Government Spending

That Didn't Take Long

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This BBC article lays out Defense Secretary Robert Gates' plan to trim $78 billion from the Pentagon budget over the next five years. It's the biggest cut since 2001, and focuses mainly on eliminating outdated and unneeded weapons systems. But I direct your attention to the last paragraph:

The major weapons programmes cuts are likely to encounter opposition from US congressmen and senators in whose constituencies the arms are manufactured.

"I'm not happy," House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard McKeon told reporters. He said the cuts were greater than defence companies had been expecting.

So assuming the BBC quoted McKeon correctly, immediately upon taking power, the allegedly anti-waste, anti-spending GOP handed the Armed Services Committee over to a congressman whose reaction upon hearing about a round of proposed defense cuts was . . . concern for the well-being of defense contractors.

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  1. I’m shocked. Shocked!

  2. I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise.

    1. In the book his name was John.

      Palahniuk > Fincher

      1. I am Jack’s bare-knuckled fist. I ground and pound Palahniuk because I want to destroy something beautiful.

      2. Don’t be an ass. Palahniuk != Fincher, because one is a writer and the other is a director. Fincher is one of the best out there right now. Hope he makes more movies.

        1. He’s good with visuals and storytelling, but he needs to start working with screenwriters who know what dialogue and characters are.

          1. His more recent efforts haven’t been as good, but his earlier work is excellent. Also, he has been trying for years to do Rendezvous with Rama, which I would love to see.

            1. I would love to see that movie made well. But recent evidence of spectacular epics generally does not inspire confidence.

            2. I would love to see this book done properly as a film as well. But I think I’ll just stick to reading it. I’m not sure a film could capture the imagery, tone, and wonder of the text.

        2. Me too. Se7en is the best serial killer movie of all time.

          1. I like the end where Brad Pitt finds Gwenyth Paltro’s head in the box and shoots the serial killer…awesome!

            1. Any movie that ends with Gwyneth being beheaded is a fine movie indeed. I’m hoping her new country movie ends the same way. I still won’t go see it, but I’d praise it.

              1. But, But she’s so willowy and earnest!

              2. You mean, Country Strong? I’m sure that’s just how it smells.

              3. Epi, weren’t you sitting behind me at a play a few years back? Prick.

                1. You are so fucking stupid; it’s so delicious.

              4. 2nd best head in a box scene ever. 🙂

            2. Would have been better if Paltro had found Pitt’s head in the box and ran off with the killer.

              That’s my idea of a happy ending!

              1. To all the fellas out there with ladies to impress,
                It’s easy to do just follow these steps:

                1: Open a box.
                2: Put Pitt’s head all up in that box.
                3: Have her open the box.

                And that’s the way you do it.

            3. I’ve seen the movie quite a few times and each time I notice something new, or on a different level. The biggest take-home I got from it is that if you want to survive you have to be a little cynical, or at least accept reality. If you are too idealistic you’ll end up like Gwyneth Paltrow or Brad Pitt. Even Kevin Spacey was idealistic, in a twisted way. Morgan Freeman was the only major character to make it out OK.

            4. “Here comes Gwenyth’s head in a box…Gwenyth’s head in a box…Skip Stevenson is dead…Here comes Gweneth’s head…”

      3. This is one time I’d say they were about equal… I prefer the book, but the movie was a damned fine adaptation. And it has one of the most amusing commentaries on it ever.

        Even Palahniuk has said he was very happy with the movie adaptation.

  3. The Pentagon has needed a flying sub ever since Irwin Allen envisioned one in the 1960’s. America has to lead in technology or our children will be flipping Happy Meals for Chinese overlords.

    1. America has to lead in technology or our children will be flipping Happy Meals for Chinese overlords.

      Not if we have anything to say about it.

    2. America has to lead in technology or our children will be flipping Happy Meals for Chinese overlords.

      That can be taken flipping two ways. Brr.

