Saturday, April 9, 2011
And so it goes
There's some smug Tea Party Republican on C-SPAN as I type, busy bragging about the fact they managed to come up with "the biggest cut in federal spending since World War II." Well, yeah, if you look only at the dollar amount and don't adjust at all for inflation. If you look at it in actual percentages, though, they've accomplished Nada, Nothing, Zip. It's a blip, the type of numbers you get when you round off numbers, like when you go from putting four digits after the decimal point (99.2362) to dropping it down to one (99.2). They've wasted months of everyone's time, stressed out whole herds of ordinary people, and for what? Nothing. A few sound bites.
And they're not done yet. We get to live through at least another week of this crap, the political posturing about out of control spending, before there's an actual budget in place. I'm not holding my breath.
If any of these so-called deficit hawks, fiscal conservatives, so-concerned-about-spending types was actually serious about the deficit and government spending, they'd go after Defense. The Department of Defense is loaded with waste, spends zillions on various high tech toys that will never get used -- or, if and when they are deployed, turn out not to work (remember the stealth bombers that can't fly in rain because as soon as those billion dollar boondoggles get wet they show up on radar? The missile defense system that's like a black hole when it comes to sucking in money, but doesn't work even when it knows exactly when and where the incoming missile was launched from and has been pre-targeted accordingly?). But you can't touch defense. It's okay to fuck over little kids, old people, and women, but god forbid Northrop Grumman or Lockheed Martin has to suffer. Why is it that when it's a weapons system, it's untouchable because eliminating it would put people out of work, but it's okay to defund schools, clinics, and cultural resource programs? It's okay to put teachers and nurses out of work but not the guys shooting rivets into an F-22?
Instead we're going to keep right on hearing about the evils of the National Endowment for the Arts and Planned Parenthood, as if they were somehow responsible for the federal deficit, the Republicans will keep right on saying it's all about the money while at the same time targeting specific programs social conservatives have always hated (trying to kill Planned Parenthood isn't new; the rightwing has been anti-family planning for decades), and the mainstream media will continue to do its usual fine job of focusing on the exact wrong things.