Debt-Ceiling Update: GOP Wants to Reduce Future Spending Except When It Doesn't

According to The Washington Post's Robert Costa, Speaker John Boehner might use the upcoming vote on increasing the debt limit to jack up veteran's benefits.

At the top of the list: a proposal to link a one-year extension of the debt ceiling to a restoration of recently cut military benefits.

What are we talking about here? Well, by the terms of the most recent budget deal - the one that busted the sequester cuts from a couple of summers ago - payments for military retirement benefits are supposed to increase from around $51 billion this year to about $64.3 in 2023. That's a pretty hefty boost, of course, but not as big as was once envisioned. At one point, the benefits were supposed to grow to about $67.5 billion in 2023.

So now the Republicans - the party of small government, of fiscal conservatism, of budgetary discipline - are mulling over insisting on spending more money as a condition of raising the debt ceiling, whose point is to call attention to deficit spending.

Any questions about why spending ratchets up but never seems to swing back down? Read it and weep:

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    We never meant to touch our sacred cows. We just meant to slow in the increase in spending on their sacred cows. Also, votes.

  • gaijin||

    That sacred cow? It could be your brother.

  • Pavlov's Cat||

    Tasty, tasty brother cow.

    'Scuze me. I have to go buy charcoal.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Also, votes.

    Aye

    Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) said Boehner has not signaled his debt-ceiling intentions. But he called linking veterans’ benefits a “smart” idea, “since I’ve got a lot of military in my state and so do many others.”
  • gaijin||

    That alt text is bringing tears to my eyes!

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    No, fuck you, cut spending.

    I didn't sign up for fucking veteran's benefits - CUT SPENDING YOU JACKASSES!

  • gaijin||

    CUT SPENDING YOU JACKASSES!

    IN this case, I think it's elephants too!

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    True.... CUT SPENDING YOU JACKASSES AND ELEPHANTS!

  • sarcasmic||

    Why do you hate the troops?

  • ||

    Why, it's almost as if it doesn't matter which party is in power. How curious.

  • sarcasmic||

    Almost?

  • ||

    Almost.

  • ||

    Just to play devil's advocate, raising benefits to the soldiers you just got done blowing to bits in overseas entanglements vs passing a trillion dollar health care reform abortion ain't exactly a 1:1 comparison.

  • lap83||

    I agree, and I'm not playing devil's advocate.

  • SugarFree||

    I bet eliminating the DEA would cover restoring the benefits.

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    Budget by Combat...

    FBI vs NSA - undercard
    DoE vs HHS - undercard

    DoD vs DEA - feature

  • Doctor Whom||

    That chart is a lie. Right-thinking people keep telling me that Reagan wrecked the economy by slashing back the federal government and that Clinton led us into a socialist paradise.

  • R C Dean||

    Well, at least W gets credit for the stimulus passed after he left office!

  • Restoras||

    Stupid Party being stupid.

  • eyeroller||

    What is Reason Pet Rand Paul's position on jacking up these military benefits?

  • ||

    Well, of course, the Republicans are worthless pieces of shit.

    This is what happens when the "establishment" reigns in the "tea party".

    We get to sell away everything we gained in deficit reduction in return for more military spending. Obviously, the "smart" "moderates" are in charge again.

    The Democrats get to keep pissing money on their favorite constituencies, and the Republicans get to keep shoveling it to theirs. It's win, win!

  • R C Dean||

    This is what happens when the "establishment" reigns in the "tea party".

    I'm sure its just an amazing coincidence that IRS harassment of tea party groups continues unabated nearly a year after it was first uncovered.

    I keep telling people: the tea party groups are Enemy No. 1 to establishment republicans. As they have shown time and again, establishment republicans would rather a democrat win a seat than a tea party candidate. Why would the establishment republicans who control Congress want to reign in an IRS that is putting a whomping on Enemy No. 1? I can't think of a reason, so I'm unsurprised that it continues. Nobody in a position of power really wants it to stop.

  • ||

    It just reveals the lie that anyone in power will every have any interest in having less power.

    OF COURSE the Republicans don't give a shit about deficit reduction. They would have to compromise and spend less on the military in order for that to happen.

    And, as we've seen, time, and time again, when push comes to shove the Republicans will give up deficit reduction in exchange for spending more money on THEIR people.

    It's been a long walk back from the debt ceiling deal, and all of it has involved higher taxes and more spending.

    The one thing that came out of the debt ceiling crisis was the sequester, and the Republicans are showing how eager they are to reverse that entirely the second that they have an opportunity to do so.

    What did we get? ZILCH. ZERO. NADA. Higher taxes, more spending.

  • ||

    Not that I think team red is better, but does that chart look any different with congressional control highlighted instead of philosopher kings?

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