Those Don’t Tax But Spend Republicans At it Again

For all their talk about balancing the budget and fiscal responsibility, the Republicans like to spend money. They just don’t like spending it on the same things as Democrats. Rather similar to the way in which they complain about federal regulations but love regulation when it comes to the things that are important to them, such as women’s bodies or marriage.

The Republicans have taken control of Congress and with it, several committees. One Democrat losing his job is Ike Skelton (D-MO). Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) , who right now is the ranking member of the House Armed Service Committee and is likely to replace Skelton as chair of the committee that controls defense spending (we will find out in January), announced at the Foreign Policy Institute on Monday that he opposes cuts in defense spending.

“Cutting defense spending amidst two wars, is a red line for me and should be a red line for all Americans. You do not need to be a policy expert to realize that investment is key to maintaining a robust defense”

And who started those wars, Buck? Yeah, that’s right: you guys did – A Republican administration. And Buck, have you forgotten? We are the most powerful nation on earth; the only remaining superpower.

And the economic crash also engineered by the Republicans? Doesn’t matter, says McKeon. It doesn’t matter if we didn’t tax but increased spending and deregulated and ruined the economy. We gotta keep putting dollars in defense – while not taxing.

Who is going to attack us, Buck? Or like Lindsey Graham are you thinking about attacking somebody else – best defense is a good offense and all that?

American defense spending in 2007 alone amounted to just over half of what was spent in the entire world. In 2008 it was close to 70%. It hasn’t declined appreciably since. I will ask again: Who is going to attack the United States?

China is a future threat, he says (I thought it was Iran? You and Lindsey need to get together and decide):

“While China may not intend to attack our carriers, neutralize our bases in Japan and Guam or push back our naval presence out of the South China Sea, they are without question making the investments and developing capabilities to do just that.”

I would put it to you that China is wise, given America’s recent rogue behavior, the rogue behavior suggested by certain current Republican politicians (Graham, Palin, et al) to put money into its own military. Continuing to spend, spend, spend, as advocated by Republicans is not a healthy course of action. That kind of overwhelming military superiority Republicans embrace is destabilizing but when combined with institutional paranoia, xenophobia (along with an unhealthy dose of American Exceptionalism and Old Testament apocalypticism), it is potentially catastrophic.

Of course, Republicans have already made it clear that they miss McCarthy. Maybe they miss the Cold War too. I know! Let’s start a new one with China and spend each other into the grave.

In the end, it all sounds like more of that “New American Century” crap, in other words, an imperialistic bully-boy America, the wet dream of American Exceptionalists. McKeon gives the game away when he says,

“The growth in the department’s top line is insufficient to address the future capabilities required by our military. One percent real growth in the defense budget over the next five years is a net cut for investment and procurement accounts. A defense budget in decline portends an America in decline.”

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

You’ve got to wonder if McKeon will want to continue funding the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program which has already cost taxpayers $382 billion and is about to cost $5 billion more, according to a report from program chief Vice Admiral David Venlet.

That ain’t pocket change, Buck.

Remember when President Eisenhower warned us about the Military Industrial Complex?

President Eisenhower was a Republican. Apparently, Buck and Lindsey and these other big spenders aren’t Eisenhower Republicans.

Do you remember how Bush cut taxes and started two wars, and sent our economy into a tailspin? Yeah, you can’t fight wars without money and most people (but not Republicans, apparently) realized you need money to spend money. Not only do we need to wonder what all this military spending is for but we have to wonder where the money is going to come from.

The Republicans aren’t big on revealing this part of their plan, mostly because they don’t have a plan, which is why Republican administrations with great regularity send our deficit skyrocketing.

Fiscal responsibility? Please.

They criticize liberals as “tax and spend” but how else are you going to spend? If they were serious about “not taxing and not spending” they might have a point, but they aren’t; they want to “not tax and spend” which is a recipe for disaster, as surely everyone recognizes. Right? Don’t we?

16 Replies to “Those Don’t Tax But Spend Republicans At it Again”

  1. You hit the nail on the head! Now, if only we could rise above the conservative noise machines on radio and cable television to wake the masses up to the truth of the matter.

  2. Thank you Harold. It’s not easy to be heard, is it? All that spin and noise, drowning out all rational thought with fear and paranoia.

  3. I guess we don’t need to forget that dropping taxes and then running two wars on reduced income doesn’t help. And that’s exactly what got us where we are today.

