Miracles never cease. Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-4) and I finally agree on something. The issue is the generousity that Congress, fresh off a budget slashing spree, has taken when it comes to military spending. According to Vicky, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2015 gives “our men and women in uniform the tools and resources they need to protect our nation from current and emerging threats.” Amen – and then some. The bill passed by the House actually forces on the Pentagon things it explicitly does not want – to the tune of several billion (yes, billion) dollars of taxpayer money. Why would a lawmaker who claims she was elected ” to reduce wasteful spending,” be so enthusiastic abut such unabashed waste? The answer is obvious:
Pork-barrel politics, of course, seems to be the answer-pet projects that benefit influential constituents in a Member’s district are at the heart of these seemingly nonsensical failures to cut unwanted programs.
Keep in mind that Hartzler was also willing to cut SNAP benefits, a lifeline for many poor children, from the Farm Bill, while retaining the provisions that paid her wealthy family big agricultural subsidies. It’s clear that when conservatives talk about wasteful spending, it really depends on just whose ox is being gored. We all should keep the example of Hartzler and her special type of hypocrisy in mind when we hear talk about how the government is “broke.” Nor is Hartzler the only Republican whose priorities are so lopsided. The GOP almost always seems to think that there’s more than enough in the cash jar when it comes to serving the special interests that are near and dear to their hearts.