  4. Military industrial complex, anyone?

    1. No it’s not complex at all….wring the taxpayer for all they’re worth….repeat again next year!

    2. But it’s not the military industrial complex. The military doesn’t want the stuff.

      It’s the Congressional industrial complex. And that, lo and behold, is independent of the military.

      It’s just that “for our defense” ranks right below “for the children” in the ranks of demagogic logic.

      1. “for teh troops” == “for teh children”

        Fig leaves of different colors for screwing the public.

          1. Proudly brought to you by workers in all 57 states of the union!

            1. will flush out all of those secret warmonger pols that pass themselves off as peace-niks in their “progressive” districts.

      2. It’s a little of both, Congress critters like to protect money that goes to their state and defense is big money.

      3. It’s the Congressional industrial complex. And that, lo and behold, is independent of the military.

        Complex refers to a mental condition.

        ie Congress has a military industrial complex.

        “Complex” in Eisenhower speech does not refer to a big building or an organization. It refers to way of thinking.

        1. Of course the speech was spoken over a hundred years ago…so there is no way we could understand its meaning.

        2. “Complex” in Eisenhower speech does not refer to a big building or an organization. It refers to way of thinking.

          Finding this wrong, I ran to Wikipedia. Of course, it is wrong.

          But we do find this wonderful nugget there

          In the penultimate draft of the address, Eisenhower initially used the term military-industrial-congressional complex, and thus indicated the essential role that the United States Congress plays in the propagation of the military industry. But, it is said, that the president chose to strike the word congressional in order to placate members of the legislative branch of the federal government.

          1. Interesting. I wonder, if he had left it in, would the quote be nearly as well known?

    3. Waaaa someone might make money providing for the common defense.

      1. Is this a joke? “Make money”? Don’t you mean “steal our fucking money hand over fist for shit we don’t need”? Oh, sorry, I didn’t realize you were a military fellator. Do you do cops too?

        1. Is this a joke?

          I think his name “BeltwayLurker” might be a big hint.

        2. There’s a fair portion of what we’re spending money on that we do actually need unless one wishes to completely eliminate our conventional military forces. A lot of our primary weapons systems (think tanks, planes and ships) were first fielded 30 years ago, are wearing out and need to be replaced.

          Then again, there’s also a lot of crap that we don’t need.

          The trick is going to be separating the wheat from the chaff, which gets complicated by congress critters who think “made in my district” = wheat, no matter where it fits into the national defense strategy if at all…

      2. Waaaa someone might make money providing for the common defense.

        Trolling 104: D-

        Automatic Parent-Teacher Conference for you.

  5. I only hope I live to see the day were economic stimulas actually, really, truly means I get a tax break for whacking off…

    1. Yeah, but in the interest of “fairness,” I want a LARGER stimulus package. Can I get that please? Just a few inches, er, thousand more?

  6. This was apparent to anyone who followed the speeches (or the news about the speeches) at the Foreign Policy Institute in mid-December, where McCain and others in their speeches said that we could cut more from the budget, but McKeon dissented in his speech, saying that the projected 1% growth in the defense budget was too low.

  7. I have a cunning plan. Why not just claim the Earth as our domain, divide it up into states, then declare a Pax Americana? Then we can get rid of our military and replace it with a civilian police force.

    1. I will support this if the police force is made up only of bouncy ladies. Can you promise me that?

      1. Sure. Because, obviously, the only way the U.S. could do such a thing is to threaten to use its nukes. So the cops will just be for appearances.

        1. More cops? Why do you fucking hate dogs, asshole?

          1. Is this thing on? [tap, tap.] Warty Plan!

    2. Is there any real difference between a military and our version of a civilian police force?

      1. Under the Warty Plan, yes, there is a significant difference.

        1. Good call. Count me in, although I want an avenue of redress should these bouncy lady promises not be fulfilled.

            1. Perhaps there would be more lady libertarians around here if you guys would throw us some beefcake pics every so often! One ripped congressman every 6 months does not count. Just sayin…

    3. Have you paid any attention to Balko’s posts?

      I think I’d rather be ruled by the Pentagon than any US police force.

