Space Cadets and Sex Changes: Our “Defense” Budget Is a Bad Joke

Ryan is as bad as Boehner was.


The House of Representatives just passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2018, authorizing an all-time high of $696.5 billion. This is $72 billion over the budget cap required by sequestration legislation, and has to be reconciled with the $700 billion bill coming out of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Both bills spend more on the military than even the Trump administration – which pledged a massive military build up during the campaign – and the Pentagon proposed. The bill passed with bipartisan support: only 71 Democrats and 8 Republicans voted against it.

The sole objection the Democrats had to this budget-busting bill was that military spending did not achieve “parity” with domestic spending: with 60 votes required in the Senate to abrogate sequestration caps, the Democrats are using their leverage not to reduce military spending, but to increase domestic spending. As Rep. Adam Smith, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, put it:

“[T]o simply gut the nondefense discretionary budget, to plus-up defense does not make this country safer. I care enough about national security that I would raise taxes to pay for it.” 

Of course he would. That’s because the two parties have a symbiotic relationship when it comes to military spending: the Democrats go along with budget-busting “defense” bills as long as Republicans makes concessions insofar as domestic spending is concerned – and everyone gets to keep (and increase) their favorite boondoggles.

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