… and, as Everett Dirksen would say, “pretty soon, you’re talking real money.”
At a certain point, more money also just tends to perpetuate the habits (good or bad) and the consequences (intended or not) associated with the previous expenditures.
Or to put it a different way, when the US government gets into the habit of spending half a trillion dollars a year on the world’s most powerful military machine, they find it hard to break that habit and they’re always wanting to, well, use it for something.
The Hill reports that the House Armed Services Committee wants to add $5 billion to next year’s “defense” authorization bill, which is already about 10% over-budget per the Budget Control Acts’ spending caps, and many multiples of any reasonable cost for “national defense.”
The authorization bill rejects some of the Pentagon’s cost-cutting measures, including a smaller raise (not a pay cut, just a smaller raise) for military personnel, proposals for base closures, etc. Apparently those poor, stupid soldiers don’t understand the military’s spending needs as well as committee chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA), whose vast managerial experience includes a stint as a Mormon missionary, studying animal husbandry, and bankrupting the family business … but, curiously, not service in uniform.
The bill also forbids US President Barack Obama to transfer prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay gulag to the continental US, and even includes funding for new construction at Gitmo, as well as $85.8 billion for 2014 war spending in Afghanistan, a conflict from which US troops are supposedly to be withdrawn next year.
The House’s proposed
2014 “defense” budget comes to about $1,670 for every man, woman and child in the United States. The cost in human life and well-being, to be determined.