      1. Warty Plan!

      2. You got that right, my man!

      1. That’s right–how did you know?

  8. In other inside-baseball stuff, the House rule adopted for the Highway Trust Fund is a real positive for not spending General Fund dollars on transportation projects.

    In some times in the past, there were complaints that not all the Highway Trust Fund was spent on transportation projects, so it was applied to other things. In response, the previous highway bill had a rule saying that all Trust Fund money had to be allocated to transportation. Problem is, the highway bills are for five year plans periods, so they would project the estimated Trust Fund money. They would then create mandatory spending based on those estimates.

    The last highway bill, the revenue consistently came in under projection. Since the “mandatory” spending was already allocated, Congress was “forced” to make up the difference with General Funds in 2007 and 2009.

    The new rule adopted bans using General Funds for transportation (without a two-thirds vote, like all rules), and gets rid of the “guaranteed” money based on Trust Fund projections.

    In other words, they’ll have to either raise the gas tax, build within their means, or stop paying for non-highway things (transit, etc.) out of the Trust Fund.

    1. I expected a much more entertaining comment about baseball here. Very disappointing.

  9. “House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard McKeon told reporters […] the cuts were greater than defence companies had been expecting.”

    Servant, know thy master.

  10. In other words, they’ll have to either raise the gas tax, build within their means, or stop paying for non-highway things (transit, etc.) out of the Trust Fund.

    Of the three choices, what choice do think will be made?

  11. McKeon’s fifth largest contributor is…the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising?

    More importantly, McKeon’s first four highest contributors are Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, and General Dynamics (all top defense contractors). He is the top recipient of both Lockheed and Northrop’s favors (about $50,00 each). He is one of the top five recipients for Boeing ($28,900) and General Dynamics ($20,000).

    1. McKeon’s fifth largest contributor is…the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising?

      Those uniforms don’t design themselves, you know. Don’t you want our fighting men and women to look fabulous?

      1. Don’t you want our fighting men and women to look fabulous?

        I knew there was another reason they repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell besides civil rights.

        1. Boot City?

          I eagerly await the discovery of McKeon’s crush videos.

          1. I knew you were a shill for the crush lobby.

          2. Wrong. McKeon is obviously in the pocket of Big Trample.

        2. The McKeon family owned some cowboy clothing stores in the past.

          1. And some furniture stores as well. The McKeons are great at filing for bankruptcy protection!

  12. whose reaction upon hearing about a round of proposed defense cuts was

    LALALALALALALALALALALALALAICAN’THEARYOOOOOOOOOOOOU!

    —–

    but McKeon dissented in his speech, saying that the projected 1% growth in the defense budget was too low.

    Okay, Thacker, so why did he get the Chairman’s spot? Union seniority rules?

  13. “I’m not happy,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard McKeon told reporters.

    All this angst over three little words? You people surrender like the French.

    1. 2 whole words and a contraction. Technically representing four words.

      1. Everyone knows that a contraction counts as 1 1/2 words, moran.

        1. Okay, okay, 2/3 words, how’s that for compromise?

        2. not 3/5ths?

  14. Generic congressional douchebag candidate:
    “If elected, I promise to cut waste/lower taxes/reduce spending and/or reform health care/improve public education/repair our dilapidated infrastructure! Furthermore, everyone will be able to go to college/have a fulfilling career/retire in comfort!”

    One of the first lessons my dad taught me:
    If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.

    1. You forgot “Keep America safe from Drug Dealers/Terrorists/Muslims/North Korea/Iran”.

  15. So will it be more politically expedient for the GOP to 1) make good on their mandate to trim spending, or 2) portray Obama as soft on defense?

    I can’t wait to see how this turns out…

    1. With the repeal of DADT, I think the defense has gotten quite a bit harder.

  16. This is so unbeleiveably not suprising. Why do these idiots insist on running the ship at full speed onto the rocks? Just because it’s their turn to stear? Because thier turn to stear won’t include the actual hitting of the rocks? Complete effin’ fools – and supposedly our best and brightest from the Most Famous Schools in the country! Puke.