    I could never understand why anyone would be against tax-and-spend. First of all it’s much better than borrow and spend which is the Republican way. tax and spend is a planned method of spending. That doesn’t mean that the planning is always goodbut at least there is some planning.

    when you are running two wars you cannot have a good defense. Given the fact that many Republicans such as Mr. Lindsey Graham want to also attack Iran, we would have no defense at all. Anyone who has a mind, and this includes Obama as well, would recognize that China is putting a tremendous amount of our money into their military. And as such would recognize that building up your military cannot be done by poorly prosecuting three wars. Given the fact that any superpower can be brought down quite easily in a series of small wars, I would not want my military not overseas buried In some desert. A superpower such as the United States is only a superpower when it comes to full-fledged battle.

    China is a future threat, but not to an all-out war scenario. China will do things such as attack Taiwan, or it will do something in the Middle East to get more resources in the future. Which is something to think about because we do not own the Middle East unless you talk to Dick Cheney.

    The Republicans will bury us in defense spending that is totally unnecessary. You quoted Pres. Eisenhower, here is a quote from Pres. Washington as he was leaving office.
    “On an over-powerful military establishment. “…avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty.”

  4. Well said. I like the Washington quote, Shiva. There is also a John Quincy Adams vote I like, which I think I’ve probably posted here before:

    “America…goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy…The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. the frontlet upon her brows would no longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished luster the murky radiance of dominion and power. She might become the dictatress of the world: she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.”- John Quincy Adams, 4 July 1821

  5. and Adams was absolutely correct. The majority of this country does not want anything to do with war, but yet we have presidents who have absolutely no problem taking us there. that is where the true tea party should be, against the incredible vast amounts of money that we borrow for war. You want your country back? Then take it back from those who are killing around the world.

    Beware of darkness

    Watch out now, take care
    Beware of greedy leaders
    They take you where you should not go
    While Weeping Atlas Cedars
    They just want to grow, grow and grow
    Beware of darkness (beware of darkness)

  6. You’re preaching to the choir, man. But it’s true, and I’d like to see more mainstream news outlets pick it up and run with it. At least us “tax and spend” Democrats are spending that tax money on social programs designed to improve people’s lives, not end it.

  7. I actually started a paragraph to talk about just that, Allen, how at least we were spending on social programs, the environment, infrastructure, etc, but the article was already getting too long. I really wanted to touch on that stupid plane.

  8. I don’t for a minute think Dubya is even familiar with Adams’ existence let alone anything he said or thought, but it’s almost as if he set out to prove him right.

  9. I guess we have to ask ourselves why those socialist countries that spend money on their people have the longest lifespans, the happiest populations, and are voted the best places to live.

    The warlike nations have a hard time getting honorable mention.

  10. In addition to their selectiveness on spending that veers toward defense, they are too short-sighted to see that sometimes money spent on things in the short run is money saved in the long run. What I mean is that money spent on health care, education,
    and infrastructure, among other domestic spending, is money that has been invested for the country’s well-being. They are also too short-sighted that national security involves more than military preparedness. People who are invested their societies, and are basically content with what it offers them, do not incite or participate in revolutions. Because of the short-sighted selfishness and instant gratification they appeal to, I could see the country falling from within rather from without.

  11. It is truly difficult to see how they find dangers without but maybe that’s just what they want us to believe, a little slight of hand while they take over. After all, Bush used Iraq to distract people from how horrible his domestic policies were. There’s the enemy! Absolutely nothing to see here, no sir.

  12. Right on the money, so to speak:-) But Hraf, you know Republicans are going to “cut” spending, they just haven’t decided WHAT spending to cut….oh, wait, they’re making a big show of co-opting the President’s ideas in that regard. But still, we’ve heard nary a peep out of them re their real plans. Because…you know….they have no plans.

  13. Some of our problems stem from the age group of the US Senate. They are all “argh argh” old white guys (like McCain) who made their bones by killing people during wartime. And traditionally in the past, our economy did well during wartime. Not so much now.

    We will have 2 very long years ahead of us. The GOP will not change and things will get much worse. But are the American people wise enough to start learning the “why” of how things are happening? We tend to place blame. OK – Bush started 2 wars on a credit card and those wars drained our Treasury. Also, companies were given huge breaks to send jobs overseas. Those jobs are gone.

    And still, we will blame Mr. Obama because that is what we do. When you are jobless, broke and hungry, with no medical care, you blame whatever target is placed in your face.

    Perhaps then, we will find a savior, like Sarah Palin (AK-AIP) who will swoop in on her broom, sprinkle her pixie dust and make it “all better”?

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