Some of you may be familiar with an old political term: “put it out with the trash.” It refers to a ploy government officials use to release information which will be viewed unfavorably by the press and the public. Knowing that weekends are a time when the press and the public are generally focused on personal matters rather than matters of state; government officials will often withhold damaging information until late Friday so that it will hit the news wires on the weekend. The hope is that the negative information will slip by without much notice. This is referred to as “putting it out with the
Yesterday the House of Representatives set a huge bag of garbage out on the curb…and it really stinks. The AP reports that on Friday the Republican controlled House overwhelmingly backed a $649 billion defense spending bill that INCREASES the Defense Department budget by $17 BILLION dollars. Included in the bill is $119 billion to cover the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, a 1.6% pay increase for our troops and funds to purchase a C-17 cargo plane that the Pentagon DID NOT REQUEST. (However, Boeing is quite pleased.) AP states that while House Republican leaders agreed to slash billions from other agencies such as food aid for low- income women, health research, energy efficiency to name a few; the military budget is the only one to get a double digit increase beginning October 1.
I guess these guys didn’t get the memo.
We are in the midst of the weakest “recovery” in decades. The unemployment rate has increased over the last three months and currently stands at 9.2%. Our struggling economy just added a horrifically low 18,000 new jobs in June; which isn’t close to the 100,000 economists expected and just a smidge less than the 300,000 per month needed to reduce unemployment by any significant measure. Our GDP is in the tank and we are spending 25 cents for every 15 cents we receive in taxes. We generate a deficit of $1.6 trillion dollars per year and we owe $14.6 trillion to the Chinese, the Japanese, the Saudis and several European countries. And if we don’t find a way to increase our debt limit by August 2nd it all goes to hell in a hand basket and we become Greece without the olives.
So what do these clowns do…they increase the defense budget by $17 BILLION dollars forcing us to continue to borrow from Japan, Saudi Arabia and Europe…so that we can build weapons that the Pentagon does not want…which we will use to provide military defense for Japan, Saudi Arabia and Europe. And, because they need to be fiscally responsible, the House will offset the expense in part by cutting services to the poor, the elderly and the infirmed.
No wonder they set this out with Friday’s trash.