    I am beginning to beleive that nothing significant will be done regarding our fiscal condition until it is forced on us by a 3rd party. Most likely the bond market. What a fiasco that will be!

    1. Basically, our ship of state has two drunken fools taking turns playing captain, all the while arguing over which set of rocks to ram us into.

      1. I’m stealing this.

        1. Give Restoras the credit, I just distilled his/her thought.
          Although, if I were in academia I’d claim that as “research” and get a book deal…

  17. So typical of the libertarians. They want to repeal health care because they believe the lie that it will add to the deficit, even though it is an objective fact that it will reduce the deficit. But libertarians, all of whom are represented by Howard McKeon, would rather let the deficit grow than cut a tiny bit of military spending.

    There, I have just disproved libertarianism. I am way too full of nuance to ever argue with a libertarian.

    1. I am way too full of nuance shit to ever argue with a libertarian.

    2. Start working on your defense now, because when the defecit isn’t lower, what’re you going to blame it on?

      1. I mean, let me be more clear… since Obamacare won’t be repealed, what are you going to blame it on?

        1. The Republicans will try to sabotage or destroy the bill every way possible. If you Reasontwits get your way, then the individual mandate to buy insurance will be repealed, and that right there will make the bill more expensive.

          Futhermore, even if this bill doesn’t lower the deficit, it will raise it a lot slower than the system we have now. Again, under eight years of Bush libertarianism, nothing was done about the health costs. The libertarians should get out of the way and let Obama, who is trying to fix the system, do his job.

          1. Reasontwits get your way, then the individual mandate to buy insurance will be repealed,

            So, if all eleven of us get our way, the individual mandate will be repealed.

            Futhermore, even if this bill doesn’t lower the deficit, it will raise it a lot slower than the system we have now.

            We know that’s not true because the systems Obamacare was modeled on are broke or broker* and are being scaled back dramatically.

            I also find it interesting that Obamacare reducing the deficit is hinged on clearly unconstituional mandates.

            What’s next, a law banning all criticism of Obamacare and claiming that elimination of criticism will “reduce the deficit”?

            The individual mandate is not a new an untried concept. It’s been done in Massachussets and we all know what happened with MassCare.

            *the linked article is from 2002, when all in the economic world was nothing but sweet financial nectar. Even then Washington’s Basic Health Plan was burning more dollars than was sustainable.

            1. Don’t waste your time, dude. It’s obvious he’s a troll. No-one but a troll would call Bush a “libertarian”.

          2. Bush libertarianism

            There is a special place in hell with your name on it sir.

          3. under eight years of Bush libertarianism….

            lolwut?

    3. “Common defense” occurs once in the preamble of the constitution, and again in Article I.

      How many times does “health care” occurs in the constitution?

      1. You’re responding to a spoofer, but I’ll bite.

        Who gives a fuck? As I was trying to argue in the Scalia thread, hiding behind the constitution is a way for you to avoid defending your policy preference on its merits.

        So assume for the sake of argument that the constitution does allow nationalized healthcare just as it allows nationalized defense. Why is one the sacred duty of government and the other–arguably a much more immediate and necessary need for all American citizens–not?

        1. Amen. The constitution is all negative and shit. Constantly telling me what I can’t do. I don’t need TWO Michelle’s in my life.

        2. “So assume for the sake of argument that the constitution does allow nationalized healthcare just as it allows nationalized defense.”

          You know, I think you’re on to something.

          First we need to repeal the 13th Amendment.
          That way the government will back up your right to force doctors and nurses to serve you, since your right to health care is a right to goods and services provided by those people.

          I suppose that would include doctors and nurses in the 3/5ths clause.

          Go Tony!

          1. Maybe you’re unaware of this, but doctors and nurses ARE forced to serve people who need their care.

            Perhaps you’d prefer a society in which there is no such thing as medical ethics, and where people can be turned away from ERs if they’re too poor. Sounds like a great place to live.

            But here in reality, doctors are already in this situation. A universal system simply makes people pay for the services they may require, instead of allowing a bunch of freeloaders charge the rest of us for their care. Turns out not only is this a more fair system, it’s cheaper.

