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: