So the Republican-controlled House of Representatives proposed a $982 billion bill to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year instead of more brinksmanship. Before we start dancing in the streets, and name a few golf courses and watering holes after House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the devil is again in the details.
As a former Federal agency budget analyst and before that, a military comptroller, we need to look beyond the spin platitudes and delve into the numbers. In the continuing love affair of conservatives for practically every Pentagon dollar, their new “bipartisan” spending plan restores the military and some border security funds, but keeps other important agency appropriations at their Boehnerquestered levels. Methinks the defense contractor industry screamed loudly about their share of the across-the-board cuts. Sorry, moms with kids fed with Women-Infants-and Children (WIC), you and Junior are just gonna have to do some “American Exceptionalism” to reenact the Sea Of Galilee “Loaves & Fishes” multiplication schtick.
There has been and still is waste in the Defense budget. As the President continues to extract us from two Bush-Cheney foreign wars on the national credit card, they forget that military spending has always been reduced when we ended wars. Remember the hundred dollar diode, the $400 hammer, and the $600 toilet seat of a few decades past? I was there, in uniform, as a Navy Supply Corps officer. Ordinary military personnel and civilian employees reported these taxpayer robbing overcharges by defense contractors. Even when a mediocre actor could be elected President, the armed forces didn’t get everything they asked for. Again, I was there.
Losing Republican Presidential candidate Mitt “Mitt WHO?” Romney stepped out from the shadows of defeat for some love on Fox News recently. Weepy wifey Ann put down her Kleenex box to blame “the media” for picking on her flip-flopping hubby, the Bishop of Bain. Typically, Republican Mitt was the guy who protested FOR the Vietnam War in college, but had to go “serve” his church as a missionary. In France. Romney wanted to increase Defense spending and get us in another war or two. Of course, Mitt & Ann’s brood wouldn’t be going in harm’s way to fight them. They carried on the Romney family tradition of serving as bicycling “missionaries” in locales where they weren’t being shot at.
Voters sent President Obama back to the White House for a second term, while Bishop Romney went to Disneyland, and play on the new La Jolla manse’s car elevator. Unfortunately, a smaller, but still majority, GOP House caucus held the middle class and America’s neediest hostage for tax cuts and subsidies for the rich.
Last week, a piece in The Washington Post reported the possibility of Federal Aviation Administration sequester-driven small airport control tower closures out in the Red State boonies. Unfortunately, we can’t count on a mid-air collision between the Koch Bros. private jet and another example of Sen. James Imhofe (R-Okla.)’s lacking airmanship skills.
Need I repeat the obvious? The dreaded sequester was not designed to be actually implemented, rather serve as a negotiated stage cudgel to force sensible bipartisan agreement. I long shook my head for decades when some hick barnyard Congressman from Pig’s Knuckle, Ark. proposed cutting everything by ‘X’ percent. It has not worked before, and will not, work now. The “rest of us” should not be stuck with the bill, while the rich continue to get off scot-free.
The peril of continuing the Boehnerquester will not be solved with this latest GOP House joke bill. Are they trying out to stand in for Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart while he is on filmmaking sabbatical?