Tie Defense Spending to Domestic Spending?

In another example of DC at work, Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-2), a Democrat, proposed an idea where all changes in defense spending would be directly tied to domestic spending (minus entitlements, of course).

Mr. Pocan’s amendment to the NDAA states that any authorization to appropriate increases to combined budgets of National Defense Budget (050) and Overseas Contingency Operations should be matched for the non-defense discretionary budget.

Well, great.

The amendment has, as you would imagine, a very compelling foundation:

(1) A strong and safe homeland rests on the health and wellbeing of America’s communities.
(2) Federal non-defense discretionary spending provides health care for our veterans, research to tackle cancer, safe highways, airports and waterways, economic security for families in need, and robust law enforcement.

In other words, take care of everyone at home in equal proportion to defending our home. I’m sure the North Koreans are very much ready to vote, “Aye!”

As you can imagine, this was met with the appropriate response from House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX):

Defense spending should not be “…tied to a domestic political agenda on the EPA, the IRS, education, transportation…my point is, all of those things need to stand on their own merits and defense needs to stand on its own merits. Support for our military needs to stand on its own merits. Having planes that fly and ships that sail and adequate funding for our troops and their families stand on their own merits. It cannot be conditional upon whether or not this Congress or this President agrees on other spending items…”

“It is absolutely wrong to say we will only support these military folks if we get what we want on the domestic side.”

We have finite resources and competing priorities. Everyone wants to help one another and have a community that’s prosperous, educated, and, most importantly, safe. Making the entire nation’s defense spending tied to the competing political interests of non-defense discretionary spending is just a dumb idea.

I’m sure this amendment will be killed if it hasn’t already. The point of this post is to show the complete disconnect from reality that liberals have in DC. For as much infighting we might have as conservatives, occasionally Democrats will remind us how ridiculous and out-of-touch they are.

  • Jim Portugul

    I wish somebody would tell me how Congress can increase military spending without first repealing sequestration?

    If congress ignores sequestration, surely somebody is going to take them to court. Are the votes there in the Senate to repeal sequestration? What will holdouts in the Senate want for their repeal vote?

    • Jay McConville

      I believe it is as simple as the fact that a congress cannot bind a future congress. They may pass what they wish, extend their dictates as far into the future as they desire, but it all can be chucked in the bin by any future vote.

  • mezurak

    We take decades to fail to fix a one year problem, burn our military equipment through their engineered life, and spent all the money on unproven technical advancement. And now here we are, Russia controlling the Western approach to our oil supplies while China will soon be moving to two bases on the Arabian sea. Five countries have formed a new alliance in the middle East but we would rather bs about Trump. Not to worry, there will be real Russians in the White House soon enough.

  • MD Russ

    Great post, Jim. My wife and I already follow Rep. Mark Pocan’s budgeting philosophy. We won’t spend a nickel on fixing the car or repairing the roof on the house unless we spend an equal amount on eating out.

    • old_redneck

      Brilliant response. Absolutely brilliant. Did you dream that up all by yourself?

  • Peacemaker

    It is a good post, and a stupid idea. However, I doubt too many Democrats will support it, just as most Republicans don’t support the ignorance of one (cough, cough…Stewart…cough) Republican.
    Having said that, I have an honest question: I know we spend a lot of money on the various defense agencies. Is it enough? too much? not enough? Is it enough to possibly pull a “Seal Team Six” on the insane man in N. Korea?
    I’m asking because I don’t know the answer. No usual smartassedness included.

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