The Right Kind Of Welfare For The Right Kind of People
Steve Benen discusses Barney Frank's challenge to the deficit hawks to cut the defense budget and concludes with this:
Frank's commission does offer alleged deficit hawks an opportunity to rise to the occasion. As Paul Waldman recently explained, "They're quite happy to borrow hundreds of billions to spend on defense, because they just happen to like spending money on defense.... You can't call yourself a 'deficit hawk' if the only programs you want to cut are the ones you don't like anyway."
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said, publicly and repeatedly, that the United States can't keep spending such vast amounts of money on the military indefinitely. Any chance conservative deficit hawks -- the ones who claim to be desperate to cut government spending -- will step up and agree?
Simple answers to simple questions: No.
"Deficit reduction" doesn't mean deficit reduction. It means welfare state reduction, period. Military spending is sacred --- like the right to pack heat in church and gas guzzling. It is non-negotiable. (The irony, of course, is that the Military Industrial Complex is basically workfare for white guys -- it holds up a huge part of our economy and makes a lot of people very wealthy, all on the taxpayer's dime. It would be immoral to take that away from suffering ex-Generals and engineers who can't make anything that doesn't blow up.)
These people don't care about debt, they care that the peasants have become uppity andunvirtuous and it's time to put them back in their places --- desperate and willing to do anything to avoid losing whatever meager assets they have. You know, the natural order of things.