            1. Only if the accept Medicare.

              If they do not accept federal money they are free to turn people away.

              By the way, I thought the American way was all about Truth and Justice, not Equality and Fairness.

              Truth and Justice is for the land of the Free and the home of the Brave.

              Equality and Fairness is for the land of the Pussies and home of the Woosies.

              I know which of those describes you.

              Now fuck off, will ya?

            2. Fuck you and your bullshit about people without health insurance being freeloaders. I grew up without health insurance. My parents paid all their bills. It was damn expensive though because of all the people that got their health insurance free from the government. My parents paid their taxes, subsidizing the health care of others, in addition to paying for our own health care out of pocket. It’s the people that insist on having the government pay for all their wants and needs that are the freeloaders, not the rest of us that foot the bill.

        3. hiding behind the constitution

          When I was a kid, conservatives derided liberals as those who “burned the flag while wrapping themselves in the constitution”.

          How times have changed. Now when you defend say, freedom of speech on 1st amendment grounds, you’re hiding behind the constitution if you take a ‘shortcut’ and iterate that banning speech is unconstitutional.

          1. That may be adequate as a shortcut, but it’s not sufficient as a formal argument in favor of the policy. Free speech isn’t good because the constitution says so, it’s good for other reasons, and the constitution merely recognizes that.

            1. Why do liberals hate the constitution so much? It’s the best protection we have against tyranical government. Would you prefer living in a country where government could make up any law it wanted? Pretty ironic that in our liberal democracy all the self-identified liberals can’t wait to get rid of that pesky liberal part.

    4. But libertarians, all of whom are represented by Howard McKeon, would rather let the deficit grow than cut a tiny bit of military spending.

      What the fuck are you talking about?

      With the exception of maybe John (who i think considers himself a conservative not a libertarian) everyone here thinks military spending should be cut. And i don’t think even he is completely closed to military cuts.

      Hell ask Epi and his response would be to cut military spending 110%.

      Do you even read anything anyone ever writes here? or do you just post random prejudices that enter your small mind?

      1. 8 years of Bush libertarianism brought us massive deficits in large part due to increased military spending (not to mention massive wars). Obama tried to reign in the deficit with the health care bill, but the libertarians cried and howled, but yet have no better ideas. The Republicans/libertarians started this mess, and seem determined not to let Obama get us out of it. Seriously, what’s more important, having a libertarian like Palin win in 2012, or letting Obama successfully balance the budget and win in 2012 (the horror!)?

        1. Bush was a fiscal liberal, he signed more regulations than any other President in history and instituted the biggest expansion of Medicare since Lyndon Johnson.

          1. And since every libertarian supported him throughout those eight years, you have no right to complain when Obama tries to reign in the deficit through this health care bill. I don’t recall Reason running any articles during the Bush administration criticizing his spending.

            1. 8 years of Bush libertarianism

              I lol everytime I see this. Bush was a Democrat on fiscal, war and corporate welfare, and a republican on torture.

              On everything else, he just cherry picked between D and R.

              And since every libertarian supported him throughout those eight years,

              I someone spoofing you, Tony, because I know you’re not this fucking stupid.

              1. Please don’t respond to spoof/troll posts.

            2. “I don’t recall Reason running any articles during the Bush administration criticizing his spending.”

              Recall this?

              https://reason.com/archives/2003/11/28/medicare-fraud

              1. They just recently published that and backdated it.

        2. Bush was a libertarian? Maybe in the alternative universe that you live in, but not here. Rockefeller Republican, all the way, but not nearly as fund because he quick drinking and drugging years ago.

          BTW- how do you manage to transcend the gap between reality and your alternative universe to post here? Extraordinary!

          1. There was no criticism of Bush’s wasteful spending from the libertarians. Yet, when Obama spends on necessities, like saving us from economic collapse, the libertards are everywhere complaining about the supposed evils of spending money on health care and unemployment insurance. Yep, I’m the one with a huge gap between me and reality. Not those who think excessive spending is OK when a fellow libertarian like Bush does it.

