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.”
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?
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.