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.
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.