The Tea Party to the Rescue?
I’m tempted to to say it: hallelujah for the Tea Party and for Ron Paul Republicans!
President Obama and the Democrats couldn’t find the will or the way to cut the outrageous military budget. But the New York Times is reporting that fiscal hawks within the GOP are winning out over the incensed military hawks: Republican “lawmakers most keenly dedicated to shrinking the size of government are now more dominant than the bloc committed foremost to a robust national defense, particularly in the House.” See Acceptance of Defense Cuts Signals Shift in G.O.P. Focus.
Now, of course, the budget cuts will hit domestic programs hard too. Many people will suffer greatly. And I detest libertarians’ opposition to regulation, taxation, and the common good. Many of the Tea Party members are racist, homophobic, xenophobic, and in the thralls of the NRA and the Koch brothers.
But, as Dennis Kucinich is fond of saying, progressives need to make alliances on issues such as military spending.
Of course, I shouldn’t rush to celebrate. Things could change before sequestration kicks in. And I’ve heard it claimed that even with sequestation, military spending will increase. [Alas, see Addendum below.] But according to the NY Times article, military cuts are for real.
A sizable number of Republicans, including many senators, are incensed by the cuts about to fall on the Pentagon, totaling $43 billion for the 2013 fiscal year. Because the Defense Department will have only seven months to put them into effect and because military personnel are protected, military training, weapons acquisition and maintenance stand to be cut by 13 percent.
Still, it is disturbing that Republicans, not Obama, are the ones pushing for defense cuts.
In related news, HuffPost is reporting: Walter Jones, GOP Congressman, Hits Dick Cheney Over Iraq War.
Addendum: there is more evidence that even with the sequestration cuts, the military budget wills still rise. According to Top Senate Republican doubts damage from defense cuts, Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas says, “that until now he had been parroting what Defense Secretary Leon Panetta continuously warns — that automatic, government-wide cuts could jeopardize national security. … But the veteran senator said he looked into it and will now argue that even if the cuts go through on March 1, the Pentagon will still see its budget go up.”