No one in Washington really seems to care about reining in the size of government. (There is a tiny minority.) The Dems want welfare and corporate welfare. The Republicans want corporate welfare and “defense” spending. There is no real effort to save money for the taxpayers. And the thing is many supposed small government “conservatives” give “defense” a pass on spending. Much of the military is chock full of boondoggles. Anyone who has been around the military (and I am a Navy brat) knows this. It’s “big government.” There is tons of crony capitalism. Yet many continue to think we must fund this massive endeavor at a rate on par with when we were going head to head with the Soviet Union. It’s asinine. But Congressional districts are addicted to the money.
This past week, the House’s armed services committee wrote, and reported out, the $610 billion FY2017 spending bill (“defense authorization”). Unleashing itself from past constraints, it diverted for pork spending a big piece of a $90 billion fund – by a striking threat to short-change the troops in the ISIS and Afghan field, leaving them without authorized food or ammunition part=way into the fiscal year.
The unspoken logic for causing the troop support to lapse, had two cynical pillars. Chairman “Mac” Thornberry (R-Tex) can milk the fisc, in this election year, of $18 billion for the contractors in Representatives’ districts, fortifying the wastrels’ re-election. Second, in case Trump (or, for that matter, anyone else who was hawkish) got elected, the necessity of an early-2017 troop survival bill would arm Trump instantly, upon election, to ram through whatever U-turns he wants in military affairs.