Last year, Congress could not agree as to how to Balance the Budget. It wasn’t too important when, in the early 2000s, in a time of relative Prosperity due to the Clinton Tax Increases, Congress agreed to several Tax Decreases (mostly for the Wealthy). Also, the Last Administration led the Country into Two Unnecessary Wars. Remember the Non-Existent WMDs? But, Balancing the Budget was a Low Priority then.
Last year, President Barack Obama was even willing to provide $9 Dollars of Budget Cuts for each $1 of Tax Increases. Due to the Tax Pledge to Grover Norquist–perhaps a Manipulation of Congress?– the Republicans were not ready to bargain. But now, the President and Democrats in Congress are no longer willing to Sell-Out!
The “Gang of Six” (three each Democratic and Republican Senators) was called in to work out a solution–or, if not, Congress would agree to Equal Across-the-Board Program Cuts. Such cuts would include Entitlement Programs and the Long-Protected Defense Budget, among others. Well, as we are now approaching our eighth month, the saying “Be careful, you might get what you asked for” seems to be nagging at the Republican Consciousness.
Former Vice President Richard Cheney (also a former Secretary of Defense) was recently seen prowling the Halls of Congress, re-enforcing the concern from major cuts in the Defense Budget. This week, Republican Senators John McCain, Kelly Ayotte and Lindsay Graham travelled to four states with major military bases and defense contracts, to discuss the negative impact of cuts in the Defense Budget.
Let’s add to that Mitt Romney’s comments, in Jerusalem, that the U.S. should be more supportive of Israel defending itself against Iran. Perhaps the fact that the majority moderate Israeli doesn’t want to attack Iran doesn’t matter to Mitt.
And, an Op-Ed in today’s Miami Herald, by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), emphasized that the U.S. should take a more active role in Syria. Are these people coming out of the woodwork? How many wars are we supposed to fight?
Economists have a term; “Guns and Butter”, which means that you generally can’t have both. Whatever funds you spend on Defense would not be available for Public Programs, as well. With regard to “Guns”, the Pentagon states that it already has more M1 Abrams Tanks than it needs and, accordingly, intends to freeze refurbishing the Pre-Cold War Tank in the amount of $3 Billion. General Dynamics, a major Congressional Campaign Contributor is lobbying hard so that Congress will protect the jobs in their respective districts.
John McCain used to work hard to eliminate the so-called “earmarks”, unnecessary programs in the various Congressional Districts. Now, it appears that he has gotten in line with his Party. But, why have they sunk so low to side with the Military Industrial Complex, which former Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower (and also a Five-Star General) warned us about. The unnecessary money that goes into “Guns” merely takes available funds away from necessary programs, such as: Food Stamps; Medicare/Medicaid; PELL Grants (for College); Veterans’ Affairs; the GI Bill; etc?