            1. “There was no criticism of Bush’s wasteful spending from the libertarians.”
              These contradict your statement:
              https://reason.com/archives/200…..care-fraud
              https://reason.com/archives/200…..get-buster

              “Yet, when Obama spends on necessities, like saving us from economic collapse, the libertards are everywhere complaining…”

              Yes, because no amount of spending can avert something like that. Downturns are part of the business cycle, something that was not repealed by Bush, or Obama, as our ongoing malaise is testament to.

              1. Goddamnit, people, he’s TROLLING.

                1. Yes but he’s also making really easy to point out how moronic and baseless his positions are. It’s like fishing with dynamite.

        3. Heh, “Bush libertarianism.” Good one.

          1. I highly doubt that’s the real Tony. Scroll up a bit

    5. …it is an objective fact that it will reduce the deficit.

      Do you know that fact is derived from a verb in a past tense? Might want to keep that in mind when considering whether to use it; such consideration could bring enlightenment into the nature of knowledge, which may prevent such silly assertions.

  18. I don’t think we can afford to cut the defense budget at a time when the Chinese have developed a super-stealth fifth generation fighter, ASBMs, and are building nuclear aircraft carriers.

    Cut out the fat from non-defense programs.

    1. Cut the fat from your bullshit statist arguments first.

      1. Have you SEEN the new Chinese stealth fighter??

        IT’s several years ahead of schedule. They’re kicking our asses.

        1. Oh yeah, I forgot about the time when their new stealth fighter took out our old, icky stealth fighters. My bad.

        2. “”IT’s several years ahead of schedule. They’re kicking our asses.””

          In what world does trying to catch up = kicking our asses?

    2. I used to have sympathy for arguements like this, but since Europe and Japan have have not pulled their weight for a couple of generations while spending stupid amounts of money on nothing, I am beginning to waver.

      1. When European states have to choose between actually defending themselves and continuing their bloated health care system they’ll have to rethink their socialism or perish.

    3. Have you BEEN in the military?

      IF so you’d know there is plenty of fat to trim. Not to mention, as an added bonus of having been government property and subject to their mindless medical system devoid of empathy, compassion or care wouldn’t give the first rat’s ass any of the arguments for government run health care because you would know, from first hand experience just how bad it is.

      1. Damned threaded comments. Look down.

      2. THIS. ^^^

  19. You have all missed the real concern. This guy is focused like a laser (a weapon system we absolutely need to shoot down space aliens) on JOBS JOBS JOBS!!!

  20. Yes, as a result of the Democrats fiscal recklessness, military spending will have to be cut, as many Republicans have stated publically. That doesn’t mean that those cuts should be at the sole discretion of Robert Gates.

    1. You’re saying that as if cutting military spending were bad thing.

  21. At least the military industrial complex pays people to produce stuff, unlike the social programs liberals are so fond of that pay people to sit on their ever growing asses and do absolutely nothing.

    Wait a minute. I’m sitting on my ever growing ass doing absolutely nothing.

    OK, let’s start over.

    At least the military industrial complex pays well educated people lots of money to sit on their ever growing asses and do nothing, unlike the social programs liberals are so fond of that pay uneducated people a pittance to sit on their ever growing asses and do nothing.

  22. Guys, that is not Tony. Why would you argue with the real Tony, anyway? You should be thinking about bouncy cops.

    1. Cops are bouncy from all the donuts. Why would I want to think of that?

      1. I am reminded of a cartoon I saw in Playboy back in the sixties:

        A naked girl is sitting up in a bed. A man is standing along side of the bed (we see him from behind). In each of the man’s hands there is a cup of coffee. The caption: Quick, grab the donuts.

  23. There is absolutely no philosophical consistency in protecting cherished national defense spending and arguing that national healthcare spending is the devil. It’s just that blowing shit up appeals to Republicans, and helping people doesn’t. Period.

