial year, that runs to next February, had been approved by the council of ministries and confirmed by the Taliban's supreme leader Haibatullah Akhunzada, and would use local funds only.
Development works would take up 27.9 billion Afghanis, he said, but did not provide a breakdown of spending on areas such as defence.
"We have paid attention to education, technical education, and higher education and our all focus is on how to pave the way education for everyone," Hanafi said.
Except you know, women. And anyone looking for a degree in something other than Beheading 101, Advanced Opium Sorting, Reselling Used Infidel Weapons Components, and Bacha Bazi Dance Theory.