Last week, Republican congressweasels abandoned once and for all every pretense of what the establishment claims it means to be a Republican when they joined with Democrats to pass one of the biggest spending bills in history.
The deal exceeds discretionary spending caps put in place by a Congress opposing Barack Obama by $300 billion over the next two years. It calls for a rise in appropriations of 13 percent this year.
Republicans attempt to justify the increase by saying it was necessary to bribe Senate Democrats enough to get them on board so they wouldn’t filibuster the new defense spending. As one-time “fiscal hawk” Representative Bill Flores (Neocon-Texas) told NPR, “Our military is really in dire straits when it comes to a long-term, stable funding solution. And given the risk profile that the world faces today, it was very important to get the military spending plussed up to the point that meets our needs — and also to provide the stability of funding that they need.”
If the military is indeed in “dire straits,” it is so because it is constantly being sent into foreign countries to fight enemies on behalf of Israel and Saudi Arabia that do not threaten us and that are being backed by our own CIA and other Deep State gun runners. In other words, our military is sent to foreign lands to fight insurgencies funded directly or through third-party countries by agents of our own government. Syria and Libya are but the latest examples of this. Going back to the first Gulf War under George Bush the First, the U.S. has been in a constant state of war for 37 years with no end in sight.
The U.S. spends more on its military than the next seven countries combined. For every dollar No. 2 military spender China spends, the U.S. spends almost $3. It has been involved in a war with no purpose and no end game in Afghanistan for 17-plus years. From there it went to Iraq and then across the Middle East and into Africa, expanding the war and expending trillions of dollars and – what’s worse – the blood and limbs and mental psyche of our sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers. But that’s not enough for Republicans, who love to look for more dragons abroad to slay.
The Founders warned us of the dangers inherent in such an endeavor.
In “The American Crisis,” Thomas Payne wrote:
Not all the treasures of the world, so far as I believe, could have induced me to support an offensive war, for I think it murder; but if a thief breaks into my house, burns and destroys my property, and kills or threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to “bind me in all cases whatsoever” to his absolute will, am I to suffer it?
Yet Americans not only continue to support “offensive war” in far off lands, they applaud it, having bought into the rhetoric first expounded by George Bush the Lesser in his “You’re either for us or against us” speech.
And as for a spending spree which creates $1 trillion in budget deficits as far as the eye can see, James Madison had something to say about that in a speech before Congress:
There is not a more important and fundamental principle in legislation, than that the ways and means ought always to face the public engagements; that our appropriations should ever go hand in hand with our promises. To say that the United States should be answerable for twenty-five millions of dollars without knowing whether the ways and means can be provided, and without knowing whether those who are to succeed us will think with us on the subject, would be rash and unjustifiable. Sir, in my opinion, it would be hazarding the public faith in a manner contrary to every idea of prudence.
When will prudence reign? Certainly not with Republicans, and especially in the era of Trumpism.