    1. Or that national defense is stipulated in the Constitution and health insurance is not.

      1. What does that have to do with anything? The constitution, for the millionth time, is not a sacred text.

        We’ll just see if Obamacare survives its court challenge. When it does, suddenly you won’t be able to hide behind the constitution to defend bad policy.

        1. Common defense is an organized extension of the individual right to self defense.

          Health care is a combination of goods and services provided by others at a cost.

          The former is a legitimate function of government, the latter is more like slavery.

          1. Defense isn’t “a combination of goods and services provided by others at a cost”?

            1. Defense is an extension of an individual’s right to self defense.

              Your individual right to defend yourself from force initiated by others does not require anything from anyone.

              Your individual right to health care requires the initiation of action of many many other people. They must do all kinds of stuff on your behalf.

              Extending the right of individual defense to government in the form of common defense is a completely different thing than extending your individual right to the services of others.

              Apples and oranges.

              1. National defense requires action by many, many people, like soldiers, defense contractors, government officials, etc. It requires a lot of money, and the ROI is arguably vastly smaller than a healthcare system, as I don’t recall there being a threat of imminent invasion any time recently. Fundamentally the two services are the same–meant to protect the lives of buyers-in. And I don’t see how the more expensive, more wasteful enterprise is legitimate while the other is not on the grounds you are outlining.

        2. Dred Scott didn’t hold up to the court challenge. Go fuck yourself in the ass with your reverence for unconstitional bullshit.

    2. How ’bout we design a machine gun that shoots suicide pills into the mouths of complaining seniors?
      Props up Defense while serving Obamacare. Everybody wins!
      Except granma.

    3. “There is absolutely no philosophical consistency in protecting cherished national defense spending and arguing that national healthcare spending is the devil.” – Excellent point.

      “It’s just that blowing shit up appeals to Republicans, and helping people doesn’t. Period.” – Lame, immature demagoguery. Try harder next time.

      1. Well, it’s also that Republicans are buttbuddies with defense contractors, though if Obamacare were such an insurance industry boondoggle you’d think they’d be on board. Guess it’s because it wasn’t their baby.

        1. http://www.opensecrets.org

          Of the five top recipients from Lockheed Martin, three are Democrats.

          Of the top five recipients from Northrop Grumman, four are Democrats.

          Of the top five recipients from Boeing, three are Democrats.

          Of the top five recipients from General Dynamics, four are Democrats.

          Not only that, but all four companies (massive defense contractors, BTW) donate more to Democrats than Republicans.

          I would think you’d be better at recognizing butt buddies, especially of the Democratic color, better than most. Not sorry to deflate your Team Blue hard-on.

          1. Beautiful.

  24. In other, bizarre news, Finnish Hitler mocking dog was subject of diplomatic incident in 1941.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40…..?gt1=43001

  25. I’m not sure what libertarians you think are saying the defense budget shouldn’t be cut, Tony. There is all the consistency anyone could ask for in saying national healthcare spending AND world police spending are both the debbil.

    I would point out, however, that (1) defense is, in principle, not only a specifically enumerated power, and national health insurance is not, and (2) healthcare and health insurance consist of services to individuals that can be provided through a marketplace, while defense is not, and cannot.

    1. That’s not me. It’s FIFY or someone being a dick. I know you guys are more consistent on spending than Republicans.

      Point (1) is irrelevant. Modern medicine didn’t exist at the time of the founding (including the innovation of nationalized healthcare–something only the US among advanced countries hasn’t benefited from.) If the courts rule national healthcare (or even Obama’s weak version of it) unconstitutional, I would simply argue for a constitutional amendment to allow it. But it will survive so enumeration is moot.

      (2) seems like a good point, but consider this. Healthcare is a special type of product, in that it’s essential to life. More essential, arguably, than a multitrillion-dollar defense program. If you treat it like a normal commodity, then poor people would just be out of luck, and one’s access to healthcare thus depends on one’s ability to pay for it, which, to modern civilization, is simply morally bankrupt. It’s not like other products–everyone needs it, and no one wants it, and how much you pay for it is almost totally governed by chance and not rational choice. Beyond all of that, reality shows that nationalized systems are simply cheaper on a per capita basis, in addition to being more moral. There’s no good argument for our status quo, unless you’re in health insurance. And talking about enumeration in the constitution is no such argument–if anything it’s an argument for the constitution being flawed.

