Monday, May 24, 2010

On those war things that are still happening

Rep. Alan Grayson is fed up with our two wars and how we pay for them. Yeah, that's right, we're still at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Surprised the hell out of me when I heard it too.

Grayson isn't happy about this. Moreso, he isn't happy about all the money we have to pay to keep these wars going. Especially considering that Congress is just about to pas a $159 billion “emergency” spending bill to cover the most recent tab. So, he's proposing some new legislation. He call sit The War Is Making You Poor Act. Let him explain.
“The purpose of this bill,” wrote Grayson last week, “is to connect the dots, and to show people in a real and concrete way the cost of these endless wars.” It’s not just the costs of active shooting wars; with hundreds of bases overseas, as far as the defense budget is concerned Americans have been on a permanent wartime footing, to varying degrees, since Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941. “War is a permanent feature of our societal landscape,” wrote Grayson, “so much so that no one notices it anymore.”
So what does the bill do?
* Limits the amount of funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
* Takes the $159 billion and uses it as a tax cut for Americans, effectively eliminating the federal income tax on the first $35,000 of every American’s income ($70,000 for married couples)
*Makes the Pentagon take the $159 billion for the wars out of their $559 billion dollar defense budget.
* Cuts the Federal deficit by $15.9 billion.
This makes sense, people would like it, it would cut the deficit, and rein in the ridiculous amount we're spending of defense. So of course it'll go over like a loud fart in church and will probably never be allowed to be voted on.

Even Secretary Gates, who is openly advocating for the cutting of billions of dollars worth of projects and telling the President to veto any defense bill that doesn't make the cuts he wants, has to be looking at Grayson and going "Pay for these wars out of money already appropriated?" *makes wanking gesture* "Get fucked, buddy."

So even though nothing will probably happen, Grayson's attempt to make sense will never get through and Gates' request that that Congress stop wasting money on pet military projects for their own districts that the military has no use for will also be ignored, it's nice to see the two attempting to inject a little rationality into our defense debate. Combating the conventional wisdom that wars are free and that defense spending doesn't count as spending is hard to do. Here's hoping that these forthcoming failed attempts don't scar them so badly they they never try again.

Naive kids, trying to act all reasonable and shit. Will wonders never cease?

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