July 8 – 10, 2011
Pork, Dodges and Gimmickry
By WINSLOW T. WHEELER, Counterpunch
The House of Representatives will soon be debating the new Department of Defense (DoD) appropriations bill. It's expensive – $649 billion, close to another post-World War II high. The bill covers almost all of DoD's expenses for fiscal year 2012 – both routine expenses, such as basic payroll, training and weapons acquisition (known as the “base” budget), and war spending – for Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.
Pretending reform and frugality, members of the House Appropriations Committee – Democrats and Republicans alike – packed the bill with pork and gimmicks.
The bill would spend $17 billion more than last year. But House appropriators are calling this increase a cut because it's less than the original defense budget request President Obama sent to Congress in February. That request was made irrelevant by the president's subsequent decision to reduce long-term security spending by $400 billion.
In addition to pretending frugality, the committee apes reform. It explicitly denies the existence of earmarks in the bill, saying in its own committee report, “Neither the bill nor the report contains any congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in clause 9 of rule XXI.”
I found many earmarks.
Phi Beta Iota: There is nothing wrong with the US Government–or the economy–that could not be corrected quickly if the public-private sector partnership restored integrity as a non-negotiable starting point. This is what woke George Soros up–he finally realized that the degree of legalized corruption negated all reasonable operating assumptions for doing business.