      1. So central planning works for medicine but nothing else in history? Got it.

        1. No, there are many things better done by “central planning”: national defense, environmental protection, courts, police, firefighting, roads, education, i.e., the things government does, because the market won’t (adequately).

          1. You’re a regular Marxist Welby MD.

            😉

      2. I would simply argue for a constitutional amendment to allow it

        This is a good point and should be hammered into the skulls of the advocates of this shitty insurance industry windfall. In the heady days of 2008-09, with Obamamania sweeping the land, a Constitutional amendment for nationalized health care could have been adopted. That they chose instead to craft a bill that does nothing to increase supply or decrease costs (or even demand) of health care and instead creates new opportunities for patronage and a mandatory customer base for one of Team Blue’s major financial backers should shame these slavers.

      3. Healthcare is a special type of product, in that it’s essential to life.

        How did we get here?

        1. Healthcare is a special type of product, in that it’s essential to life.

          I anxiously await the national mandate ordering Americans to purchase food, clothing, and shelter insurance.

      4. So, Tony, if the SCOTUS ruled that internment camps for all HIV-positive people was constitutional under the “general welfare” clause, you’d take their word for it?

        You accuse us people who mention that “old document” of simply appealing to authority, but that’s all you’re doing as well.

        Shorter Tony: “The Feds can do whatever they want – even the Feds say so!!”

        1. Would I take their word for it? I don’t agree with a lot of what comes out of the Federalist Society roster currently occupying the SCOTUS. But I’d have to accept it as law. What alternative do you propose? Patting myself on the back for being right? Ideologues do that a lot, but they rarely accomplish anything else.

          1. Well you could challenge it in court as being unconstitutional. But since you think the constitution is obsolete, I guess in Tony-land, AIDS patients would just have to march off quietly to the internment camps.

            1. I don’t see how being self-satisfied about my rightness will help them either.

      5. Can you name anything, just about anything, that was run by Washington, and was “cheaper on a per capita basis”?

  26. House votes to repeal Obamacare. That didn’t take long.

    1. Good. Maybe there are a few Democrats in the Senate who are scared about reelection who will give us a nice surprise. Obama would be total toast if both houses passed this repeal. Not that he isn’t mostly already.

      Unlikely to pass the Senate, of course, but if it did. . . .

  27. If you treat it like a normal commodity, then poor people would just be out of luck, and one’s access to healthcare thus depends on one’s ability to pay for it, which, to modern civilization, is simply morally bankrupt. It’s not like other products–everyone needs it, and no one wants it, and how much you pay for it is almost totally governed by chance and not rational choice. Beyond all of that, reality shows that nationalized systems are simply cheaper on a per capita basis, in addition to being more moral.

    This is the argument of a child.

    Or a simpleton.

    In other words, this appears to be a bona fide Tony post.

    1. Not all of us can have the penetrating insight found in the argument “an old piece of paper says so!”

      1. Yeah, I mean damn, it’s over 100 years old!

      2. You know, there’s fair evidence that this country, by and large, leans somewhat to the right. And, of course, the military leans even further to the right.

        Is it a good idea to deny the legitimacy of the foundations for the country? Because if it doesn’t mean anything, then all of those institutions and laws are meaningless. Who would be in charge if that happened? Of all people, leftists should be the most scared of the Constitution vanishing.

        1. The constitution means something, it just isn’t the be-all end-all of good policy for a 21st century world.

          1. Feel free to amend it, then.

      3. Speaking of “penetrating”….

      4. Not all of us can have the penetrating insight found in the argument “an old piece of paper says so!”

        Yes, the argument that a new piece of paper (from Congress or SCOTUS) says so is much better.

  28. What’s worse in a government: moral bankruptcy or actual bankruptcy? This is really what we are debating.

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